Los Angeles Environmental, Public Health and Community Leaders Highlight Impacts of Prop 30, California’s Clean Air Initiative, on Communities of Color

Oct. 18, 2022
Deborah Camiel | (818) 299-3656 | deborah@50p1.com


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LOS ANGELES, CA – With record air pollution and climate inequities plaguing Los Angeles, environmental, health, and community leaders hosted a briefing Tuesday detailing the benefits that Proposition 30, California’s Clean Air Initiative, would bring to LA’s Latino community and communities of color statewide.

Speaking in support of the measure were Dr. Michael Mahfouz, President, San Miguel Urgent Care; Dr. Matthew Adigwe, San Miguel Urgent Care; Chris Chavez, Deputy Policy Director, Coalition for Clean Air; Marissa Garcia, Activism Director, Move LA; Francisco Moreno, Executive Director, Council of Mexican Federations in North America; Oscar Garcia, Ballot Initiative Coordinator, California Environmental Voters; Edith Gonzalez, Boyle Heights community leader; and Shomari Davis and Francisco Arago, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11.

View the press conference here.

Proposition 30 is the climate action ballot initiative that will help millions of Californians afford electric vehicles, create a statewide EV charging network, and reduce catastrophic wildfires by funding forest management, more firefighters, and firefighting equipment. The measure generates approximately $100 billion over 20 years for these critical programs by taxing only those who can most afford it — Californians with personal income over $2 million per year.

While 38 out of 39 million Californians breathe unhealthy levels of air pollution, poor air quality takes a disproportionate toll on communities of color. The American Lung Association reports that people of color are 61 percent more likely than white people to live in a county with a failing grade for air quality. Los Angeles County is exposed to 60% more particulate pollution than the rest of the state due to its proximity to transportation corridors, and nearly half of the population in LA County is Latino. Exposure to air pollution is directly linked to higher rates of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, and the LA County Department of Health reports that when Latinos experience adverse health burdens, there is a marked disparity in their access to care.

The California Air Resources Board recently approved a measure requiring all new cars and light trucks sold in the state by 2035 to be zero-emission vehicles. But ZEVs remain unaffordable to the average Californian. Prop 30 will accelerate our transition to clean vehicles by bringing ZEVs within reach for all Californians via rebates, grants, and financial assistance. Half of the funding will benefit low-income families and those in disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately impacted by air pollution.

“Los Angeles is the smoggiest city in the smoggiest state,” Chris Chavez said. “The impacts from this pollution are deadly; Southern California is responsible for one-third of the US air pollution deaths. Those of us who live near transportation corridors live shorter, sicker lives. Prop 30 gives us the opportunity to address the two biggest contributors of air pollution in California. Why wouldn’t we take it?”

Edith Gonzalez said, “I am a mom in Boyle Heights. My neighborhood is considered a toxic zone for air pollution and has four freeways running through it. As a mom, I worry about my kids’ health. When my children have bronchitis, I spend sleepless nights checking on them constantly, making sure they’re breathing. Communities like mine will be changed for the better by Proposition 30 and its clean air gains.”

Proposition 30 is endorsed by a broad coalition of health, labor, business, environmental, and firefighting groups. Supporters include the American Lung Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the California Democratic Party, and the State Building and Construction Trades of California.

For additional background on the ballot initiative, visit www.yeson30.org.