The incoming Biden administration has brought a sense of urgency to address climate change, human rights, and public health. The assassination of George Floyd has become a call to action for many to tackle long-standing issues related to racial equity and social justice. Environmental organizations in Georgetown, TX are no exception. They are actively working to ensure that those most affected by environmental injustice have the opportunity to earn salaries, develop skills, and be part of the solution.
One such project is assessing pesticide-related problems in Illinois. The objectives are to enhance the capacity of the community to guarantee the environmental quality and safety of their domestic environments, while reducing hazards related to lead and pesticides in homes. The project will result in a final report that will serve as a basis for future work by LAF, migrant farmworkers, and other community members and stakeholders. Partnerships have been formed between stakeholders to address air pollution, abandoned buildings, solid waste, lead in the environment, the lack of green and recreational spaces, and the lack of environmental information.
The project will educate affected communities about the role of energy efficiency in saving money and protecting their environment. Activities include training 10 residents as ambassadors to beat the heat, organizing 5 bilingual workshops and events, and developing a set of tools for the 20 organizations participating in the network. The Alliance for Climate Justice (CJA) from the Northeast is advocating for a just transition. They have convened other CJA member organizations across the region to discuss the Transport and Climate Initiative (TCI).
As part of this project, a one-day community event on the collection of household hazardous waste and a summer camp on environmental justice will be organized. Participants will learn how to identify and overcome institutional and political barriers that stand in the way of detecting and solving environmental health and planning problems. The API community is also increasing its capacity and establishing a framework for engaging in activities that address environmental justice and education issues. The Fresno Environmental Reporting Network (FERN) website is being developed as a community-friendly site across the county that allows residents to report environmental hazards and allows responsible local and state agencies to investigate potential violations.
DRINC will meet quarterly, conduct a water quality survey, and hire a consultant to help residents identify local environmental justice issues. Green DMV is working with faith-based organizations in DC's most impoverished neighborhoods to reduce overall expenses and greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use in local facilities. An executive committee composed of organization and resident stakeholders has been established. Community outreach activities are being used to increase membership of partner neighborhood associations by 20 percent.
An environmental education model consisting of peer outreach activities, workshops on environmental health, and information distribution is also being used.