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Community Leaders in Virginia Urging Gubernatorial Candidates Youngkin and McAuliffe
to Stop Mega-Landfill

October 28, 2021
Press Release


As the high-stakes gubernatorial election comes to a close in the next week, the Healthcare Equality Network (HEN) and
other community leaders have briefed both gubernatorial candidates on a pressing issue affecting the state – the
potential approval of the Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility, a 1,200-acre mega-landfill.

The Green Ride mega-landfill is set to be built right next to the Pine Grove Elementary School, an endangered historical
landmark and Rosenwald School from the Jim Crow Era. These community and minority leaders have encouraged both
gubernatorial campaigns to put a stop to this project and prioritize the health and safety of the local community.
Not only does Virginia have enough landfills, but communities of color are historically the most impacted by the negative
health impacts they bring, and this mega-landfill would only perpetuate that problem. This issue transcends politics, and
these groups have led a bipartisan effort to urge both candidates to take action.

“Candidates McAuliffe and Youngkin, you have a chance to preserve history, to prioritize a community that is
never put first and to choose the people of this state over the profits of a waste corporation. Will you take the
opportunity to serve as an example for the rest of the country and help break the chain of environmental
racism?” -
Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Building the Green Ridge mega-landfill in this proposed location would not just be an inconvenience, it would
have a direct impact on the health of our community. We deserve better. Our history deserves better. And most
of all, our children deserve better.” -
Robert “J.R.” Gurley, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“We know it’s a historical trend that they bring these toxic industries into communities that don’t have the
wherewithal to fight…And we really don’t. We are outgunned. At the same time, I think they underestimate our
love of community and our pride in our history and our culture and what our ancestors were able to build out of
nothing. ” -
Muriel Miller Branch, Washington Post

Along with our fellow community leaders, the Healthcare Equality Network looks forward to working with Virginia’s
future governor in ensuring this issue remains a top priority for the state. This is not something we can let fall through
the cracks – the health, safety and wellbeing of the community depends on it.

For more information on the Healthcare Equality Network, please visit:


The Healthcare Equality Network (HEN) is comprised of Dr. Benjamin Chavis, The Frederick Douglass Foundation,
Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), and Dr. Julianne Malveaux, and is
driven by the mission to secure equal, quality access to healthcare for Black Americans and hold our legislators
accountable to do so.

To view, or download, the full press release click here.

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