Below are a few of our current campaigns:
Green Zones is a policy tool designed to improve communities highly impacted by industrial pollution through improved land use. Green Zones allows communities to re-envision and be at the center of creating structural improvements through their communities in partnership with their local municipalities and responsible businesses. EYCEJ has successfully passed a Green Zones policy in Commerce, and is working toward implementation in unincorporated Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The I-710 South Freeway corridor expansion project was first proposed in 2001 by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) without comprehensive community engagement planned, and with the goal of widening the freeway to allow for an increase in truck traffic coming from the San Pedro Bay ports. The existing communities along the corridor from Long Beach to East Los Angeles have generational impacts due to pollution from the 710 freeway and have engaged in this project to ensure the project reduces health impacts while keeping our communities intact. In the last 18 years, and as part of the Coalition for Environmental Health And Justice (CEHAJ), we have proposed our own alternative (CA7), passed a motion through the Metro Board (Motion 22.1), and significantly reduced the health impacts of this project. We will continue to fight until the goal of health improvement for our communities is reached. We are currently waiting for the release of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) after Caltrans and Metro went against the community and selected alternative 5C.
Plastic Pollution/Zero Waste/Anti- Incineration
Anti-incineration & Zero Waste: Our communities have been hosts to waste management facilities that not only contribute to climate change, but that also affect our health. One such facility is an incinerator, rebranded by the industry as waste-to-energy, where trash is burned. Waste from other cities, counties, and sometimes other states has been burned for the past 30 years in the guise of producing “clean energy” while spewing out greenhouse gases, toxic pollutants, and leaving behind toxic ash that is sent to local landfills. Residents have been advocating for the end of incineration and landfilling, and are fighting to have agencies and local governments invest in zero waste. Zero waste calls for our communities to shift from an extractive economy to a circular or regenerative economy. Part of this shift means putting an end to the extraction of raw materials by redesigning products so that they are durable, reusable, repairable, and truly recyclable or compostable and implementing reuse and refill systems.
Plastic Pollution: As dependency on fossil fuels dwindles, the oil & gas industry is using plastic as its saving grace. Our communities are fighting to change the narrative around plastic pollution. Plastic pollutes at ALL stages of its life cycle from fossil fuel extraction, refining, and distribution to production to incineration to out at sea. In that process plastic harms the health of our communities, the environment and wildlife. Our communities are part of a global movement, #BreakFreeFromPlastic, that envisions a future free from plastic pollution and are advocating for a holistic approach to this issue by tackling all aspects of the life cycle.
With the inclusion of the Community Stability Toolkit within the Lower LA River Revitalization Master plan, EYCEJ developed a robust strategy to activate the tools listed within the toolkit. EYCEJ has jumpstarted rent stabilization campaigns in all Southeast LA cities, which are disproportionately rent-burdened. We have consistently built capacity amongst membership to organize, do outreach, inform, do research, and advocate for community stability throughout SELA. In addition, we have established relationships with legal service providers and other Housing Justice allies, through engagement in the Right to Counsel Coalition and participation in LA County’s Emergency Eviction Prevention Program: Stay Housed LA. As a result EYCEJ is hosting three tenant rights workshops a month in partnership with legal service providers and engaging participants in further leadership development and powerbuilding.
Regional Air Quality
Recognizing that our communities are surrounded by many polluters, we have been fighting for regulators to implement Indirect Source Rules, which would require stationary sources that attract sources of mobile pollution (like warehouses or ports that bring truck and ship traffic) to implement measures to reduce on-site emissions, regardless of the pollution source. In conjunction with many local and regional partners, we are fighting to get AQMD to implement strong measures aimed at ports, warehouses, and rail yards. We regularly engage with at local Ports as well and have been since the inception of EYCEJ.
We regularly engage in statewide policies and regulations relevant to our communities. From legislative bills to regulations from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), we make sure that frontline community concerns are uplifted in policy making arenas. We are currently involved with the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule, Ocean Going Vessels At Berth Regulation, and have weighed in on numerous bills. We also have intervened in key CPUC proceedings supporting electrical infrastructure.