How APEN members made climate history in the halls of power

Here’s the secret behind how we WON equitable statewide climate policies. The California State Legislature made climate history this session when they passed all 5 of our major #EJpriorities! APEN members and youth played a critical role in this historical victory, and we are celebrating the passage of these bills that lift up environmental justice principles and real solutions to the climate crisis.

Li Hui Zhen lobby day teamWhen APEN hosted Advocacy Day in Sacramento, 25 leaders visited 24 legislators from the Bay Area and the API legislative caucus. APEN ally, Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON) from Los Angeles, also made the trip to join us. We filled the halls of the Capitol with APEN’s bright green shirts, projected our power, and shared our vision for environmental justice policies like:

All of these bills passed out of the California State Legislature and now await the Governor’s signature!

To see our full list of legislative priorities, click here.

We spoke with legislators and their staff about the need for local, community-led solutions to economic inequity and climate change that would invest in the most disadvantaged communities and reduce toxic emissions in our neighborhoods.

“I have been living in Oakland Chinatown for almost 20 years, and I noticed in recent years that our climate has drastically changed. Industries are emitting pollution that contributes to global climate change. This is a huge concern for me. I support these 2 bills for setting a limit to greenhouse gases emissions and reduce at the source. That is why I support AB 197 and SB 32.”

–Li Hui Zhen, long-time APEN Leader

Li Hui Zhen is one of many APIs who supports climate justice for our communities. This legislative season is proof of what we knew all along: Asian Americans stand for environmental justice and demand equitable climate solutions from their legislators. A 2016 poll found that more than 75% of Asian American voters identify as environmentalists. Voters we’ve talked with across the state support reductions in fuel consumption and increased access to solar energy. Our bold leadership has inspired the API Legislative Caucus to take bold action in unanimous support for these groundbreaking climate laws.

To read more about our historic victory, click here.