Did you know that the poor and people of color are more likely to live in the most polluted neighborhoods? Poor communities are routinely targeted to host toxic and hazardous facilities and industries that are dangerous to public health and the environment.
More pollution leads to more cases of asthma, heart disease, cancer, and more premature deaths, birth defects and neo-natal problems. And local pollution sources contribute to an international threat as well - the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change.
Right here in our own county, Richmond has one of the highest child asthma rates in the nation. A concentration of petrochemical pollution sources, such as a major Chevron refinery. In 2008, Chevron moved to expand the plant to refine dirtier grades of crude oil - which would have skyrocketed local pollution levels, and established a dangerous trend for the entire oil industry. A local non-profit, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), rallied with allies to out-organize the oil giant and won - with packed public hearings, savvy legal work, an effective media effort, a strategic electoral victory, and policy advocacy at the state capital.