Harper to Chair Panel Focused on Environmental Harms in Communities of Color

02/20/2019

State Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, will fight to stop lead contamination and promote green jobs in underserved communities as chair a new subcommittee focusing on the impact of pollution, climate change and other environmental hazards in communities of color.

“As a member of many committees focused on protecting our natural resources and promoting economic growth in our communities, and having previously served as the executive director of Grow Greater Englewood, I am all too aware of how our most vulnerable communities—particularly those inhabited by people of color—are disproportionately affected by environmental issues,” Harper said. “By creating this subcommittee, we aim to lift up these communities’ voices and do our best to address their specific concerns.”

Harper will lead the Environmental Justice Subcommittee within the House Energy & Environment Committee. Harper plans to use the subcommittee to address several crucial issues this year, including:

• Ensuring all Illinoisans have access to affordable and clean drinking water by removing lead pipes;
• Equitably growing the clean energy economy by ensuring access to jobs, training and clean energy in environmental justice communities; and
• Reducing exposure to toxins and protecting public health.

“Historically, the concerns of environmental justice communities were either ignored or considered as an afterthought in the policymaking process,” Juliana Pino of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization said. “The creation of the Environmental Justice Subcommittee marks an important step towards changing that dynamic by giving EJ communities a dedicated place within the state legislature to have their concerns addressed.”

Harper will be joined by the following Democratic colleagues: Reps. Will Davis, Anna Moeller, Theresa Mah and Carol Ammons.


Email:
District Office:
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 925-6580