Sacramento, Calif. – On January 31, 2022 Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) issued the following statement on Senate Bill 342 that would have added two environmental justice seats to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) governing board:
“I am very disappointed about today’s Senate vote on the fate of SB 342. It is estimated that every year there are thousands of deaths, premature deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits attributed to particulate matter pollution,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “Last year, three of our Southern California counties ranked as the top 3 most polluted in the nation, including San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties. What we are doing now is not working, and disadvantaged communities, and people of color are suffering the most.
"We need change, and we need it urgently. People’s lives are at risk. We need to purposefully include community voices at the table in order to meet air quality standards and tackle one of our most pressing health equity issues.
“Although I am disappointed, I am not discouraged, because I will keep fighting to improve air quality and protect the health and well-being of all California residents. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature to make progress on this critical matter in the near future.”
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 family.