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Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley calls on Congress to pass Biden infrastructure and climate plan at virtual roundtable

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley calls on Congress to pass Biden infrastructure and climate plan at virtual roundtable

Mayors highlighted local importance of passing climate investments for local communities

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley joined mayors from four other states at a virtual town hall to call on Congress to pass President Biden’s infrastructure and climate plan, highlighting the family-sustaining union jobs that would be created with a transformational investment in clean energy.

Buckley hailed the Senate’s recent passage of a bipartisan infrastructure deal to invest in crumbling bridges and expand public transit. But he said that this first step must be joined to a second, $3.5 trillion jobs and climate package currently under consideration in Congress in order to transform the region’s economy and bring it into the 21st century.

“Annapolis is particularly vulnerable to climate change, having experienced the largest increase of any U.S. city in nuisance flooding days over the last 50 years,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “We are committed to strategically tackling climate change, but need a similar commitment from Congress. Simply stated, we need federal investments that match the scale of the problems we face. We need to pass the full Build Back Better agenda.”

Buckley was joined by mayors from three other states to highlight the importance of swift action from Washington: Mayor Ravi Bhalla of Hoboken, New Jersey; Mayor Paige Cognetti of Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Mayor Kathy Sheehan of Albany, New York.

The mayors highlighted the union jobs that would be created if Congress moves forward with the president’s plan to tackle climate change, pointing to investments in renewable energy sources and weatherization that would also help lower energy costs for consumers and businesses alike.

And they pointed to proposals that would replace every lead pipe in the nation, finally eliminating a threat to our nation’s children, as well as investments in remediating contaminated industrial sites as a means of revitalizing blighted communities.

“Hoboken is on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Superstorm Sandy flooded over 80% of our city and left residents without water and power for days, and chronic flood events have become more frequent. We are proud to be part of the solution by investing in green infrastructure, solar energy, and electric vehicles, but there is more work to be done,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla, “We’ve pledged to have our City operations be carbon neutral by 2035, and when they’re completed, our resiliency parks will hold over a million gallons of stormwater runoff. But this moment also demands bold action at the Federal level. Congress must pass President Biden’s Full Build Back Better Agenda now to give Hoboken and cities like us the tools we need.”

“Every elected official, from the federal level to the local level, has a role in combatting climate change. We have a massive opportunity with President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda, and the City of Albany is ready to do our part to rebuild our infrastructure, build a clean energy grid, and create good-paying jobs for our community” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said. “Albany is an economic and cultural center for New York, and we have a responsibility to protect our city for future generations. Thank you to the New York League of Conservation Voters for hosting this important discussion.”

“While the bipartisan infrastructure deal that passed the Senate complements work we’ve already been doing in Scranton around charging stations for electric cars and looking at needed electricity grid improvements,” Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti said, “we need the second federal package to truly boost job creation by funding the construction of electric school buses and trucks to improve air quality and transform our transportation sector. The fact is that Scranton residents are counting on Congress to pass President Biden’s agenda to create jobs while tackling the existential threat posed by a changing climate. We need Congress to meet this historic moment and act without delay.”

While the mayors hailed the bipartisan compromise that led to the infrastructure deal, they called on Democrats in Congress to press forward with a standalone climate and energy package — pointing to overwhelming public support for investments in clean energy and other aspects of the president’s agenda.

A recent Data for Progress poll found that 65 percent of voters support these investments.

Buckley joined with his colleagues in calling on Congress to work with President Biden to ensure swift passage of legislation that enjoys such significant support.

The event was hosted by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, the New York League of Conservation Voters, and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania. As part of their ongoing nationwide campaign, League of Conservation Voters state affiliates across the country are hosting regional discussions this week with mayors from New England, the Midwest, and the Mountain West.  In total, 20 U.S. mayors will join the Conservation Voter Movement for Climate Action Now events this week. These discussions are part of LCV and Climate Power’s Climate Action Now: Great American Build August tour with over 30 events across the country building support for federal climate action.

“Annapolis and Mayor Buckley are national leaders in creatively and purposefully addressing the impacts of climate change,” said Kai Mateo, Maryland LCV’s Federal Climate Campaign Manager. “To be successful, America’s mayors, and all those on the frontlines of handling the climate crisis, need, and deserve a plan as ambitious as Build Back Better.”

“If we hope to combat climate change, we need strong leadership at the local level. We’re thrilled to be able to bring together four mayors who are leading on this front to discuss Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda. With bold federal climate action, we can make important local investments and create good-paying union jobs, build resilient infrastructure, and create a just and equitable clean energy grid. We thank Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Mayor Gavin Buckley, Mayor Ravi Bhalla, and Mayor Paige Cognetti for leading on climate and participating in our discussion,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

“Cities like Hoboken are on the front lines of climate change,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “They’re doing the work to expand access to renewable energy, reduce flooding from stormwater, and harden their communities against the impacts of rising sea levels and increasingly severe storms. But elected officials like Mayor Bhalla deserve a partner in Washington who will provide them with the resources they need to chart a sustainable, clean energy future for their communities. It’s time for Congress to step up and pass President Biden’s transformational infrastructure and climate plan to put people to work expanding access to renewable energy and in addressing increasing flooding that threatens our most vulnerable residents.”

“Cities like Scranton are on the front lines addressing our climate crisis,” said Molly Parzen, Interim Executive Director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania. “But they need support from the federal government if they are going to curb emissions and protect their residents from the impacts of increasingly severe storms and worsening flooding. Congress must act now to pass President Biden’s transformational climate and infrastructure agenda, which enjoys strong bipartisan support. The people of Scranton, and of Pennsylvania, need to know that their elected representatives in Congress are fighting for them.”

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.

Sen. Cory McCray, Dr. Sacoby Wilson to be Recognized by Maryland LCV for Outstanding Environmental Contributions

August 3, 2021

Sen. Cory McCray, Dr. Sacoby Wilson to be Recognized by Maryland LCV for Outstanding Environmental Contributions

Annapolis, MD – State Senator Cory McCray (District 45, Baltimore City) and environmental health scientist Dr. Sacoby Wilson are being honored by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) for their environmental leadership at their annual event, Changemakers: Celebrating Environmental Leaders. 

Sen. McCray, a member of the Budget and Tax Committee, has represented Maryland’s 45th legislative district since 2018 and also serves as vice chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. He will receive Maryland LCV’s Legislator of the Year award in recognition of his leadership as lead Senate sponsor of the Transit Safety and Investment Act (SB199/HB 114).

“The Transportation Safety and Investment Act was inarguably the most significant environmental win of the 2021 legislative session,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “Senator McCray’s skillful and passionate floor leadership brought the bill across the finish line with strong, bipartisan majority support.”

“It is an honor to receive the Legislator of the Year Award from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters,” said Senator Cory McCray. “The pleasure has been all mine to work with Maryland LCV during my time in the General Assembly.”

“Right here in Maryland we are making strides to sustain our environment, one that we take pride in leaving for our children,” Senator McCray continued. “I am very proud that a major bill I sponsored, the Transit Safety and Investment Act, was passed out of the General Assembly with bi-partisan support. Step-by-step we continue to make progress on climate change, and I look forward to continuing to work with Maryland LCV to shape policy that protects our state’s natural resources — and Marylanders.”

Senator McCray has a 97 percent lifetime environmental score from Maryland LCV through his seven years in office, including four as a member of the House Environment and Transportation Committee. During a session where advocates were limited by remote access, Senator McCray became the chief advocate in the Budget and Taxation Committee and, working with leadership, assured a unanimous vote out of the committee for the key environmental bill. 

Maryland LCV’s Legislator of the Year awardees are selected based on leadership and commitment to promote and pass equitable laws and policies for clean water, healthy air, and a resilient climate. Previous awardees include Senator Paul Pinsky, Delegate Marc Korman, and Delegate Brooke Lierman- among others. [full list of Legislator of the Year awardees here]

Dr. Sacoby Wilson is an associate professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health. He directs the Center for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH). Dr. Wilson has over 20 years of experience as an environmental health scientist, and has partnered with community-based organizations across the country on environmental justice issues including environmental racism.

“I am very humbled to be recognized by Maryland LCV for my work. As an environmental health scientist and environmental justice advocate, I think it is important to support communities on the frontline and fenceline who are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards and climate injustice.  I will continue to work with Maryland LCV, other advocacy groups, and grassroots organizations to fight against corporate polluters and fight for policies that protect the environment, improve public health, and benefit the most vulnerable and the most impacted groups,” said Dr. Sacoby Wilson.

Dr. Wilson will receive the John V. Kabler Memorial Award, which is presented by Maryland LCV to recognize an outstanding environmental leader or organization. Previous winners include such Maryland environmental luminaries as Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (2008) and DNR Secretary John Griffin (2012). [full list of Kabler awardees here]

Senator McCray and Dr. Wilson will be formally recognized on September 23 at Maryland LCV’s Changemakers annual event on the waterfront in Baltimore. The event’s keynote speaker is Kelly Speakes-Backman, the Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy. 

The title sponsor for the Changemakers event is Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind development. Ørsted is currently developing Skipjack Wind 1, a 120 megawatt project off the Maryland-Delaware coast that is scheduled to be operational by mid-2026. This project was awarded Maryland’s first offshore wind solicitation and is expected to create approximately 1,400 Maryland jobs, spur at least $200 million in Maryland economic investment, and generate enough clean energy to power 40,000 homes in the region. 

“We are delighted to partner with Maryland LCV through the Changemakers event,” said David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America. “We share their goals of helping Maryland become a national leader in clean energy solutions, as well as Maryland LCV’s commitment to environmental justice initiatives that ensure the state’s underserved communities have equal access to the opportunities created by offshore wind. Ørsted looks forward to working with Maryland LCV and supporting the State of Maryland in reaching its offshore wind goals.”

Maryland LCV is honored to celebrate these environmental leaders at our upcoming 20th anniversary event. Sponsorships for Changemakers are still available and tickets are now on sale. To learn more and attend the event, visit https://www.mdlcv.org/changemakers

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.

Farewell to Ben Alexandro

Farewell to Ben Alexandro

Head shot of Ben Alexandro

Ben Alexandro, former Water Policy Director

Thank you to everyone who has supported Maryland LCV, for an amazing six years. It is with mixed emotions that I am leaving Maryland LCV today. I have accepted a new job at the League of Conservation Voters as the Senior Government Affairs Advocate for their conservation program in Washington DC. 

Thank you to these amazing and talented people I am honored to call coworkers and colleagues. They fight tirelessly to make Maryland, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the communities we live in better every single day.  Everyone here at Maryland LCV is not only a powerhouse in their field and rock stars at making sure we are the premier organization at getting bills passed and making change happen in Maryland, but every single person here is honest, kind hearted, and I consider each a true friend. 

Together we have helped protect and regrow forests across the state, fund countless projects to save the Chesapeake Bay and improve our local waterways and be a watchdog for clean water. I have never had a job where I felt like I was making such a huge positive impact for our state. None of this would have been possible without the generous and steadfast support from you and every member of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

This opportunity with LCV in Washington DC is an exciting new chapter.  I will be helping America preserve 30% of its land and water by 2030. I may even have the opportunity to work with the Biden administration and Congress to create new national monuments and national parks. I’m confident I can do great things on the national scale thanks to all the skills I learned from the partners here over the last six years. It is bittersweet because I will truly miss it here in Annapolis. 

Thank you, Maryland LCV, for making this an amazing place to work and one of if not the best job I have ever had. Thank you for your continued support of this amazing organization. It has been an honor. 

By |2021-07-27T09:33:43-04:00July 27th, 2021|Categories: Blog, DEIJ|0 Comments

How Students Can Fight Climate Change at Their Schools

How Students Can Fight Climate Change at Their Schools

By 2021 Spring Intern, Shivani Sidh

This spring, I had the opportunity to do an internship at Maryland League of Conservation Voters. I chose to work with the organization because I’m interested in climate justice: resolving the environmental, ethical, and equity issues created by climate change. 

Shivani Sidh is a student at Garrison Forest School who is volunteered with the Chispa Maryland program. Post-graduation she will progress to the University of Maryland as a Public Policy major. Shivani is grateful for the opportunity to work in a professional setting and excited to work with Maryland LCV on environmental justice and social equity policies.

Addressing the complex issue of environmental justice can seem challenging, especially for high school students who want to get involved in the fight for climate change. However, one opportunity for involvement is closer and simpler than expected. High schoolers can use their position as students to create change by working for school bus electrification, a campaign that aims to transition fleets from diesel to electric school buses. 

While school buses are an efficient method of transport, most are powered by diesel, which has adverse effects on children and the atmosphere. Each day, countless children travel on diesel buses to attend school. In comparison to someone riding in a car, a child in a diesel school bus may be exposed to as much as four times the level of toxins. Diesel emits carcinogens and particulate matter, which can exacerbate common breathing conditions such as asthma. It’s significant to note that minority children have higher asthma rates in comparison to their white counterparts. Diesel emissions also cause an increased risk for a multitude of illnesses ranging from cancer to heart disease. 

Diesel holds an additional risk to the environment, as in addition to the toxins, it releases a variety of pollutants (such as CO2 and nitrogen oxides). The health and well being of children and the environment should not be compromised by something as common as a school bus.

Students can encourage the transition to cleaner transportation by educating themselves on the severity of climate change, signing petitions, and reaching out to elected officials. Students can also work with teams, possibly joining organizations like Maryland LCV and participating in their efforts, creating environmental clubs, and reaching out to the transportation department for their respective schools.

There are currently a number of avenues for school districts to start transitioning their fleets from diesel to electric that range from from federal grant programs and loans to utility investment, financing strategies and vehicle-to-grid technology. Maryland LCV’s Chispa program supported a state bill that intended to launch a pilot project to electrify school bus fleets in Maryland districts. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass through the Senate, but Maryland LCV and its partners intend to re-address the issue in the next legislative session.  

Some Maryland school districts are creating their own solutions to begin the deployment of electric school buses and practice sustainability. Montgomery County recently approved a contract to lease 326 electric buses, a model that can be used to eventually electrify the entire bus fleet. Additionally, in March of 2021, Prince George’s County Public Schools became the first to commit to a Net Zero Emissions  plan. They vowed that by 2040 their transportation would be “fully clean”. 

Hopefully, with student help, the efforts of environmental groups, and the work of legislators, all Maryland diesel school buses will be replaced by 2030.

If you are a high school student interested in advocating for electric buses at your school, please let us know. We would love to help you in your efforts! Email us at info@mdlcv.org 

By |2021-07-26T15:38:11-04:00July 26th, 2021|Categories: Blog, DEIJ|Tags: , |0 Comments

Maryland LCV Hosts statewide Town Hall with special guest, Senator Chris Van Hollen about the benefits of the American Jobs Plan for all Marylanders

For Immediate Release

June 23, 2021

Maryland LCV Hosts statewide Town Hall with special guest, Senator Chris Van Hollen about the benefits of the American Jobs Plan for all Marylanders

Annapolis, MD– Over  a hundred Marylanders tuned in Tuesday afternoon for a virtual Town Hall with special guest Senator Chris Van Hollen to discuss the federal American Jobs Plan and how the plan will directly benefit Marylanders. Community leaders asked the Senator questions about  how he will champion this much-needed economic, environmental, and equity-driven policy.  

“Marylanders are urging our elected leaders to create good-paying jobs while tackling climate change and environmental racism,” said Kim Coble, Maryland LCV executive director. “We are grateful to Senator Van Hollen for his leadership on this essential policy. A large majority (83%) of Maryland voters are clear that they support the investments of the American Jobs Plan in climate, clean energy jobs, and justice.”

“It’s time for Congress to pass the American Jobs Plan and get millions of people back to work in high-quality jobs while investing in ambitious climate solutions, environmental justice, and clean energy,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, LCV SVP of Government Affairs. “We are running out of time to tackle the climate crisis and address longstanding environmental injustice in this country.”

“As our country builds back from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have the chance to modernize and build our infrastructure for the 21st century while tackling climate change and creating good-paying jobs. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan lays the foundation for a more inclusive economy that expands opportunity for Marylanders and folks across our country. I’ve been proud to fight for many provisions within this plan, including legislation to create a national climate bank, cut energy costs for homeowners, create clean energy jobs and technology, and invest in efforts to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and boost our state’s economy. I am committed to working in Congress to see these provisions through and ensure a brighter future for every Marylander,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen.

“Access to clean water is essential to a better, healthier, more equitable future. Yet many children and families across the U.S. still do not have access to safe sanitation or lead-free water from their taps—especially in low-income communities of color,” said Becky Hammer, Senior Attorney & Deputy Director of Federal Water Policy at NRDC. “President Biden’s American Jobs Plan would replace 100% of the lead pipe and service lines and modernize the nation’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems.”

“Preservation is not exclusively about the physical power of preserving historic buildings and sites,” said Nicholas Redding, President and CEO of Preservation Maryland. “Preservation is also a valuable workforce development tool; trained hands within trades careers are required to complete vital revitalization and restoration work across the state.”

“Between climate change, COVID-19, the economic crisis, and racial injustice, we find ourselves in the midst of an interconnected series of epidemics with shared, systemic roots. Unless those root causes are addressed, crises will continue to grow in those same frontline communities,” said Wandra Ashley-Williams, Maryland Regional Director of Climate XChange and Maryland State Conference NAACP. “With the American Jobs Plan, we have the opportunity to address these through Justice 40: the idea that 40% of the funding in the American Jobs Plan will go to local and frontline communities affected by climate change the most.”

Partners for this event included Strong Future Maryland, Maryland Forestry Foundation, Greenbelt Climate Action Network, Sierra Club Maryland Chapter, National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, Preservation MD, NAACP MSC, Climate XChange, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Potomac Conservancy, and NRDC.

This event was recorded and streamed live on facebook.

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.

The American Jobs Plan will Build Maryland Back Better

The American Jobs Plan will Build Maryland Back Better

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure depicts the condition and performance of American infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report card—assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement.

In 2021, Maryland received a lackluster “C” grade, and the country’s infrastructure as a whole fared even worse, earning a “C-“ grade.  The Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan would make an historic investment in addressing the nation’s significant infrastructure challenges and help to raise our grade.

The American Jobs Plan will mobilize the country to address the climate crisis and  long-standing and persistent racial injustice. The plan targets 40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities. And the plan also invests in rural communities and communities impacted by the market-based transition to clean energy.

Sign the petition today asking our congressional leaders to lead the way on this critical legislation>>

Here is just a sampling of key areas where the plan has the potential to deliver big for Maryland:

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Maryland suffers from some of the worst public transit in the nation. Marylanders who take public transportation spend an extra 66.3% of their time commuting than those in cars and people of color are 2.7 times more likely to commute via public transportation. 

 

RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE: From 2010 to 2020, Maryland has experienced 31 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages. The President is calling for $50 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster. The plan will upgrade and modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems with a focus on green infrastructure and using nature and nature based systems. It will invest in rural small water systems, household wells, and wastewater systems, including drainage fields.

DRINKING WATER: Over the next 20 years, Maryland’s drinking water infrastructure will require $9.3 billion in additional funding. The American Jobs Plan includes a $111 billion national investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities. The plan will replace 100% of lead pipes and service lines. President Biden’s plan also provides $10 billion in funding to monitor and remediate PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) nationwide.

 

HOME ENERGY: In Maryland, an average low-income family spends 6-8% of their income on home energy costs (compared to the average Maryland family spending 1.8% of income). The AJP will upgrade low-income homes to make them more energy efficient, saving homeowners money.

 

ACCELERATE CHESAPEAKE BAY RESTORATION: A key component of this plan is to protect and, where necessary, restore nature-based infrastructure – our lands, forests, wetlands, watersheds, and coastal and ocean resources. There are over $1 billion in shovel ready projects in Maryland that could be financed through Clean Water State Revolving Funds with help from the American Jobs Plan.

 

GREEN JOBS: The plan will create a New Civilian Climate Corps. This $10 billion investment nationwide will put a new, diverse generation of Americans to work conserving our public lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, and advancing environmental justice.

 

The plan also promises significant upgrades for Maryland and other states in broadband access, manufacturing, clean energy jobs, home energy upgrades, and childcare assistance. You can find a comprehensive fact sheet on the plan’s benefits for Maryland here.

At Maryland LCV, we are committed to creatively and aggressively protecting the state’s land, air, water, and communities, and especially meeting the challenges of the climate crisis. We can’t reach those goals unless Maryland’s infrastructure is improved dramatically in a way that meets the needs of all our residents. The American Jobs Plan’s focus on climate, jobs, and justice positions it as a bold and much-needed investment in Maryland and the country.

Download our Maryland factsheet on the American Jobs Plan here.

And check out the recent polling on what Marylanders think of the American Jobs Plan here:

  • 83% of voters across the state support the American Jobs Plan
  • 83% think it’s important that Congress takes action to address climate change
  • 85% support investments in clean energy jobs
  • 78% support ensuring the benefits of climate and clean energy investments go to the environmental justice communities long exploited by polluters.

On June 22, 2021 we held a Town Hall with Senator Chris Van Hollen and on July 13 we held another Town Hall with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer with over 100 Marylanders at each event to talk about the American Jobs Plan and how it will affect Maryland. Watch the recordings here.

Statement from Maryland LCV on the Biden Administration’s “30 by 30” Plan

Statement from Maryland LCV on the Biden Administration’s “30 by 30” Plan

On May 6, 2021 the Biden Administration released its new “America the Beautiful” report, which outlines steps the U.S. could take to protect 30 percent of U.S. lands and water by 2030. The Maryland League of Conservation Voters released the following statement in response to the announcement:

The Biden Administration’s commitment to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands, waters, and ocean by 2030 is great news for all Marylanders. The science is clear that conserving and restoring natural areas is an effective strategy to buffer against the worst impacts of climate change. With more than 7,000 miles of shoreline and approximately 265,000 acres of land that is less than five feet above sea level, Maryland’s coastal communities are among the most vulnerable in the country.

In addition, for too long low-income communities and communities of color in Maryland and elsewhere have not had access or representation when decisions that affect green spaces and nature are made. The result has been inequitable distribution of green space and adverse social, economic, and health consequences. The 30 by 30 plan will increase local participation in the decision-making process, bringing forward solutions that work for communities while protecting Maryland’s natural systems that are so crucial to our well-being and economic security. 

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.

By |2021-05-06T14:24:54-04:00May 6th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Clean Water and the Bay, Climate Change, DEIJ, Press|Tags: , |0 Comments

Maryland LCV Statement on Chauvin Guilty Verdict

Maryland LCV Statement on Chauvin Guilty Verdict

Annapolis, MD — In response to the jury’s finding that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is guilty on all murder charges for killing George Floyd, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) issued the following statement:

“No court verdict will ever deliver real justice to Black people who have for too long been the victim of violence from police, but we are grateful that George Floyd’s killer will face some measure of accountability under the law. 

“Maryland LCV exists to protect Maryland’s land, air, water — and its communities. We will continue to advocate for and work towards solutions that bring real equity and justice for all Marylanders. Today and every day, we believe Black Lives Matter.”

By |2021-04-21T13:20:40-04:00April 21st, 2021|Categories: Blog, DEIJ, Press|Tags: , |0 Comments

Compounding crises: How climate change and COVID-19 disproportionately impact women

Compounding crises: How climate change and COVID-19 disproportionately impact women

What do the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have in common? They both disproportionately impact women, especially women of color.

Throughout the course of the pandemic women have left the workforce in alarming numbers and have lost an average of 5.4 million jobs in the United States — 1 million more than their male counterparts. And, women of color are being hit the hardest by the pandemic and by the effects of climate change.

In December of 2020, women of color accounted for ALL of the recorded job losses, and 154,000 Black women left the labor force entirely. Women are expected to balance careers and provide financial support while also being the dominant caretakers of children and family at home. In many communities, especially rural communities and communities of color, this caretaking means tending to the home, looking after children, assisting aging family members, acquiring resources for the family, and providing emotional support.

Similarly, many social, economic, and cultural inequities make women more likely to absorb the very real impacts of climate change. For example, women are more likely than men to face economic insecurity, and people living in poverty are exposed to climate disasters at a greater rate. Women have less access to civic rights and land acquisition opportunities, are less often in decision-making positions, and face systematic violence in every institution. And, the ever-worsening effects of climate change — drought, fires, natural disasters, food shortages — make women’s role as caretakers increasingly more difficult

This is why solutions to both the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic need to not only center and uplift women, but must be made with them! Existing policy and infrastructure must shift to support and elevate women and mothers, and change the culture of caretaking in our country. Creating a world that works for women is imperative to an equitable, sustainable future.

Women are resilient changemakers who shape the face of policy and progress across the globe. Even during a global pandemic, 2020 became a record year of firsts for the United States, with Kamala Harris becoming the first Black and South Asian woman to be elected as vice president, Deb Haaland becoming the first Indigenous cabinet secretary, Katherine Tai becoming the first woman of color and first Asian American serving as US trade representative, Dr. Rachel Levine becoming the first openly transgender person confirmed in a federal post, and many more amazing women taking their place in our government — including, of course, the women legislators of Maryland

The current Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, Delegate Adrienne Jones, is the first woman and the first person of color to hold that spot, and she is supported by Speaker Pro-Tem, Sheree Sample-Hughes. President Pro-Tem, Melony Griffith, in the Senate is also a woman of color. Women lead half of the House of Delegates Committees and one quarter of the Senate Committees. In fact, the current Maryland Women’s Legislative Caucus is the largest in our state’s history, representing 30% of the Senate and 43% of the House of Delegates. While this is not equal representation, it is substantial progress from the government our mothers and grandmothers would recognize.

It’s on all of us to build a more equitable and safer planet — and that means centering women, especially women of color. We must also choose to confront sexism, dismantle the patriarchy, and challenge white supremacy, every day.

Here’s to the progress that we’ve made and to the fight ahead!

In Solidarity,

The Women of Maryland LCV

By |2021-03-29T10:59:10-04:00March 29th, 2021|Categories: Blog, DEIJ|Tags: , |0 Comments

Montgomery County Public Schools to Transition Their Diesel School Bus Fleet to Zero-Emission Clean School Buses for Healthy Kids

 Maryland League of Conservation Voters Applauds the Decision of Maryland League of Conservation Voters Applauds the Decision of Montgomery County Public Schools to Transition Their Diesel School Bus Fleet to Zero-Emission Clean School Buses for Healthy Kids

February 25, 2021

ANNAPOLIS, MD. – This week, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) approved a contract to lease 326 electric school buses as part of a pan to electrify its entire school bus fleet. 

“Chispa Maryland applauds MCPS for taking this unprecedented step in protecting the health of children and beginning this transition to a clean ride for kids,” said Ramón Palencia-Calvo, Deputy Executive Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and Director of Chispa Maryland, a community organizing program of Maryland LCV.  “This contract demonstrates that school systems can transition their diesel bus fleets to zero-emission clean electric buses while keeping their transportation budgets neutral. We hope other school systems in Maryland can adopt one of the several financial solutions available to bypass the initial costs to transition their diesel fleets to zero-emission school buses.”

Diesel emissions are the most harmful type of transportation emissions. Diesel school buses not only pollute our air and harm our children’s lungs and developing organs, but they also contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions worsening the effects of climate change. Initial costs of electric school buses is still a barrier for school systems to transition their diesel fleets to zero-emission electric school fleets. There are several strategies that school systems and other stakeholders can employ to offset the upfront cost.

In this legislative session, Chispa Maryland and Maryland LCV are supporting House Bill 832, Public Utilities-Electric School Bus Pilot Program, which would deploy electric school buses with vehicle-to-grid-technology, and the Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act of 2021 (HB0334/SB0137), which would mandate beginning in 2023 all contracts for state-purchased buses need to be for zero-emission vehicles, leading to a complete transition of the fleet. 

Chispa, an organizing program of the League of Conservation Voters, launched its Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign in 2015 to push state governments to use Volkswagen settlement funds to purchase zero-emission electric school buses. In 2017 Chispa Maryland, a program of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, launched the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign in Maryland. 

 

By |2021-03-24T13:46:56-04:00February 25th, 2021|Categories: Blog, DEIJ, Partner, Policy, Press|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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