Tuesday, September 17, 2013: A day to be remembered in San Diego history as the day Barrio Logan secured a safe and healthier future with the adoption of a new community plan. With City Council's approval late Tuesday night, environmental justice was restored to Barrio Logan while faith was restored among residents and community members after years of inequality.
For the past thirty years, toxic industries have encroached on Barrio Logan, polluting the air and putting the neighborhood at a less than desirable spot in the top five percent of vulnerability in the state.
"This is a community that has been asked to make room for everything," Georgette Gómez, associate director of EHC, told City Councilmembers. "We strongly believe that Alternative 1 encompasses everything that is needed. Now you have the opportunity to do what is right for both communities. Now is the time to validate the people that live here. We urge you to please adopt Alternative 1."
Yesterday, hundreds of people packed into City Council Chambers to show support for an update to the Barrio Logan Community Plan – which hasn't seen any modifications in over three decades.
EHC and community leaders addressed City Council in person to put a face to Alternative 1. They shared the treasures of Barrio Logan and the struggles industrial pollution has continued to impose on their neighborhoods and families.
At the end of the evening, City Council finally voted in favor of Alternative 1 with a 5-4 split.
EHC would like to personally thank Councilmember David Alvarez for his leadership and commitment to a vibrant economy and a healthy community and thanks to Councilmembers Marti Emerald, Sherri Lightner, Myrtle Cole and Interim Mayor Todd Gloria for their support.
"This is an amazing milestone for the community of Barrio Logan, which has faced decades of neglect, a patchwork of incompatible uses and has long suffered from a disproportionate burden of pollution," states Councilmember David Alvarez. "The community has been denied environmental justice; facing enchroachment, traffic impacts, lack of public amenitites and services. With today's approval we take a step forward addressing those impacts and building a vibrant based on the multifaceted character of the community."
Barrio Logan's newly approved community plan designates a separate heavy industrial zone away from homes and schools. With this clear distinction between industrial and residential zones, along with a buffer zone that incorporates office buildings and parking structures, Barrio Logan can finally regain a safe place to live, work and play.
EHC proudly stands by Alternative 1 and fighting to take this first big step towards restoring an important piece of San Diego's history and culture. After thirty years, Barrio Logan residents and future residents can look forward to the toxic-free neighborhood they deserve.