• Senator Toni Atkins, President Pro Tempore, to keynote April 19 event
  • Evening to encourage civic engagement in San Diego’s low-income communities of color in 2018 elections

SAN DIEGO, March 22, 2018 – Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), a social and environmental justice organization in the San Diego region, will recognize local and national social justice leaders at its 2018 Awards Celebration on Thursday, April 19. With a passion for elevating the voices of low-income community members through the act of voting, EHC will celebrate with the theme United to Vote.

The event welcomes President pro Tempore Senator Toni Atkins as its keynote speaker. As the first woman, the first openly gay pro tem in state history and the first person to have served as both Assembly speaker and Senate president pro tem in nearly 150 years, the organization has a lot to celebrate with Senator Atkins. EHC expects a sold-out crowd of more than 400 attendees.

United to Vote awardees include:

  • Mustafa Santiago Ali - Environmental Justice Champion Award
    Ali has worked to alleviate the impact of air, water and industrial pollution on vulnerable communities across the nation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 24 years. He was instrumental in developing the EPA Office of Environmental Justice and sent a strong message to the current administration upon his resignation in March 2017.

  • Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher - Spirit of Justice Award
    Gonzalez-Fletcher is the first Latina in California history to chair the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the first woman and person of color elected chief executive officer and secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. Her leadership has led to policies that protect children from lead in water at schools, support women by combatting sexual assault and government reform for transportation justice.

  • National City Councilwoman Alejandra Sotelo-Solis - Spirit of Justice Award
    As councilwoman of National City, Sotelo-Solis has tirelessly worked to ensure a historic Westside Specific Plan that protects community health and business. Her leadership resulted in 201 new and affordable homes for National City residents, and at the state level, her advocacy to win legislation requiring all cities adopt environmental justice elements remains unparalleled.

  • National City Councilwoman Mona Rios - Spirit of Justice Award
    A champion for transportation justice, Rios dedicated herself to the passage of AB 805 and contributed to the growth of equitable transportation systems in transit-dependent communities. As the newly elected vice chair of the Metropolitan Transit System, she’s deepened her commitment to making transportation accessible, affordable and sustainable for all people -- especially her neighbors in the South Bay.

  • California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) – Environmental Justice Champion Award
    CEJA’s commitment to environmental and social justice has had an enormous impact on the San Diego / Tijuana border region. The organization’s leadership remains unsurpassed, lifting the movement to new heights to address climate change and air pollution, improve access to clean energy and build healthy neighborhoods in California’s low-income communities of color.

  • Engage San Diego – Building Power Award
    With a mission to build power to win social and economic justice through integrated voter engagement and community organizing, Engage San Diego seeks to build a culture of voting that advances equitable solutions across all demographics in San Diego County. The regional civic engagement network unites local organizations with diverse issues, constituencies and organizing styles.

Pacifica Companies presents EHC’s annual event at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19. In addition to speakers and awardees, guests will include community members, long-time supporters of EHC and sponsors such as San Diego Airport Authority, IBEW Local 569, United Domestic Workers and more.

Click here to purchase tickets or sponsorships to United to Vote. For event questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information on EHC’s work for environmental and social justice, please visit www.environmentalhealth.org.

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH COALITION: Founded in 1980, Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) builds grassroots campaigns to confront the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use and unsustainable energy policies. Visit us online at http://www.environmentalhealth.org.