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Last year, after having a baby, I moved back to the town where I grew up—a poor, polluted part of the Bay Area. One of the most striking things about coming home has been the experience of living in a place where access to wholesome food and healthy lifestyle choices is severely limited. That would be bad enough on its own. But now, to add insult to injury, our leaders in Washington, D.C. are kicking low-income folks while they’re down.

When the House voted to slash food stamp benefits (now known as SNAP) by $40 billion last month, there was no mistaking their tone: Americans who are hungry should be ashamed.

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If there were any lingering doubts about just how destructive and dangerous the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would be, the oil spills we’ve seen in Arkansas, Texas, and Canada in recent weeks should lay them to rest.

It’s not just oil spills we have to worry about. The pipeline would threaten our air and water and would accelerate climate change, with communities of color hit first and worst. The pipeline would carry the world’s dirtiest oil—tar sands crude—to be refined in Port Arthur, Texas, a predominantly black and Latino community that already suffers from health problems due to oil refineries.

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by CECIL ROBERTS, President of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA); VAN JONES, President of Rebuild the Dream and a CNN contributor; and PHAEDRA ELLIS-LAMKINS, CEO of Green for All

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Superstorms. Devastating drought. Out-of-control wildfires. Record-breaking temperatures. There’s no doubt about it: climate change has become impossible to ignore. And while it’s encouraging to see more and more Americans join the call for bold action on climate, there’s one issue that we still hear far too little about: the impact of global warming on low-income communities and people of color.

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