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On October 19, 32 participants joined our BarrioLive! tour of Barrio Logan to highlight the environmental justice work we have collectively done. The tour explored past victories as well as the current challenges found in our community, giving guests the opportunity to learn about the issues in Barrio Logan and the more than thirty-year history of EHC's work in the community. Our guests learned about our dedicated Community Action Team Members who have been advocating for ways to improve the health of our community and heard directly from our community leaders about the work that they do to for environmental justice in our neighborhoods.22496131 10155276387313640 6613728183959103081 o

After the tour, EHC hosted more than 70 people for our mixer, including long time donors and new faces, as well as partners and sponsors Barrio Logan College Institute, San Diego Convention Center, Border X Brewing, and SD Green Drinks. City Councilmember David Alvarez  joined us and awarded a proclamation to long-time community leader Maria Martinez, while her son, Panchito Martinez spoke about his experience growing up in Barrio Logan -- bringing his perspective as a second generation environmental justice advocate. The meaningful relationships we have been able to nurture throughout the years continue to ignite our organization’s passion for this important work. Thank you for being invested in building #healthyhoods -- and we'll see you on the next BarrioLive! 

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Thank you for your commitment to transportation justice. We did it!

We signed petitions. We spoke at press conferences. We attended meetings. We talked to our neighbors about why our communities need AB805 -- the statewide bill to bring us one step closer to transportation justice in the neighborhoods that need access to transit and safe places to walk and bike most.

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And when Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law this month, we cheered and rejoiced at our community-earned victory.

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Thank you to Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher for championing this effort and bringing our communities one step closer to transportation justice. We look forward to a new SANDAG – one that creates an equitable transportation system that works for all people in San Diego.

Congratulations. We could not have done this without you.

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Community planning helps our neighbors cultivate a sustainable City Heights that is safe, healthy and affordable for the people who live there. As a community, we notice the rising cost of living and the stress it places on our quality of life.

This letter from the California Endowment evaluated the biggest concerns residents in City Heights have about the changes we’re seeing in our neighborhood. Most notably, our neighbors are worried about the increasing cost of living and the lack of affordable housing.

City Heights is not alone. Low-income communities of color around the country face similar challenges and families share similar fears. Our neighborhoods are changing.

We must continue to talk openly with each other about cultivating neighborhoods that are affordable for long-term residents and community members who have a stake in the neighborhood and have invested time, money and care into the place they call home.

Want to get involved? Learn more about preserving our communities, for our communities, here.

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

You may know that the week of October 22 is National Lead Poising Prevention Week -- although we work year round to protect our children from lead. Here are some important steps to keep your children healthy and create a safe place for them to live, learn and grow:

  • Check the year your home was built. Homes built before 1978 may have lead-based paint. Find out the year your house was built by asking your neighbors for a date range, checking online at Zillow.com, visiting your Tax Assessor’s Office or calling a realtor.
  • Update your home. It’s best to fix all of the deteriorated paint around the house using lead-safe work practices. Sanding, replacing doors and windows and other common renovation activities can create hazardous lead dust. Hire contractors certified by EPA, which are trained on how to minimize the dust and cleaning thoroughly.
  • Get your child tested for lead. Ask your doctor to test your child for lead, or follow EHC on Facebook and Twitter to find out when we schedule our next free lead testing. There is no lead safe level.
  • Remove lead-contaminated toys and jewelry. Visit this Consumer Safety Product Commission website to find out if your toys and jewelry contain lead.
  • Choose nutritious foods. A healthy diet helps prevent lead absorption into the body. Give children foods rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C.
  • Watch what you bring home. Don't take lead home with you! If you work in auto repair, shipbuilding, construction, demolition, steel welding or other industrial work places, don’t forget to wash your hands and face, change your clothes and dust off your shoes before walking into your home.
  • Keep lead out of schools. Support statewide bill AB746 to protect children from lead in schools by signing our letter here.

Lead causes learning disabilities, stunts growth, reduces IQ, causes aggressive behavior and is linked to teenage pregnancy and juvenile delinquency. Together, let’s do everything we can to ensure a healthy future for our children.

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Leticia Ayala
Campaign Director, Healthy Kids

La noche era fresca, pero era suficiente un suéter delgado y el calor de la fogata para disfrutar de las estrellas, la compañía y las buenas pláticas.

Llegamos al evento alrededor de 60 personas. El Arroyo Alamar nos recibió con nuevos brazos de arroyitos que se formaron desde las lluvias de febrero. Estaba verde y vibrante y los mosquitos eran una fiesta que había que alejar si no querías pasar la noche rascándote los brazos, pero nadie se quejaba porque estábamos felices de compartir ese inesperado bosque en medio de la zona industrial de Tijuana.

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El evento comenzó desde la tarde, alrededor de las cinco y media y conforme íbamos llegando íbamos instalando las casas de campaña. Empezamos por dar una caminata por el bosque ripario en donde nos platicaron de las plantas y animales de la zona. Conocimos diferentes yerbas medicinales que se dan de forma natural ahí y que por generaciones han servido para apaciguar los síntomas como dolores de cabeza, fiebre y dolores de estómago por la gente que solía tener ranchos en esa zona.

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Llegamos al “árbol del ahorcado” donde nos platicaron las historias de miedo que platicaban los abuelos de la zona. Y valerosamente regresamos al campamento antes de que se oscureciera para evitar cualquier encuentro sobrenatural no planeado en el programa.

Cuando llegamos a la zona de campamento, el equipo de Scouts ya estaba iniciando la fogata.

Mientras seguía llegando la gente, los scouts coordinaron cantos y ceremonias alrededor de la hoguera, mientras platicábamos y preparábamos la cena para compartir que todos trajimos. A las nueve de la noche dimos la bienvenida general ya con toda la gente alrededor de fuego. Platicamos sobre la importancia del Alamar para las comunidades cercanas y de los beneficios que presta a la zona. De cómo es un rio binacional que nos recuerda que a pesar de los muros somos una misma región, con la misma gente, la misma agua y el mismo aire.

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En seguida se presentó el grupo de danza africana “Proyecto Danza Afro Tj” que nos recordaron nuestra historia, raíces y al latido de la tierra con sus tambores y su danza. Y como no hay campamento que sea memorable sin una guitarra, el compañero Guillermo Guadalajara interpretó canciones de canto nuevo que nos recordaron que todos estamos conectados. La noche siguió y seguimos.

Amaneció a las 5:30 de la mañana ya con los chilaquiles en la fogata y el café y los frijoles calientes. Nos despedimos todos con una sonrisa por haber hecho nuestro por esa noche ese bosque y porque estamos seguros de que ese espacio es de todos y para todos y que seguramente no será el último campamento en el Alamar.

#ElAlamarEsDeTodos #ViveElAlamar

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Aníbal Méndez
Community Organizer, Border Environmental Justice Campaign