House Natural Resources Committee Democrats and Ranking Member Grijalva Holding Forum on Environmental Justice in Los Angeles April 8

Washington, D.C. – Democratic members of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources will host a public Forum on Environmental Justice in Los Angeles on April 8 as part of a series of roundtables convened by Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva that include stakeholders traditionally left out of climate and environmental policy discussions. Grijalva will moderate the forum and hear from members of Congress, state and local officials, community and business leaders and environmental advocates.

The goal of the Forum on Environmental Justice is to examine how to increase public participation through the National Environmental Policy Act; how to strengthen implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance,” according to the Department of Justice; and how to increase the effectiveness of Executive Order 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations). The Forum will also examine innovative efforts by the City of Los Angeles and the State of California to ensure that each community enjoys strong environmental protections.

Speakers will include multiple Los Angeles-area Members of Congress and representatives of health and environmental organizations. A full list is available below.

Environmental justice has become a pressing concern in American communities around the country. According to a 2012 NAACP report, as reported by the Earth Island Journal, “78 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant, as compared to 56 percent of non-Hispanic whites. 71 percent of African Americans live in counties that violate federal air pollution standards, as compared to 58 percent of the white population.” You can learn more about the report at http://bit.ly/1IJEHb8.

Just as seriously, according to a 2014 study by the Environmental Defense Fund covered by Fox News Latino, “Latinos are three times more likely to die from asthma than other racial or ethnic groups in the United States due in large parts to socioeconomic, housing and health care divides in the country. . . . With Latino children being 40 percent more likely to die from asthma than non-Latino whites, and nearly 1 in 10 Latino children under the age of 18 suffering from this chronic respiratory illness, the danger of indoor and outdoor air pollution have become a plague on the Hispanic community[.]” You can learn more about that report at http://bit.ly/1CpwzKD.

The forum is free and open to media and the public. Registration information is below.

WHAT: Forum on Environmental Justice

WHO: U.S. Representative Raúl M. Grijalva
U.S. Representative Grace Napolitano
U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal
U.S. Representative Norma Torres
U.S. Representative Linda Sánchez
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters
U.S. Representative Judy Chu
L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis
Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Director, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Robert Garcia, Founding Director and Counsel, The City Project
Andrew Yip, Program Coordinator, Bike San Gabriel Valley
Noreen McClendon, Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles
Angela Johnson Meszaros, General Counsel, Physicians for Social Responsibility

WHERE: Los Angeles River Center and Gardens
570 West Avenue 26
WHEN: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

RSVP: Members of the general public wishing to attend this free event should register at http://bit.ly/1CaWRAj

Media interested in attending the event should register at http://bit.ly/1GV4I5T

For more information contact Bertha Guerrero, Director of Public Engagement for House Natural Resources Committee Democrats, at 202-225-6065 or NRDevents@mail.house.gov.