Creating A Just Transition to an Equitable Clean Energy Economy
Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy: Invest in Solutions, Price the Pollution
Front and Centered advocates for climate investments targeted to communities disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel pollution and global warming. These investments can be funded through tax on major polluters that supports people with lower incomes and workers and provides accountability for frontline communities.We formed the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy alongside partners in labor, environment, energy, health, families, and more to create and pass a policy that works for all of Washington.
Solar Plus: Equitable Solar Deployment
Solar Plus is convening leaders from environmental justice, clean energy, utilities, regulators, the Washington State Energy Office, and more to equitably scale up solar power and solar jobs. Funded by a $2 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the collaborative forum is creating goals, metrics and strategies in year one, and will implement projects in years two and three, that deploy more community-owned solar, build resilience and access to solar for people with lower incomes and environmental justice communities, and make solar work better. Front and Centered is a steering committee member on the project. We are sponsoring listening sessions by our member organizations, evaluating strategies, and grounding the project in equity in collaboration with our Oregon counterparts.
Building Foundations for Climate and Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice Mapping: Identifying Frontlines Communities
Front and Centered initiated and is leading a project to to develop and environmental justice map for Washington State to prioritize investments and monitor improvement community by community. The project is a collaboration of the University of Washington Department of Occupational and Environmental Health which is leading the technical research, Front and Centered which is rooting the project in community priorities, the Washington State Department of Health which will host the tool, and the Washington State Department of Ecology. We are building from the CalEnviroScreen model, which has been used to deploy hundreds of millions of carbon revenue dollars in California.
Climate Justice Research: Exposing Disproportionate Climate Impacts
Front and Centered, the Climate Impacts Group, and Urban@UW initiated a project to better understand how climate change and pollution associated carbon emissions will impact communities of color and people with lower incomes in Washington State. The Dept. of Occupational and Environmental Health is taking a leading role in executing the research. Front and Centered is rooting the project in communities priorities through listening sessions and an advisory board of leaders from communities of color.
Environmental Justice Oversight: Nothing About Us Without Us
Front and Centered is advocating for environmental justice oversight for the state by communities disproportionately impacted by environmental burdens. These are the communities that are best positioned to identify issues, propose solutions, and monitor and evaluation results relative to their own condition. Front and Centered successfully advocated for an environmental justice board as part of the Governor’s Clean Air Rule, although it is severely limited in scope, and an environmental justice oversight body is central to our proposal with the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy.
Pollution Prevention, Clean-up, and Restoration
MTCA: Reducing Toxic Pollution By Engaging Communities Most Impacted
Front and Centered in collaboration with the Washington Environmental Council and other partners joined together to advocate that the legislature stabilize and fully fund the voter-approved Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) in 2017. This law provided vital funding to engage communities to address toxic pollution threats, as well as the prevention, clean-up and remediation programs necessary for healthier communities. Front and Centered successfully advocated for fully restoring public participation grants in the 2017-2019 budget and for prioritizing communities disproportionately impacted by toxic pollution and communities with lower incomes in awarding grants of up to $120,000 over two years.
VW Settlement: Directing Pollution Reduction Resources to Communities Most Impacted
Washington State is eligible to receive $112.7 million from the car company Volkswagen to reduce air pollution as part of a settlement for their violations of the federal Clean Air Act. Front and Centered is advocating for a focus on health in disproportionately impacted communities, communities that are face the most burden from pollution exposure because due to existing conditions like existing pollution, poverty, and illness.
Healthy Communities, Healthy Puget Sound
Front and Centered is engaging communities of color on issues related to the health of Puget Sound. Through sponsoring listening sessions by diverse member organizations, Front and Centered is identifying community issues and opportunities related to pollution prevention and restoration that will inform our approach to the health of Puget Sound. In the process we will elevate new voices and leaders to shape policy and budget issues related to environmental justice priorities in the Puget Sound region.