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San Diego Healthcare Workers Show Support For Barrio Logan Community Plan

Evening Edition
Audio

Aired 4/24/14

San Diego healthcare workers showed their support Wednesday for propositions that they say would protect the environment and children in Barrio Logan.

San Diego voters will have a say in the battle over land use in Barrio Logan at the ballot box on June 3.

Barrio Logan, a largely low-income neighborhood with a prominent Latino population, currently is home to shipbuilding and supply companies. Propositions B and C would require businesses that use toxic and flammable chemicals in Barrio Logan to be located a safe distance away from schools, playgrounds and homes.

About a dozen healthcare workers and San Diego residents gathered Wednesday to show their support of the propositions at a news conference by the "Yes on B & C" campaign. Barrio Logan has one of the highest rates of asthma in the county, and supporters say the propositions will protect children and the environment.

Luz Palomino raised her kids in Sherman Heights, just blocks away from Barrio Logan.

"I think it's time to protect the families. I live there, I have grandchildren, and I have one grandson with asthma, and it's very hard to see when he can't breathe," Palomino said.

The California Environmental Protection Agency ranks communities based on environmental hazards and factors that could make a population more vulnerable to health impacts. Barrio Logan has the highest toxic releases in San Diego.

Michael Jackson has been an emergency room nurse at UCSD for 15 years, and supports the propositions.

"We know these toxins cause illnesses. Maybe not just respiratory illnesses, what about the skin? It can cause skin irritation, even effect people developmentally," Jackson said.

The maritime industry opposed the zoning update for Barrio Logan, which was approved by City Council last year. They're concerned the plan won't allow the shipbuilding industry to expand, and collected enough signatures to send the plan to the ballot. A judge ultimately had to confirm the referendum's placement on the ballot after plan supporters sought an injunction on the referendum.

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