Environmental Justice Evanston
WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE?
Environmental Justice (EJ) is when equity and empowerment are achieved for all community members such that every resident experiences the same degree of access to environmental assets, protection from environmental hazards and health risks, and an opportunity to play an effective role in making decisions that affect the quality of life in this community.
The mission of Environmental Justice Evanston is to foster awareness and promote action on environmental justice within the City of Evanston.
Our objectives are to work collaboratively with the City of Evanston, neighborhood organizations and non-governmental organizations to:
1. Ensure that no neighborhood or residential area in Evanston should bear a disproportionate burden of environmental nuisances, hazards and risks, including:
- Air, water or soil pollution
- Noise or odor nuisances
- Dangerous traffic patterns
- Lead paint, asbestos and other toxins
- Lead or other contaminants in drinking water
- Other dangers, nuisances or disruptions
2. Ensure that environmental assets are fairly distributed across the community and that they have desirable features that support health, well-being, and a sense of community, including:
- Parks, open space, and natural areas
- Community gardens
- Access to the lakefront
- Infrastructure investments, including streets, sidewalks, bike paths, community centers and other recreational assets
3. Ensure that all residents affected by land use or development decisions made by the City have the opportunity for meaningful involvement and effective participation. This may include:
- Modifying the City’s decision-making process related to review, approval and regulation of private development projects
- Developing Environmental Justice guidelines for project evaluation by City staff to ensure development projects enhance community health, well-being and the environment in affected neighborhoods
4. Implement guidelines for meaningful citizen involvement to ensure:
- Access to information in accessible, non-technical terms with sufficient lead time to allow participation
- Scheduling informational meetings at times and locations convenient for affected residents
- Soliciting comments in time for adequate consideration by decision-makers
- Developing responsiveness summaries to document how concerns were addressed in the decision process
Environmental Justice Evanston is currently focused on two primary initiatives:
- Working with key stakeholders to draft and get City Council approval for an environmental justice resolution for the City of Evanston. Once this is accomplished, EJE will then work with the City to draft and have the City Council approve an environmental justice ordinance that will spell out the detailed changes in City processes and code necessary to achieve environmental justice in Evanston.
- Working with the City of Evanston to improve environmental conditions in the area of the city’s Waste Transfer Station (WTS), based on input from the community. This initiative currently includes an effort to monitor air quality, conduct a traffic study, and measure the noise around the WTS site.
Janet Alexander Davis (co-chair)
Dorothy Headd (honorary member)
Rick Nelson (co-chair)
The EJ Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of every month on the second floor of Morton Civic Center.
Please contact the committee at email@example.com
Pictured above: EJE members Rick Nelson, Jerri Garl, Janet Alexander Davis, Dorothy Headd, and Tim Eberhart (not pictured: Bea Echeverria and Tanya Noble).