Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Local Activism and Environmental Justice

What is Environmental Justice?

Delegates to the  First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit came up with these Principles of Environmental Justice:  http://www.ejnet.org/ej/principles.html

What do you think about these principles? Are they fair? Are they useful? Are they realistic? What would the pros and cons be if these principles were to be adopted?

The Environmental Justice Leadership Forum crafted this statement about climate change and environmental Justice http://weact.org/Portals/7/EJ%20Leadership%20Forum%20Principles.pdf  

What do you think about these Principals of Climate Justice? How are they similar to and how are they different from the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit principles?

This article about asthma rates in children in the Humboldt Park Neighborhood makes the point of the negative impacts environmental conditions can have on kids. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2912879/

Some Local Chicago environmental groups:

 P.E.R.R.O. Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization http://pilsenperro.org/

Video about the Greanpeace / PERRO action at the Fisk Coal Burning PowerPlant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUqEWfO8RPQ

The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization http://lvejo.org/  gives "Toxic Tours" of their neighborhood to highlight the serious sources of pollution. The other programs their organization supports are listed below:

Current Campaigns:
  • Climate Justice - A vision to dissolve and alleviate the unequal burdens created by climate change.
  • Clean Power – We sought to have the two largest polluters (Crawford and Fisk Power Plants) in our backyard removed.
  • Public Transit – Works to improve fair access for all Chicagoland riders, but focuses special attention on helping transit dependent, low-income riders in Chicago’s poorer communities. A city that works, is a city that serves the needs of ALL it’s riders.
  • Water Wars A campaign to keep our water in public hands, and defend everyone’s right to safe, clean and affordable water.
  • Urban LandPooling our common knowledge and interests, and working with Mother Earth to produce healthy and safe local food sources.
  • Open Spaces - Little Village, (95,000 residents), has been fighting for a park for over 10 years. In June ’07 the City of Chicago and Chicago Park District announced they would build a park on the Celotex Superfund toxic waste site. We want a SAFE park!
  • YAOTL -Youth – Work on issues that support a fair environment for the community members. Some of the tools we use to combat these injustices are embracing our artistic abilities , making documentaries, videos, newsletters, and most important building ourselves into strong leaders through our community for our community.
  • Toxic Tours – Take a Toxic Tour of the former Celotex Superfund.
    See the danger in your own backyard – for real!

The Healthy Schools Campaign fights to improve health of students in low income communities in Chicago... their issues include obesity and asthma http://www.healthyschoolscampaign.org/programs/envjustice/

Climate Justice Chicago http://www.chicagocleanpower.org/ has fought against the dirty coal power plants in the city as well as other environmental justice issues.

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