Richmond to host major meeting on environmental justice
on November 2, 2011
Richmond will host a major public meeting on environmental justice and job creation Thursday, with representatives from nearly a dozen federal agencies as well as local officials, social-service providers and environmental and business groups. Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the departments of Justice, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development will be among those present.
The event is one in a series of meetings nationwide between local stakeholders and representatives of the Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice. The IWG is a mouthful of a program instituted under President Bill Clinton to prod federal agencies to work together on environmental issues that hit hardest in low-income and minority communities throughout the country. The Richmond meeting is the first such event in EPA Region 9, which includes California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii.
Richmond is inviting its residents to come out to “show the EPA and federal agencies that environmental justice is an important issue for our community,” said Shasa Curl, who coordinates environmental initiatives in the City Manager’s office.
The session — titled “Plan for a Sustainable and Livable Richmond for All” – will include discussions on incorporating health into city planning, increasing access to fresh food, and developing mass transit with an eye toward environmental justice. But the overriding focus, said Curl, will be sustainable jobs. Sessions will discuss green jobs with particular attention to RichmondBuild, and Lena Robinson, a rep from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, will lead a discussion on how to create jobs in Richmond.
The meeting will include a performance by students at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, as well as speeches from Lisa Garcia, the EPA’s Associate Assistant Administrator for Environmental Justice, and Dr. Anthony Iton, senior vice president of The California Endowment. EPA Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld will also speak. More than 150 people have signed up to attend, Curl said.
The session will run from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Civic Center’s Richmond Memorial Auditorium. To RSVP, visit http://richmondfederaliwg.eventbrite.com or call Richmond Environmental Initiatives at (510) 621-1554.
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