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News Release

Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee

Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) is holding a livestreamed roundtable discussion on Wednesday, May 13, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time on how communities around the country are stepping up to protect themselves and their environments during the coronavirus pandemic. The event will feature a discussion of successful community organizing, litigation, and lawmaking to improve sustainability and protect public health in the absence of leadership from the Trump administration, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

Costa Constantinides has represented his native western Queens in the New York City Council since 2014. For the last five years he has chaired the Committee on Environmental Protection. He has passed nearly three dozen bills focused on resiliency, sustainability, and fighting climate change. Council Member Constantinides was the architect of the Climate Mobilization Act, considered a Green New Deal for New York City, which was the largest carbon emissions reduction ever mandated by any city, anywhere.

Sharon Lavigne is the founder and president of RISE St. James, an environmental justice organization in Louisiana’s heavily polluted “Cancer Alley” between Baton Rouge, La., and New Orleans. After months of protests, letter-writing and community organizing, the group and its allies recently halted the construction of an unwanted petrochemical complex in St. James Parish. RISE St. James continues to advocate for clean air and water for the people of the region, which the petrochemical and plastics industries have polluted for decades with devastating public health consequences.

Caroline Farrell is executive director at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, a California-based organization that advocates sustainable agriculture, toxics reduction, and climate justice for marginalized communities. For the last 20 years she has worked with low income communities and communities of color in the San Joaquin Valley on a variety of issues such as pesticides, air quality, water quality, and land use.

Title: Stepping Up: Communities Protecting Themselves and the Environment in the Pandemic Era

When: 12:00 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, May 13

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  • Chair Grijalva
  • Caroline Farrell, 
    Executive Director, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment
  • Sharon Lavigne,
    Founder and President, RISE St. James
  • Council Member Costa Constantinides,
    Chair, Environmental Protection Committee, Councilman, District 22
Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee, Grijalva