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PNS Daily Newscast - April 19, 2021 


President Biden aims to put the U.S. in a leadership role on climate change, and the pandemic shines a spotlight on regional food supply chains.


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President Biden to announce new 2030 emissions target; George W. Bush urges more respectful conversation on immigration; and the Giffords Center ranks Indiana's gun policies low, despite state "red flag" law.

Advocates: Biden Climate Plan Could Help NE's Redlined Neighborhoods

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Nebraska's redlined neighborhoods were the only places families of color could live, and were located near environmental hazards. (Dnavarrojr/Pixabay)
Nebraska's redlined neighborhoods were the only places families of color could live, and were located near environmental hazards. (Dnavarrojr/Pixabay)
 By Eric Galatas, Public News Service - NE - Producer, Contact
February 26, 2021

LINCOLN, Neb. - President Joe Biden has charged top White House officials with ensuring that communities living in the shadows of the nation's power plants, highways and refineries receive at least 40% of benefits from new investments in clean energy, public transit, affordable housing and pollution controls.

Michele Roberts, national co-coordinator of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform said redlined neighborhoods in Nebraska and across the U.S. should be at the front of the line.

"We need to prioritize those communities in such a way that we provide remedy and redress and make these communities whole," said Roberts.

In the 1930s and '40s, the federal Home Owners Loan Corporation drew maps of U.S. cities, including Lincoln and Omaha, outlining in red where people of color lived.

White neighborhoods received federal funding and benefited with amenities including better schools.

Redlined areas were the only parts of cities where Black and Latino families could live. These communities, located near most of the cities' environmental hazards, did not receive funding.

Roberts' group helped develop a national platform for advancing environmental justice, which includes ranking neighborhoods based on their level of need, to ensure that communities most at risk aren't overlooked.

The platform has been delivered to Cecilia Martinez, Biden's pick to lead the 40% initiative. Roberts said it's also important for Black and Brown communities to have a say in where investments are made.

"We must make sure that those who have been impacted the most - our communities - must be consulted early, often and always," said Roberts.

Roberts said the Biden administration's 40% plan also should include safeguards, so current residents are not priced out of their homes once communities have been restored.

The plan, expected to cover investments in COVID recovery and infrastructure projects, is due May 27. All federal agencies would have 60 days after it's released by the White House to incorporate the guidance into their work.

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