After three decades, most polluted U.S. neighborhoods haven’t changed

By Nichola Groom | July 30, 2020 | Reuters

If your neighborhood was among the most polluted in 1981, it probably still is.

Likewise, the least polluted areas are still faring the best, according to a study published on Thursday in the journal Science that analyzed concentrations of fine particulate matter over more than three decades in the United States.

Click here to read the article.


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No More Broken Promises

By Bill Motmans and Tamika L’Ecluse
June 10, 2020
Sacramento News and Review

“…city leaders have proposed federal stimulus funds for economic development projects, including UC Davis’s Aggie Square (a major real estate development aimed at attracting biotech companies), and bolstering the local tourism industry. Neither of these proposed investments will address the immediate and enormous suffering of families, the elderly and children living in neighborhoods such as Fruitridge, Del Paso, North Sacramento, Oak Park and Meadowview. Quite the opposite, investment in Aggie Square commercial projects without a community benefits agreement that includes a large prior investment in new affordable housing and existing neighborhood businesses, will, over time, increase demand for existing housing and commercial space and further destabilize and displace residents and small businesses.

A new coalition of several organizations working in vulnerable neighborhoods, called Sacramento Investment Without Displacement, was created to ensure that public financial investment builds up Sacramento neighborhoods, rather than destabilize them. Our coalition calls on local elected officials to fulfill their commitments to voters. No more broken promises. Now more than ever, with COVID-19 disproportionately hurting communities of color and disadvantaged neighborhoods, public investment must directly and immediately provide relief to our city’s most vulnerable residents.”

Click here to read the article in full.

Click here to learn more about the work being done by Sacramento Investment Without Displacement, of which ECOS is a part.

Photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels

ECOS statement: Racism in the Sacramento region

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) laments the death of George Floyd as the result of racist policing. Recently we redoubled our efforts to improve the environment in the Sacramento region, which is usually more dangerous for our residents of color. We recognize that historic racist “red-lining” policies have led to the segregation of neighborhoods. For example, air pollution tends to be worse in under-served communities, which are often near sources such as diesel truck traffic.

We believe in equality for all regardless of race and reflect this believe in our environmental work. ECOS supports affordable, transit-oriented housing, and sues to prevent suburban sprawl such as the expansion of freeways. We have been lobbying for more funds for public transit and active transportation. We have urged local jurisdictions to provide more services for our increasingly large homeless population. We helped found “Sacramento Investment Without Displacement”, which is pushing for a “community benefits agreement” for Aggie Square: UC Davis plans to double the size of its Med Center, but not provide housing in our most gentrifying neighborhoods.

Together, we will make our region more environmentally friendly and healthy for Sacramento residence those who are most effected by inequality.

Summer Days Often Feel Much Hotter If You Live In One Of California’s Historically Redlined Neighborhoods

May 26, 2020 | By Randol White | Capital Public Radio

California’s triple-digit heat is back — and new research shows residents in the state’s most underserved neighborhoods suffer the most when the mercury rises.

Portland State University’s heat-mapping project tapped volunteers last summer in four California metro areas to attach GPS-equipped temperature collection gadgets to their cars and drive along set routes for an hour in the morning, afternoon and evening. They drove through the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Victorville and Sacramento.

The research project was led by Vivek Shandas, a professor who believes this form of heat-data collection can help city planners solve decades-old problems.

“We’re trying to bring the understanding of climate change and the changes happening on a planetary scale down to the individual person and down to the individual city block,” Shandas said.

The data collected that day indicates the temperature differentials between neighborhoods can vary by as much as 20 degrees.

Wealthy, tree-canopied neighborhoods are typically cooler, and low-income, asphalt-heavy communities run hotter.

Click here to read the full article.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

City Announces Temporary Ban On Residential Tenant Evictions

The Sacramento City Council adopted an ordinance on March 17 to establish a temporary ban on evicting residential tenants unable to pay rent due to a loss of income caused by the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“It is vital for us to protect residential tenants during this tenuous time,” said Assistant City Manager Michael Jasso. “This ordinance is part of the City’s efforts to address the financial impacts of the disease on renters locally, the population most at-risk of swift housing displacement.”

Click here to view the article on the City of Sacramento’s website.

Why is this an environmental issue? People need to have the option to live near their jobs and other every day destinations. This means making sure there are enough affordable, quality residences in the urban core of Sacramento, even in the face of a pandemic. If people who work downtown cannot afford to live downtown, we are not going to meet our region’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. To do our part as a city, Sacramento must find ways to reduce the need for workers to commute every day.

Anti-gentrification effort aims to shape Aggie Square

By Felicia Alvarez, Staff Writer
February 18, 2020
Sacramento Business Journal

A group of residents under the name Sacramento Investment Without Displacement are calling for Aggie Square’s planners and developers to help protect the area against gentrification.

The group is advocating for a “community benefits agreement” that would make some of those protections legally enforceable, said Gabby Trejo, the group’s leader.

Sacramento Investment Without Displacement is working with a coalition[*] that includes the Sacramento Housing Alliance, the La Familia Counseling Center, Sacramento Area Congregations Together and Building Healthy Communities’ site in Oak Park, which is part of a $1 billion community development initiative by The California Endowment. Trejo is also the executive director of Sacramento ACT.

Click here to read this article.

*ECOS is proud to be a part of this coalition! Click here to learn more about Aggie Square and how ECOS is involved.

Image by Sri Harsha Gera from Pixabay