Skip to content
CityLab
Perspective

SB 100 Is Moving Cities in California Toward Zero-Emissions Futures

Buoyed by bill SB 100, marginalized communities, often overlooked by the environmental movement, have spurred progress in Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland.
In April 2018, Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach executive director, speaks about the zero-emission project that will reduce port emissions.
In April 2018, Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach executive director, speaks about the zero-emission project that will reduce port emissions.Bob Riha Jr./AP

The government shutdown has shown, among many things, how unequal power dynamics affect most of the population and privilege only a select few. Unequal power dynamics in cities, however, persist whether there is a government shutdown or not. Indigenous populations, communities of color, poor people, and immigrants, as well as other working-class populations are disproportionately affected.

Refineries, railyards, ports, and other sites producing pollution from the use of fossil fuels tend to be in close proximity to the aforementioned communities as a result of the United States’s legacy of spatialized racism seen in practices like zoning and redlining. For years communities on the ground have been fighting for a better environment and making headway, and now we are starting to see large entities think about our options for sustainability.