Sacramento, CA — A new study released today by the Gender Equity Policy Institute (GEPI) finds Californians can expect significant advancements in gender and racial equity under AB 2419, a bill authored by Assemblymember Isaac G. Bryan (D-54, Los Angeles) to direct 40% of federal Infrastructure funding to disadvantaged and low-income communities as well as create a Justice40 Advisory Committee.
By earmarking funds for qualifying communities AB 2419, also known as the California Justice40 Act, ensures more Californians reap the economic and environmental rewards of modern, sustainable infrastructure. Among their key findings, GEPI noted 6 in 10 Californians live in communities that would be prioritized for infrastructure investment under Bryan's bill. The estimate is even higher for rural Central Valley and northern California Counties where more than 7 in 10 residents live in communities that would be targeted for investment.
"Nearly 60% of all Californians are living in low-income and disadvantaged communities—communities that are disproportionately Black, Brown, and Indigenous," said Assemblymember Bryan. "Historically, our neighborhoods have seen investments and sustainable infrastructure pass us by. For 23 million Californians, AB 2419 will change that narrative by creating economic opportunities and uplifting historically silenced voices in all spaces where decision making is happening. The California Justice40 Act means a healthier, inclusive, and more sustainable future for us all."
Nearly 75% of residents in low-income and disadvantaged communities are Black, Latino, Asian American, or Native American. Women of color are especially overrepresented in these communities—72% of all Black female and 77% of all Latina Californians. Not only does the California Justice40 Act bring economic opportunity to these underserved groups, it also brings opportunities to participate in the decision-making process through the Justice40 Committee. This advisory committee will include environmental justice, labor, and community representatives whose recommendations will guide the design of California's infrastructure investments.
California will receive at least $45 billion in infrastructure funds through the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) with billions of additional dollars available through national grants. This level of federal investment is historic. Assemblymember Bryan also recognizes an unprecedented opportunity to transform outdated, inequitable policies that are limiting the economic potential of too many communities. The GEPI's analysis supports the assemblymember's conviction that the benefits California Justice40 Act are significant and far-reaching. The report's authors analyzed demographic data from communities across California to estimate the likely impact of infrastructure spending under AB 2419 by race/ethnicity, gender, and region. According the Assemblymember Bryan, "the kind of rigorous analysis that the Gender Equity Policy Institute has conducted on the California Justice40 Act highlights the profound impact this bill will have on communities across California, as well as the importance of strong, independent policy research."
Assemblymember Bryan is joined on AB 2419 by coauthors Senator Henry Stern and Assemblymembers Steve Bennett, Cristina Garcia, Al Muratsuchi, and Mark Stone. The bill is sponsored by Asian Pacific Environmental Network, California Green New Deal Coalition, Greenlining Institute, and Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE).
For questions or additional information contact Theresa Southerland at Theresa.Southerland@asm.ca.gov or (310) 641-5410.