Environmental Justice Leader Says Proposition 30 Would Help Struggling Areas Clear the Air

by | Sep 29, 2022 | Health

RIALTO, Calif. — Ana Gonzalez grew up watching the Inland Empire transform from citrus groves and grapevines into warehouses and retail distribution centers. The booming region east of Los Angeles now comprises 4.65 million people — and 1 billion square feet of warehouse space.

In 2015, one of those warehouses was built right in front of her old house, blocking her view of her suburban neighborhood. Soon thereafter, her son battled bronchitis and pneumonia. “It got so bad that I ended up taking him to the ER about three to four times a year,” she said. Her son, now 16, like so many others in the region developed asthma due to air pollution. She grew concerned that state policies were overlooking predominantly Hispanic and low-income residents in her community.

Gonzalez, 35, has evolved from a concerned parent into an environmental advocate. Her years as an educator specializing in bilingual and special education, along with a bout of homelessness, fuel her passion for advocating for marginalized communities. Today, she serves as executive director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, which works on air quality and environmental justice issues on behalf of the region.

Gonzalez and the organization have endorsed Proposition 30 on the November ballot. Funded primarily by the ride-hailing company Lyft, it would impose an additional 1.75% tax on what Californians earn above $2 million pe …

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