Sweeping Civil Rights Lawsuit Alleges Racial Bias In Implementation Of California Local weather Insurance policies

Joe Coto, Jennifer Hernandez, and John GamboaThe Two Hundred

</div> </div> <p>Top civil rights leaders are suing California for climate policies they say disproportionately harm its poorest residents, particularly Latinos and African Americans.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“California politicians are using anti-racist and environmentalist words to hide the regressive impact of&nbsp;their climate policies on the poor and people of color,” said John Gamboa, the co-founder of The Two Hundred, a coalition of prominent </span><a href="http://www.thetwohundred.org/leadership-council/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:http://www.thetwohundred.org/leadership-council/"><span style="font-weight: 400;" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:http://www.thetwohundred.org/leadership-council/">civil rights leaders</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, which filed a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in Superior Court.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The <a href="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56a45d683b0be33df885def6/t/5b9a834bc2241b0df2116e0a/1536852818109/200+Lawsuit+Petition+%28as+filed%29.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56a45d683b0be33df885def6/t/5b9a834bc2241b0df2116e0a/1536852818109/200+Lawsuit+Petition+%28as+filed%29.pdf">lawsuit alleges</a> that “the most staggering, unlawful, and racist components of the [state’s climate policies] target new housing” and are contributing to “resegregation.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The suit&nbsp;claims&nbsp;CARB is in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the California Global Warming and Solutions Act, the California Clean Air Act, and other federal and state laws. </span></p> <p> </p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“California’s climate policies guarantee that housing, transportation and electricity prices will continue to rise,” the complaint notes, “while ‘gateway’ jobs to the middle class for those without college degrees, such as manufacturing and logistics, will continue to locate in other states.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A spokesperson for CARB, Dave Clegern, said, his agency’s draft plan “in no way discourages or prohibits other types of housing” and said “the type of development urged by the suit would actually encourage continued urban sprawl, which would remove housing from closer location to jobs and other resources.”</span></p>

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gamboa, co-founder of the Greenlining Institute, is </span><a href="https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/greenlining-founders-emerged-from-civil-rights-movement" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/greenlining-founders-emerged-from-civil-rights-movement"><span style="font-weight: 400;" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/greenlining-founders-emerged-from-civil-rights-movement">a nationally-recognized civil rights leader</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> for his work ending racially discriminatory “redlining” practices by banks, which excluded people of color from bank loans for decades following World War II. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other </span><a href="http://www.thetwohundred.org/leadership-council/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:http://www.thetwohundred.org/leadership-council/"><span style="font-weight: 400;" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:http://www.thetwohundred.org/leadership-council/">members</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of The Two Hundred include Elaine Brown, a former leader of the Black Panther Party; Joe Coto, former chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus; and Cruz Reynoso, the first Latino state Supreme Court Justice. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“California’s climate leaders have decided to intentionally increase traffic congestion — to lengthen commute times and encourage gridlock — to try to get more people to ride buses or take other forms of public transit,” the legal complaint alleges.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The attorney for the lawsuit is Jennifer Hernandez of the law firm Holland and Knight. Hernandez, who is also on the leadership council of The Two Hundred, is one of the state’s top housing attorneys as well as a </span><a href="https://www.chapman.edu/wilkinson/_files/California-GHG-Regulation-Final.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://www.chapman.edu/wilkinson/_files/California-GHG-Regulation-Final.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://www.chapman.edu/wilkinson/_files/California-GHG-Regulation-Final.pdf">leading scholar</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of the impact of the state’s environmental laws on the housing crisis.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Time after time California imposes new costs and restrictions on home-building which make housing even more expensive, which harms working families and minority communities the most,” Hernandez said. “It’s unconscionable.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Clegern said that CARB’s draft plan suggested ways to “use the hundreds of millions of dollars allocated to affordable, transit friendly housing each year. This money comes from the cap-and-trade program and is one of the more consistent suppliers of affordable housing in California.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But according to Hernandez, “the amount of money they are allocating to affordable housing from cap and trade is a small fraction of the spending, with most going to higher income households for things like electric car and rooftop solar subsidies.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The civil rights leaders said that they turned to the courts given that the state legislature and Governor Jerry Brown have not only failed to deal with the housing crisis but have in fact implemented policies that exacerbate it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Asked to review the legal complaint, University of Southern California law professor, </span><a href="https://gould.usc.edu/faculty/?id=229" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://gould.usc.edu/faculty/?id=229"><span style="font-weight: 400;" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://gould.usc.edu/faculty/?id=229">George Lefcoe</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> called it, “Astonishingly and painstakingly good.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lefcoe, who is not involved in the case, said the lawsuit’s challenge to transportation policies is particularly powerful. “Automobiles are the survival mechanism for low-income people,” noted Lefcoe. “If you try to increase cost of automobiles, you hurt low-income people.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The housing crisis has, in recent years, pushed people further from jobs, and dramatically increased commute distances. &nbsp;Vehicle miles Californians have to drive rose by 15 percent between 2000 and 2015. This increase in driving resulted in adverse health impacts from air pollution.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of the unfairness is geographic, the complaint alleges. Many of the state’s poor and people of color tend to “live in the state’s inland areas (and need more heating and cooling than the temperate coast), and drive farthest to jobs due to the acute housing crisis.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The advocates of these policies,” Lefcoe added, “seem to want their housekeepers, who make $11 an hour, to spend all the day on buses. But in places like [the affluent northern California county] Marin, you couldn’t get to homes by bus if you tried.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The civil rights leaders say California’s policies hurt poor people more than they help the climate. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Since the effective date of California’s landmark GHG [greenhouse gas] reduction law, the Global Warming Solutions Act, 41 states have reduced per capita GHG by more than California.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They note that “just one wildfire near Fresno County” produced five times more GHGs than were reduced in 2015. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The complaint briefly addresses nuclear power as a core climate solution, noting that California “has lower per capita GHG emissions than any other large state except New York, which unlike California still has multiple operating nuclear power plants to reduce its GHG emissions.”</span></p>”>

Joe Coto, Jennifer Hernandez, and John GamboaThe Two Hundred

Most sensible civil rights leaders are suing California for local weather insurance policies they are saying disproportionately hurt its poorest citizens, in particular Latinos and African American citizens.

“California politicians are the use of anti-racist and environmentalist phrases to cover the regressive have an effect on of their local weather insurance policies at the deficient and folks of colour,” mentioned John Gamboa, the co-founder of The Two Hundred, a coalition of outstanding civil rights leaders, which filed a lawsuit towards the California Air Assets Board (CARB) in Awesome Courtroom.

The lawsuit alleges that “probably the most staggering, illegal, and racist elements of the [state’s climate policies] goal new housing” and are contributing to “resegregation.”

The swimsuit claims CARB is in violation of the Truthful Employment and Housing Act, the California International Warming and Answers Act, the California Blank Air Act, and different federal and state regulations.

“California’s local weather insurance policies make sure that housing, transportation and electrical energy costs will proceed to upward push,” the criticism notes, “whilst ‘gateway’ jobs to the center elegance for the ones with out faculty levels, corresponding to production and logistics, will proceed to find in different states.”

A spokesperson for CARB, Dave Clegern, mentioned, his company’s draft plan “under no circumstances discourages or prohibits different sorts of housing” and mentioned “the kind of building suggested by means of the swimsuit would in reality inspire persisted city sprawl, which might take away housing from nearer location to jobs and different assets.”

Gamboa, co-founder of the Greenlining Institute, is a nationally-recognized civil rights chief for his paintings finishing racially discriminatory “redlining” practices by means of banks, which excluded folks of colour from financial institution loans for many years following Global Conflict II.

Different individuals of The Two Hundred come with Elaine Brown, a former chief of the Black Panther Birthday party; Joe Coto, former chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus; and Cruz Reynoso, the primary Latino state Perfect Courtroom Justice.

“California’s local weather leaders have determined to deliberately building up visitors congestion — to elongate go back and forth occasions and inspire gridlock — to take a look at to get extra folks to trip buses or take different types of public transit,” the felony criticism alleges.

The legal professional for the lawsuit is Jennifer Hernandez of the regulation company Holland and Knight. Hernandez, who may be at the management council of The Two Hundred, is likely one of the state’s most sensible housing legal professionals in addition to a main student of the have an effect on of the state’s environmental regulations at the housing disaster.

“Time after time California imposes new prices and restrictions on home-building which make housing much more dear, which harms operating households and minority communities probably the most,” Hernandez mentioned. “It’s unconscionable.”

Clegern mentioned that CARB’s draft plan advised tactics to “use the masses of hundreds of thousands of bucks allotted to reasonably priced, transit pleasant housing each and every yr. This cash comes from the cap-and-trade program and is likely one of the extra constant providers of reasonably priced housing in California.”

However consistent with Hernandez, “the amount of cash they’re allocating to reasonably priced housing from cap and commerce is a small fraction of the spending, with maximum going to raised revenue families for such things as electrical automotive and rooftop sun subsidies.”

The civil rights leaders mentioned that they became to the courts for the reason that the state legislature and Governor Jerry Brown have now not handiest didn’t take care of the housing disaster however have actually carried out insurance policies that exacerbate it.

Requested to study the felony criticism, College of Southern California regulation professor, George Lefcoe referred to as it, “Astonishingly and painstakingly just right.”

Lefcoe, who isn’t concerned within the case, mentioned the lawsuit’s problem to transportation insurance policies is especially robust. “Cars are the survival mechanism for low-income folks,” famous Lefcoe. “When you attempt to building up price of vehicles, you harm low-income folks.

The housing disaster has, in recent times, driven folks farther from jobs, and dramatically greater go back and forth distances.  Car miles Californians need to pressure rose by means of 15 p.c between 2000 and 2015. This building up in using led to opposed well being affects from air air pollution.

Probably the most unfairness is geographic, the criticism alleges. Lots of the state’s deficient and folks of colour generally tend to “are living within the state’s inland spaces (and wish extra heating and cooling than the temperate coast), and pressure farthest to jobs because of the extreme housing disaster.”

“The advocates of those insurance policies,” Lefcoe added, “appear to wish their housekeepers, who make $11 an hour, to spend the entire day on buses. However in puts like [the affluent northern California county] Marin, you couldn’t get to houses by means of bus if you happen to attempted.”

The civil rights leaders say California’s insurance policies harm deficient folks greater than they lend a hand the local weather.

“Because the efficient date of California’s landmark GHG [greenhouse gas] aid regulation, the International Warming Answers Act, 41 states have diminished according to capita GHG by means of greater than California.”

They observe that “only one wildfire close to Fresno County” produced 5 occasions extra GHGs than had been diminished in 2015.

The criticism in short addresses nuclear energy as a core local weather answer, noting that California “has decrease according to capita GHG emissions than every other massive state apart from New York, which in contrast to California nonetheless has more than one working nuclear energy vegetation to scale back its GHG emissions.”

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