RELEASE: Senator De León Awarded Planning and Conservation League’s Legislator of the Year “The Environmental Movement Must Learn to Speak Spanish”

Monday, January 30, 2012

SACRAMENTO, CA – Calling for a bridge between “mainstream” environmentalists and inner-city denizens less typically identified with the environmental movement but equally concerned about shared issues, Senator Kevin de León gladly received the Planning and Conservation League’s (PCL) Legislator of the Year Award at the organization’s annual Environmental Legislative Symposium.

  “The environmental movement must learn to speak Spanish,” said De León as he accepted the award, emphasizing the need to translate the environmental movement for urban and rural Latinos who share the same concerns with those who are referred to as traditional environmentalists, but often speak different languages, both figuratively and literally. “The oil industry benefits from divisiveness among those of us who are making efforts to pursue alternative energy all with the same goal of a healthier environment for everyone regardless of race, economic status or geography.”

  Senator De León noted that he represents a district criss-crossed by six freeways and has some of the country’s worst air quality. To mitigate the direct impacts of climate change largely affecting disadvantaged communities already suffering from adverse health impacts, Senator De León has proposed Senate Bill 535 to create the California Communities Healthy Air Revitalization Trust (CHART). He believes this is important to delivering on the promise of clean air for California’s children and families. The bill will also help provide job opportunities in the new clean tech economy for the hard-working families of California.

 “Environmentalism is also an issue of social justice,” added De León. “I extend my hand and whatever resources I can bring to bear in seeking common ground for all of us who know a healthier and better future is available now when we work together.”

 The Planning and Conservation League (PCL) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit lobbying organization, working in the State Legislature and at the administrative level in state government to enact and implement policies to protect and restore the California environment. PCL partners with hundreds of California environmental organizations, to provide an effective voice in Sacramento for sound planning and responsible environmental policy.

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