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Hegenberger Corridor Project

Purpose

To support a community organizing and advocacy effort to document, educate and mobilize the public about the environmental health and equity aspects of a ten-year redevelopment initiative for the I-880 (Hegenberger) Corridor area of Oakland.

Lead Organization

Communities for a Better Environment (CBE)

Nehanda Imara, Oakland Community Organizer
Carla Perez, Northern California Program Director
Oakland Office, 1440 Broadway, Suite 701, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone (510) 302-0430

Goals

  1. Increase capacity of CBE and community partners to develop and advance a policy agenda that creates long-term, systemic solutions to Oakland’s health challenges.
  2. Increase capacity of Oakland’s decision makers to understand and respond to the health needs of the Hegenberger Corridor’s low-income community members and the impact of land use decisions on community health.
  3. Improve the health of Oakland residents through community-driven health policies endorsed through the Redevelopment Agency planning process.

Major Activities

  1. Community education around land use, redevelopment and health
  2. Community capacity building and leadership training
  3. Coalition building and advocacy campaigns around health and environmental justice

The Hegenberger Corridor – also called the Coliseum Area – of East Oakland is zoned for residential, commercial, and industrial uses. According to the EPA Scorecard, the Coliseum Area of East Oakland contains more than 40 pollution-producing industrial or commercial facilities, and sees over 218,000 vehicle trips per day, a large percentage of which are heavy diesel engine vehicles like transport trucks. Diesel exhaust has been identified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as the single greatest airborne threat to human health and is responsible for 70% of total airborne cancer risk in California.

It is against this backdrop that 42,000 people, mostly African Americans and Latinos, live. Despite the concentration of major environmental and health hazards in the community there is very little by way of community infrastructure to support and sustain local activism. In fact, there has been relatively little community organizing compared to other high need parts of Oakland, such as West Oakland. Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) is an environmental health and justice organization with a long history organizing low-income communities of color in California to address threats to their health and well-being from toxic pollution. For the past two years, CBE has been laying the groundwork for targeted organizing in the Hegenberger Corridor/Coliseum community by beginning to talk to residents about environmental health concerns.

project partners