Talk of the Bay from KSQD
Talk of the Bay from KSQD
People's Tribunal on Pesticide Use and Civil Rights

Mark Weller of Californian’s for Pesticide Reform discusses the tribunal planned for the 12th of September as well as other issues of pesticide reform in California.

People’s Tribunal on Pesticide Use and Civil Rights in California | Live Event and Webinar

Online Webinar Law Law – CLEANR Law – HP

To register for online access:

Tue, Sep 12, 2023

1 PM – 4 PM PDT (GMT-7)

Lindsay Wellness Center, Tulare County, CA

By any measure, farmworkers and agricultural communities are among the least protected and least visible populations in the United States. In California, 97% of farmworkers are Latinx, 92% are Spanish-speaking, and over 90% are immigrants. The first finding of a violation of EPA regulations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was made in Angelita C., on behalf of children who attended schools near the use of methyl bromide. While state and federal laws prohibit state-funded discrimination and require agencies to advance environmental justice, farmworkers, parents and children who attend schools near pesticide use, and agricultural communities rarely have access to justice via traditional means.

In response, Californians for Pesticide Reform and the University of California, Irvine are hosting a People’s Tribunal at the Lindsay Wellness Center in Tulare County, California on September 12, 2023. The event is a forum for community members to deliberate over civil rights in the context of pesticide use and exposure. People’s tribunals take the form of legal proceedings run by public figures, legal practitioners, and community leaders. Designed to demand accountability, their claim to authority begins with the argument that members of the community are competent to invoke and apply the law on their own when governments are unwilling to do so. The Tribunal is made possible by a generous grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Tribunal will feature community testimony on subjects including: (1) Generations of work to address harms to farmworkers and schools from pesticide use in California, with a focus on regulatory gaps; (2) Scientific research to understand those harms, with a focus on links and relationships among pesticide use, exposure, and harm; (3) Local coalition testimony from across the region, with a focus on community experience, awareness of harms, and pressing concerns; (4) Binational and Indigenous perspectives, with a focus on the difficulty accessing enforcement and other services for those who speak Indigenous languages; (5) Community efforts to process, transform, and use public data to understand impacts and potential mitigation of pesticide use; (6) Legal requirements, including civil rights laws, and why they are under-utilized and difficult to enforce in the context of pesticide use; and (7) Potential violations of civil rights law.

Judges and speakers include:

Caroline Farrell, Professor of Law and Director, Environmental Law and Justice Clinic, Golden Gate University School of Law

Robert Chacanaca, President, Monterey Bay Central Labor Council (retired), Cupa Tribe

Dr. Caroline Cox, Senior Scientist, Center for Environmental Health (retired)

Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences and Chief, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health, UC Davis School of Medicine

Dr. Ann López, Executive Director, Center for Farmworker Families

Bianca Lopez, Co-Founder and Project Director, Valley Improvement Projects

Dr. Gregg Macey, Director, Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources, UCI Law

Timothy Malloy, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

Nayamin Martinez, Executive Director, Central California Environmental Justice Network

Dr. Sarait Martinez, Executive Director, Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Ingígena Oaxaqueño

Asha Sharma, Organizing Co-Director, Pesticide Action Network North America

The Tribunal will be attended by residents of agricultural communities from across California. It will end with a preliminary statement by the judges on the evidence presented, followed by an Advisory Opinion based on witness testimony. The goal of the Tribunal is to bring the experience of thousands of workers, students, and residents to the forefront so that legislators, agency staff, organizers, attorneys, and the public can consider necessary reforms.