In May, I finished my third semester teaching a college dual enrollment Healthy Communities course at Madison Park Academy in the Sobrante Park District of East Oakland. Sobrante Park is an environmental justice community burdened with heavy traffic. The majority of households pay over 50% of their income for housing, and the community has some of the highest asthma rates in the country. Most of the environmental injustices faced by residents are due to air pollution from vehicles including the diesel trucks that run on the 880 freeway directly adjacent to the school.
On May 13th, with the symbolic press of a green button, Comite Lost Hills En Accion (Committee Lost Hills in Action), successfully launched the SNAPS (Study of Neighborhood Air near Petroleum Sources) air pollution monitors at the California Air Resources Board SNAPS Kickoff in Lost Hills. Over 25 community members joined the launch and celebration.
Earlier this month, Honolulu BBQ, a ReThink Disposable certified business, won a StopWaste Business Efficiency Award for Excellence in Disposable Foodware Reduction. Honolulu BBQ’s journey to ReThink Disposable certification and county-wide recognition is an inspiration.
“In a time of ecological collapse, we can only do our best to be alive and contribute what is ours to contribute.”--Fenix Grace
The Phone Canvass plays a vital role at the Oakland Clean Water Action office. One of the people on this incredible team is Fēnix. They are currently in development to be a Phone Manager. Although they have been at Clean Water Action for a relatively short period, their work has had a positive impact both on their personal and professional life.
Many Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fun colleagues gathered recently for a conference in Maryland to train up, reinvigorate, share strategies and stories, and look to the future of Clean Water Action.
Angelina Cook is an environmental activist based in Siskiyou county. She advocates for including the City of Weed in the Shasta Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plan and working to protect the city’s groundwater from expanded pumping by private bottling companies. Clean Water Action's communications manager interviewed Angelina about her involvement in local water politics.
What basin/basins are you currently working in/involved with?
Shasta Valley Groundwater Basin
On April 10th, Trump issued an Executive Order that limits states’ ability to protect their own water resources from harmful pipelines and other dirty energy projects.
Imagine over 600,000 acres of wilderness. You are surrounded by blue sky, mountains, rock formations and a cornucopia of plants including creosote, palo verde, cacti, and ocotillo. As you walk around, you have the opportunity to see bighorn sheep, mountain lions, kit foxes, mule deer, coyotes, greater roadrunners, golden eagles, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, prairie falcons, desert iguanas, chuckwallas, and red diamond rattlesnakes.
Last month, the Comité Lost Hills En Accion, a group of community members that I work with to advocate for public health and community wellbeing measures in Lost Hills, invited representatives from Caltrans to do a presentation on the expansion of Highway 46. Highway 46, which runs through the Lost Hills community, is also known as a "Blood Alley" for the high number of motor-related deaths that take place on it. The current Caltrans proposal is to expand the highway from 2 lanes to 4 lanes.
The United States contains 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes about a quarter of the planet’s resources. Much of this consumption stems from our “throw away” lifestyle, whereby many products are used once and then thrown away. This started in the 1950s, when the plastics and chemical industries sold the American public on the convenience of single-use disposable items. In 2011, the average American produced 4.4 pounds of household garbage per day, twice as much as in 1960.