My name is Tuong Bui.

In my Vietnamese-American neighborhood of City Heights, we deeply feel the impacts of climate change. We struggle with poor air quality and limited transportation options. For so long, I didn’t realize that I could do something about it. 

Tuong EHC

My community needed leaders, so I became one.

When I graduated EHC’s SALTA leadership training in 2014, I felt empowered to use my voice to change my community for the better. I wanted to protect trees, improve air quality and teach people to save energy in City Heights and beyond. These issues felt massive, but I now have the tools to combat them.

Tuong EHC 2

With a donation today, you can help me build grassroots leadership in City Heights.

Your donation to EHC will open the eyes of community members like me, who don’t realize they have the power to make a difference. Please donate today.

Yesterday, the Port of San Diego adopted a plan to expand the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal in a sustainable way to protect public health and the quality of life for our communities.

TAMT homepage rotator 1

More than 500 community members successfully urged The Port to reduce pollution and incorporate community benefits into Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal expansion. Thanks to you, our voices were heard.

Diane TAMT 1

Because of your efforts, the official Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal expansion plan now includes:

  • Maximum cargo throughput that is 25 percent less than in the original plan
  • 36 new pieces of electric cargo handling equipment
  • Mandatory equipment that captures and treats smokestack emissions for ships that cannot plug into shore side electricity
  • Annual equipment inventory and technology review to identify new opportunities for emission reduction
  • A renewable energy project on the terminal, such as solar panels on warehouse buildings, or an equivalent locally approved program for greenhouse gas reductions

Tenth Ave Marine Terminal Expansion 1

Thank you for making our community voice heard. We look forward to working with The Port to support a historic plan that puts environmental justice first.

Meet Leticia Ayala, Maria Moya and Tuong Bui. As they experienced environmental injustices firsthand, they turned to EHC's SALTA leadership program where their voices were lifted.

Your continued support helps us build future leaders within our communities of color and ensure the visions of our neighborhoods become a reality. Please donate today.

EHC Empowers Community Leaders

Dia de los Muertos is a cultural holiday honoring the lives of friends and family who have passed away. The day celebrates the lives of those lost rather than mourns their absence.

dia de los muertos 4

On November 2, EHC hosted the annual National City “Calaveritas” event at Paradise Creek Educational Park in the Old Town neighborhood of National City. “Calaveritas” translates to "little skulls." Kids and families decorated these sugar skulls, which are deeply rooted in Mexican tradition.

dia de los muertos 5

We created alters with photos, flowers and decorations dedicated to our loved ones who have passed away. Hundreds of homemade sugar skulls and decorative frosting were provided thanks to community organizer Monserrat Hernandez and community leaders Alicia Sanchez and Maria C. Villanueva.

dia de los muertos skull 1

On November 8, we're voting no on Measure A to protect our children’s health. Executive Director Diane Takvorian explained in the San Diego Free Press why San Diego should say no to a deceptive 40-year tax increase that pays for freeway expansion and air pollution.

Click here to read her full article on the environmental justice argument against Measure A. 

Measure A Healthy Kids

Measure A is More Bad News for Low-Income Communities

Voters Should Reject Measure A – This year San Diego voters have an opportunity to take a critical first step towards bringing San Diego into the 21st century. Right now, San Diego has an outdated and obsolete transportation system. Measure A will perpetuate that system for another 40 years!

Two generations of San Diegans will be stuck with this backward system instead of clean and just transportation if voters don’t give a resounding NO to Measure A on November 8.

While all San Diegans suffer from this outdated and ineffective system, some people are much more affected than others. Measure A doesn’t do much good for anyone in the region but it is particularly bad for those communities that are already inundated by pollution and surrounded by freeways.

Measure A is Bad for South Bay Communities

More Pollution/More Disease – National City, for instance, is one of San Diego’s poorest cities, with a per capita income under $17,000 per year. Over 90% of the residents are persons of color. The community is highly polluted by heavy freeway traffic on I-5, I-15, SR 54, I-805 and its residents suffer multiple health problems caused by vehicle and truck emissions. As a result, CalEnviroScreen, the state’s tracking tool for pollution impacts, includes the west side of National City, Old Town, among the 10% most polluted communities in the state.

San Diego County remains among the top major urban counties in California for poor air quality. The countywide rate of asthma hospitalizations increased from 9 to 10.3 per 10,000 residents aged 0-17. The rate for National City children is twice as high as the county average.

SANDAG’s freeway expansion obsession doesn’t work! – Instead of using this data to inform transportation planning, SANDAG is ignoring it. Our region’s goal should be to avoid adding more pollution to San Diego overall but particularly in the most impacted communities. But no, despite the already high level of traffic pollution, SANDAG will use Measure A funds to expand the I-5 corridor through National City with four new lanes, one general purpose and one express lane in each direction. The agency’s forecast is that this will result in an average of 238,000 vehicle trips per day. While there are different data for current traffic levels, that is an increase of between 17 and 30%.

Moreover, freeway expansion doesn’t relieve congestion or reduce driving – two oft-cited goals of the regional transportation plan. In October 2015 UC Davis’ National Center for Sustainable Transportation reported that “Increased roadway capacity induces additional vehicle miles traveled in the short-run and even more in the long-run.” More roads mean more traffic in both the short- and long-term. Adding 10 percent more road capacity leads to up to 10% more vehicle miles over many years.

Local Infrastructure – Residents living in a low-income neighborhood in the City of San Diego are ten times more likely to be hit by a car than those that live in most other neighborhoods. Southern San Diego residents not only suffer from high levels of air pollution and correspondingly high rates of respiratory disease, these communities, including Barrio Logan, City Heights, National City, Chula Vista and Imperial Beach, live with crumbling infrastructure like broken or nonexistent sidewalks, a lack of crosswalks to safely navigate traffic and a lack of bike lanes common in many traditionally funded communities.

Well-maintained local infrastructure is a key component to an effective transportation system and should be included in transportation funding.

Finally – To be clear, transit and infrastructure funding are included in Measure A. That funding is badly needed and could benefit the most impacted communities and the entire region. But the price is way too high. Miles of freeways will be built in the worst locations before affordable and accessible transit becomes a reality. Measure A forces lower income San Diegans to subsidize use of our roads with higher taxes and damaged lungs. Measure A will increase disease, air and water pollution and traffic congestion.

Don’t support a tax measure that builds on a flawed plan that will not bring San Diego into the 21st century and will make climate change worse. We have come to the decisive moment when scientific reality must trump politics. We are out of time for half measures.

Our communities deserve better, our children deserve better – smart transportation investments that will ease traffic, address climate change, and reduce disease should come first.

Vote No on Measure A.