by Debbie Ow
The ECRD UMW has been active this year with events emphasizing Climate and Racial Justice. As an update on these crucial issues, below is a list of developments in our local areas on issues which affect all of us. Members of ECRD have been active in advocating for change on these issues.
- Santa Clara County Jail: The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to hold community input sessions before making a final decision on what kind of facility should be built to replace the main jail. This was the focus of Care First/Jails Last event on June 12th hosted by Show Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). A reimagined county facility would reduce the disproportionate mass incarceration of people of color in our county and provide rehabilitation for inmates and support for families of incarcerated individuals.
- On-Campus Resource Officers: The San Jose Unified School District voted to not renew the contract with the San Jose Police Department for on-campus Resource Officers. The presence of these officers can affect students of color in negative ways. The Superintendent was directed to formulate a new safety plan for the district.
- Refinery Air Pollution: The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) voted to require that two oil refineries in Contra Costa County install wet gas scrubbers that will reduce particulate matter pollution from these facilities by 75%. The refineries have been responsible for tons of pollution spewed over the surrounding residential neighborhoods of color for decades. Children and adults in this area suffer from asthma and other related lung diseases at a high rate.
- The Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose has become the focus of an investigation of pollution sources. The airport is the home of privately owned aircraft that still use leaded fuel. Studies show that the levels of lead in the blood of children living in the area is equal to or exceeds those of children living in Flint Michigan, where lead was leaching from pipes for years due to a change in the water source. The City Council will vote on whether to close this airport in the near future. Please contact your City Council member and urge them to close this airport.
Your officials want to hear from you. Your voice matters!