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New year, renewed hope.

What a change. After years of near-daily attacks on environmental safeguards and our communities’ social fabric by a toxic president, the new administration’s commitment to urgent climate action and comprehensive strategy are almost too good to be true.

On his first day in office, President Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, brought the US back to the Paris climate agreements and halted oil and gas leasing in the Arctic. But it’s the White House’s Executive order on Tackling the Climate Crisis issued last Wednesday that shows true leadership. We applaud Biden for making equity and environmental justice an integral part of his climate action strategy, forming a climate justice office inside the Justice Department and allocating 40% of the government’s $2 trillion budget for sustainability investments to disadvantaged communities.

Why does that matter? Because we cannot advance health, safety and quality of life for all unless we bridge our communities’ deep racial and economic disparities. Here in San Leandro, more than half of our neighborhoods are considered low income and/or disadvantaged, meaning they are burdened disproportionately by polluting industry, trucking emissions and other negative health impacts. Not surprisingly, these neighborhoods also have fewer street trees, less open space and lack strong representation and advocacy.

San Leandro 2050 is committed to working with the City, business community and you, our neighbors, to put equity first and improve quality of life for all San Leandrans. Almost a month into the new year, we have successfully pushed for more and better bike lanes, packed our calendars with open houses to engage neighbors and started a street tree planting campaign. Many more efforts are underway, and we invite you to join us. Together, let’s be part of the national momentum to make lasting change for more climate resilience, equity and a livable, vibrant city.

In community, San Leandro 2050

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