Group to rally voters of color against Prop. 23

An Oakland human rights nonprofit is coordinating a new coalition to work against Proposition 23, the measure on November’s ballot to roll back California’s landmark greenhouse gas emissions law.

Ian Kim from the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights will serve as campaign manager for Communities United Against the Dirty Energy Prop, composed of dozens of social justice and community advocacy groups across the state including the Greenlining Institute, the Equal Justice Society, the California Partnership and Youth ALIVE!

Communities United is operating separately but in coordination with No on 23: Californians to Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition.

The news release announcing the new coalition notes that a poll conducted this summer by the Public Policy Institute of California found most ethnic state residents more likely than whites to be concerned about climate change. Specifically, while about half of California adults and likely voters say the federal government is not doing enough to address global warming; Latinos (61 percent) are the most likely to hold this view, followed by Asians (51 percent), whites (48 percent), and blacks (47 percent).

“Proposition 23 will hurt low-income communities and people of color first and worst,” Kim said in the release. “This Dirty Energy Proposition will make air pollution worse and jobs more scarce, especially in communities already burdened by too much pollution and poverty.”

“Low-income communities are facing epidemics of asthma and lung disease due to air pollution, and Prop. 23 will keep it that way,” said Strela Cervas, co-coordinator of the California Environmental Justice Alliance. “Contrary to the lies being peddled by the oil companies, Prop. 23 would kill jobs, not save them.”

Communities United says it’ll mount “an aggressive, grassroots campaign statewide to educate voters of color about the Dirty Energy Prop,” with statewide days of action, the naming of the campaign’s co-chairs and The Clean Energy Tour, “a statewide music tour bringing together the arts, activism and education on college campuses to mobilize the youth vote.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Us (Deserving)Poor folks is mighty glad that we got nice college boys to do da heavy mental liftin’ for us. We be grateful!

  • John W

    Don’t know how the vote will go on this, but methinks the Prop. 23 advocates over-reached by positioning this as just a temporary pause until the economy mends but setting benchmarks that will effectively make it permanent. Bad, bad.

  • Brian Maddock

    We have to consider now that company’s have equal rights to people and political campaigns do not need to disclose funding. The movement behind this proposition will try to claim grassroots, but we need to form coalitions against this propostion and expose the truth to corporate greed.