SOMAH website photo

In 2020, Californians dealt with historic wildfires, extreme heat, and power blackouts, all in the midst of a pandemic. California’s most vulnerable communities have endured the greatest harm from the widening racial, socioeconomic, and health inequities of COVID-19 and lack of resilient energy infrastructure.

Ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that our collective health and safety depends on both in-home resilience and economic support. In-home resilience means, first, that people have access to shelter, and second, that they have access to resources to meet their needs while sheltering in place.

The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program is an unprecedented investment in clean energy serving low-income and disadvantaged communities, and a key strategy to building in-home resilience for California’s renters. In the absence of statewide rent forgiveness or sustained basic income, solar energy can provide critical financial relief. Additionally, the SOMAH program creates pathways to well-paying, essential jobs in the solar industry by building paid training opportunities into every project.

In its first year, SOMAH has received 158 applications; 29% of these applications are located in disadvantaged communities (or DACs), benefiting those who are most impacted by institutionalized racism and environmental pollution. Once constructed, these SOMAH projects will benefit Californians by:

  • Providing savings for nearly 32,000 tenant units
  • Sending 90% of the savings directly to renters
  • Creating over 700 job training opportunities

Building resilience requires deep collaboration and a community-based approach. EHC advocated for the legislation that created the SOMAH program and has worked to ensure the program provides maximum community benefit since its launch in July 2019. EHC is one of five community-based organizations (CBOs) that work directly with the program administrator to help communicate program benefits to tenants, job seekers and the community we live in.

Our work with the SOMAH program builds off of the deep roots we have in San Diego, National City and the border region’s environmental justice (EJ) communities since 1980. In 2020, we helped build community resilience while overcoming the barriers of the digital divide. We’ve organized and advocated from our homes to help elect bold new leadership, ensure our community members were counted in the census, and continue fighting for the right to live, work, and play free from pollution.

If you rent an apartment, you could save on your electric bills through the SOMAH program. To learn more about how SOMAH can help your landlord convert your building to low-cost solar energy, visit: https://calsomah.org/tenants

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

EHC is celebrating the passage of AB 2276 (Reyes, Salas, C. Garcia) a law that will address California’s poor track record of ensuring that our children most at risk of lead poisoning are screened and tested for lead.

About AB 2276

  • AB 2276 requires Medi-Cal managed care plans to identify enrolled children who have not received the required lead tests and remind the child’s healthcare provider and parents about the missed tests.
  • AB 2276 also codifies additional risk factors that the Department of Public Health must consider when developing screening requirements doctors use to determine if a child not enrolled in Medi-Cal should be tested for lead.

Low-income, people of color communities are at higher risk due to the older housing stock, substandard housing conditions, and malnourished children. Lack of nourishment makes it easier for children to absorb lead faster. With stay-at-home orders, most of our children are at home 24/7, making it even more urgent to ensure that homes are lead-safe. Most children do not show any symptoms. Unfortunately, lead can silently poison your child.

Childhood lead poisoning is the #1 environmental health threat impacting children under the age of six by causing brain damage, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and aggressive behavior. Lead also damages the immune system – a health impact that is of huge concern during this COVID-19 pandemic.

The good news is that childhood lead poisoning is completely preventable! Parents, please be vigilant. Take steps to make your home lead safe and be sure to schedule a blood lead test for your children and grandkids this week.

More Information:

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VOTER GUIDE

SAN DIEGO

  • YES on A - Affordable Homes for all San Diegans
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  • YES on B - Police Accountability: Create a community led, independent review board on police activity
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STATEWIDE

  • Yes on 15 - Stop Corporate tax breaks! Support Our Schools and Communities
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  • Yes on 16 - End discrimination in college admissions and government hiring
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  • Yes en 17 - Restore voting rights for people on parole
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  • Yes on 21 - Allow local governments to expand rent control and limit rent increases
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  • NO on 22 - Uphold the law to prohibit exploitation of workers
  • Learn more
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GUÍA DEL VOTANTE

SAN DIEGO

  • en A - Vivienda asequible para todos los sandieguinos
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  • en B - Responsabilidad policial: Crear una junta de revisión independiente dirigida por la comunidad sobre la actividad policial
  • Para más información

STATEWIDE

  • en 15 - ¡Detenga las exenciones fiscales corporativas! Apoye a nuestras escuelas y comunidades.
  • Para más información
  • en 16 - Pone fin a la discriminación en las admisiones universitarias y contrataciones gubernamentales
  • Para más información
  • en 17 - Restaura los derechos de voto de las personas en libertad condicional
  • Para más información
  • en 21 - Permite que los gobiernos locales amplíen el control de los alquileres y limiten los aumento de los alquileres
  • Para más información
  • NO en 22 - Mantener la ley para prohibir la explotación de los trabajadores(as)
  • Para más información
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HƯỚNG DẪN CHO CỬ TRI

SAN DIEGO

  • ĐÚNG CÁC BIỆN PHÁP A Nhà giá cả phải chăng cho tất cả người dân San Diegans
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  • ĐÚNG CÁC BIỆN PHÁP B Trách nhiệm giải trình của cảnh sát: Tạo một ban đánh giá độc lập, do cộng đồng lãnh đạo về hoạt động của cảnh sát
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TOÀN TIU BANG

  • ĐÚNG DỰ LUẬT 15 Ngừng giảm thuế doanh nghiệp! Hỗ trợ trường học và cộng đồng của chúng tôi
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  • ĐÚNG DỰ LUẬT 16 Chấm dứt phân biệt đối xử trong tuyển sinh đại học và tuyển dụng của chính phủ
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  • ĐÚNG DỰ LUẬT 17 Khôi phục quyền biểu quyết cho những người được ân xá
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  • ĐÚNG DỰ LUẬT 21 Cho phép chính quyền địa phương mở rộng kiểm soát tiền thuê và hạn chế tăng tiền thuê
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  • KHÔNG DỰ LUẬT 22 Tuân thủ luật cấm bóc lột người lao động
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Solar for Affordable Housing

Since its launch in July 2019, the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program has become the nation’s largest investment in clean energy serving low-income and disadvantaged communities. Some 380 projects have applied for funding and are moving through the pipeline to construction.

EHC was a co-sponsor and leading advocate for the legislation that created California’s Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program and is now deeply engaged in ensuring the program provides maximum community benefit.

We celebrate the completion of a successful first year and look back at the accomplishments of SOMAH and EHC. Once constructed, these 380 active applications equate to 82 megawatts of new solar energy on affordable housing properties in California, representing 27% of the program’s total goal to install 300 MW of solar by 2030.

26% of the applications are located in disadvantaged communities defined by CalEnviroScreen scores (or DACs), benefiting those who are most impacted by toxic pollution and a lack of economic opportunity. Once constructed, the SOMAH projects will benefit Californians for decades by:

  • Providing savings for nearly 32,000 tenant units
  • Directing 90% of the savings to tenants
  • Creating over 700 job training opportunities

The SOMAH program is about partnerships and a community-based approach. EHC is one of five community-based organizations (CBOs) in California that works directly with the program administrator to help communicate benefits to tenants, job seekers and the community we live in.

This year, EHC conducted a series of six virtual mini-workshops with Community Action Teams in National City, Barrio Logan and City Heights, which introduced the SOMAH program, how solar energy works, clean energy jobs, and how to reduce energy use at home. We also conducted direct outreach to developers and owners of affordable housing in environmental justice (EJ) communities to ensure our communities are informed about the program and retain its benefits.

None of this is happening in a vacuum. EHC’s work with SOMAH continued as the world around us changed. Our communities saw the highest rates of coronavirus cases and a devastating spike in unemployment. Residents have experienced housing and power insecurity made worse by planned power outages, heatwaves, and fires. The benefits of clean power are needed NOW.

As frontline communities face a greater burden of energy cost and are disproportionately impacted by economic, environmental and racial injustice, expanding access to renewable energy technology and job training will tackle multiple issues at once. Investing in solar for affordable housing through programs like SOMAH will help Californians generate local, clean power while providing much-needed savings to families and creating economic opportunities for individuals.

If you rent an apartment, you could save on your electric bills if your landlord participates in the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program. Learn more about how SOMAH can help your landlord convert your building to low-cost solar energy: calsomah.org/tenants

MCC Trucks ESP Twitter


Dígale al Puerto de San Diego ¡ALTO A LAS MUERTES POR DIESEL!

La empresa Mitsubishi Cement Corporation (MCC) propone construir y operar un mega almacén de cemento en la Terminal Marítima Tenth Avenue en Barrio Logan. Si lo aprueba la Junta de Comisionados Portuarios, se estima que el almacén aumentará los viajes mensuales de camiones de diésel en un 50%, agregando al menos 2,000 viajes, ¡hasta 8,700 viajes en años venideros!

¡Por favor tome acción hoy! Dígale al puerto que proteja la salud pública al exigirle a MCC que use camiones eléctricos limpios que reduzcan la contaminación atmosférica por diésel.

Barrio Logan ya está en el 5% superior en Materia de Partículas Diésel (PM), un contaminante que puede causar graves problemas de salud, como cáncer de pulmón y asma.

Barrio Logan y National City también tienen tasas desproporcionadamente altas de infecciones por COVID-19 – una enfermedad que empeora por la mala calidad del aire. Nuestras comunidades no necesitan que la industria y el Puerto de San Diego empeoren la situación exponiendo a los residentes a riesgos aún mayores de complicaciones de salud.

TOME ACCIÓN

El Puerto debe rechazar la propuesta del mega almacén de cemento de MCC a menos que la empresa cumpla con el requisito de camiones eléctricos limpios y otras medidas que protejan a las comunidades aledañas al puerto de la exposición continua a la contaminación crónica del aire.

#altomuertespordiesel

¡Por favor firme la petición hoy!

 

Trucks image credit: DEZALB from Pixabay