A Community Vision

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@HDatFinance HD, please tell #DOF to approve bond Westside Infill Development in National City. #CommunityApproved ow.ly/hkLgM

@HDatFinance HD, don't forget about community in National City. Please approve funding 4 Westside project. #CommunityApproved ow.ly/hkLgM

@HDatFinance National City wants #AffordableHousing, #Transit-Oriented homes. #DOF, please fund #CommunityApproved project. ow.ly/hkLgM

@HDatFinance It's #CommunityApproved. National City funded it. And now #DOF may destroy it. Please don't let that happen. ow.ly/hkLgM

@HDatFinance HD, please don't ignore families in National City. Support all bonded & #CommunityApproved projects. ow.ly/hkLgM



When I walk through Paradise Creek, I feel a deep sense of excitement. I can see kids running freely through a brand new park, parents rushing to the trolley station to get to work on time, and community members continuing to convene to see their neighborhood transform into a healthy and affordable place to live.

This isn't the reality today, but it can be when the Westside Infill Transit Oriented Development, an affordable housing and open space project is complete. As long as the California Department of Finance does its part, which is to approve National City's use of bond proceeds issued in 2011. This community project has been in the making for almost 10 years now.

It's the vision of National City residents, who have worked hard to bring sustainable affordable homes to the community that will also protect Paradise Creek. What is now National City's Public Works maintenance area and a charter bus company will become 201 brand new affordable homes. (Skip to view the project plan.)

Even in its infancy, this project has received national recognition.

In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Transportation selected the Westside Infill Development site as part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities Brownfield's Pilot. This pilot project is one of only five in the U.S. and the only one on the west coast. It will protect an existing wetland, locate next to the 28th street trolley station and Kimball Elementary, and provide a brand new public park.

National City has worked diligently with the developers, Community Housing Works and Related Company of California, to finance the project. However, due to National City's Redevelopment Agency's dissolution, the state is questioning the legitimacy of the bond that the city issued to build the project. This means that National City already issued the bond to finance the Westside Infill Development project, but now a statewide agency might deny that use of that money on this community-driven housing complex.

Tell Department of Finance Why This Project Needs Its Funding

California's Department of Finance needs to hear from us. The Westside Infill Development project has been 10 years in the making, it is already financed, and the city just needs the Department of Finance's approval to use bond proceeds.

Please let the Department of Finance know how important this project is for you and our community. You can reach Mr. Justyn Howard & Mr. Steve Szalay Local Government Consultants at California's Department of Finance at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. respectively.


Originally published in the Equal Voice Newspaper on January 9, 2013bluetruck1

More parks and open space for families and children, and fewer diesel trucks spewing fumes into neighborhoods, were some of the biggest victories for the Environmental Health Coalition last year.

The coalition, works to protect public health threatened by toxic pollution in southern California.

Last year, the Environmental Health Coalition in San Diego, successfully shut down a Barrio Logan warehouse to stop its diesel trucks from polluting the air for nearby residents.

The neighborhood has one of the highest asthma rates, caused primarily, neighbors say, by pollutant-producing industrial businesses that are intermingled with homes, schools and parks.

The coalition also had a significant impact on the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan ‒ saving more than 40 percent of the land for parks and open space.

And in November, the California Public Utilities Commission adopted a number of the coalition's recommendations that will expand the reach of energy efficiency programs funded by ratepayers to low-income neighborhoods in San Diego.

The Environmental Health Coalition was started in 1980 as the Coalition Against Cancer. Since then, more information and awareness about relationship between serious health effects and the chemicals used in homes and workplaces has become available.

Thirty years later, Environmental Health Coalition has become a leader in the environmental justice movement and a resource for community-based organizations working on environmental health and justice, social justice, human rights, and environmental sustainability.

sid voorakkara and rafael castellanos for port commissionThe San Diego City Council will be choosing two new City appointed members to the San Diego Port Commission today. EHC's 30 years of working with with the Port and representing our members who live in communities adjacent to the Port tidelands gives us an important perspective on these appointments. Port Commission decisions have a direct impact on the health and well-being of all residents who live near the San Diego Bay.

EHC supports appointments of Sid Voorakkara and Rafael Castellanos to the Port Commission. Mr. Voorakkara's considerable experience in job creation and public health make him uniquely qualified to ensure the Port acts consistent with community health. Mr. Castellanos' expertise in real estate transactions will be invaluable to ensure more green and sustainable business practices at the Port.

We believe San Diego Port Commissioners should have experience in green practices so that the Port grows and operates in a way that protects the health of neighboring community residents. They must have a commitment to public and worker health and safety, protecting San Diego Bay, and to making the Port a regional leader in energy policy.

Specifically, the community is looking to the Port to support projects and planning to offset negative impacts of Port operations on neighbors in Barrio Logan and passage of an effective Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Plan. These actions are crucial to meeting environmental and health goals of an exemplary Port. Sid and Rafael should surely be in line with these goals.

EHC opposes the appointment of Richard Vortmann based on the legacy of pollution he was responsible for as the President of NASSCO for over 20 years. During Mr. Vortmann's tenure, NASSCO fought efforts to clean up toxic sediment and fought regulation of water and air pollution from its leasehold without consideration of the impacts on the health of neighboring communities. His legacy is not one that the City Council should allow to be continued at the Port.

Winter is officially here, so we should be pro-active in reducing energy use before we turn our heaters and furnaces on. These simple tips will allow us to take control of our energy bills and be more responsible for our energy use. You can save money on utility bills and reduce demand on power plants to decrease greenhouse gasses.
leticia ayala winter energy saving tips web

  1. Layer your windows to keep drafts out and heat in. Use the existing drapes and curtains at night to add layers.
  2. Because winter-time brings more time indoors and less hours of sunlight. When we’re indoors, we should take advantage of natural light available. if you haven’t replaced all of your home’s incandescent bulbs with CFLs yet, make that one of your New Years resolutions. Replacing your bulbs can save 30% on your energy use immediately.
  3. Televisions, DVD players and Cell phones chargers all use energy even when they’re not being used This is called “vampire energy” To stop the Vampire from sucking your energy, use a smart power strip, which completely disconnects some appliances from taking energy from the outlet.
  4. Use a shower timer like this to ensure you take less than five-minute showers and avoid the temptation to take longer, hotter showers in the winter because it's cold. It takes a lot of energy to heat water, so you're paying more for your water bill and your energy bill.
  5. A refrigerator thermometer is helpful to ensure your refrigerator is operating properly. Best operating temperature to help save energy is at 28 degrees. Colder than that can waste energy and warmer than that may indicate that your door seals need to be replaced or you may need a new, more efficient appliance.
  6. One of your best tools is your energy bill. Read your energy bill and track your month-to-month usage and set conservation goals for you and your family. It’s fun to work together to save energy and save on our utility bills.

Happy Holidays everyone! Get outside, have fun and enjoy San Diego. If you have any questions or want information on free energy audits contact us at (619) 474-0220

Calendario del Grupo de Jóvenes del Colectivo Chilpancingo Pro Justicia Ambiental.

Incluye juego de SERPIENTES Y ESCALERAS de la JUSTICIA AMBIENTAL. Es una herramienta para aprender del trabajo de EHC y el Grupo de Jóvenes del Colectivo Chilpancingo mientras nos divertimos.

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