LatinaLista — A sad and all too often ignored fact is that the people who are on the frontline of Corporate America's environmental abuses are low-income and/or minority neighborhoods.
In 2001, residents of the Commerce/East Los Angeles area were concerned about the increasing health and environmental impacts from the industrial pollution in their community. They formed the non-profit East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) or East Yard for short.
Today, EYCEJ has a database of over 350 community residents, many of whom are active and participate regularly in trainings, workshops and community outreach efforts.
Since its inception, EYCEJ has achieved many important successes, including work to delay the expansion of the I-710 freeway, and to bring issues of environmental justice and air quality to the forefront of the agenda for other community, environmental, and government entities at both the regional and statewide level.
East Yard serves a California southeast community that encompasses cities such as Bell Gardens, Commerce, Maywood and East Los Angeles. It was recommended to be profiled by a Latina Lista reader who serves as an assistant principal in a high school in the affected area where East Yards is based.
According to our reader, "East Yard is a small non-profit that has a huge impact on the Latino community that my school serves."
The efforts and accomplishments of East Yard deserve to be applauded, recognized and emulated as they have shown that when residents care enough about their communities and the health of their children mountains can be moved and someone can be held accountable.