FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2015
Reference: Jill Mangaliman
Communities of Color in South Seattle Launch Climate Justice Project
Date: Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 12:30pm
Location: Southside Commons – 3518 S. Edmunds St. Seattle, WA 98118
Who: Got Green and Puget Sound Sage
SEATTLE, WA- On Saturday, 50 volunteers will hit the streets to launch the Climate Justice Project, a community based research project with communities of color in South Seattle and South King County, a collaboration between two local people-of-color led organizations, Got Green and Puget Sound Sage.
Since January 2015, Sage and Got Green have convened a grassroots committee made up of 15 dedicated leaders of color to develop the face-to-face surveys. “I joined the project to make sure that my community’s voice was represented at the table of policy makers when making decisions around climate justice.” said Rashad Barber, Climate Justice steering committee member and a young black worker.
As Seattleites take courageous action to stop Shell’s arctic drilling, it’s clear that many in the Pacific Northwest are rejecting the unsustainable extractive energy economy and looking at ways to fight climate change. However, not everyone in Seattle will experience the climate crisis in the same way.
Due to historical redlining and structural racism, people of color and immigrants already live in the most polluted and under-resourced neighborhoods, facing higher rates of health and economic disparities. According to a 2013 study by Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, pollution in South Seattle is one of the worst in the state, and that the cancer risk from that pollution is higher than other areas in the region.
Also, communities of color already feel the impacts of global warming, from dangerous storms in our homelands, to flooding, heat waves, and displacement. In the coming years, there will be a rise of costs to energy, food, housing, and other basic needs which will exacerbate the inequities here and nationally.
Currently at the State Legislature, the carbon reduction bill was revived by the House of Representatives. Got Green, Puget Sound Sage, as members of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, support the racial equity parts of the bill, such as reinvestments in impacted communities, tracking hot spots, and establishing an environmental justice advisory committee.
“As we prepare for climate change impacts, the Climate Justice Project will work to build community resiliency and ensure that the most marginalized are not left out but leading this fight.” said Barber. ###
Got Green is a people of color-led organization in South Seattle working to ensure the benefits of the green economy – green jobs, access to healthy food, green healthy homes, and public transit – reach low-income communities and communities of color. www.gotgreenseattle.org
Puget Sound Sage improves the lives of all families by building power for shared prosperity in our regional economy. We combine research, innovative policy and organizing to advance racial equity, stronger democracy, good jobs, affordable housing, accessible transit and a healthy environment. www.pugetsoundsage.org