A history of poor and discriminatory land use practices has put the majority of polluting industries in the backyards of the most disenfranchised local communities, right next to homes and schools. Consequently, low-income communities and communities of color are more likely to suffer from exposure to toxic chemicals, leading to higher rates of asthma, birth defects and cancers. For years, CEJA has been advancing state legislation to remedy these environmental injustices.
Equitable land use planning is now more likely to become a reality through SB 1000, “The Planning for Healthy Communities Act”, authored by Senator Connie Leyva and co-sponsored by the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) and the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) in 2016. Under SB 1000, cities and counties are required to adopt an Environmental Justice element, or integrate EJ-related policies, objectives, and goals throughout other elements of their General Plan. The bill also includes a process for communities to become meaningfully involved in the decision-making processes that govern land use planning in their neighborhoods.
The SB 1000 Implementation Toolkit, prepared collaboratively by CEJA and PlaceWorks Inc., is a guidance document intended for local governments, planners, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders who will be working to develop an Environmental Justice Element or a set of environmental justice policies for their General Plans to meet the requirements of SB 1000. For more information go to