One year later
This has been a hard year.
In the past year since the pandemic hit the U.S., we’ve re-learned some hard lessons about the deadly impacts of inequality.
We saw how communities hit hardest by pollution were also some of the hardest hit by COVID-19. We saw how among the hardest hit were Black, Indigenous, people of color and poor communities. And we saw how even during a pandemic, polluters kept pushing threats to our health and our communities.
Last month, as we passed 500,000 deaths due to COVID-19, the loss feels heavy.
And still, our community is resilient.
Among the lessons we’ve learned this year is that we are even stronger, more creative and more ready to fight for change than we knew.
Even through the challenges that this year has brought, community leaders haven’t let up the fight to confront polluters and seed solutions.
In Springfield, MA, the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition has been rising up to stop the proposed biomass incinerator. This year, that’s meant hundreds of phone calls and emails to legislators, socially distant marches and rallies, and a powerful coalition of neighbors, community leaders, and organizations working to keep this incinerator from ever being built.
Community leaders living next door to Maine’s largest landfill, who together form the community group Don’t Waste ME, worked with people across Maine to bring a citizens’ petition to the Board of Environmental Protection. They won an environmental justice standard that must be considered for all new or expanding state-owned landfills, a major victory that will make it harder to load trash into communities of color and poor communities across the state.
Communities on the frontlines of pollution crises are just as dedicated to this work as ever, even through hours of Zoom meetings and the logistics of socially distant protest.
Through the challenges of this year, that resiliency is what gives us hope that we have the tools we need to take care of each other during these hard times.
Thanks for being a part of this community.