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New York Approves America’s First Congestion Pricing Policy



After more than 10 years of advocacy, New York became the first US state to approve a plan to charge drivers to enter highly trafficked areas during peak times, known as congestion pricing. International metropolitan areas, such as London and Stockholm, have implemented similar fees for over a decade. It took a transportation crisis in midtown Manhattan—where congestion slowed drivers to nearly a walking pace—for elected officials to act on congestion pricing. The fees will go into effect by 2021 and will be dedicated to improving public transit. Hidden Costs The cumulative cost to drive a car is often the second largest household expense—which can be particularly burdensome for Latino families who are burdened by high housing costs and lack of safe, reliable ...

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You’ll No Longer Find Asbestos in Products in New Jersey


New Jersey Asbestos Ban

Once, asbestos was a major health concern — it exposed millions of Americans to harmful toxins through construction materials, home insulation, and talcum powder-based items. Now, despite a reduction in its reach and impact over the years, the mineral is making headlines again. EPA rollbacks and discoveries of asbestos in consumer products have brought asbestos back on the minds of citizens and lawmakers. New Jersey (20.4% Latino) state legislators took steps to protect their constituents through bill A 4416, which bans the sale or distribution of products containing asbestos. “There is absolutely no reason why any New Jerseyans should be at risk of asbestos exposure,” state assembly member Lisa Swain told TAPinto. “While the current Administration in Washington may be ...

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How Takoma Park is Addressing Institutionalized Racism



In 2017, Takoma Park adopted a racial equity initiative to begin addressing institutionalized racism. Latinos and people of color face numerous obstacles to opportunity across the lifespan due to racial bias in policies, institutions, and systems, which further contribute to health inequity. Housing instability, for example is linked to poor health outcomes. More Latinos (56.9%) are burdened by housing costs than Whites (46.8%), meaning they have little money left over for health- and wealth-promoting assets, accord to a Salud America! research review. Leaders in Takoma Park, Maryland (14% Latino) wanted to determine whether policies—even those that are seemingly neutral—were contributing to racial inequities. Like fiscal and environmental impact statements, the city began ...

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Top Agriculture State to Prohibit Use of Controversial Pesticide



In California (39.1% Latino) there will soon be a ban on the widely utilized pesticide, chlorpyrifos. The state, which is one of the most prolific agricultural producers in America, is reportedly the most significant users of the chemical. "This pesticide is a neurotoxin, and it was first put on the market in 1965," State Environmental Secretary Jared Blumenfeld told The Californian. "So it's been on the shelf a long time, and it's past its sell-by date. What is Chlorpyrifos & Where Is It Found? Chlorpyrifos controls foliage and soil-borne insects on a variety of food and feed crops, according to the EPA. The chemical can be found in both agricultural and non-agriculture operations and is used: Mainly as a treatment, in terms of total pounds, in corn On soybeans, ...

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Apple Promises to Think Different about Hazardous Chemicals in Products


Apple chemicals of concern

One of America’s largest corporations is reassessing the way they handle potentially health-harming substances in their products. Last month, Apple released its “Environmental Responsibility Report,” which provides insights into their overall climate-conscious. Specifically, the report illustrates the ways Apple is changing their mindset and practices concerning hazardous substances — something they hope will change the way the electronics industry functions as a whole. “Prioritizing potentially problematic chemical substances is key to effectively focusing green chemistry efforts in electronics manufacturing,” Apple writes in their 2018 Chemicals of Concern report. “Existing scientific tools and policy frameworks, however, do not provide immediately applicable and ...

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California Bills Aim To Eliminate Implicit Bias


Implicit Bias

In California (39.1% Latino), numerous bills seeking to confront implicit bias among medical professionals, police officers and judges, are making their way through the state legislature, according to KPCC's AirTalk. “No one likes to be told what to do and no one thinks they’re a racist, so the question I hear a lot is, ‘Why do we need this?’,”state representative Sydney Kamlager-Dove told The Los Angeles Times. “The goal is not to have punitive legislation. It is to help people acknowledge they have [implicit biases] and help reduce them.” Legislation in the Works Senate Bill 464 Senate Bill 464, or more commonly the California Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act, was introduced by State Senator Holly Mitchell last month. It would implement an ...

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Largest Land Owner in Atlanta Opens Green Space to the Public


School-playground-gated-and-closed-after-school-hours

Children and families in underserved communities have limited to access to green spaces and parks. However, one of the highest costs for creating a park is land acquisition. So, the largest land and property owner in Atlanta (4.6% Latino) —Atlanta Public Schools—is launching a new pilot program to open their green spaces to the public outside of operating hours. Atlanta’s Need for Parks The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit, ranks the largest 100 cities in the U.S. by how well those municipalities are meeting the public need for parks. Atlanta ranks 43rd on that list. Only two-thirds of the population live within a ten-minute walk of a public park. In Minneapolis and Minnesota, however, 97% of the population can reach a park in a ten-minute walk. Fewer ...

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Washington State Passes Comprehensive Toxic Chemicals Bill


Washington State chemical bill

Last month, Washington (12.7% Latino) state lawmakers approved far-reaching chemical legislation, which will regulate toxic substances in consumer products. The bill, which is awaiting signature from Governor Jay Inslee, aims to implement harmful chemical identification, restriction, and prohibition efforts. Toxic-free advocates are describing the law as one of the most substantial pieces of regulatory legislation in the country. “Washington state’s legislature has taken bold action to protect public health and the environment from the dangers of toxic chemicals,” said Liz Hitchcock, leader of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, in a press release. “Other states and the federal government should follow their lead.” What Does the Bill Entail? The Pollution Prevention for ...

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Water Bottle Filling Stations a Big Win for Kentucky Students


water bottle filling school latino girl

Kentucky (3% Latino) has become the first state to require water bottle filling stations for all newly constructed schools and school remodel projects, according to a Voices for Healthy Kids report. The new rule, signed into law by the governor on April 9, 2019, requires at least two water bottle filling stations per new school. It also requires one water bottle filling station or drinking water fountain for every 75 students projected to attend the new school, as well as regular maintenance of both stations and fountains. "More than 650,000 Kentucky public school students will have better access to hydration," according to Voices for Healthy Kids. Kentucky Water Quality Water bottle filling stations increase the amount of water students are drinking, providing equitable access ...

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