John believes everyone deserves to live in a healthy and clean environment, no matter their income or zip code. Unfortunately, today there are wide gaps between neighborhoods in the quality of air, water, and soil Marylanders work and play in every day.
One of the most glaring examples of environmental injustice in our state is in Baltimore City, where most of the city’s trash is burned in a majority Black neighborhood. Between Baltimore’s lower-income, mostly Black neighborhoods and its wealthier, whiter ones there is a 20-year-gap in life expectancy. These disparities aren’t just seen in Baltimore, but across the state. Black Marylanders are more likely to suffer from asthma, and over two times as likely to die from asthma than white Marylanders. They also see a disproportionate risk of cancer from exposure to toxins in the air.
John King will:
- Seriously implement the largely ignored recommendations from the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities, and build on 2021 reform legislation.
- Ensure government agencies take a proactive approach to environmental justice when drafting rules and policies, instead of a reactive one that waits until problems arise to make changes.
- Make sure stakeholders from front line and fence line communities historically affected by pollution and environmental injustice have a role in decision-making.
- Transition the entire state fleet (including buses and school buses) to electric to reduce fossil fuel reliance and combat air pollution.