The resolution was voted on by a majority of the approximately 2,200 delegates at the convention. It arrives in the wake of Congressional attempts to defund and weaken the Act, which regulates toxic air pollution in order to mitigate its negative health effects.
“The Clean Air Act is a bedrock policy for the protection of environmental and human health and wellbeing,” stated Jacqueline Patterson, NAACP Director of Environmental and Climate Justice Programs. “Air pollution has a disproportionate impact on low-income communities and communities of color. We plan to use the most powerful tools at our disposal – on-the-ground organizing and civic empowerment – to address this inequity.”
According to the resolution, African Americans are more likely than Whites to be exposed to higher air toxic concentrations in every one of the United States’ major metropolitan areas. African American communities suffer from higher rates of asthma, negative birth outcomes, educational and behavioral outcomes and other health issues that have been linked to air pollution.
The resolution concludes that “the NAACP will put the power and resources of the Associations’ 1200 units and 300,000+ members behind protecting and defending the environmental policies designed to provide safeguards to ensure that all communities are breathing clean air, ingesting clean water, and living and thriving on safe lands.”
Recently, the NAACP came out in support of the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, and co-sponsored the “Clean Air Act: Reducing Pollution, Saving Lives Conference” in Washington, DC. on July 18.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.
Ben Wrobel / NAACP