Los Angeles’ “Clean Up, Green Up” Ordinance

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A Victory in the Environmental Justice Fight

Instead of fighting discrete battles, Communities for a Better Environment, a California environmental justice organization, declared war against the pollution that plagues neighborhoods where people of color and poor people live. As part of that war declaration, the group became a part of a coalition to fight environmental racism. The strategy focused on executing a ground game—block by block, finding truth and building alliances.

The result of that hard work was new legislation passed unanimously in April 2016 by the Los Angeles City Council and signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti. The ordinance, commonly known as Clean Up Green Up or CUGU, created a way that three largely Latino neighborhoods would begin to see concrete measures for securing environmental justice after years of living in the shadow of industries that polluted air, water, and land…

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Los Angeles’ “Clean Up, Green Up” Ordinance

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