ACTION ALERTS

Below please find actions you can take on the local, state, and federal levels, including anti-nuclear weapons policy advocacy. SUBSCRIBE to our Action Alert Emails at the SIGN UP button above.

BAY AREA

Help reduce air pollution and protect community health!

DEADLINE EXTENDED: JULY 16, 2021

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) board has extended the public comment period before they vote on a landmark pollution Regulation 6, Rule 5 .

TELL the board to Pass Rule 6-5, to implement best-available technology at Chevron and PBF Refineries to protect health, and fulfill their commitment to racial equality and protect people over the profits of the fossil fuel industry.

UNDERSTAND the opposition: As expected, Big Oil lobbyists from the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) are now lobbying aggressively against these improvements arguing that the changes to protect our health are too expensive to justify the Air District passing any further pollution control regulations. And they have enlisted the Building Trades Unions to help them, even though the Building Trades members would benefit from the work.

With the exception of Valero in Benicia, our East Bay oil refineries lack emission control equipment called “Wet Gas Scrubbers,” that refineries around the country have used for at least fifteen years.  As a result, a million mostly people of color who live near these refineries have for years disproportionately suffered from respiratory, circulatory and heart disorders, cancer, asthma, and early death. This injustice can and must be stopped.

ACTION

WRITE A LETTER to your county representative(s) on the BAAQMD Board. Sample letter here, courtesy of 350 Bay Area.

Our partners Communities for a Better Environment, Sunflower Alliance, 350 Bay Area and more have been leading this struggle and now we need to show up to support them in bringing this to a final vote.

WATCH the PRESS CONFERENCE HERE, with SF Bay PSR Board Member, Dr. Jeff Ritterman. Hosted by Climate Health Now, SF BAY PSR, and Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

CALIFORNIA

Demand CalGEM Ban ALL Dangerous Drilling in California

DEADLINE: JULY 4, 2021

ACTION

SIGN Sierra Club’s letter

In April, Governor Gavin Newsom directed the California Geologic Energy Management (CalGEM) division to release a draft rule to effectively end fracking in California by the year 2024. A move to ban fracking is an important step in the right direction, but fracking makes up only a small percentage of the numerous dangerous drilling techniques used in California, and CalGEM has the power to ban all dangerous drilling today. This draft rule to ban fracking does not go far enough to protect the health of California’s most vulnerable communities. To protect public health and address the climate crisis, we need to ban all dangerous drilling techniques and create a 2,500-foot setback from sensitive areas like homes and schools.

CalGEM has a public comment period between now and July 4. We must use this comment period to demand CalGEM ban all dangerous drilling and to release their rule calling for no less than 2,500-foot setbacks now.

READING

VISION’s press release: California Delays Oil and Gas Health Buffers Yet Again: CalGEM misses crucial deadline to protect communities from neighborhood oil and gas drilling

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Help to Advance CA Policy Proposals through the CA Legislature

Sadly, many of the bills we have been supporting died in committee. See list in the POLICY WATCH section of our April Newsletter. As opportunities for advocacy arise, we will send out Action Alerts and let you know key times and representatives to contact.

READ MORE: SF Chronicle: For environmentalists, California’s Legislature has been ‘a bloodbath’ this year

Thank you to VISION-CA for their community-led leadership on Senate Bill 467  that did not pass committee. We remain committed to passing legislation that will create setbacks from oil wells and protect the communities living near them.

Thank you to everyone who called senators to support SB467 to protect health and climate in California.

Tell EPA to restore state’s authority to set stricter air pollution standards for vehicles

DEADLINE: JUNE 30, 2021

ACTION

SIGN American Lung Association’s letter

The American Lung Association is reaching out to health, medical and nursing professionals across the country to join this important letter to reduce the largest source of air pollution and greenhouse gases – passenger vehicles! The letter calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to take a key step toward cleaner cars by restoring states’ authority to set stricter standards for passenger vehicles and light trucks. Cleaning up vehicle emissions is essential to addressing climate change and its harmful health impacts. We are hoping to get signers from every state, so please share with colleagues in CA as well as around the country. Signers with any health credential can join – MD, DO, RN, PhD, RT, MPH, MS, etc.

Aude Bouagnon at BVHP Rally

SF Bay PSR Board Member Dr. Aude Bouagnon spoke at a rally on Earth Day 2021 to support Bayview Hunters Point community efforts to advocate for the clean up of toxic wastes harming the health of residents. Photo by Dr. Ahimsa Sumchai.

ONGOING

Contact San Francisco Mayor Breed & Board of Supervisors to ask them to ACT NOW:

● Declare a Public Health Emergency in Bayview Hunters Point and Treasure Island!
● Declare a moratorium on shipyard development and Lennar’s unsafe soil excavation!
● Conduct full retesting, safe cleanup and removal of all radioactive and toxic contamination at Hunters Point Shipyard Superfund Site & Treasure Island!

The San Francisco Hunters Point Naval Shipyard site was home to a Naval shipyard repair facility from 1945 to 1974 and the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (NRDL) from 1948 to 1960. These facilities contaminated soil, dust, sediments, surface water and groundwater with toxic chemicals, heavy metals, PCBs, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and radionuclides.

We are honored to support the Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates in their efforts to fight for environmental justice.
READINGS & RESOURCES can be found HERE.

Help Limit Building Emissions in the Bay Area

In conjunction with our April 28 event on electrification of buildings, please take action!

Gas appliance pollution is damaging our climate, health, and air quality. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) already has rules limiting nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from home water heaters and furnaces, but the current standards allow pollution to persist. On April 19, staff announced its plan to work with stakeholders to develop zero-NOx emissions standards for residential furnaces and water heaters. Sometime in July 2021, staff will host a public workshop to discuss equity, affordability, and rule implementation timeline. If you are interested in joining the discussion, please fill out this form and RMI and our partners will send you more information later this summer and alert you to future advocacy opportunities.

Statement on Public Health Threat of Policing

We at SF Bay PSR are deeply saddened and outraged by the recent killing by police of Duante Wright, 13-year-old Adam Toledo, and the daily killings of people, particularly people of color, by police in the US. It must stop. Our hearts go out to their families and communities. Please WATCH the recording of our event and discussion, The Public Health Threat of Policing and Mass Incarceration with Zach Norris, executive director of the Ella Baker Center, and Dr. Jennifer James, professor and researcher at University of California, San Francisco.

Racism is a public health crisis and we are committed to exposing the interconnections of racism in climate, environmental, health equity, and anti-nuclear issues.

Statement on Violence Against Asian American Pacific Islander Communities

All of us at SF Bay PSR are saddened and appalled by the recent alarming rise in attacks on Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities. We stand in solidarity with Asian Americans Pacific Islanders in San Francisco, Oakland, California, and across the country who have been and are being targeted.

Report incidents to Stop AAPI Hate
American Journal of Public Health: Critical Race Theory, Race Equity, and Public Health: Toward Antiracism Praxis
CNBC: How to support Asian American colleagues amid the recent wave of anti-Asian violence
NPR: Anti-Asian Attacks Rise During Pandemic

Anti-Nuclear Weapons Actions

Investing in Cures Before Missiles Act (ICBM) (Senate: S.982. House: H.R.2227)

Representative Ro Khanna and Senator Ed Markey are working together to introduce this new ICBM Act, which aligns with our Back from the Brink campaign’s call to “cancel enhanced nuclear weapons.” The legislation would essentially redirect funds from destabilizing new weapons systems (such as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent [GBSD] replacement for aging Minuteman III ICBMs and new W87-1 warhead) toward conducting research for the development of a universal coronavirus vaccine, and methods to combat emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases that pose the potential for future pandemics.

ACTION

Alongside Ro Khanna, CA Representatives Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman are co-sponsors. If one of them is your representative, please thank them. Otherwise, please call and/or write your member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the bill. Additional co-sponsors of H.R.2227 to date are Reps. James McGovern, Mark Pocan, Pramila Jayapal, Earl Blumenauer, Steve Cohen, Raul Grijalva, Jesus Garcia, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. More information at www.congress.gov

RESOURCES

One-page ICBM Act factsheet from Representative Ro Khanna and Senator Ed Markey. Thank you Tri-Valley Cares!
Text of the ICBM Act. The text is the same for S.982 and H.R.2227.

PSR Supports “NO FIRST USE”

Physicians for Social Responsibility salutes Senator Warren and Representative Smith for their leadership on this issue. Statement by Jeff Carter, PSR National Executive Director: “On April 15, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Adam Smith reintroduced a simple, but profoundly important piece of legislation that, if passed, would make the world a much safer place, by making it the official policy of the United States that it will never, ever use a nuclear weapon first in any conflict. It remains shocking to us — and no doubt a surprise to many — that this is not U.S. policy already. Until we abolish these weapons altogether — which we must do — this is the only rational, humane approach for any country that maintains a nuclear weapons arsenal. Warren serves on Senate Armed Services Committee. Smith is Chair of House Armed Services Committee. Any attack using nuclear weapons would be a humanitarian catastrophe, and there is no conceivable circumstance that would justify the U.S. unleashing these doomsday weapons first. It’s also worth noting that the Biden administration doesn’t have to wait for action on this bill — they could and should direct the armed forces to adopt a ‘no first use’ policy immediately.”

ACTION

Please call or email to thank Senate co-sponsors Feinstein (D-Calif.), Leahy (D-Vt.), Merkley (D-Ore.), and Markey (D-Mass.).

RESOURCES

BEYOND the FIRST 100 DAYS

Let’s keep the pressure on the Biden-Harris administration and your congressional representatives. Tell them you want to see in a “Green New Deal” that justly transitions us to a green economy.

To read more about President-Elect Biden’s positions on “Green New Deal” polices please see our recent newsletters.

Support the Thrive Agenda and contact your representatives. Supported by 200 grassroots organizations and 83 members of Congress, the Thrive Agenda is a roadmap to a just recovery from our climate crisis, the global pandemic, and the intertwining of persistent racial injustice, Make your voice heard!

Also, please support the Third Reconstruction resolution, introduced on May 24, 2021, by Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Pramila Jayapal, in collaboration with the Poor People’s Campaign, “Realizing a Third Reconstruction: A Moral and Political Commitment to Fully Address Poverty and Low-Wealth in America by Building Up from the Bottom.”

Tell Congress to invest in clean energy: Tell Congress to Invest in a Clean Energy Future
President Joe Biden has proposed the American Jobs Plan, which can put people back to work, rebuild our aging infrastructure, accelerate our shift to clean energy, and improve our resilience to the climate impacts we can no longer avoid.
READ MORE at PSR National.

VISIT the MEMORIAL to Healthcare workers lost to the pandemic

“Lost on the Frontline,” an online memorial launched by the Guardian and Kaiser Family Foundation’s Kaiser Health News to honor and memorialize all of the frontline health-care workers who have died because of COVID-19.

SHARE

The National Academy of Medicine offers Resources to Support the Health and Well-Being of Clinicians During COVID-19