Bill That Would Add 2 Environmental Justice Representatives to the AQMD Board and Help Improve Air Quality in the South Coast Air Basin Halts This Year but Conversations Will Continue

June 03, 2021
Sacramento, Calif. – Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) in collaboration with over forty environmental justice advocates and community members, fought hard over the last few months on a significant bill, Senate Bill (SB) 342. Unfortunately, on June 3rd, 2021 the bill was sent to the inactive file for this legislative year and made into a two year bill due to pressures from Big Oil.
 
The bill would have added two environmental justice representatives to the South Coast Air Quality Management District—people who live, work in pollution burdened communities and who are trusted by the Environmental community.
 
SB 342 is a bill that the California legislature is no stranger to, having voted for similar bills in years past, for example in 2007 in the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, again in 2015 with the California Air Resources Board and in 2019 with the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District.
 
“Representation matters. Consequently, SB 342 would have allowed community voices to the table that historically have not been heard after decades of injustices,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “People of color, working families and everyday residents that demand and deserve clean air in the most contaminated region of California should be at the table. I look forward to working with our coalition of environmental advocates, labor organizations and most importantly, concerned community members about how we can build upon our momentum for a clean South Coast Air Basin.”
 
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Senator Gonzalez represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the City of Long Beach and portions of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles including the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, and South Gate. Senator Gonzalez lives in Long Beach with her husband Adam and three sons.