FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 1, 2016
Media Contact: Joe Galliani, South Bay Los Angeles 350
(424)275-5528 / firstname.lastname@example.org
L.A. Harbor Area Environment Gets Justice Spotlight in Only Candidates Forum for Frontline Disadvantaged Communities
Local environmental groups come together, create event to put candidates on the record
San Pedro, CA – All four major candidates running for US Congress and California State Senate seats from the Los Angeles Harbor area claim to be environmentalists. On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 they’ll get a chance to prove it at a public Candidate Environmental Forum being held in San Pedro’s legendary Ports O’ Call Restaurant from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
CBE Action, Wilmington Improvement Network, California League of Conservation Voters and South Bay Los Angeles 350 Climate Action Group are jointly co-sponsoring the free public forum because the environmental justice groups are determined to have an open public event dedicated to the unique issues facing the harbor area.
Candidates running for the 44th US Congressional District seat and the 35th California State Senate District seat, which both represent the L.A. harbor area were invited but only candidate Nanette Barragan running for Congress in the 44th and Warren Furatani running for the State Senate’s 35th agreed to participate.
That was enough for the sponsoring organizations whose mutual mission is to make sure the issues of refinery safety, the Tesoro expansion, fracking, tar sand and coal trains, pollution and climate change impacts and solutions, environmental justice, green jobs, Just Transition, and switching to 100% renewable energy are publicly addressed.
“The communities most impacted by multiple sources of pollution coming from the refineries, oil extraction, port activities and port traffic, need candidates who will not succumb to the power of oil money for their campaigns and in return rubber stamp expansion projects such as the Tesoro refinery merger,” said Alicia Rivera, of CBE Action. “We need candidates who are truly committed to creating more alternative energy and a Just Transition for workers.”
The co-sponsoring hosts have worked for months to choose the highest priority environmental topics and have created tough and specific questions designed to reveal the candidates’ positions and policy regarding the challenges facing the harbor community. In addition, audience members will have an opportunity to ask on-topic questions. Simultaneous Spanish language translation will be offered for all who need it.
“The entire harbor area already breathes the worst air quality in Los Angeles. The related health damage our communities suffer is the reason people around here call this ‘The Sacrifice Zone.’ The issues our Environmental Forum are exposing are literally life-and-death for the people whose homes are currently part of the Toxic Tour. Climate change is only making things worse and candidates running for office here are no longer allowed to ignore reality,” says South Bay Los Angeles 350 Organizer, Sherry Lear, of San Pedro.
Because the Harbor area of Los Angeles deals with some of the most damaging environmental impacts in the United States, including those resulting from polluting local heavy industry, the greenhouse gas emitting operations six (6) oil refineries and two of the nation’s busiest ports and truck distribution systems, all in the harbor communities, interest in the forum is expected to be statewide.
The Candidate Environmental Forum will be live-streamed with its recording available for viewing afterwards.
A well-known public figure will moderate the forum; their identity will be revealed in a separate announcement.
Ports ‘O Call Restaurant
1200 Nagoya Way, San Pedro, CA 90731
Free event, free parking
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Doors open at 6:30 pm
Forum runs from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm