Lorena remembers the very first time she heard about the Environmental Health Coalition. She was attending a meeting at her children’s school in National City, where she frequently volunteered. As the sound of children’s laughter echoed in the background, EHC’s Community Organizer, Monserrat Hernandez, stood at the front of the room, describing the environmental health risks that were adjacent to the school including polluting auto body shops.
Erick Ortega has lived in Barrio Logan for over 10 years. In that time, he’s seen firsthand how the pollution generated from the nearby port and other industrial sites has impacted his community.
For 40 years, EHC has worked to reduce pollution and improve health and well-being for thousands of people in underserved, low-income communities of color. Erick is quick to credit EHC for giving him and his family the support they need to advocate for change.
Esperanza Gonzalez sat in her community planning group meeting. The room was filled with leaders and community members she knew, people she had worked with for eight years on an infrastructure project in her neighborhood. One by one, each person got up to provide their testimony in support of the project. But because the meeting was being held in English without interpretation, Esperanza had to sit anxiously in silence, waiting for someone to tell her what the community planning group members had decided.
When Ana Langarica’s youngest son Alan saw his dad dump used motor oil on to the dirt patch outside his mechanic shop he immediately sprang in to action. He ran for the shovel and started digging up the patch of now-wet dirt before the oil could spread any further. Ana watched in awe as her young son meticulously cleaned up the mess, dumped the soil in an oil drum, and reprimanded his father for polluting. For Ana, it was a reminder that her children had learned just as much from their participation with the Environmental Health Coalition as she had.