189566 Effective policy changes achieved through coordinating health research, community organizing, and indigenous advocacy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 5:00 PM

Penny Newman , Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), Riverside, CA
The expansion of Global Trade at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has created unexpected health consequences for communities in the Inland Valleys of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, more than 50 miles east of those ports. Convenient location to freeways, airports or rail lines that make this area a prime location for manufacturing and industrial facilities, warehouses and distribution centers attracting thousands of diesel spewing trucks -- without regard to the compatibility with existing homes, schools and other land uses. The result: the highest levels of particulate pollution in the nation and a cancer risk at one rail facility exceeding 3,330 in one million.

The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) located in this region, has worked on environmental health and justice issues for more than 30 years. Their unique community-based organizing, research and policy approach brings together the diverse populations of the area to demand policies that protect health and the environment. Through collaborations, CCAEJ links warehouse workers, truck drivers, immigrants and Latino residents together with longtime small farmers and health professionals and researchers to stop the development of more than 700 acres of agricultural land into warehouses and distribution centers. As a result, policies emerged that address the need for buffer zones between diesel sources and senstive receptors; truck routes away from residential areas; a moritorium on development of future industrial facilities. The policies have become the model for land use at the local, regional and state level.

Learning Objectives:
demonstrate lessons for building community-based action research and organizing partnerships between community, university, and public sector actors and policymakers; and discuss how research combined with organizing have utilized planning and policy tools to achieve better health outcomes in environmental justice communities.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Executive Director of a 30-year old enviornmental justice organization doing work on the issue of goods movement in Southern California.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.