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Black Lives Matter.

Environmental Health Coalition stands in solidarity with the righteous protests against the killing of Black Americans by law enforcement. We are deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd and outraged that yet another person has lost their life because of the color of their skin.

The death of George Floyd is being mourned and protested this week while we also remember Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many more whose names we will never know.

Black men and boys in America are 2.5 times more likely than white men and boys to die at the hands of police. Latinos, Native Americans, and Black women and girls are also at higher risk.

People of color have been patient – awaiting action from our leaders. Enough! It is time for action. EHC endorses this proposal by San Diegans for Justice to establish an independent, community-led Commission on Police Practices to investigate cases of police misconduct and bring much-needed accountability to SDPD.

These overt acts of racism – the killing of unarmed black men by police must be met with swift action. Prosecution and punishment will send a strong message that police brutality will not be tolerated.

Covert acts of racism must stopped as well.

#ICantBreathe is a particularly poignant plea that was ignored as George Floyd begged for his life and continues to be ignored for communities of color across the country where air pollution is unacceptably high. Racial segregation and environmental racism result in shorter life expectancies in communities of color than in white communities. Exposure to toxic pollution is a form of slow violence and slow death.

Amid the current pandemic, we are painfully aware that people of color bear a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 deaths. A recent Harvard study shows that a community with a very small increase of particulate pollution has an 8% increase in their COVID death rate. The percentage of black children suffering from asthma is nearly double that of whites and the death rate is 10 times higher.

Environmental racism and police brutality are a dangerous combination. If police don’t end Black lives, the pollution in their environment and communities will. Both are completely preventable.

EHC stands with all communities and in support of the Week of Action in Defense of Black Lives.

Image credit: Beverly Yuen Thompson via Flickr.

No new shipyards!

JOIN US: Census 2020 Virtual Town Halls

Have you completed the 2020 Census? Data gathered every 10 years by the Census is used to distribute $800+ billion annually in federal funding to support healthcare, economic security, parks and schools, and much more!

In these uncertain times, it is even more critical that our communities are not left behind because they were not counted.

If you need support or answers to your Census questions, please join our Census 2020 Virtual Town Halls on June 11 or June 18. The events are being broadcast via Zoom and Facebook Live in both Spanish and English.

RSVP on Facebook:

Facebook Live broadcasts will be streamed on the EHC Facebook Page

RSVP on Zoom:

We will discuss how to fill out the census survey in different ways, including remotely. Our panel of Census experts will provide updates on self-response rates in hard-to-count communities. They will share ways you can help get others counted and answer many frequently asked questions including:

  • What is my 12-digit Census ID?
  • What do I do if I do not have a Census ID?
  • Can I do the Census online?
  • Should I enter everyone in my house? Even the kids?

Did you know that children under five are the most undercounted age group in the census? This lack of data has a direct impact on classroom sizes, school lunches, access to schoolbooks, and much more. In fact, each person not counted in the Census costs $2,000 every year in essential government services our families and communities need and deserve.

Join us on June 11 or June 18 to learn how you can complete the 2020 Census safely and easily.

For more information, please contact Jorge Gonzalez:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

No new shipyards!

Austal USA is proposing to build a major ship repair facility in West National City. If approved by the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners, the new shipyard will add a significant new source of air pollution in National City. National City already ranks in the top 95-97 percentiles for diesel particulate matter (PM) in California.

EHC, along with the Ports Tenants Association, Pasha Automotive Services, San Diego Labor Council, and National City residents are demanding the Port of San Diego reject the Austal shipyard proposal and not create more air pollution in our communities.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY!

At their May 19 meeting (tomorrow), the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners will review the Austal proposal. Here is what you can do to send them a strong message to reject the proposed shipyard:

  • Attend the May 19 Board meeting virtually at 1 p.m. – Join the meeting here
  • Email a brief letter with your #nonewshipyard demand today to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Call 619-736-2155 and leave a voicemail message with your demand

Please email and/or call today or before 11 AM on Tuesday May 19, 2020 so the Port Commissioners hear your voice.

The proposed Austal shipyard project would adversely affect the health and well-being of one the most impacted environmental justice communities in the San Diego region – and that’s not all!

Besides worsening air quality in National City, Austal’s operations will use toxic materials and generate hazardous wastes threatening the surrounding communities and San Diego Bay. These include toxic, hazardous, and flammable materials such as lead, zinc, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Please email and/or call the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners today and demand:

  1. No more air pollution – NO NEW SHIPYARDS
  2. Stay the course of reducing emissions!
  3. Implement the air quality strategies promised

#nonewshipyard

Image Source: Wikimedia. Public domain photo by Josiah Poppler

Below please find the text of a letter sent to Governor Gavin Newsom from members of the State Legislature regarding environmental and health regulations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic (Download the PDF).


 

April 27, 2020

The Honorable Gavin Newsom Governor,
State of California State Capitol, First Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Urgent Need to Defend Environmental and Health Regulations

Dear Governor Newsom:

Our state is facing an unprecedented public health crisis and many of our residents are experiencing extreme health and economic hardships due to COVID-19. We know firsthand how this crisis is impacting our communities that are complying with the shelter-in-place mandate in Executive Order N-33-20. Additionally, we know this is forcing the Administration and its Agencies to continue to implement regulations and programs that safeguard and protect public health, our environment, and natural resources. We are concerned by recent accounts in the press, as well as letters that the Legislature has received from regulated industries, that are using this public health emergency as an attempt to stop, delay, or otherwise weaken California’s environmental and public health protections. In light of this emergency, it is imperative that we resist efforts to roll back any current protections, and that we instead focus on raising awareness on the importance of healthy lungs, healthy immune systems and maintaining safeguards and health protections in place.

The health of millions of Californians -- many of whom already bear the greatest burdens by living in our state’s most polluted cities -- relies on you maintaining momentum in implementation and defense of clean air and climate protections, including those recently passed by the Legislature and signed into law. Our disadvantaged communities in particular, which would most benefit from regulations to clean up our air, are more at risk from COVID-19 due to harms from consistent air pollution exposure to their respiratory systems. We know that maintaining these safeguards will be important as our state is likely to experience more unpredictable and unforeseen events in the future. Maintaining resilient government institutions must continue to be a hallmark of California public policy, even as we are acutely challenged by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

We have taken a leading role in addressing air pollution and the climate crisis by setting model standards for the rest of the world. We cannot stop. Undoing or delaying these regulations would not only damage our health but also our economy. Scientists warned of a pandemic and the climate crisis -- it is critical that we move towards combating and protecting people from both. Our agencies must resist attempts by polluting industries to exploit our current crisis to loosen, rollback or delay the adoption of vital environmental regulations that protect the health and safety of Californians. We ask that you continue to move forward on critical rulemakings with an emphasis on maximizing equitable and meaningful public participation and community-based feedback. Now more than ever, even as the Federal Administration works to dismantle fundamental regulations, we must uphold our commitment to safeguard Californians’ wellbeing.

We appreciate your continued hard work during these times, and we look forward to working with your agencies to defend California’s life-saving regulations.

 

Countme2020

 

JOIN US: Census 2020 Virtual Town Halls - June 11 and June 18

Have you received a letter in the mail asking you to complete the 2020 Census?

If so, please complete the Census right away! It only takes 5 -10 minutes. Each person not counted costs your community $2,000 each year in government services such as improved transportation, better parks and schools, healthcare and other services your community deserves. These services are more important now than ever.

Start now by opening the envelope from the Census Bureau to locate your unique Census ID number. Got it? Here are three ways you can complete the Census:

  1. ONLINE: You can now complete your census online and for the first time, the Census form will be available in 13 languages, including Spanish and Vietnamese.

  2. BY PHONE: The Census can also be completed in 13 languages over the phone. Simply call 1-844-330-2020 and follow the instructions.

  3. BY MAIL: Request a paper form in English or Spanish that can be mailed back to the U.S. Census Bureau.

NOTE: You will be asked for your Census ID # when submitting your census in any of these three ways.

No Census ID? No Problem. Call the Census Hotline to request a form or complete the census over the phone using your address:

English 844-330-2020 or Spanish 844-468-2020

 

CENSUS 2020 RESOURCES

EHC is working with Count Me 2020 to encourage everyone to participate in Census 2020 and bring vital resources to our communities. Learn more by watching this video:

 
Take our pledge to complete the 2020 Census:

If you have any questions about Census 2020, you can always contact EHC by emailing Jorge Gonzalez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.