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Environmental Groups Give Assemblywoman Toni Atkins Good Grade

Assemblywoman Toni Atkins represents coastal San Diego County from Imperial Beach and Coronado through Solana Beach.

Assemblywoman Toni Atkins
Assemblywoman Toni Atkins

Sen. Marty Block and Assemblywoman Toni Atkins were among the top scorers in a ranking released Tuesday by environmental groups that gauged politicians on how they handled pollution-related issues.

The Environmental Justice Scorecard, done by the Environmental Health Coalition and the California Environmental Justice Alliance, looked at how local politicians voted on 10 bills last year.

"Protecting people's health and safety through good environmental policies is both a sensible and a just approach to policy," Atkins said.

The report's release marked the 20th anniversary of President Bill Clinton's executive order on environmental justice, which urged federal agencies to make "environmental justice" part of their mission.

"Twenty years after the federal government recognized the reality the communities of color bear a disproportionate burden of pollution, we wanted to take a hard look at how our elected officials stand on some of the most critical environmental, health and equity issues in our city and state," the Environmental Health Coalition's Carolina Martinez said.

The groups said there was still room for improvement.

"Communities of color in San Diego and across California are struggling with asthma epidemics, large industrial polluters, and diesel trucks driving by their homes and schools," assessment author Strela Cervas of the California Environmental Justice Alliance said. "The bills we chose reflect the environmental issues that impact our communities, not a traditional environmental agenda."

—City News Service

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