“An equitable governing council of leaders who serve on behalf of the coalition. With diverse program missions, they possess expertise in racial justice and power building and collectively work at the intersection of equity, environmental and climate justice.”
Where you live, your income, race, or language ability should not determine how healthy and safe you are. But tragically in our communities, health and well-being varies significantly according to who you are and where you live. People across Washington who are suffering worst from pollution — often low-income people, communities of color, and linguistically-isolated people — pay with their well-being and shortened lives.
The HEAL Act, Senate Bill 5141, will center those most affected by pollution as Washington transitions to a green economy. To do this, the HEAL Act will define ‘environmental justice’ in state law, outline how agencies should consider community needs and environmental justice (EJ) in their work, establish a permanent EJ Council to work with these agencies and help create EJ legislation, and expand equitable community participation. The HEAL Act is an essential piece of our overall 2021 Legislative Priorities this session as we aim to accelerate a Just Transition toward climate and environmental justice.
Support the HEAL Act, SB 5141
Our moment to stand up for environmental justice is here! The Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act (SB 5141) received its first legislative hearing on January 20 in the Senate Energy, Environment, and Technology Committee. Now we need you to take action to ensure this bill passed out of committee.
We must ensure this critical committee hears that environmental justice is important for Washington State and we will not rest until the Evergreen State is green for all.
As the Environmental Health Disparities Map illustrates, not all communities are impacted by pollution the same, and communities most impacted have higher percentages of people of color and those with lower incomes.
The HEAL Act is an incredible opportunity to address this disparity by ensuring our state uses the principles of justice and inclusion in the implementation of environmental policies. This would allow every person to reside in a clean and safe environment regardless of their race, income, language, or other such circumstances that have most defined our life experience. The HEAL Act would make Washington State’s environmental programs more effective by requiring that they pursue an equitable standard of environmental health quality in every community. Thank you for your action and support!
Complete this form to endorse the HEAL Act of 2021 and join our campaign listserv for email updates. Your participation is meaningful and strengthens our campaign to allow everyone in Washington to live in a healthy and safe environment no matter who they are, what language they speak, or how much money they have. Thank you!
On January 7, 2020, Front & Centered hosted a virtual briefing for advocates, community members, and media across Washington state to highlight key environmental justice policies being considered in the 2021 Legislative Session with a particular focus on the HEAL Act.
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