Today WE ACT for Environmental Justice (WE ACT) announced that Raya Salter has joined the organization as Senior Advisor for its Justice40 Initiative.
She will be responsible for executing a national program designed to ensure equitable implementation of Justice40 as outlined in Executive Order 14008, which was signed by President Biden in January, and recommendations made by his White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council in Spring.
“WE ACT is committed to ensuring that our communities are aware of the Justice40 Initiative, actively participate in its implementation, and receive benefits that counter a legacy of disinvestment and disproportionate impact from our fossil fuel economy,” said Dana Johnson, who serves as Senior Director of Strategy and Federal Policy at WE ACT. “We are pleased to have Raya expand our capacity to do this work in a meaningful and robust way.”
Raya will be leading the work to both educate stakeholders about Justice40 and advocate for strong guidance and monitoring for its successful implementation. She will also work with local environmental justice groups, including those in the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum, to support the development of community advisory groups to advocate for, track, and monitor the local use of Justice40 funds in 5-6 metropolitan areas.
Raya has extensive experience developing and implementing advocacy campaigns and joins WE ACT from the NY Renews climate justice coalition. She is a member of the New York State Climate Action Council, which is developing the plan for the New York State Justice 40 initiative. In prior roles, Raya worked on multi-state energy campaigns as a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council and an attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund. Raya was a practicing attorney in multiple jurisdictions, including New York, California, and Hawaii, and worked on energy justice cases. She also served as editor of “Energy Justice, Domestic and International Perspectives” (2018).
“President Biden’s Justice40 promises can only be kept if communities are in the driver’s seat as climate and infrastructure projects are funded, planned, and carried out at the local level,” said Salter. “The WE ACT Justice40 Initiative aims to create the conditions that will ensure that infrastructure development results in healthy and climate-resilient communities throughout the country.”
Harlem-based WE ACT established its Federal Policy Office in Washington, DC in 2012 to advance the federal policy needs and interests of its Northern Manhattan community. The office is recognized as a leading voice for environmental and climate justice in the beltway, working with lawmakers, agencies, and other organizations to advocate for national environmental justice legislation and policies.
WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org
Photo credit: We ACT.