Next week, community prevention advocates have an opportunity to advocate for safer streets, better transit, and affordable housing in California. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is holding two hearings on the state’s new Cap and Trade program to determine how the state should invest program revenues.
California’s Cap and Trade program was established to support state greenhouse gas reduction efforts. Strategies that reduce greenhouse gases—such as transit-oriented development, bike lanes, sidewalks, and public transit—also foster safe, healthy and equitable communities. These hearings are a chance for public health advocates to ensure that funding decisions not only address the problems of climate change, but lay the groundwork for health and wellbeing in all California communities.
The Cap and Trade hearings will take place:
If you can’t attend, we encourage you to submit written comments to the Air Resources Board by March 8th.
Whether you attend the hearings or submit written comments, take this opportunity to share how these funds would support your community’s prevention efforts. Air Resources Board representatives also need to hear these key messages:
Cap and Trade funds should be invested in ways that maximize health benefits. All Californians deserve the opportunity to live in community environments that support health, equity, and safety. To prevent illness and injury from happening in the first place, California needs to invest in projects that improve air quality, support safe places to play, and increase active transportation. Funding sidewalks, bike lanes, transit, and affordable housing near transit are all strategies that can reduce greenhouse gases and benefit public health.
Revenues should prioritize projects that advance health equity in California communities. The law already states that 25% of the funds generated from Cap and Trade should be set aside for disadvantaged communities, with at least 10% of the proceeds being invested back into transportation, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, and forestry projects within those communities. As California determines how revenues are spent, it’s critical that the funding plan that’s adopted goes above and beyond these baseline requirements, with a strong commitment to advancing health equity in California’s underserved communities.
The decision-making process should be transparent and supportive of community engagement. Funds should be allocated based on clear criteria in ways that address local priorities and align with local and regional processes, including Sustainable Community Strategy development.