All Washingtonians, regardless of their zip code, deserve to live in healthy and safe places, with access to green space and natural landscapes that make our lives richer.
Washington’s Department of Health recently published a Health Disparities map, tracking localized environmental impacts of our pollution. It tells us clearly that communities with more people of color and with lower incomes are most negatively impacted by pollution.
To correct this environmental injustice, I encourage everyone to contact your legislators and ask them to pass the Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act, SB 5141, which is now nearing a final vote in the House of Representatives.
I’m fortunate because my home is not in a polluted area. I can enjoy the mental health benefits of having easily accessible parks in my neighborhood, watching birds and wildlife in my backyard, and hiking in nearby forests. I used to take that for granted, but I now realize living in a clean, safe and green area is a privilege that’s not equitably distributed. Historically marginalized people, especially communities of color, rarely have the kind of healthy greenspaces that more affluent communities enjoy.
Please act now to begin to correct these historical injustices and create healthy places to live for everyone in our state.