By Andrea Mullarkey,
Over the past year, we've been in the thick of it with major crises—COVID, extreme inequality and structural racism—shaking the foundations of our nation.
Communities of color have disproportionately worked on the front lines without hazard pay and sufficient PPE. Asian Americans face violent attacks. Black communities face police violence. And despite record profits, working people are still paid poverty wages that just don't pay the bills.
Like the other crises that came to a head over the last year, climate change also hits people of color and working people hardest.
I live in Richmond, California—a city where toxic dust from coal has polluted our neighborhoods for decades. We see the dust on our cars and in our yards and we know it’s in our air and going into the lungs of kids. We know it isn’t healthy and we already suffer from higher rates of asthma, heart disease and other health problems caused by bad air quality.
That is why I joined with other SEIU members and local environmental and community groups to kick these polluters out of our community. Standing together, we passed an ordinance in 2020 to phase out coal in our city!
We need a clean environment, a safe planet and good union jobs as we make the transition to a sustainable future.
President Biden's American Jobs Plan is a path toward building back better for all of us. It will help us build a stronger, more resilient country by creating good union jobs while tackling climate change.