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Now that the 2021 Legislative Session has drawn to a close, you may be wondering, “How did environmental and climate justice fare?” Great question! Please save the date and join Front and Centered this Friday for a lively virtual discussion exploring the progress we made together, the critical concerns we raised, and how our advocacy here in Washington is tied to national and international movements toward a Just Transition away from an extractive economy.

The big, good news is that, after years of persistent and inclusive advocacy, the HEAL Act – Washington’s groundbreaking Environmental Justice Bill – passed and Gov. Jay Inslee will be signing it into law on Monday! This landmark bill will put those most impacted by climate injustice and pollution at the center of solutions as Washington transitions to a green economy. The HEAL Act model of change, following the lead of communities and adding equity and justice across environmental actions, should inspire future policy making and legislative action. This achievement deserves recognition, so come to our community briefing ready to celebrate! We are grateful to everyone throughout the years who contributed to our collective success by joining listening sessions, hearings, committee meetings, and taking action in person or online.

Throughout the session, the Front and Centered coalition worked hard to educate and engage our communities and lawmakers about the risks of a pollution marketplace in cap and trade. As a result, we saw meaningful attention from legislators to mitigating risk to overburdened communities, but the core elements of allowing major polluters to offset emissions elsewhere and trade pollution credits, rather than directly cut pollution at the source, remain concerning, integral elements of the program that passed.

On transportation, despite incremental increases for buses, walking, and rolling, both chambers offered packages that locked the state into years of road building. There’s still a risk ahead of legislators using carbon and transportation revenue to make more carbon. Although neither package passed, they may resurface in a special session. Unlike the HEAL Act, the transportation packages offered few opportunities for direct community participation.

At our community briefing, our speakers, including leaders from our Community Council, will dive deeper into legislative session outcomes and their potential impact on our communities. In addition, we’ll hear from national leaders, including Casey Camp-Horinek of Indigenous Women Rising, about how our collective advocacy here in Washington is driving and supporting the national movement for environmental and climate justice.

Front and Centered Community Briefing on 2021 Legislative Session:
How did EJ Fare?Friday, May 14 at 10:30am PST
RSVP via email

Please join the discussion on Friday and share this invitation with anyone you think may be interested!

In solidarity,
Deric Gruen
Co-Director, Programs and Policy

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