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.