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CIDA INC. Invited To The White House

The Community In-Power and Development Association (CIDA) has an historic and exciting announcement to make. Our founder and executive director Hilton Kelley was invited to be a part of the signing of the Biden / Kamala administration’s new Executive Order, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All. Mr. Kelley had the pleasure of attending as a representative of Community In-Power and Development Association, Inc. as well as a Port Arthur Texas native who has been impacted by environmental injustice.

Founder and Director Hilton Kelley at our Nation's Capitol

President Biden launched the most ambitious environmental justice agenda in our nation’s history. This Executive Order will embed environmental justice into the work of federal agencies to achieve real, measurable progress that communities can count on. Having continued and deepened connections with the White House Administration will advance the work of CIDA’s advocacy as well as ensure the city of Port Arthur Texas has access to federal agency initiatives which will better protect citizens from pollution and environmental harm. Environmental injustice is a burden that unfortunately impacts the low-income and vulnerable across the nation, luckily the Biden Administration’s efforts aim to address the nation’s long hidden scar. You may be asking yourself, “Why is this Executive Order so impactful?”. Well, because it's the first of its kind that aims to address environmental injustice on a federal level.

President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that every person has a right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live in a healthy community – now and into the future. The new Executive order Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, will advance and support environmental justice initiatives and organizations such as the Community In-Power and Development Association through federal efforts.

The new Executive Order, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, will perform seven essential functions.

1. Deepen the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government commitment to environmental justice.

2. Better protect overburdened communities from pollution and environmental harms.

3. Strengthen engagement with communities and mobilize federal agencies to confront existing and legacy barriers and injustices.

4. Promote the latest science, data, and research, including on cumulative impacts.

5. Expand interagency coordination and launch a new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

6. Increase accountability and transparency in federal environmental justice policy.

7. Honor and build on the foundation of ongoing environmental justice work.

The goals and outreach of Biden’s Executive Order is perfectly aligned with CIDA’s mission of empowering residents in low-income communities, organizing and educating local residents on how to take action to keep big industries from polluting our air, land, and water, and transforming dilapidated and underserved areas into desirable communities with a strong commerce base. Having this new federal support will advance the capacity in which organizations such as CIDA can serve and protect vulnerable fenceline communities.

Leslie Fields (National Director, Policy Advocacy and Legal Sierra Club), Hilton Kelley,

We look forward to witnessing the positive impacts that will occur in Port Arthur and across the nation from this monumental order. From new efforts, attention to policies as well as the first ever Environmental Justice Scorecard. Phase One of the Environmental Justice Scorecard, the first government-wide evaluation of federal agencies' efforts to advance environmental justice, is being published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), CEQ, and the U.S. Digital Service. The Justice40 Initiative as well as other federal agencies' initiatives to enhance environmental justice are tracked in the first iteration of the Scorecard, which creates a baseline

Hilton Kelley, Juan and Ana Parras (co-founders of T.E.J.A.S.)

CIDA Inc. takes pride in our continued networking and capacity to have representation at monumental events such as the signing of this profound executive order . Thank you Mr. Kelley for continuing the advocacy for Port Arthur citizens as well as ensuring CIDA Inc. has a continued seat at the table.

Here are some of Mr. Kelley’s key takeaways as he reflects on his experience.

“To be invited to the White House for the signing of Executive Order 14096 which mandates all federal agencies to address environmental Justice issues in all communities particularly in People of color / Fence line communities which have been suffering disproportionately for many years, was an honor and a privilege to be able to witness. This Bill is a true victory for our communities because it shows that our voices have been heard at the highest political peak in our nation. For 23 years I have been fighting for environmental justice along with many others from around the country and on April 21, 2023 the president of the United States proved that our voices were heard by signing EO 14096 which revitalizes our nation’s commitment for Environmental Justice for all citizens. I feel now that we can breathe a little easier. Many thanks to President Joe Biden / Kamala Harris presidential administration. May God bless us all.”

-Founder and Director Hilton Kelley


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