MFN in the News: Bringing Grassroots Power to Washington, D.C.

Photo by Sam Levitan

In March 2023, a cohort of 37 MFN members convened in Washington, D.C. to make our network’s demands loud and clear to policymakers. We brought frontline and fenceline community power straight to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to demand zero emissions in freight! 

MFN’s collective action didn’t go unnoticed by the press – in an article from Bloomberg Law, our members spoke out about the importance of regular meetings with the EPA and the significance of MFN’s grassroots power for environmental justice:

“When you bring these leaders into the community to actually see what’s going on and to see what the direct impact is, I think that does have a correlation and does start to turn people’s heads.”

Asada Rashidi

South Ward Environmental Alliance

“It was important for us to have the meeting and hold them accountable. But one of the most important things for us is seeing the results.”

Brenda Huerta Soto

People’s Collective for Environmental Justice

Thanks to the members who joined us on the ground, our network secured a commitment from the EPA for one of our big asks: quarterly meetings with staff from the EPA. 

Setting up this meeting with the EPA took years of grassroots work, and EPA’s commitment to meeting with MFN on a regular basis is a big step forward in centering our collective voices in the EPA’s decision-making process. 

Asada also emphasized how EPA should listen to environmental justice communities since they can provide EPA with precise truck count data that serves as solid evidence that frontline communities are in urgent need of zero emissions solutions. 

Zhenya Polozova from Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ) spoke about how North America’s largest inland port pollutes her community in Joliet, Illinois, with toxic emissions. Zhenya, alongside their coalition, urged EPA to collaborate with its sister agencies to address the combined labor and environmental consequences of the freight transportation industry.

“One of our primary strategies is for workers to organize in their workplaces and build collective power to push for better working conditions and pressure the company directly.”

Zhenya Polozova

Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ)

The folks living and breathing in freight pollution are the experts on environmental justice issues, and MFN remains committed to holding the Biden administration and the EPA accountable for prioritizing frontline and fenceline community expertise in their rule-making processes.

Interested in learning more?

Click here to read the Bloomberg Law article and learn about how MFN is working to ensure EPA listens to our demands for zero emissions. Visit our Zero Emissions in Freight page to learn more about our campaign.

Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ)

South Ward Environmental Alliance

People’s Collective for
Environmental Justice