Updated: Aug 23
By David Helvarg
Richmond City Councilmember Eduardo Martinez and Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia were presented with environmental awards by the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) East Bay Chapter on Thursday June 16. The awards were for their dedicated and outstanding work on behalf of the environment and environmental justice. In announcing the award and presenting them with their award plaques LCV pointed to their successful effort to stop the transport of coal and the spreading of coal dust from rail cars in Richmond's port neighborhoods.
Stepping up to address the issues of environmental justice and the disproportionate impact of pollution on poor neighborhoods and communities of color, Councilmember Martinez called for a world where justice was equal and where all could live in a healthy and safe environment. He reminded the audience that this worldwide effort starts at home, in our own communities. Martinez drew attention to the wisdom of all those who have been fighting to protect the environment in Richmond and thanked them for inspiring him and others to work on behalf of the community.
In accepting his award, Supervisor Gioia equated the efforts to protect the environment and to create environmental justice locally with the struggle to save the planet. He pointed to the global issue of climate change and its local application in stopping the shipping of coal through Richmond, and the effort to save Point Molate and its magnificent biodiversity and benefits for both the health of the Bay and for the people of Richmond.
The awards were presented at a special LCV reception at Lara’s Fine Dining restaurant in the Marina Bay area of Richmond.