Laura Hunter

Laura Hunter (far left) spearheaded EHC’s work for more than 20 years to clean up the San Diego Bay. Her dedication, determination and drive for environmental justice in our communities has inspired many. We asked Laura to tell us more about her time working with EHC, and this is what we heard.

When did you begin working with EHC, and why?

It’s quite interesting because 20 or more years ago, I used to be a professional musician. I remember driving to the symphony and feeling so depressed by the time I got there after seeing the air pollution and the bad homes in certain neighborhoods. I knew something was very wrong, and I wanted to do something, so I began volunteering at the organization my friend recommended as the best in town –EHC.

That was great, but it wasn’t enough.

I wanted to do something more. I almost applied to law school, but before I did I found out EHC had a job opening for director of its clean bay campaign. I applied and by some miracle, was hired.

I would say I quickly found out the greatest difference between being a musician and an activist: when you’re a performing artist you walk in the room and everyone loves you. As an activist, you walk in the room, and it’s the opposite.

Why did you stay with EHC for so long?

I feel like this organization saved my life. It was the perfect place for me because it turns out civil rights and environmental justice were true passions of mine, and I didn’t even know it until I began working with EHC. I get chills thinking of what my life would have been if I hadn’t found Diane Takvorian and EHC.

Can you describe the early days?

My first office was in the conference room, and Diane was in an office the size of a tiny closet. The organization shared one computer, and we had big floppy disks. I worked on the clean bay campaign for close to 20 years, where my role focused on water and land pollution in and around the bay.

What are you most proud of from your time at EHC?

I think I’m most proud of stopping the methyl bromide fumigation plant and fighting for the cleanup of many sediment contamination sites in the San Diego Bay that continues today.

Mostly, I’m proud of us because we did the hard stuff.

We never did any of the easy things. Everything we did was very, very hard. I’m proud that we existed in that environment and did the effective work, not the easy work. But the whole struggle was really beautiful.

How would you describe EHC to someone who knew nothing about the organization?

These are principled change makers. If you want something to change, or improve, this is the organization that has all the tools. They’re smart, credible, principled and perhaps most importantly, you can trust them with something as important as your community and our environment. You can trust them.

To donate to EHC today, please click here.