To Margarita, environmental justice means, “staying informed about what’s happening in our city,” and empowering her community to have a voice in the process.
Margarita lives in National City, where poor air quality threatens the health of children and families. She goes door-to-door with EHC to inform her neighbors about the toxics in the air they breathe and she encourages them to demand change.
To Roddy, environmental justice means, “everybody has an equal right to clean air.”
As a City Heights resident, Roddy refuses to stand by while his neighborhood suffers from poor transportation options and air pollution. He channeled his concerns into action at EHC’s SALTA leadership-training program and has been a powerful advocate for his community since.
At our annual awards celebration, Leaders United for Justice, we’ll celebrate leaders like Roddy, who work every day to make our communities healthier places to live, work and play.
The event took place in City Heights, a neighborhood I’ve called home for almost 15 years. I watched kids come and go throughout the day to get their blood tested for lead. I met pregnant mothers also getting tested to ensure they and their baby will live long, healthy lives. Passionate parents advocating for a healthy future for their children begins even sooner than I had imagined.
At EHC, we talk about leadership as the core of environmental and social justice. If you ever want to see what true leadership looks like, come to our next blood-lead testing event. You’re bound to be inspired by caring parents doing everything they can to lead their kids toward a healthier future.
While many of you may know me as your Councilwoman Elect for District 9, here are a few things you may not know about me.
I grew up in Barrio Logan. The culture and the community shaped me into a person passionate about everyone’s right to a healthy community.
I started working at Environmental Health Coalition 13 years ago. During that time, I have seen hundreds of my friends and neighbors graduate from SALTA, EHC’s leadership training program. I even participated in and facilitated SALTA myself.
SALTA taught me that leadership comes in all forms and is essential to our communities. The parents next door who raise their voice about toxic pollution are just as much leaders as city councilmembers. Every person has a story to tell and an individual path to making change. SALTA ignites the power that already exists within them.
I believe in a future of leaders united for justice. Right now, you can help EHC build a generation of community leaders committed to healthy, safe and toxic-free neighborhoods.
Twenty-one years ago, I graduated from college and moved to San Diego in search of a job that would allow me to serve the Latino community. I found EHC where I discovered my life’s passion of bringing health and smiles to children and their families.
I was one of the first SALTA graduates. Hungry to learn more about EHC’s work, I joined SALTA, EHC’s leadership development program. Little did I know that I would become the coordinator of the program a few years later.
In 20 years, I’ve seen thousands of SALTA graduates reclaim the word “leader.” Through SALTA, community members learn that you can take action to make your community a healthier place – with or without a title.