KBLA Talk 1580 Releases Survey of Black L.A. County Voters that Highlights Climate Justice Concerns

Environmental issues are social justice and civil rights issues

LOS ANGELES: KBLA Talk 1580 today released groundbreaking results from a survey of 500 Black likely voters about environmental issues and the impacts of pollution and climate change on communities of color. The poll, conducted by public opinion research firm EVITARUS, provides unique insights into Black voter sentiment and preferences on key environmental and social justice issues. 

The results highlight that more than 7 in 10 (72%) of respondents believe that there is a direct connection between environmental justice, social justice, and civil rights. Equally as important, respondents overwhelmingly believe that pollution, climate change and other forms of environmental harm impact Black, Latino, and low-income communities more than White, Asian, wealthy, and coastal communities—notably, this finding holds true across ideological lines and is consistent among Black progressives, liberals, moderates, and conservatives. 

“Climate change heavily impacts communities of color, and Black voters see a strong connection between environmental justice, social justice, and civil rights,” said Tavis Smiley, KBLA chief visionary officer, host of the nationally syndicated Tavis Smiley show, and most recent recipient of the coveted “Freedom of Speech” Award from Talkers 2023. “Policymakers and politicians who believe that climate equity issues are not strong motivators in our community make a critical miscalculation. For Black voters, environmental justice is racial justice.” 

“The data is clear. Respondents strongly believe that fellow citizens who live and work in Black and Brown neighborhoods and low-income communities are more impacted by pollution, climate change and other forms of environmental harm,” added Smiley. “KBLA Talk 1580’s Climate Justice Campaign is focused all year long on raising awareness of these important issues by engaging the community, empowering them to make their voices heard and activating them on the most pressing issues of our time.”

“The survey results underscore that climate justice is not an abstract concern for Black voters, but rather, a highly localized one—more than two-thirds of Black voters identify climate change and the disproportionate impact of climate change on communities of color as a highly serious issue in Los Angeles County,” concluded Shakari Byerly, Managing Partner and Principal Researcher at EVITARUS.