An environmental initiative has launched that focuses on helping communities of color in the Gulf South. MPB's Kobee Vance looks into how this new plan could affect communities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The Gulf South for a Green New Deal is a plan crafted by community leaders, indigenous peoples, farmers, and small business members. They want to focus policies on improving the lives of marginalized communities in the Gulf South, specifically environmental and social issues
Gordon Jackson is the Chair of the Environmental and Climate Justice Committee for the NAACP Biloxi branch. He says that while the Green New Deal is a good idea, there needs to be specific parts that will fit the issues of the Gulf South region.
"Food systems, seafood, flood zones, hazardous plants located close to people of color communities. All of those issues are very real here. We are looking to whatever needs are out there to be able to address and solve those issues."
He says that 75 percent of industrial plants are placed near low income and people of color communities. Jackson calls this trend "environmental racism."
The Green New Deal is a topic that has been critiqued heavily by the republican party. Tyson Jackson, with People's Advocacy Institute in Jackson talks about how the initiative could garner support across party lines.
"What we realized is that these environmental issues that are facing all of us, isn't a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. It's issues that we all are facing. When we are being rushed to the hospital because we can't breathe because the environment is attacking us. Those things are universal issues."
50 groups across 5 southern states have co-sponsored the initiative, and more than 100 organizations have endorsed the policy.