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SALTA provides community leaders with skill-building training in community organizing, policy advocacy and effective communication.

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From mothers who envision a healthier future for their children, to community advocates that want to gain new tools to be leaders in their own neighborhoods, our SALTA graduates now have the skills necessary to move our region toward environmental justice.

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The 2017 class reminds us that every one of us is a leader, and leadership is best cultivated from the ground up. Congratulations to all our community leaders and graduates – we’re very proud of you and look forward to all that we will achieve together. #IamEJ #YoSoyEJ

Want to keep reading about our leaders? Click here to read more incredible stories.

Alicia Sanchez, a National City resident, came to an EHC community meeting nine years ago to learn about a proposed affordable housing project. She left inspired and determined to make the project a reality. This April, Alicia stood proudly at the grand opening of 201 affordable housing units in her neighborhood.

Every one of us is environmental justice. We may not know what challenges lie ahead, but with your help, our community leaders – our heroes – will be ready. Please donate today.

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Blood lead testing

Lead poisoning is the number one environmental health threat to children, and also considered the most preventable.

On June 6, EHC set up to test children’s levels of lead at Birney Elementary School – one of the schools that recently tested high for lead in their water. We tested 63 children and fortunately, did not find any alarming cases and could give parents peace of mind.

Our work to prevent childhood lead poisoning has been a fundamental piece of our organization for many years. With simple tests, grassroots advocacy, increased public knowledge and eventually, statewide regulation, EHC and partners stopped lead contamination in candies several years ago. You can learn more about that victory for our neighborhoods here.

Now, the work continues. Please join us to support a statewide bill that monitors school water for levels of lead (AB 746).

This bill would become a public health victory for our communities by:

  • Ensuring that schools prevent lead in drinking water
  • Protecting children and staff in schools from the health consequences of lead contamination
  • Requiring all public schools to annually test drinking water for lead
  • Standardizing the practice for local educational agencies to notify parents/guardians about lead contamination and shut down the source of lead when it’s identified

If you believe that one child with lead poisoning is too many, please sign this letter and share on social media to tell our elected officials that now is the time to support AB 746.

At a community meeting in City Heights, we listened as residents expressed how they feel watching our neighborhoods change and rents rise.

“We’re seeing families who have lived here for a long time spend most of their income on rent, without much left for other essentials,” says EHC Associate Director of Policy Carolina Martinez. “We’re finally seeing improvements in City Heights after decades of people going to City Hall to request infrastructure improvements. Unfortunately, the people who will enjoy it are not the people who have been fighting for it for so long.”

One of those leaders fighting against displacement in City Heights is Maria Esparanza.

“I’ve lived in City Heights for 44 years, but we were forced to move when they put a strip mall where my home was,” says Maria. “I’m asking myself if its good or bad, because the community looks good, but they’ve displaced the people who live here.”

To learn more about how to get involved in City Heights, click here.

Toxic pollution knows no borders. That’s why EHC works to build healthy communities in San Diego and Tijuana. Whether we are helping save a river or teaching women how to be leaders in their neighborhoods, we believe that we are stronger when our countries are united for environmental justice.

Watch the videos below to get a sneak peak of our border environmental justice work.

Alamar River

The Alamar is a binational river that originates in the United States, crosses into Mexico and then returns to the United States, where it discharges into the Tijuana River Estuary. In 2011, it began to be channelized with concrete, leaving the area without its natural ecosystem. EHC is working to preserve the last remaining section of the creek.

Colectivo Chilpancingo

Founded by women, this group has been working for more than 16 years to strengthen environmental justice in Mexico.

Metales y Derivados

In 1994, after years of complaints from the community, the Mexican government shut down a battery recycler called Metales y sus Derivados, leaving behind 20,000 tons of toxic waste on site. EHC worked for more than 10 years to clean up the site, eliminating a serious hazard for 10,000 families nearby.