"It doesn't take much of a leap to see a connection between underrepresentation in the solar work force and the lower use of solar in some neighborhoods. Whole communities are much less likely to have job contacts in the industry, and are also less likely to know someone who has rooftop solar and can talk about its benefits.
These discrepancies touch on a larger environmental justice issue: Majority black neighborhoods also have higher levels of air pollution from industry and fossil fuel electricity than majority white neighborhoods, according to a large body of research.
The inequities in solar power are a major concern because the solar industry is likely to be an increasingly important part of our economy.
If the benefits of this industry are mostly limited to people who already are in a position of privilege, this leads to justified resentment. And that resentment can be exploited by industries that want to slow down the transition to clean energy. For example, some utilities have sought help from NAACP chapters to oppose rooftop solar, based on the idea that the benefits of solar are going to mainly white and affluent households, shifting costs to everyone else. The utilities' argument is shaky at best, with little evidence that solar cost-shifting is anything more than a minor issue, but there is no escaping that black communities have not gotten a proportionate share of the benefits of solar."
-- Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News
End Poverty Now is a coalition of 22 groups in Cleveland that works to address and combat issues of poverty in Cleveland communities. The above photo lists the coalition's demands concerning the utility shutoffs during the COVID-19 outbreak.
CLEVELAND — "Rachael Belz, Executive Director for Ohio Citizen Action told News 5 the coalition has started a petition drive, calling on the city to more aggressively let citizens know they can have service temporarily restored.
Belz said the growing financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 crisis is going to have even more residents get behind on paying their utility bills.
'How do they even find out that’s what they’re supposed to do,' Belz said.
'Even sending a postcard or making a phone call or at least try to make a phone call and leave a message.'