Environmental Justice Now

You hear about bad water and soil when you hear about countries in the developing world. You see it when you see pictures of smog and fouled water ways. But, these environmental problems are a fact of life in communities right here in Colorado. Clean air and a toxin free environment should be a basic human right.

Too often, people who live in poverty, who are often people of color, live in neighborhoods that are “toxic”. There may be hazardous waste materials and industrial run-off in the soil in the park their children play in; there may be toxins in the air due to local industry smoke stacks; there may be lead in the water due to old pipes and plumbing, old paint and industrial waste.

As the Denver Post reported last year, Elyria-Swansea is one of the most polluted neighborhoods in the country. Because of the soil pollutants, it was less expensive to live there. At least until recently, when the demand for housing and the soaring prices made this area attractive to developers.

This area was affordable to people who couldn’t afford other areas and now they are being squeezed out and there is not enough affordable housing to take its place.

As a community, we have to come together to address these intersecting problems. All Coloradans deserve to live in a safe, clean neighborhood, regardless of their background or income level. And what about those income levels? They clearly aren’t keeping up with rising costs of living, and are perpetuating a cycle where lower income folks bear the burden of polluted environments– from a health standpoint and otherwise.

People in these communities don’t always get the attention their issues deserve, but we understand that this injustice isn’t isolated and affects us all. Air and water don’t respect neighborhood boundaries. Making sure we all have clean air, water and soil– and ensuring that gentrification doesn’t mean displacement– are crucial issues in cities across Colorado.

News and Updates:

The Trump Economy in One Chart

Trump’s economic agenda has been relentlessly aimed at helping big corporations, the wealthy, and Trump himself at the expense of the rest of us—and it’s succeeding wildly. New numbers show that for Americans, real wages are stagnant and even declining because consumer prices (costs for everyday spending) are rising. Americans are losing purchasing power: average hourly earnings … Continued

New Study Finds Local Minimum Wage Increases are Good for Workers and Don’t Affect Employment

Study Backs Coalition Efforts to Increase the Living Wage in Colorado Denver, CO – Today, the Center on Wage and Employment (CWED) at UC Berkley released a new study showing that local minimum wage increases have had a positive effect on worker wages and did not result in job reductions. The study, entitled “The New Wave of Local Minimum Wage Policies: Evidence from Six Cities,” was conducted in Chicago, the District of Columbia, Oakland, San Francisco, … Continued

In the Face of Supposed Prosperity, Wages Actually Going Down

It might seem like the Colorado economy is thriving because of low unemployment, but the economy is still failing to benefit all Coloradans. Despite the narrative of economic prosperity, most Colorado workers continue to face economic hardships because their median hourly wages have hardly changed in years despite rapidly increasing rents and costs of living. … Continued

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