Editor's note: The following is the testimonial read by Zalika Thompson, in front of the Environmental Rules Board on June 11. For more on Zalika, see our About page.
This climate action plan will prove to be beneficial to everyone, but mainly to communities near high-pollution sites that contribute to air, water, and soil contamination. The people in these areas are often less visible as a whole and therefor subject to environmental injustice. This could be anybody, your friends, your coworkers, or your family.
In fact, some are my family as my parents were born and raised in Indianapolis.
Living in a low socioeconomic community leads people to focus on the present and many live week-to-week or even day-by-day. When each day is a struggle, the future does not seem like something to plan or look forward to.
However, we should be concerned because together, we are the future of this state and country. Every single person has value whether rich, poor, or in the middle, we are all in this together. Everyone deserves to breathe clean air, and drink clean water.
For the sake of the nation, citizens must have equal access to a healthy environment. Whether these people of low-income areas are concerned about their futures or not, we each have a stake, we work, we contribute, we have people we love and care about.
For those who are unable to speak for themselves, I speak for them because we all matter in some way, to someone.