Faith leaders in Denver, Colorado are speaking out against the proposed expansion of Interstate 70, designed to accommodate a growing number of cars in the area. The state funded project would swell air pollution and potentially displace thousands of low income residents. Many of which, would suffer a spike in asthma-related illnesses, inflating the percentage of affected residents from 28% to 40% in the coming year.
Luckily, faith leaders from Iliff School of Theology have drafted a lengthy letter to the CDOT outlining their religious and social objections to a project that will knowingly deteriorate air quality in the region.
Iliff School of Theology is a conglomerate of interfaith professors and community leaders, many of which hold positions on environmental protection boards. Their petition against I-70 expansion is but another example of how Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders are joining together for Climate Action.
The Biblical verse Matthew 25:40 explains that caring for the 'least of these' is the same as caring for God. No one is beyond protection, or unworthy of living a healthy life. When God created the world, he built this planet as one cohesive ecosystem where each section is dependent on the soundness of another.
While an interstate expansion may help many Denver residents get to work on time, it will drastically deteriorate the quality of life for so many more.
Metro-area faith leaders say a $1.8 billion plan to widen a portion of Interstate 70 in northeast Denver should be scuttled because it is a public health threat and will break up low-income families in the area.
A group of faith organizations, led by members of the Iliff School of Theology, outlined its concerns about the I-70 proposal in an October letter to Don Hunt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The letter is now on a Change.org petition. The faith group hopes that CDOT will drop its I-70 plan or alter it to better suit the homes and businesses in the Swansea and Elyria neighborhoods.