To begin the year of the Tiger and a new decade, APEN has launched the APA Climate Coalition in an effort to ensure that Asian Pacific American communities are at the forefront of advancing solutions to climate change in California.
We, unfortunately, find our communities bearing the brunt of unprecedented environmental and economic crises. Extreme weather, droughts, wildfires, and floods due to climate change are already happening more frequently. Researchers agree that that these impacts will disproportionately harm low-income communities and communities of color. Unless we act, more of our people will suffer heat strokes, breathe dirtier air, pay more in food and energy costs, and dramatically lose jobs.
Our collective response to climate change also has the potential to catalyze positive economic and community benefits to meet the needs in our communities. We have an extraordinary opportunity to influence how our cities are built, how public funding gets prioritized, and help shape a new greener economy. It is imperative that APA communities engage to ensure that the benefits and impacts of climate programs can be distributed equitably. There’s a lot at stake. Assembly Bill 1405, for example, if passed, could funnel billions of climate funding to impacted communities. But the APA community is not at the table yet in defining these policies. We have a lot to win— and lose.
With a significant California APA population, we are a critical sector in influencing climate programs not just in our state but across the country. It is in California that we have the best shot at answering the urgent call for climate action and create the model for programs in our country. Last year we found that four out of five APA voters in California consider themselves environmentalists. APEN is ready to rally APA activists across California for climate action.
APEN has been fighting and winning environmental justic campaigns for over 15 years. The heart of our work is visible in the hundreds of low-income APA members we organize to protect us from harmful chemicals, get clean air, and ensure affordable housing and local jobs. We will extend this work to statewide organizing so that we see bigger economic and environmental justice wins necessary for our struggling communities.
For more information, contact: Mari Rose Taruc, State Organizing Director, firstname.lastname@example.org or (510)834-8920.