Jurupa Valley, CA - It is with great disbelief and disappointment that the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) has learned of Amazon's efforts to undermine the advocacy and community organizing efforts of communities of color in Southern California. The recent release of confidential documents by California Labor AFL-CIO Union Leader and former State Assemblywoman, Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, has exposed Amazon's insidious plan to use money allocated to non-profits in communities of color to hinder legislation that aims to protect the environment and promote labor organizing.
We were particularly outraged by Amazon's use of words like "hunger" and "homelessness" to exploit and take advantage of underserved communities. It is beyond evil to manipulate and prey on the needs of these communities for their own gain. We are also deeply saddened to see that individuals like Perris Mayor Michael “Marty” Vargas, San Bernardino Mayor Helen Tran, and Assembly Member David Alvarez from San Diego were somehow involved in these efforts.
This is a clear indication that Amazon does not have the best interest of the communities where they operate in mind. Instead, they are more concerned with their profits and will stop at nothing to protect their bottom line, even if it means using underhanded tactics to suppress community efforts for clean air and safe working conditions.
Ana Gonzalez, CCAEJ Executive Director stated, “This is shocking, but not surprising, this only validates every effort we have done as an organization to hold corporations and developers like Amazon, accountable for their negligence and perpetrating unsafe and unhealthy communities in the Inland Valley, not to mention the conditions they have created of displacement of housing and low wages that in fact lead to hunger and homelessness, shame.”
We stand in solidarity with Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes, who has been targeted by Amazon's campaign to undermine legislation that would protect our communities. As an organization that sponsored AB1000, that fights for environmental justice and supports labor organizing, we are appalled by Amazon's actions and will continue to advocate for the rights and well-being of communities of color. Amazon’s plan to ban plastics to undermine the EJ voices is laughable, but shows the disconnect of what is actually happening to our communities.
We call on Amazon to stop their deceitful and exploitative practices and instead, engage in genuine efforts to be good neighbors and contribute positively to the communities they operate in. We also call on our elected officials, academic institutions and non-profit partners to reject any influence from corporations like Amazon and stand with their community members in the fight for a healthy and equitable environment for all.
The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental justice, community empowerment, and the protection of human health in underserved communities. Through advocacy, education, and grassroots organizing, CCAEJ works to address environmental issues and create sustainable and equitable communities for all. For more information, please visit www.ccae.org or follow us on social media platforms @ccaej.