The Environmental Justice Committee meets every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 4:00 pm.
Our next meeting is July 7th, 2015, 4 pm, Arise for Social Justice office
For the past few years, Arise for Social Justice has played a leadership role in the burgeoning environmental justice movement in Springfield MA and the greater Pioneer Valley.
In the last five years, we have:
- Stopped the construction of a biomass plant, planned for East Springfield
- Got the city’s biggest polluter, Solutia, to convert from coal to natural gas
- Held several community events/workshops and conferences to further public education of climate change effects and health impacts
- Formed the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition with Climate Action Now, the North End Organizing Network, and the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition.
- Marched on city hall and got our climate change action resolution passed unanimously through city council.
We believe that sustainable environmental reform must be equitably shared, if we are to address the unhealthy environmental conditions of urban poor communities, prepare for climate changes, or mitigate the causes of global warming. If the environmental movement is to be successful, it must embrace the realities of poor and working people from diverse backgrounds, as the starting point for environmental reform.
Environmental justice sits at the heart of environmental, public health and socio-economics. It was our economic and manufacturing policies that created the environmental crisis, and its most profound effects are seen in the health disparities where conditions are worst. We must clean up the messes we’ve created, address the socioeconomic and health inequities that are the products of our economic and manufacturing policies and create a more equitable and environmentally sustainable future.
We see this crisis as an opportunity to reinvent the environmental movement, to challenge it to address more than middle-class suburban concerns or the needs of big business. To plan responsibly and address issues that will profoundly impact society in terms of environmental sustainability, health disparities, housing, public transportation, youth development, violence mitigation and urban planning.