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Our Just Transition Agenda for 2023

Communities of color and low-income communities are on the frontlines of the climate and environmental crisis.

Our coalition of frontline communities advocates for the right to a healthy environment for all by rooting out disparities. We are convening, generating, and analyzing data, building alignment, and mobilizing our communities. We aim to advance a Just Transition for Washington State by shifting power to frontline communities, stopping what harms us, and building the future we need.

Build the Future We Need

Ensure all state funds live up to the Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act goal of directing that 40 percent of environment-related funds create environmental benefits to vulnerable populations and overburdened communities, and prevent harm. This includes all state funds derived from carbon pricing, operating and transportation, capital funds, and all federal funds, also subject to the Justice40 White House environmental justice initiative. Specific community priorities for climate investments include:

  • Community Climate and Environmental Planning: Participatory planning/budgeting (includes HEAL)
  • Climate Resiliency: Supporting workers and communities most impacted by the climate crisis
  • Energy Justice: Preventing disconnections, supporting affordable renewable energy/weatherization
  • Green Infrastructure and Food Systems: Invest in the people and ecosystems that feed and protect us

Set statewide standards and targets for frequent, accessible public transit. We are pushing for a transit system that runs at least every fifteen minutes and can take people to and from their destinations without needing a car. Building on the Washington Transit Access Map and the WSDOT Frequent Transit Service Study, the Legislature should set targets for and allocate funding to frequent, accessible transit statewide.

Stop What Harms Us

Place a moratorium on highway expansions in already overburdened communities. Highways have come at very high costs in terms of health harm, displacement, and the climate crisis. We must rethink the way we plan for transit instead of building new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Right to a Healthy Environment

Building on HEAL Act requirements on state agencies, require that both environmental justice and climate change are explicitly addressed in local comprehensive planning with specific goals, progress reports, and measures to reduce impacts and disparities.

Root Out Disparities

Ensure a universal right to energy access and affordability, no matter our utility district, and supported by a statewide Energy Assistance Trust. This trust would be a permanent, independent organization that collects and analyzes critical energy consumer and provider data to gauge needs relative to services, offers technical assistance and capacity to support providers in meeting their obligations, and provides program participation assistance for eligible households.

Frontline Community Power

Create a $10 million community-controlled fund for community-led assemblies where populations most marginalized by the extractive economy identify priorities and progress for an economy that works for people and the planet, and use that process to shape public policies, including a genuine progress indicator.

Read our Legislative Agenda for more details on our priorities for the 2023 legislative session.