I Pledge to Support Good, Green Jobs and the Truck Drivers at America's Ports!
The EPA estimates 87 million Americans live and work in port regions that violate federal air quality standards due to high diesel soot exposure that puts them at grave risk for asthma and deadly illnesses like cancer, heart and lung disease. At the same time, inadequate regulation and lax enforcement of environmental and labor laws have long made America's ports look more like a Third World country rather than world-class generators of good, green jobs that can help fuel our nation's recovery. The current system is broken and its wreaking havoc on the lungs and livelihoods of millions of working families. Because I care passionately about economic and environmental justice, I stand with truck drivers, residents and advocates who are fighting to:
1. Protect the EPA award-winning LA Clean Truck Program as a national policy solution to rid our roads of dirty diesel rigs and make the industry, rather than individual workers, pay the cost of fleet replacement and proper maintenance.2. Pass the Clean Ports Act of 2011 so Congress makes it clear that local authorities have the power to enact and enforce environmental standards to clean the air, keep our roads safe, boost green jobs, and help businesses grow and compete responsibly in the new economy. 3. Urge federal and state agencies to crack down on illegal employee misclassification to punish companies that disguise truck drivers as independent contractors in schemes to cheat on taxes and saddle struggling blue-collar workers with their business costs. 4. Expose exploitation and poor working conditions to drive up standards in one of America's most critical professions plagued by decades of low pay, few benefits, wage theft, unsanitary and inadequate restroom facilities, and health and safety violations. 5. Restore collective bargaining rights so that highly-skilled workers in a dangerous industry have the freedom to form a union to negotiate for improvements like a middle-class paycheck, paid time off to spend with family, and improved safety training.
I will speak out until U.S. ports are truly clean and safe, and America's truck drivers are valued and rewarded for the work they do to keep our economy moving!