Six leaders from Inland Empire organizations involved in environmental justice have announced their endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the candidates for U.S. president.
Allen Hernandez, Yassi Kazavede, Penny Newman, Brenda Soto, Anthony Victoria, and Andrea Vidaurre threw their support behind the climate platform of Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination.
Sanders last visited the Inland Empire in December for a Green New Deal rally in Moreno Valley.
San Bernardino County and Riverside County are first and second, respectively, in the latest survey of counties with the worst air pollution in the nation, according to the latest "State of the Air" report from the American Lung Association.
"I'm proud to endorse Bernie Sanders for a second time for president of the United States,” said Hernandez, a Fontana resident who is the executive director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice. “His commitment to racial and environmental justice is clear."
Hernandez said that Sanders' "clear and demonstrated commitment to fighting irresponsible projects like warehouses offering low-wage jobs and more truck pollution shows he understands the specifics of how to shift power away from polluters and back to the people. We are just trying to breathe, and Bernie is a breath of fresh air."
"I have spent my life building a movement led by those who suffer first and worst from the intersecting curses of poverty, pollution, and racism,” said Newman, a 50-year veteran of the environmental justice movement in the Inland Empire. “We have always known the stakes: our lives, our families, and our future. It's time for a presidency that grasps the simple fact that a healthy planet is directly tied to economic justice and racial equity. Senator Bernie Sanders's Green New Deal captures both the scope and the focus needed to grow the healthy, prosperous, and environmentally just communities we need to heal our nation and our planet. Everything we love is on the line, and I'm proud to stand with Bernie Sanders at this moment in history."