Monday, March 5, 2007

Al Sharpton and Environmental Justice

Al Sharpton is a well known street activist, candidate for mayor and president. His record on social justice issues is second to none. He also holds strong beliefs on environmental justice. Three quotes capture his views on environmental issues and environmental justice:

1) "On environmental justice. I think that we have seen various communities in this country penalized just because of where they were in the income level. I would clearly fight hard for environmental justice." 2) Converting our economy to renewable fuels as rapidly as practical and feasible would be one of my top priorities. I believe that protecting the environment is also labor intensive. Thus, creating a clean, safe and sustainable environment would also create jobs, not cost jobs. 3) "Strengthening and enforcing our environmental laws would be one of my top priorities. For me, the scriptural mandate that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" is a religious and spiritual mandate to be good stewards of what God has given the human race for sustenance, beauty and enjoyment. Protecting, preserving and sustaining it must be one of our highest priorities."

Rev Sharpton was instrumental in the passage of the NO FEAR Act, which was signed into law by President Bush in 2002. It was the "First Civil Rights Legislation of the 21st Century." Rev Sharpton led a rally and march on the Senate in order to get the legislation moving. The No Fear Act is environmental justice legislation.

Sources: Democratic candidates LCV Debate on the Environment, Los Angeles Jun 26, 2003, interview Jun 17, 2003, On The Issues, Al Sharpton on the Environment, AAEA.

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