Placing communities disproportionately impacted by climate change at the center of climate resiliency strategies.
There are two versions of Seattle and King County: the first is seen as a leader in sustainability and an urban hub for commerce and progressive politics, and the other is a constant battleground for people of color and working class communities whose lives are disrupted by poor health outcomes and the growing risk of displacement associated with poorly planned infrastructure investments.
Both the City of Seattle and King County have strong commitments to reducing environmental pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. However, their commitments to take action have not always centered on equity and the communities most impacted. Opportunity is heavily determined by race and geographic location. Without including a specific focus on supporting low-income people, the policy investments made by our governments have created and exacerbated the disparities in our communities.
In order to build climate resilience throughout our communities, our climate justice program focuses on addressing existing vulnerabilities while also fundamentally shifting the approach that local, regional and state governments take to addressing climate change to an equity-first approach.