Environmental conditions

San Francisco, CA
United States

Training residents to track environmental pollution and contamination sites while building advocacy capacity to push for environmental justice.

Environmental racism in the San Francisco Bay Area has disproportionately harmed residents of color for decades. In all of San Francisco, the Bayview–Hunters Point community has the highest mortality rates; the lowest life expectancies; and higher than average rates of ER visits, hospitalizations, cancer, and asthma. These are the measurable impacts of decades of industrial operations in the neighborhood—including a Superfund site, a wastewater treatment plant that treats and processes 80 percent of San Francisco’s sewage, and trash and recycling facilities that service all of San Francisco. Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates want to organize and power an advocacy platform to give their community the tools it needs to combat this environmental racism.  

Bayview Hunters Community Advocates is led by residents of the community who are environmental activists and advocates. Staff plan to develop a “Community Toxic Index Program” that will train residents to track and catalog conditions in over 300 neighborhood sites currently under environment monitoring. This data will be combined with interviews of residents and workers to establish a platform of research documenting environmental hazards and policymaker inaction. Using a combination of interviews, site-monitoring data, ethnographies, archival documents, and planning and policy developments, the Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates will craft policy recommendations for environmental justice and environmental-harm mitigation in the community.  

The goal of Bayview Hunters Community Advocates is to create an environmental advocacy base for the Bayview–Hunters Point community comprised of trained and dedicated environmental advocates from the community. This project will help increase local policy makers’ awareness of pollution and motivate a push for environmental justice and advocacy.