Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen the environmental justice movement grow across the United States. The amount of grassroots organizing and frontline actions have driven environmental justice and climate justice policy. From Newark to Los Angeles communities are building power to win protections for their communities.
For Taylor Thomas, Co-Director of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ), air pollution in Southern California hits close to home.
“On a personal level, my health has been negatively impacted since I was a child, and I’ve struggled to live a healthy life because of my respiratory issues.”
But this spring, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) took a step in the right direction for fenceline and frontline communities impacted by pollution in Southern California.
SCAQMD passed the Warehouse Indirect Source Rule (ISR), which helps address the region’s serious air quality problems by:
- Cutting pollution from the trucks traveling to and from warehouses
- Electrifying warehouses
- Creating local clean energy jobs
The Warehouse ISR is a result of many years of organizing, many years of collaborating, and many years of speaking truth to power. This unified effort includes MFN members EYCEJ , Peoples Collective for Environmental Justice (PC4EJ), and many others who have worked on the ground for decades in their home communities.
For Taylor Thomas of EYCEJ, their experience as an organizer has been filled with many challenges, triumphs, tears, and smiles.
“Our communities are so vibrant and full of life, so it is hard for us to constantly be under attack from polluters and the government agencies that enable them… But despite the challenges we have faced from these constant attacks, we have built great bonds in our communities and regions through our shared struggles and vision for a healthy future.”
When communities come together and organize, we can share skills, lessons learned and build power to win environmental justice protections. That is the main goal for all of our MFN members: we work to connect the dots across the country and lift up organizations to share victories from community to community.