The Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) is a renowned environmental justice organization that has been actively involved in numerous projects, such as the California Environmental Justice Alliance, the City of Portland, the City of San Jose, San Mateo County, and Gap Inc. Their mission is to empower people from communities of color and low-income communities to achieve environmental health and justice by preventing and reducing pollution and building green, healthy, and sustainable communities and environments. In Oakland, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP), and other environmental justice groups have been working together with local residents to advocate for the lifting of the ban on heavy trucks on Interstate 580. This is the only interstate highway in the Bay Area that does not allow trucks. In response to complaints from Oakland residents, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley organized a meeting for residents and environmental justice groups to express their opinions on the pros and cons of banning trucks.
The East Bay Community Foundation has also supported various organizations and programs through endowed environmental funds and through the discretionary granting of grants. However, any changes regarding the ban must come from the state since it was enacted into law in 1999. CBE was founded in 1978 and is one of the leading environmental justice organizations in the nation. Other key beneficiaries leading environmental and climate justice efforts include Richmond residents who have successfully reduced air pollution caused by local refineries through strenuous community organizing efforts. WOEIP is another community environmental justice organization led by local residents that is dedicated to achieving healthy homes, healthy jobs, and healthy neighborhoods for all who live, work, learn, and play in West Oakland. Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful participation of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in connection with the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Alameda County Climate Corps fellows have gone on to work in energy companies, environmental consulting, public services, and graduate studies. The successes achieved by these coalitions are remarkable.
APEN has been able to bring together a wide range of stakeholders to work towards a common goal of creating a healthier environment for all. CBE has been able to successfully advocate for the lifting of the ban on heavy trucks on Interstate 580. The East Bay Community Foundation has provided financial support for various organizations and programs that are dedicated to achieving environmental justice. Richmond residents have been able to reduce air pollution caused by local refineries through their hard work.
WOEIP has been able to create healthier homes, jobs, and neighborhoods for West Oakland residents. These coalitions have made great strides in achieving environmental justice in Alameda County. They have shown that when people come together with a common purpose they can make a real difference in their communities.