One of the most important voter blocs in determining the fate of Proposition 23, the initiative that would effectively block implementation of California's landmark global warming law, is minority voters.
Historically, blue-collar workers in minority communities are very sensitive to economic arguments, particularly arguments that relate to a potential loss of jobs. California's double-digit unemployment rate has hit particularly hard in minority communities, so it would seem that Prop. 23 supporters would find a sympathetic audience among Latinos and blacks for their assertions that the California law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would stifle job creation.
It is therefore very significant that a coalition of 80 community-organizing groups in Latino, black and Asian communties has been formed to oppose Proposition 23. Among them is Ventura County's Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE).
The concern among these groups is that passage of Proposition 23 would exacerbate health problems in minority communities that are more likely to be situation near heavy industrial sources of pollution.
"Proposition 23 will hurt low-income communities and people of color first and worst," said Communities United campaign manager Ian Kim of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. "This Dirty Energy proposition will make air pollution worse and jobs more scarce, especially in communities already burdened by too much pollution and poverty."