LAREDO, Texas – The Rio Grande International Study Center’s federal environmental justice program manager, Alex Castañeda, has given a review of the recent South Texas Justice40 Symposium.
The symposium was the first of its kind in South Texas, attracting leaders and decision-makers from six counties in the region.
It was hosted by the The Rio Grande International Study Center, in partnership with Green Latinos. It took place at Texas A&M International University’s Academic Innovation Center in Laredo, and Susana Almanza, a member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, was the keynote speaker.
“So we provided information on the Inflation Reduction Act and on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Justice 40. So what is Justice 40? Justice 40 is a commitment that the Biden administration made to disadvantaged communities, that 40 percent of the funding from these bills would be funneled to these communities to directly and positively impact them,” Castañeda said.
Among the areas of interest to the Rio Grande International Study Center are reliable and affordable housing, climate change and climate resiliency, transportation as it relates to equitable transportation, infrastructure, and roadways and sidewalks, Castañeda explained.
“And, of course, clean energy. That’s a huge, huge opportunity or funding category through these funds, as well as workforce development to boost our economic development. But workforce development around green infrastructure. We really want to emphasize that and that’s a huge point of emphasis on these funding opportunities and these funding bills.”
Castañeda added that she would like to bring the program to the Rio Grande Valley later this year.
Editor’s Note: Click here to read a preview of RGISC’s South Texas Justice40 Symposium.
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