Activists Push For Environmental Justice In San Diego Neighborhoods
Monday, October 22, 2018
Photo by Erik Anderson
Carolina Martínez, policy director, Environmental Health Coalition
Environmental justice advocates are calling on the city of San Diego to focus climate action plan policies on disadvantaged communities.
Activists in San Diego's inner city communities want to see more done in their neighborhoods as the city works to comply with the city's climate action plan goals.
It is a message that resonates with state lawmaker Todd Gloria representing the 78th Assembly District. He used to be the San Diego city council member representing the City Heights neighborhood.
Gloria said the city has an opportunity to make inner-city neighborhoods leaders in the push to shrink the city's carbon footprint and compete for state funds.
"By leveraging state resources and working collaboratively, the city, MTS (Metropolitan Transit System), the Port of San Diego, the County of San Diego, all of these public agencies can work together and make meaningful change and to actually compete for dollars that we are now, unfortunately, I think sometimes leaving it on the table," Gloria said.
The report calls on the city to plant more trees and upgrade the housing stock so structures are more energy efficient. The study also says the city should make improvements in San Diego's inner-city neighborhoods a priority.
Making mass transit more available and affordable with have immediate impacts, according to the report authors.
"For example, in Barrio Logan it means double tracking the blue line... the trolley line. And in City Heights it means getting more busses, more frequently, so people can actually connect to jobs," said Carolina Martinez of the Environmental Health Coalition.
The report suggests tracking improvements so city officials will be able to see where improvements are happening, and they suggest hiring city staffers to do just that. The city's adopted 2018 budget does not break down how much direct and indirect funding is being used to implement the Climate Action Plan, according to the report.
There has been no public data released regarding how much money the city has allocated for what the report calls "environmental justice communities" since the plan was adopted at the end of 2015.
Environmental activists push for benefits to San Diego's low-income neighborhoods as the city advances plans to meet tough climate action plan goals.
City News Service contributed to this report
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