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“A clean energy future is no longer an ambitious goal, it’s a necessity. From wildfires and hurricanes, to severe flooding and record heat waves, each of our districts have really seen firsthand the devastating impacts of climate change.”
— House Sustainability Energy and Environment Coalition Co-Chair Doris Matsui said of the need to pass a climate reconciliation bill at a press conference on June 16.
“This extremist Supreme Court is about to decide a case that could eviscerate our ability to fight climate change that threatens the future of our planet. We’re facing a global climate catastrophe if we don’t act fast.”
— Senator Elizabeth Warren said in a video standing with LCV’s push to expand the Supreme Court.
“We need something much more substantive than the Juneteenth federal holiday. We need reparatory justice, and we need it now. Our communities are crying out for it. Our communities are demanding it.”
– Nkechi Taifa, director of the Reparation Education Project, said of Juneteenth in an interview with Vox.
MULTICAUCUS LETTER TO BIDEN: On Thursday, LCV was joined by Representatives Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Annie Kuster (NH-02), Deborah Ross (NC-02), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Andy Levin (MI-09), Jared Huffman (CA-02), the Sierra Club, Climate Power, Evergreen Action and the Climate Action Campaign for a press conference calling on President Biden to get the job done on addressing the climate crisis.The event came after 175 members of Congress released a letter to the president urging him to do everything in his power to reach a deal on climate, justice, jobs, and clean energy investments in Congress. The signers represent the wide ideological breadth of House Democrats standing in unity, including the five co-chairs of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition.
OUR TAKE: Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo said, “The stakes for climate action could not be higher for our communities, our planet, and our economy. Thankfully, House Democrats are united around the necessary and popular climate investments we need to lower costs for families, create a cleaner, safer, and healthier future for our communities, and put the United States on the path to achieving the President’s long-term vision of a clean energy economy with millions of high-paying jobs.”
RECOVERING AMERICA’S WILDLIFE ACT SCORECARD: On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2773 Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, the most significant investment in the conservation and restoration of wildlife and plant species in a generation, as well the first federal conservation program guaranteeing sustained funding to Tribal Nations for wildlife preservation. Ahead of the vote, LCV sent a letter to the House, urging members to support the bill and noting that their vote would be taken into consideration for the 2022 Scorecard.
OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski wrote in the letter, “This bill is long overdue. Federal as well as the State and Tribal Wildlife Grant programs have been underfunded for decades, forcing agencies to pick and choose which species are worth saving and focus on expensive reactive methods to rescue a species already on the brink of extinction. The current model of funding is also unpredictable, limiting the ability to undertake multi-year projects needed to reverse declines in wildlife. This cost-effective legislation would help give state, territorial and Tribal wildlife agencies the resources they need to proactively invest in long-term conservation work to maintain healthy populations of fish and wildlife before they are on the brink.”
CREATING A COMISSION ON REPARATIONS: Commemorating Juneteenth, LCV reiterated its support for creating a commission on reparations to study the pervasive legacy of slavery and systemic racism. Last year, LCV supported H.R. 40, a historic bill that would have created a commision to provide recommendations on how the justice owed to Black Americans may be apportioned. Now, LCV is continuing to stand in solidarity with countless other Black activists and organizations calling on President Biden to sign an executive order to form an H.R.40-style commission on reparations.
OUR TAKE: Chief Officer for Racial Justice and Equity Leslie Hinkson said, “Reparations are a necessary and long-overdue step toward the racial justice Black people are owed after generations of slavery, systemic racism, and the lasting harm we clearly continue to see through state-sanctioned violence, voter suppression, housing segregation and redlining, environmental injustices and exposure to toxic pollutants. Though we recognize that past harms cannot be fully undone, reparations would provide a measure of justice owed to Black Americans.”
JANUARY 6 COMMITTEE HEARINGS: In response to the first week of public hearings by the House January 6 Select Committee, LCV condemned the right-wing extremists both in and out of the Trump White House who launched a coordinated but failed attempt to overturn the will of the American people through a strategic, violent, unconstitutional and illegal attack on our democracy.
OUR TAKE: Advocacy Director for Judiciary & Democracy Doug Lindner said, “This assault on our democracy is not stopping and it is more important than ever to combat the relentless election sabotage and voter suppression efforts intended to silence the voices of communities of color and communities with low wealth, who also bear the greatest burden from the climate crisis and environmental injustice. We look forward to the continued findings of this committee in the coming weeks, and to seeing all those responsible for this attack held accountable.”
NV PRIMARIES: Candidates endorsed by the LCV Action Fund celebrated primary victories in Nevada this week, positioning them to next appear on the general election ballot in November. LCV congratulates Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto (NV-Sen) and U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (NV-01), Susie Lee (NV-03) and Steven Horsford (NV-04) on their primary wins.
OUR NV TAKE: LCV Action Fund Vice President of Political Affairs Craig Auster said, “Each of these members of Congress has seen firsthand how the climate crisis has had devastating impacts for entire communities and have fought hard to grow Nevada’s clean energy economy to build a just and equitable clean energy future for all. As we continue our fight to tackle the climate crisis through transformational investments in clean energy, environmental justice, and good-paying union jobs, their leadership will continue to be pivotal in Congress. We’re looking forward to seeing more victories in November and will be doing everything we can to help these climate champions stay in Washington.”
LAXALT IS BAD FOR NV: In additional primary news this week, Adam Laxalt won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Nevada – and LCV Victory Fund highlighted the ways Laxalt is bought and sold by the greedy, profiteering oil and gas industry. From denying climate change, to owning Chevron Corporation stock, to taking Big Oil campaign donations, to supporting Trump’s Big Lie, Laxalt has aligned himself with dangerous allies. Read the full memo here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Adam Laxalt is bought and sold by the fossil fuel industry that is currently celebrating record profits while Nevadans pay historically high gas prices. Siding with oil companies that are jacking up gas prices should be disqualifying for any candidate in 2022. Laxalt is the definition of a MAGA Republican – his defense of the Big Lie and support for voter suppression efforts would systematically silence the voices of Nevadans, particularly people of color. Nevadans suffering from extreme heat and struggling to make ends meet deserve better than a climate denier who is in bed with corporate polluters and Donald Trump.”
DISCHARGING NANCY ABUDU AND DALE HO: Awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court in West Virginia v. EPA – a case that may have damaging effects on the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon pollution and protect public health – LCV teamed up with Climate Hawks Vote, Earthjustice, Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists to release a letter to the United States Senate urging the discharge and confirmation of Ms. Nancy Abudu to the Eleventh Circuit and Mr. Dale Ho to the Southern District of New York.
OUR TAKE: In a joint statement, the partners wrote, “On the cusp of the Supreme Court issuing their decision in West Virginia v. EPA, which could severely restrict the ability of the EPA to protect the public’s health, it is critical that the Senate confirms judges who recognize the government’s obligation to protect public health and the environment, respect our right to access the courts to hold the government and polluting industries accountable, and can tell the difference between facts and politics.”
STATE WINS ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Over the past year, LCV state leagues and the Chispa program have been integral for championing state environmental policies and programs that set a national model for pollution reduction, investing in clean energy jobs and centering racial and economic justice in the clean energy transition. On Tuesday, LCV released a comprehensive list of these state-level wins including comprehensive climate policies passed, actions on climate taken by governors, bad bills stopped in their tracks and two environmental ballot initiatives to watch. Some of the highlights include the country’s strongest carbon pollution reduction plan in Maryland, the nation’s strictest oil and gas rules passed in Colorado, Connecticut becoming 14th state to commit to 100% clean energy, New York becoming the first state with all electric school buses and Michigan’s major investments in clean water. Read the full report here.
WISCONSIN REGULATES “FOREVER CHEMICALS”: On Monday, legislators on Wisconsin’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules announced that they finished reviewing regulations on PFAS chemicals and found no objections. This means that the standards, adopted by the state Natural Resources Board in February, can go into effect. PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals that don’t break down and are known as “forever chemicals.” The decision came a couple of days before the Environmental Protection Agency adjusted its national PFAS guidelines to nearly zero citing the health risk of the chemicals.
WCV TAKE: Wisconsin Conservation Voters Executive Director Kerry Schumann said, “These PFAS administrative rules are a significant step toward making sure all Wisconsinites have access to clean, safe drinking water. Community testing standards will make sure that fewer people in Wisconsin have to worry that the water coming from their taps will make them or their children sick.”
COMMUNITY INPUT ON PHOENIX BUDGET: On Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council met for the final funding plan and 2022-2023 city budget ordinance adoption. Community members made sure to make their voices heard! Check out Chispa Arizona’s post here for more information!
CHISPA AZ TEAMS UP FOR HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Tune into the Chispa Arizona Instagram to as they go live with community leaders at Unsheltered PHX Street Watch (@unshelteredphx), an organization that advocates for the city’s unhoused population, to talk more about how their work intersects with environmental justice. Check out this post for more information!
CHISPA FLORIDA AT THE PUERTO RICAN SUMMIT: The Puerto Rican Summit took place last week in Central Florida. The annual event brings business, civic and community leaders together with members of the community to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Florida’s Puerto Rican and Latino community. For more information, check out Chispa FL’s Instagram post here!
CHISPA FLORIDA AT THE ENTREPRENEURIAL WOMEN’S FAIR: On Saturday, June 11, the first Entrepreneurial Women’s Fair was held in Downtown Kissimmee, Fla. More than 30 female business owners showed off their products and services to the community and Chispa FL tabled to share information about the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign and collect signatures. Check out Chispa FL’s Instagram post about the event here!
CHISPA NEVADA LEADERS AT THE CLIMATE REALITY TRAINING: This past weekend, Chispa Digital Campaign Manager Alexa Aispuro spoke in a panel around grassroots organizing and allyship. The one and only Senior Organizer, Rodrigo Gonzalez, supported by connecting with communities in training around Chispa NV’s work. Check out Chispa’s post here
ALL OF JUNE: Pride Month + Immigrant Heritage Month
JUNE 18: Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly Moral March on Washington and to the Polls
JUNE 19: Juneteenth
JUNE 21: Washington, DC and Virginia Primary Elections
JUNE 28: Colorado, Illinois, New York State U.S. Senate, Oklahoma and Utah Primary Elections