With life expected to slowly return to some semblance of normal by the summer, we must continue to find ways to promote public health and the economy. But we also must protect the public’s right to access open space along the city’s waterfront.
The presidential election result is a welcome relief – especially amid the ongoing stresses of an unrelenting pandemic, hobbling economic hardship, and an overdue racial reckoning. We all deserve to take a moment and celebrate that. But even as we see the core values of our democracy vindicated after relentless voter suppression efforts, now is not the time to grow complacent.
Amid a raging pandemic, one that is hitting Black and Brown communities particularly hard, already-vulnerable communities find themselves even more threatened by the possibility of a significant storm hitting Massachusetts. That makes it more imperative than ever that we plan now for the storm season still to come.
Community-Based, Environmental and Civil Rights Activists Across Country Issue Statement and Unified Demands
Amy Laura Cahn, Senior Attorney, Interim Director – Healthy Communities & Environmental Justice, Conservation Law Foundation, said, ““The data is clear: COVID-19 is attacking Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities at astronomical rates. For generations, our legal system has withheld resources and legal protections from these communities while shielding whiter, wealthier areas from environmental harm. Now is the time to create new systems that prioritize the rights, health, and self-determination of those who have been denied these freedoms since before this country’s inception.”
Our recovery from the coronavirus must be more than just a return to the status quo. Along with helping us rebuild our local economies and communities, recovery must also lead to a more resilient, healthier state for all Vermonters.
In anticipation of World Asthma Day, I connected with María Belén Power from GreenRoots, Andrea Nyamekye of Neighbor to Neighbor, and my CLF colleague Staci Rubin. The four of us spoke about air quality, public health, and what it means to live in an environmental justice community during a pandemic.