Coachella Environmental Justice forum brought together concerned community members

On Friday, September 18th, community members from Coachella Valley gathered to discuss environmental justice concerns in the area. The forum was presented by representatives from Building Healthy Community-Coachella Valley, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability and Safe Routes to School National Partnership. The presenters are apart of the Women’s Policy Institute embarking on a policy project sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of California and are focused on environmental justice issues in Riverside County.

The presentation included defining EJ communities,  slides on what EJ communities look like and a primer on tools such as the Calenviro Screen 2.0, which is used to identify EJ communities. Community members also participated in a discussion on environmental concerns in Coachella Valley and ways to find solutions. Identifying EJ Communities is critical to addressing the disproportionate environmental burdens faced by many vulnerable communities and is the first step in advocating for reinvestment. Concerns over air quality, sewage/flooding issues and the lack of active transportation infrastructure were among topics discussed. The policy project team will continue to do advocacy in Riverside County and is seeking input from residents on priority concerns and how we can address them together with local leadership.

To get involved and learn more about upcoming events, please email: the-gaia-project-wpi@googlegroups.com

Group photo left to right: —Anayeli Zavala, Sahara Huazano (BHC- Coachella Valley), Jean Kayano (CCAEJ), —Michele Hasson (Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability), Penny Newman (CCAEJ) and Demi Espinoza (Safe Routes to School National Partnership).

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