Michigan Municipal League Represented at White House Executive Order Signing

Posted on April 25, 2023 by Matt Bach

President Joe Biden signs an executive order Friday in the White House Rose Garden. Photo by Michigan Municipal League Foundation President Helen Davis Johnson, who represented the League and Foundation at the event.

The Michigan Municipal League membership was represented at the White House recently for an Executive Order signing by President Joe Biden. The Executive Order prioritized environmental justice for all federal departments.

Michigan Municipal League Foundation President Helen Davis Johnson attended the signing Friday in the White House’s Rose Garden. The Executive Order mandates that all federal departments prioritize environmental justice and dedicate 40 percent of their resources and funding to overburdened and disinvested communities across the country.

While in D.C. last week, Davis Johnson also participated in a roundtable discussion with philanthropic leaders, environment justice activists, funders, federal government staffers, and Biden-Harris administration appointees. The 2 1/2 -hour conversation focused on how the nation might make more progress on environmental justice and how we can all learn from each other and understand what’s working in many areas of the country.

“It was incredible to be able to share with everyone who the League and MML Foundation are, and how we serve our members,” Davis Johnson said of her time in D.C. last week. “I was able to share information specifically about our broad and diverse membership, and how ServeMICity, MI Water Navigator, and our partnerships with philanthropy help to support community leaders with resources, tools, and training.”

Here is a summary of the new Executive Order, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, as provided by the White House. The Executive Order will:

  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 MML’s Helen Davis Johnson (right) outside of the White House with Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, Senior Director for Environmental Justice, White House Council on Environmental Justice.

In addition to the Executive Order, the Biden-Harris Administration also announced other new steps to further the President’s commitment to environmental justice, including publishing the first-ever Environmental Justice Scorecard, launching the White House Campaign for Environmental Justice, announcing new Justice40 covered programs, and taking new steps to combat plastic pollution in communities.

Please see the fact sheet available here for more information about Friday’s announcements.

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