Prior to the 2022 election, Conservation Voters of PA banded together with 30 other advocacy groups across Pennsylvania to craft a document that spells out the most pressing issues facing our state, while also offering policy solutions to create a more equitable and just Pennsylvania.
Called “A Shared Vision for Pennsylvania’s Environment and Communities,” this 40-page document is the culmination of many months of hard work and determination. It is our hope that this comprehensive report will educate and guide candidates for office this year, and for future elected officials, on the most important environmental issues facing Pennsylvania.
This election is a critical time to address the issues facing Pennsylvania’s frontline and environmental justice communities that have been disproportionately impacted by polluting industries, inequitable policy, and inadequate regulatory decisions for far too long. Not only must these inequities stop, but trust with these communities must be rebuilt as a first step to improving their health, well-being, environment and economies.
Pennsylvania faces myriad pressing environmental issues. The science of the climate crisis, and its impacts on the lives of Pennsylvanians, compels urgent and bold action. Our waterways remain one of our most precious resources, yet they face a multitude of challenges from excess nitrogen, to pollution from plastics, to acid mine drainage. Aging homes throughout the state contain damaging lead, asbestos, and other environmental toxins that damage the health of the most vulnerable. Our democracy is under threat and without a healthy and vibrant democracy, we cannot have a healthy environment. And we recognize that there are historic opportunities to reimagine how we can design our schools, workplaces, and homes in ways that are more sustainable and equitable.
Specifically, the document identifies seven pressing priorities we hope will be addressed by candidates running for office this fall. Those areas include:
- Guaranteeing our right to clean air and a healthy climate
- Safeguarding our right to pure water
- Investing in an energy policy that supports people and communities
- Housing and land use that meet the needs of all Pennsylvanians
- Ensuring labor rights in the green economy
- Protecting our democracy means protecting our environment
- Quality environmental education for all students