Two environmental justice bills by Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke (D – Inglewood) passed the Assembly. Assembly Bill 2616 gives racially and ethnically diverse low-income communities a voice on the California Coastal Commission, and AB 2722 establishes the landmark framework for the development of transformative climate communities.
“Every Californian deserves access to our coast and every community should be able build a more sustainable future,” said Burke. This is a time in our history that we can truly make a difference in communities that have been heavily polluted and repeatedly marginalized, while at the same time creating jobs and boosting local economies.”
AB 2616 will add three new members to the Coastal Commission who represent diverse low-income communities, and give the Commission the ability to consider environmental justice issues when making important decisions.
AB 2722 establishes the Transformative Climate Communities Program, administered by the Strategic Growth Council, to ensure that California is making investments that reduce greenhouse gases and also demonstrate co-benefits for the economy, workforce, and the health of California’s most vulnerable communities. The bill streamlines the application process for local governments, making it easier for cities, local jurisdictions, and communities to make a direct investment in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new opportunities for small businesses.
Governor Brown’s 2016-17 Budget Proposal includes investments in the Transformative Climate Communities Program. Both bills now move to the Senate for further action.