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When Democratic U.S. Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva and A. Donald McEachin brought environmental justice advocates to Washington, D.C. last year to help craft the Environmental Justice for All Act, the plan was that, from start to finish, the bill would engage the people most affected by exposure to environmental toxins, pollution, and contamination.
So last month, after the 130-page draft bill was introduced, community advocates championed continuing this same approach through a national tour where grassroots organizations and frontline communities would have a chance to have their say on the bill. Now, the novel coronavirus pandemic has upended those plans. With millions across the country taking shelter in their homes, the bill’s supporters say they will forge ahead, albeit with altered plans, to bring the bill to communities across America under a new virtual reality.