WE ACT for Environmental Justice Responds to the Status of Voting Rights Legislation and the Build Back Better Act

January 21, 2021
Contact: Dana Johnson, dana@weact.org, 917-885-3314





WASHINGTON, DC – This week President Biden and Members of Congress provided updates on the status of the Build Back Better Act and voter rights legislation. Dana Johnson, senior director of strategy and federal policy with WE ACT for Environmental Justice, responded with the following statement:

“‘There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.’ – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., echo loudly in an environment where legislators in 49 states drafted more than 440 restrictive voting bills since the 2020 election. These words reverberate in an environment where, in 46 of 50 states, people of color have a higher pollution exposure burden than whites and Black people have the greatest exposure. These words resound in an environment where the racial gap in safe and affordable housing and transportation; quality education; family-sustaining jobs; and social support networks and resources is expanding at a rate that is detrimental to our collective future.

The first step to achieving environmental justice is to ensure that people living in communities of color and areas of low income can participate fully in the decision-making process for leadership at every level of government. We are calling upon Members of Congress to stop all of the politicking and to ensure that ALL Americans are able to engage in the democratic process of voting. We need to have comprehensive voter rights legislation such as the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Finally, we call on Members of Congress and the Biden Administration to take bold action to right legacy wrongs and to create a more dynamic future for ALL Americans. This can be done through executive action and by passing an investment package that centers people, tackles the climate crisis and rights environmental injustices. If there’s a need to make cuts to arrive at a more palatable Build Back Better Act, let’s deprioritize spending taxpayer money on false climate change solutions that prolong our reliance on fossil fuels and do little to improve conditions in our communities.”    



WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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