SoCal News: Inland Empire Forum on Environmental Justice Planning

Friday, November 1, 2019

 

Planners 4 Health and the American Planning Association-Inland Empire Chapter hosted a sold out SB 1000 forum on Tuesday, October 29th. SB 1000 is a State law requiring jurisdictions to include an Environmental Justice (EJ) element to their general plan. The EJ element will allow jurisdictions to analyze and plan for climate change and environmental impacts occurring in disadvantaged communities. It's been nearly two years since the bill was signed and jurisdictions are still struggling to develop EJ elements for their communities. The SB 1000 forum brought together many public agency officials, community based organizations, planners and health professionals to discuss 16 issue areas that should be addressed under the SB 1000 mandate, including climate change, pollution exposure, data platforms, food access, and funding. 


Our equity policy manager was invited to facilitate a discussion around physical activity which revolved around active transportation, access to parks, and community engagement. Among the keynote speakers include the bill’s author, Senator Connie Levya of Senate District 20, who discussed the challenges of implementing SB 1000 and committed to holding jurisdictions accountable to lift up environmental justice communities in their planning priorities. Levya is looking for legislative remedies to address the shortcomings of the bill and called for a collaborative effort from partners. Also in attendance was Kome Ajise, the Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), who discussed SCAG’s interest in ensuring EJ is incorporated in the 2020 update of the RTP/SCS, as well as staying on track to meet the region’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. Miguel Vasquez, Riverside County’s Healthy Communities Planner, will be hosting more events in the SB 1000 series next year.