African Americans and Clean Climate: Texas Coalition of Black Democrats must step up

We need an organization strong and powerful enough to hold elected leaders accountable for protecting our health and environment, and advancing our interests.

There has been a major divide between the Republican and Democrat lawmakers when it comes to voting on measures to tackle the climate crisis.  It is true that the fossil fuel industry now almost entirely favors Republicans in campaign contributions. However, the truth remains that at this point, the Black community should prioritize health over material electioneering support.

By Carroll G. Robinson

Studies by researchers with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reveal that Black Americans are subjected to higher levels of air pollution than their white counterparts irrespective of social status.  Most such mucky pollution comes from burning fossil fuels. The study published in the American Journal of Public Health explains disparities in distribution of particulate matter emission sources by race and poverty status. It suggests that black Americans were exposed to significantly more of the small pollution particles associated with various long and heart-related disease and untimely death.

To this end, Black Democrats must be environmentalists. Protecting our planet matters to our health, our children, our seniors, our safety and our prosperity. Climate change, environmental injustice, air pollution, water pollution, flooding and contaminated land are all on-going threats to the health, safety, quality of life, prosperity and the future of Black America. So too is transportation, infrastructure and economic inequality, the education and wealth gaps and food deserts.

The Texas Coalition of Black Democrats must remain a leader in the fight for environmental justice and to end climate change and environmental health disparities. The Texas Coalition of Black Democrats must be not just the leading defenders of our voting rights, but also our health, our children, our elders, our families, our neighborhoods and our planet.

There should be no more crushed concrete plants, landfills or illegal dumping of old tires, garbage and broken furniture in our communities. These are public health, safety, quality of life and environmental justice issues.

Without more explanation about significance of a clean and safe environment, l must conclude; it’s not enough for us to just elect Democrats to public office. We need an organization strong and powerful enough to hold them accountable for protecting our health and environment, and advancing our interests. That organization must be the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats.

Thank you and God Bless Houston. For constructive dialogue, you may contact me directly >>>

Carroll G. Robinson, Esq.

Hon. Robinson is the former Chairman, City of Houston Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee; Former Vice Chairman, Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council (H-GAC TPC) and Associate Professor of Public Administration, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University.

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