Improving land use is central to creating healthy neighborhoods. Yet, poor and discriminatory land use practices have put the majority of polluting industries in the backyards of many low-income communities and communities of color that suffer from exposure to toxic chemicals, leading to higher rates of asthma, birth defects and cancers. Unfortunately, many cities have not prioritized environmental justice and social equity when engaging in land use planning.
CEJA has been working to remedy this environmental injustice. In 2016, they co-sponsored SB 1000, the “Planning for Healthy Communities Act” with the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), to require cities and counties to adopt an EJ Element or integrate EJ-related policies, objectives, and goals into their General Plans.