Expanding climate-change issue to diverse communities

AUGUST 27, 2015
The Seattle Times

It’s time to acknowledge that people impacted by global warming include the poor and disenfranchised, and they need a stake in policy decisions.

When you imagine a Seattle environmentalist, chances are it’s some variation on the stereotypical theme of fleece-clad hiker. But amid a summer so dry that half our state is on fire, it’s hard not to feel that — increasingly — everyone has a stake in the health of our planet.

As Americans prepare to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and U.N. members gear up for the Climate Change Conference this fall, it may be time to acknowledge that those impacted by global warming are far more diverse than our theoretical outdoorsman implies.

“We’re wanting to make sure that low-income communities and communities of color are involved in shaping this [climate] policy from the get-go,” says Jill Mangaliman, executive director of Got Green, a Seattle-based environmental-justice organization.
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