“Kamala Harris made history on Tuesday, becoming the first Black woman to be the vice presidential pick on a major party ticket. But she makes history in other ways, too. Her addition to Team Biden will focus a new spotlight on an issue Harris has championed in the Senate: addressing the racism of environmental pollution.
While climate change has grown in importance to Democratic voters in recent years, so has drawing the connection to racial injustices. We’re only now starting to reckon with a long history of white environmentalists and leaders chronically overlooking this crisis. And the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown Americans, is making the stakes clearer than ever—and makes addressing the pollution in these communities all the more urgent.
The past few years have been something of an evolution for the junior senator from California; when Harris entered the presidential race last year, she didn’t have as robust an environmental record as many of her opponents. Still, she campaigned to the left of Biden on climate change, calling for a nationwide ban on fracking when Biden has not gone so far, and firmly embracing the Green New Deal, a moonshot left plank of investment to bring down climate pollution (even calling for eliminating the filibuster to do so).”