The fight for clean water in Flint is far from over.
A grassroots organization called Green For All is leading an effort to bring clean water to the poisoned city, hold government officials in Michigan accountable for their involvement in the water crisis, and is pushing back against environmental racism.
They are also demanding that polluters pay monetarily for the damage they inflicted on the environment.
Green For All‘s goal “is to make sure people of color have a place and a voice in the climate movement. That our neighborhoods are strong, resilient, and healthy. That as the clean energy economy grows, it brings jobs and opportunity to our communities.”
Vien Truong, National Director of Green For All, spoke with guest host Van Jones on NewsOne Now about the Polluters Pay campaign and the struggle to bring clean drinking water to the City of Flint during Friday’s edition of NewsOne Now.
Truong told Jones, “Flint is an example for what we’re seeing in New Orleans, in Appalachia, in Oakland, and cities across the country.”
“It’s time that this stops,” said Truong. “We have to make sure that people who are violating our communities, our human rights, are forced to make whole the communities that they have been hurting.”
“We’ve been calling for polluters to pay — if you break it, fix it,” Truong said.
It’s not enough to demand that polluters pay, they have to be persuaded to ante up the funds needed to repair the damage they’ve caused. Truong, one of the nation’s foremost environmental justice advocates, has figured out how to actually make polluters fork over cash to clean up their messes in California via Polluters Pay.
Truong explained she grew up in Oakland, CA, “one of the poorest, most polluted communities in the country.”
In an attempt to ensure that environmentally compromised communities were made whole, a law was passed that forced the polluters to “pay and make the communities in East Oakland and Fresno and East L.A. and South L.A. get the needs that they have around transportation, around affordable housing” addressed.
“We took this thing called Cap and Trade, which makes polluters reduce the pollution and then clean up or pay up to the communities. And then the revolution around making sure that not only the state of California decides where the money should go, but the people in our communities decide where the money should go,” said Truong.
Watch guest host Van Jones, Vien Truong, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the Polluters Pay initiative in the video clip above.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.