Governor Jerry Brown Commits to Move the State Towards Zero-Emission Technologies
Last week, Governor Jerry Brown issued an Executive Order calling on state agencies to develop an action plan by July 2016 ‘that establishes clear targets to improve freight efficiency, transition to zero-emission technologies, and increase competitiveness of California’s freight system.’
This is a great step by our state administration on the path towards a sustainable and healthy environment. The Governor’s Executive Order joins CalTrans’ Freight Mobility Plan and CARB’s Sustainable Freight Strategy as statewide efforts to address the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
However, we are far too familiar with the disproportionate impacts of the freight system on the health of our families and other low-income communities and communities of color like ours across the state and nation. Governor Brown’s commitment to move the state towards zero-emission technologies provides a sense of relief, but if we want to see and feel the most critical improvements needed, the communities most impacted must be part of the process alongside state and regional agencies.
The I-710 corridor communities have been advocating for Community Alternative 7, a community generated and community preferred alternative for the I-710 Freeway Expansion Project. Along with essential community benefits and comprehensive investments in active transportation infrastructure and transit, it is the only alternative that includes a guaranteed zero-emission freight corridor. We hope the Governor’s message will be heard at CalTrans; it is time for them to start respecting the needs and voice of the communities impacted by their policies and projects.
Plans are just words on paper unless they are put into action. We need to see to it that these plans and strategies are not only implemented, but roll out in effective and meaningful ways that do not further burden disproportionately impacted communities.
You can read the Executive Order here, and find out more about Community Alternative 7 and how you can get involved here.
– mark! Lopez,
Executive Director, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice