From Progression to Oppression: A look at the injustices associated

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1 FromProgressiontoOppression:A lookattheinjusticesassociated withprogressingLosAngeles transportationsystem By:FelisiaCastaeda UEPI2010

2 TableofContents ExecutiveSummary...................3 Introduction........................4 GoodsMovement6 I710History..14 TheI710South...16 EnvironmentalJusticeintheI710Corridor19 TheI710ExtensionProject.21 CurrentProposition..22 MeasureR24 CommunityConcerns....26 PreliminaryPowerAnalysis,29 ElSerenotheForgottenCommunity..30 CommunityProfile..31 ElSerenoHistoryofOrganizing34 ElephantHill37 ElSereno:TheirVoicesHeard...39 InterviewFindings.30 FutureOrganizingandRecommendations48 Conclusion.55 Maps..54 2

3 ExecutiveSummary Thisresearchwasdonetoaddresstheproblemsofdiscriminationintransportationplanning anddevelopmentwithafocusontheI710freewayextensionprojectinLosAngeles.Thepaperanalyzes howcommunitiesandgovernmententitieshavedealtwithandreactedtogrowingtransportation needs.UsingthenortheastLosAngelescommunityofElSerenoasacasestudyandinterviewsof variousstakeholders,thepaperidentifiesthemainconcernsofElSereno,whatinfrastructureisinplace toaddresstheseconcerns,andthebarriersthecommunityfacesintheireffortstohavetheirvoices heardindecisionmakingandplanningthataffectstheircommunity.Whatmyresearchfoundwasa strongdisconnectbetweenpoliticalleadersandElSerenoresidents,resultinginwidespreadfeelingsof animositytowardsthecurrentgovernmentalsystem.Thepaperconcludeswithrecommendationsof howElSerenocanutilizeexistinginfrastructureandcommunityassetstocreateacampaignin oppositionofthefreewayextensionandutilizethecampaignasafoundationforalasting environmentaljusticeorganization. 3

4 Inmanyurbancities,thestreetsareourplayground.Weplayfootball,baseball,rideourbikesand manyotherthingsinthestreet.OnDecember18th,1994,myfriendsandIwerewalkingtothecorner store.Wehavetocrossasixlanestreettogetthere.ThatdayatruckranaredlightandstruckmeasI wascrossingthestreet.Mylegandcollarbonewerebroken.Theinsideofmymouthwasbustedandmy chinwascut.Ihadmassiveabrasionsthroughoutmybody.Mymothersaysangelswereguardingme andthanksthespiritsforlettingmelive.Sincemyaccident,fiveotherchildrenhavebeeninvolvedin autopedestrianaccidents.Threeofthemdied.Childrenhavelosttheirrighttotheirurbanplayground. Theincreasedtrafficintheinnercityhasbecomeadeathtrapforchildrenlikeme.1 LibradoAlmanza,Age10 Introduction Inaneraofunrestrainedmobilityandunparalleleddevelopmentofhighwaysandsuper freewaysthatserveprimarilytofuelourobsessionforrapidgrowthandadvancement,rarelydowe stoptoconsiderthetolltheserapidthoroughfaresmayactuallybeinflicting.Forsome,however,thetoll istoogreattooverlook.InanefforttoexpandandfacilitatethegrowthofLosAngelesandsustainthe nationsinternationaltradecapacity,theCaliforniaDepartmentofTransportation(Caltrans)andtheLos AngelesCountyMetropolitanTransportationAuthority(Metro)haveteameduptoexecuteplansto extendamainfreeway,theI710.Extendingthisfreewaywilltheoreticallyfacilitatetransportationand commercefortheregion,butforthecommunityofElSereno,theeffectsincludeseverhealthrisks, safetyconcerns,losthomesanddisplacedlives. Howcanonemeasurethebenefitstothecostsofaproposalwithsuchsignificantimplications astheexpansionoftheI710?Whomakesthesedecisions?Politiciansandcityplannersplayakeyrole 1 Bullard,RobertD.andGlenJohnson.JustTransportation:DismantlingClassBarrierstoMobility.NewSociety Publishers,1997,111 4

5 inthisprocess.Tantalizedbytheprospectofeconomicgrowth,politiciansandcityplannerswillsupport andevenjustifythesesortsofdevelopmentsbyconsideringthebenefitsonlytocertainsectorsof societywhileneglectingorevenoffsettingthecoststoothercommunities.Thisdiscrepancybetween thosewhoreapthebenefitsandthosewhobearthecostsservesonlytofurtherobviatesomeof societiesmostdeeplycutstratifications,economicandracial.AsquotedinBullardandJohnsonsJust Transportation,poorpeopleandpeopleofcoloraresubsidizingouraddictiontotheautomobile.2In otherwords,theunderservedandunderrepresentedhaveyetagainfallentargetstotheinsatiable desiresofeconomicexpansion.Myinterestinthisissuestemmedfromrecognizingthisdiscrepancyand thendelvingintosomeofthesurroundingquestionssuchaswhy,inatimewhencuttingcarbondioxide emissionsisonthetopoftheglobalagenda,wasourgovernmentadvocatingthespendingofbillionsof dollarsonaprojectthatwillhinderdevelopmenttowardsamoregreenandsustainablenation.AsI searcheddeeperintothedebateovertheexpansionofI710,whatIfoundwasnotonlyanuntold historyofgovernmentdiscriminationandracism,butthatthisdebatehitclosertohomethanIever imagined.Mychildhoodhome,thehomeinwhichmyparentsstilllive,sitsdirectlyalonghighway101, oneofNorthernCaliforniasmajorNorthSouthfreeways. Ineverbeforehadcontemplatedtherisksmyfamilytook,bylivinginthatlocation,forthesake ofthosewhousedthefreeway.Furthermore,afterdiscoveringhowlittleconsiderationgovernment associationsweregivingthosewhowouldsoonlosetheirhomestotheextensionoftheI710freeway,I grewconcernedaboutwhatprecedentthiswouldsetifotherregionalgovernmentschosetowidenor extendotherfreeways,particularly,the101freeway.Wouldmyparentslosetheirhome?Motivatedby thesequestionsandblatantinjusticesIchosetofocusmyresearchonthestrugglesofthesmalland underrepresentedcommunityinLosAngeles,ElSereno,astheyfacedthecolossal,lucrativemovement toextendtheI710freeway. 2 Bullard,RobertD.andGlenJohnson,23 5

6 AlthoughtheElSerenocommunitywillbearthebruntoftheadversitiesassociatedwiththeI 710extension,theyavelittleuseforthefreewayandwillthereforeexperienceminimalbenefitsfromits construction.Despitetheirroleaskeystakeholders,ElSerenoresidentshavehistoricallybeenneglected duringdecisionmakingregardingthefreewayandhaveconstantlybeenovershadowedbytheirmore active,morehomogonouslyCaucasian,andmoreaffluentneighborsofPasadenaandSouthPasadena. DespiteElSerenoslimitedresources,Ibelievethecommunityhasthepotentialandfundamentalright tobecomeactiveparticipantsinthediscussionsofnotonlytheI710freewaybutanyenvironmental concernsoffuturedevelopments.Thispaperanalyzes,throughacasestudyofthecommunityand numerousinterviews,theabilityandpotentialElSerenohastodevelopasuccessfulcampaignagainst theI710extension,aswellas,alastingenvironmentaljusticeorganization.IusethecaseofElSerenoas anexampleofhowalowincome,minoritycommunitycanselfdeterminethefutureoftheirown neighborhoodsandendthediscriminatorypracticesbyournationsgovernments. Thisstudyfirstpresentsaliteraturereviewoftheexplanationsandbackgroundoftransportation growthandindustrializationtocreatethefoundationfortheI710expansiondebate.Next,thespecifics oftheextensionmovement,thetownofElSerenoandtheirjunctionwillbepresented.Finally, recommendationsfortheactionsElSerenocantaketomaketheirvoiceheardinthedebateagainstthe expansionoftheI710,andmaintainthisvoiceforfuturedecisionmakingintheircommunity,willbe proposed. GoodsMovement Asmatureeconomieschange,somusttheinfrastructurerequiredtosupportthoseeconomies. ForLosAngelesthismeanssustainingtheirports,thebackboneofthenationsgoodsmovement. 6

7 Goodsmovementisatermdenotedtogoodsorproducetransportedbyship,plane,trainortruck.3 SupplyingtheUnitedStateswithfortypercentofimportedgoods4andrankingasthefifthbusiestport intheworld5,itisnowonderLosAngelesandLongBeachtreattheirportswithsuchspecialattention. Notonlydotheseportsserveasaninternationalsymboloftrade,theseportsrepresentahugeportion oftheentireUnitedStateseconomy.LosAngelesCountyseconomyaloneranksastheeighteenth largesteconomyintheworld.6Inadditiontocreatingatradinggatewaytotherestoftheworld,port activityisestimatedtoberesponsibleforgenerating900,000jobsinCaliforniaalone.7Unfortunately, thisjobcreationandeconomicprosperityfromtradeaccessibilityarenotdistributedevenlytothose whobearthecostsassociatedwithportactivity. Asgoodsaretransportedbackandforthfromwatertolandtotherestofthecountry,idling shipsandheavytrucktrafficfloodsouthernCaliforniawithtwentypercentoftheregionstotaldiesel particulatepollution,makingtheLosAngelesandLongBeachportsthelargestsinglesourceofpollution inLosAngeles,8andwhileindustriesandbusinesseseagerlylooktowardstheflourishingportsasasign ofprosperity,localcommunitieslookouttheirwindowsonlytoseeamenacingpollutinggiant.Without appropriatemitigationmeasures,thesecommunitiessufferfromnegativehealthandqualityoflife issuesdirectlycausedbyportactivitywithlittletonoeconomicbenefits.OnestudyledbyLauraPerez fromtheCenterforResearchinEnvironmentalEpidemiologyfoundninepercentofallchildhoodasthma casesinLongBeachcanbeattributedtotrucktrafficfromtheportsandtwentyonepercentof 3 OrangeCountyTransportationAuthority.GoodsMovement.OrangeCounty,2010. 4 SouthernCaliforniaAssociationofGovernments.MultiCountyGoodsMovementActionPlan.Rep.LosAngeles: WilburSmithAssociates,Inc.,2008.Print. 5 OrangeCountyTransportationAuthority 6 Pitkin,Bill.GeographicDividesinLosAngelesCounty:Demography,IncomeandHousing.LosAngeles:United Way.2008. 7 LosAngeles,PortofLos.WelcomefromtheExecutiveDirector.LosAngeles,2010. 8 Hricko,Andrea."GlobalTradeComesHome:CommunityImpactsofGoodsMovement."EnvironmentalHealth Perspectives116.2(2008):7881.Print. 7

8 bronchitisepisodescanbeattributedtoemissionsfromships.9Communitiesneartheportshave sufferedfromtheseadditionalhealthcostsfordecadesunfortunately,theyarenottheonlyones affectedbyincreasingportactivity.Themajorarteriesthattransporttruckscarryinggoodstoandfrom theportshavecreatedwhatarecalledfreewaycorridors.Communitieslivingadjacenttothese corridorssufferthesameconsequencesasthoselivingneartheports. Corridorresidentsaresubjectedtotheconstantpollutionfromheavydutydieseltrucksrunning throughtheirneighborhoodstwentyfourhoursadayandsevendaysaweek.Dieseltrucksarethe largestsourceofdieselparticulatepollutioninCalifornia.10Everydaymorethan40,000truckscommute throughthefreewaycorridorsofLosAngeles,11andforthe1.5millionresidentswholivewithinthree hundredmetersofmajorfreewaycorridorsthispollutiontranslatesintosignificantdecreasedlung functioninchildrenbetweentheagesoftenandeighteen,lowerbirthweightsandhigherratesof prematurepregnancies.12StudiesbytheCaliforniaAirResourceBoardindicatethatlivingclosetohigh trafficandtheassociatedemissionsmayleadtoadversehealtheffectsbeyondthoseassociatedwith regionalairpollutioninurbanareas.13Inadditiontocausingchronichealthproblems,pollutionfrom trucktraffichasbeenshowntoincreasedeathrates.TheEnvironmentalProtectionAgency(EPA) estimatesthatinamoderatesizedcity,particlepollutioncauses2550increaseddeathsforeach.5 mg/m3abovethenationalstandard.ThestudiesconductedintheLAbasinshowthatconcentrationsof blackcarbon(oneofthemosthazardouscomponentsofthefineparticles)downwindfromhighways withheavytrucktrafficcanbe1213mg/m3timesgreaterthanconcentrationsfoundinurbanair 9 Perez,Laura."GlobalGoodsMovementandtheLocalBurdenofChildhoodAsthmainSouthernCalifornia." AmericanJournalofPublicHealth99.3(2009).Print. 10 CaliforniaAirResourceBoard.California:DieselTrucks,AirPollutionandPublicHealth.LosAngeles:2008. 11 SouthernCaliforniaAssociationofGovernments 12 Hricko,Andrea."GlobalTradeComesHome:CommunityImpactsofGoodsMovement."EnvironmentalHealth Perspectives116.2(2008):7881.Print. 13 Martinez,Adrian."AreLA'sTransportationPlannersLivinginaFairyTaleLand."Weblogpost.Switchboardfrom NRDC.4Feb.2009.Web. 8

9 upwindofthehighways.14Inmanyareasdieselpollutionhasbeenlinkedtoanadditional300to500 prematuredeathsperyear.15Whatthisalltranslatestoforcommunitieslivingnearthesefreeway corridorsis,theirlivesandthelivesoftheirchildrenareinjeopardy.Furthermore,studiesreveal associatedmedicalcostsfromtruckpollutionamountstofortybilliondollarsayearforresidentsofthe stateofCalifornia.16Recentawarenessofthesedetrimentaleffectsofdieselpollutiononhealthand qualityoflifehasheightenedconcernsofresidentswithinfreewaycorridorsandsparkedanumberof studiesinvolvingthesecommunities.Inadditiontoexposingthehealthandenvironmentalrisksand costsassociatedwithexpandedroadways,thesestudieshavealsounveiledinterestinglinksbetween lowincomeandminoritycommunitiesandhigherpollutionlevels.17 Freewaypollutionisacrucialissuelowerincomecommunitiesmustface,butunfortunatelyitis onlyoneofthemanyconcernsforwhichthesecommunitiesmustcontend.Facedwithconcerns regardingsteadyaccesstofood,housingandeducation,highcrime,andjobloss,theconcerns associatedwithindustrialdevelopmenthavesimplyjustnotbeenapriority.Astradevolumesrise freewayinfrastructureisdeterioratingandroadsarebecomingmorecongested,increasingtheneedto expandandrenovatetheportsandtheirconnectingroadways.Corridorcommunitiesarenow increasinglythreatenedbythegrowthofthegoodsmovementforthebenefitofconsumersand businessesoutsidetheirlocalregion. DespiteanincreasingawarenessofthenegativeeffectstheLosAngelesandLongBeachports haveonSouthernCalifornia,planningagenciesunderstandwithoutsomeexpansionportsandcorridors willloseefficiency,severelylimitingthegrowthoftheeconomyandtheUnitedStatesabilityto 14 Martinez,Adrian. 15 Martinez,Adrian. 16 CaliforniaAirResourceBoard. 17 "LowIncome,MinorityCommunitiesDisproportionatelyExposedToToxicAirPollutants,StudyFinds."Medical NewsToday:HealthNews.Web.15Dec.2009.. 9

10 competeintheglobalmarket.Inordertoaddresstheseconcerns,specialattentionhasbeengivento researchingandplanningforthefutureofthegoodsmovement. In2004increasingconcernsofmaintainingthegrowinggoodsmovementpromptedthe Schwarzeneggeradministratortoorganizediscussionsofthefutureofthegoodsmovement. CollaborationsledtothecreationoftheGoodsMovementCabinetWorkGroup,cochairedbySunne WrightMcPeakoftheBusinessandTransportationAgencyandAllenLloydoftheCalifornia EnvironmentalProtectionAgency.Thisgroupisdesignedtoaddressthefollowingfourmajor componentsofgoodsmovementgrowth:(1)thegoodsmovementindustryanditsgrowthpotential; (2)thefourporttobordertransportationcorridorsthatconstitutetheStatesgoodsmovement backboneandtheassociatedinventoryofinfrastructureprojectsthatarebeingplannedorthatare underway;(3)theenvironmentalandcommunityimpactsaswellasapreliminarydescriptionof mitigationapproachesandissues;and(4)keyaspectsofpublicsafetyandsecurityissues.18What Californiahopestoachievethroughthisprocessisastrategytoincreasethecapacityandimprove efficiencyofthetransportationsysteminsuchawayastogeneratejobs,increasemobilityandrelieve trafficcongestion,improveairqualityandimprovepublichealth,enhancepublicandportsafety,and improveCaliforniasqualityoflife.19Regionalgovernmentshavestartedconstructingplanswithintheir ownjurisdictionstoaidinthenationaladvancementofthegoodsmovement. TheSouthernCaliforniaAssociationofGovernments(SCAG)isthelargestmetropolitanplanning organizationintheUnitedStates.SCAGiscomposedofrepresentativesfromsixcounties,includingLos Angeles,Orange,Riverside,SanBernardino,andVentura,and189citiesfromtheSouthernCalifornia region.SCAGworkstodevelopinfrastructurethatwillfostergrowthwhileimprovingthequalityoflife 18 BusinessTransportationandHousingAgency;CaliforniaEnvironmentalProtectionAgency."GoodsMovement ActionPlan."2007. 19 BusinessTransportationandHousingAgency;CaliforniaEnvironmentalProtectionAgency. 10

11 forresidentsinSouthernCalifornia.20SCAGoverseesthesecondmostpopulatedregionintheUnited Statesandanticipatesthepopulationwillreachtwentyonemillionbytheyear2035.Coupledwiththis populationgrowththeorganizationismakingpreparationsforincreasedinternationaltradeleadingto higherportactivity.Sixyearsaftertheturnofthecenturythenumberofcontainerspassingthroughthe LosAngelesandLongBeachportsrosesixtypercentandthatnumberisexpectedtotriplebytheyear 2030.21Increasesportactivitywilldirectlyimpacthowbusytransportationcorridorsare.Thesensitivity oftheSouthernCaliforniaenvironment,naturalexpansionbarriersincludingmountainsandocean,and rapidgrowthhasputpressureontheregiontoquicklydevelopaplanforthefuture. Inalliancewiththeeffortsofthestategovernment,SCAGhasdevelopedaRegional TransportationPlan(RTP)aimedatadvancingtheregionseconomyandfosteringgrowingpopulations throughsustainablegrowthpractices.Thetermsustainablegrowthisabundantthroughouta multitudeofliterature;however,rarelyisitspecificallydefined.Sustainablegrowthcanhavevastly differentconnotationsdependentuponthecontextinwhichitisused.Forthepurposeofthispaperthe termsustainablegrowthwillconnotetwothemesasdescribedbyeconomistHermanE.Daly: regenerationandassimilativecapacities.AccordingtoDalysdefinitiongrowthissustainableifresources areconsumedatanequalorslowerratethantheyarenaturallyregeneratedandiftherateofemissions andwastedoesnotexceedthenaturalassimilativecapacitiesoftheecosystemsinwhichtheyare disposedinto.22RephrasedaccordingtoDalysdefinition,thegoalofSCAGsRTPistofostergrowing populationswhilemaintainingthesupplyofEarthsnaturalresourcesandabstainingfromdegradingany naturalecosystems.TheprojectsidentifiedinSCAGsRTPrunoveraspanof25yearsandpropose changestoaddressissuesofmobility,accessibility,reliability,productivity,safety,sustainability, 20 SouthernCaliforniaAssociationofGovernments.2008RegionalTransportationPlanExecutiveSummary.Los Angeles:SouthernCaliforniaAssociationofGovernments,2008. 21 SCAG 22 Daly,HermanE."OperationalPrinciplesforSustainableDevelopment."EarthEthics(1991). 11

12 preservation,costeffectiveness,environmentalandenvironmentaljustice.23Althoughthisplanprovides aframeworkfortheareasoftheregionthatneedfocusedinvestment,SCAGalsorequestedthe MetropolitanTransportationAuthority(Metro)developamoredetailedactionplantocarryoutover thenexttwentyfiveyears. MetroinconjunctionwithOrangeCountyTransportationAuthority(OCTA),RiversideCounty TransportationCommission(RCTC),SanBernardinoAssociatedGovernments(SANBAG),SanDiego AssociationofGovernments(SANDAG),VenturaCountyTransportationCommission(VCTC),SCAG,and theCaliforniaDepartmentofTransportation(Caltrans)developedtheMultiCountyGoodsMovement ActionPlan(MCGMAP)andTechnicalAdvisoryCommittee(MCGMAPTAC)tocollaborativelydesigna futurethataddressestheneedsofindividualsandtheregionasawhole. Thelimitedjurisdictiontheseregionalandstategovernmentsandorganizationshaveoverthe portsofLosAngelesandLongBeach,aswellastheirlimitedabilitytocontroltheprivatesectorhas forcedtheseagenciestofocusonchangesthatcanbemadeonlytogoodsmovementinfrastructure. Withadirectionofwhichsectorofthegoodsmovementtofocuson,thecommitteedraftedfourcore mandates: (1)Environment:Avoid,reduce,andmitigateenvironmental,communityandhealthimpacts (2) Mobility:promotethesafeandefficientmovementofalltransportationmodesandreduce congestion (3) Economy:ensuretheeconomicwellbeingoftheregionandstate (4) Funding:securetheregionsfairshareofpublicandprivatefundsforinvestmentinthe freighttransportationsystem24 23 SCAG 24 LosAngelesCountyMetropolitanTransportationAuthority.MultiCountyGoodsMovementActionPlan ExecutiveSummary.LosAngeles:WilburSmithAssociates,2008. 12

13 Withthesemandatesasthedrivingforceofdecisionmaking,theMGMAPTACbeganthefirststepof planning. OneofthemostimportantcomponentsoftheMGMAPthusfarhasinvolvedunitingvarious stakeholdersandhostingpublicworkshopsandmeetingstorevealthemostsignificantpublicconcerns. Inadditiontothesemeetingsanumberofsurveyshavebeencirculatedthroughoutcommunitiesto obtainvariousperspectivesonwhattheMGMAPshouldencompass.Acarefulanalysisoftheseopinions identifiedthemajorconcernsofstakeholdersanddevelopedthefollowingdemandsfromthem: (1) Areductionofcurrentgoodsmovementimpactsbeforenewinfrastructureor developmenttakesplace (2) ADedicationofnewprivate/publicfundingsourcestoreducehealthand environmentalimpactsofgoodsmovementintheregion (3) Theuseofalternativefuelsandtechnologiestoreduceimpacts (4) Acomprehensiveanalysisofwhetheritisnecessarytomeetunlimitedgoods demand (5) ALimitontradegrowthanddiversiontootherportsaswellasinvestinginclean industries25 Thesedemandsguidedthedevelopmentofshort,midandlongtermactionsetsspecifictoeachcounty, aswellasfortheentireregion. Thefirstactionsetaddressesenvironmentalmitigation.ThroughthisactionsettheMCGMAP outlineswaystoexpeditemitigationeffortsonexistinggoodsmovementinfrastructure.Potentialways toachievethisgoalincludeacceleratingfundingandimplementationofairqualitycontrolplans, 25 LAMetro,pg.15 13

14 enforcingstricterengineandemissionstandardsfortrucks,andencouragingtheuseofnewand improvedtechnologies.26 Thesecondactionsetaimstoimprovemobilitythroughouttheregionbyreducingcongestion. TheMCGMAPidentifiesroadandhighwayimprovementsaswellasincreasingrailcapacityaswaysto improvemobilityformixedflowtrafficandincreaseefficiencyforthetransportationofgoods.27 Actionsetthreetargetsoperationalefficiencyattheportsandintermodalfacilities.The MCGMAPTACplanstoutilizenewtechnologiestoincreasetheflowoftrucksinandoutoftheportsand toallowforeasieraccessduringoffpeakhours,reducingidlingtimeduetocongestion.Strategiesto improvehighwayoperationsincludeimplementingtechnologiestomaintaintrafficflowandspeednear truckweighstationsandincreasetheuseofOpenRoadTolling,asystemallowingtrucksandcarswho frequenttollroadstoavoidstoppingandinsteadutilizeanautomaticpaymentsystem.28 Thefinalactionsetattemptstodevelopamethodtoequitablyfundprojectswithprivateand publicinvestments.Thisactionsetdescribeswaysinwhichtoreceivethemaximumamountoffederal fundsavailableforregionaltransportationplansandoutlinesthecostsandbenefitsofpartneringwith theprivatesector.29 ThroughtheseactionsetstheMCGMAPtakesonthechallengeofadvancingthequalityoflife forSouthernCaliforniaresidentswhileaccommodatingforpopulationgrowthandanincreasingtrade sector.Theplanidentifiesmajorinfrastructuralprojectsthatmustbeaddressed.Thevastnumberof areasdemandingattention,however,istooexpensivefortheMCGMAPbudget,requiringaplanto prioritizecertainprojectsandleaveothersforsingleorganizations,committees,oragenciestodevelop ontheirown.The710southexpansionsrepresentsoneinfrastructuralprojectwhichisreceiving attentionfromtransportationagenciesaspartoftheMCGMAP;unfortunately,thenorthernendofthe 26 LAMetro,pg.16 27 LAMetro,pg.19 28 LAMetro,pg.20 29 LAMetro,pg.21 14

15 710requiremorefundsthantheActionPlancanoffer.Theimportanceofthe710northinfacilitating themovementofgoodshasmadethissectionofthefreewayafocusfortransportationagencies, despitefundinglimitations. I710history TheI710freeway(710)servesasthegatewayfromtheLosAngelesandLongBeachports inlandfornearlyallgoodstravelingviatruck.Thefreewayrunsdirectlyfromtheportsnorthtoits terminusattheborderofLosAngelesandAlhambra.The710becamewhatitistodaynearly30years agoandhashadlittletonoreconstructiondespitethegrowingnumberofcarsandtruckscongesting thismajorinlandartery.Notonlyistrafficincreasingonthisfreewayduetopopulationgrowth,butthe 710sconnectiontotheportsmakesitoneofthemostfrequentedfreewaysbytruckdrivers.The averagenumberoftrucksthattravelthroughthe710corridoristentothirtypercentofthetotal numberofvehiclestravelingonthefreeway,andofthesetrucksninetyfourpercentarerelatedtothe LosAngelesandLongBeachports.30Thecombinationofpassengervehiclesandheavydutytrucktraffic isoneofthereasonsthisfreewayaveragesfiveaccidentsperday.Thisaccidentratehasmadethe710 notoriousasoneofthemostdangerousfreewaysinSouthernCalifornia.Additionally,heavytrucktraffic hasmadetheI710freewaycorridoroneofthemostpollutedintheregion.Whatsmore,isthecorridor runsprimarilythroughlowincomeandminorityneighborhoods.31 Regionalandstatetransportationplannershaverecognizedthe710simportanceastheprimary routemovingtrucksfromportsinland,butaremorerecentlyrealizingthemagnitudeofthecosts associatedwithcongestionandhazardsonthefreeway.Delaysfromheavycongestionorfreeway accidentsaredelayingshipmentswhichcostsellers,acostwhichisultimatelypassedontoconsumers. 30 Gunwoo,Lee.EnvironmentalImpactsofaMajorFreightCorridor:AStudyoftehI710inCalifornia.LosAngeles, 2009.pg.3 31 ParsonsBrinckerhoffQuade&Douglas,Inc.et.al.PurposeandNeedsStatement.LosAngeles:LosAngeles CountyMetropolitanTransportationAuthority,2001. 15

16 Thesedelaysareincreasingasthecitygrowsandasporttrafficincreases.Thethirtyyearolddesignof theI710isstrugglingtoaccommodatethesenewdemandsofthegoodsmovements. TheI710hasenduredanexponentialriseincarandtrucktrafficwithrelativelynostructural improvements,leadingtoanumberofunforeseenhazardsandastronomicalcosts.Peoplehavefor yearscomplainedaboutcontinuousandrecurrenttrafficcongestion.Furthermore,chronictraffic accidentscauseboutsofcongestionthatareunpredictableandunavoidable.Thesedesigndeficiencies frustratedriverswhothenmaneuverontoadjacentstreetscreatingfreewaylikeconditionsalong neighborhoodstreets.Spillovertosurroundingneighborhoodscreatesamyriadofproblemsforcorridor residents.Inadditiontopoorairqualityanddangerousroadconditions,theseneighborhoodsmustfind waystodealwithconstantnoiseandunpleasantvisualsurroundings.32Theseproblemsaffectboth thosewhousethefreewayandthosewhodonot.Unabletoquietlyignoretheseissuesanylonger, SouthernCaliforniastransportationplannershavefinallybegunconsideringwaystoimprovethe freeway. TheI710South TheeighteenmilestretchoftheI710,whichbeginsattheportsandterminatesjustnorthof the10freeway,isdesignatedintheMCGMAPasakeyarteryrequiringattention(SeeFigure1).The MCGMAPhasundergoneanumberofprojectsinanattempttoincreasethefreewayscapacity, improvesafety,andmovegoodsmoreefficiently.Effortstoimprovethefreewayhavefocusedon creatingsaferandmoreefficientinterchangesandrefinishingthesurfaceofthefreeway.33Other proposalsincludeexpandingthewidthofthefreewaytoaccommodatetruckonlyortruckrestricted lanes.Recentmoreinnovativeideasincludetheimplementationoftruckonlylaneswheretruckstravel 32 ParsonsBrinckerhoffQuade&Douglas,Inc.et.al.Pg.3 33 SouthernCaliforniaAssociationofGovernments,GatewayCities,MTA,Caltrans."TheI710Corridor ImprovementProgramNewsletter."TheI710CorridorStudy.2005.pg.3 16

17 connectedtocablelinessupplyingthemwithelectricpowerandthuscuttingouttruckemissions completely.Thissystemhas Figure1:Metro,I710CorridorProject 17

18 neverbeenusedfordieseltrucks,butbusesandcablecarshavesuccessfullyutilizedelectriccablesina similarfashion.34Carefulconsiderationshavegoneintocreatingtechnicallyfeasibleplansforthe710 andnumerousstudieshaveanalyzedhowtraffic,safety,andenvironmentalconditionscouldchange withtheimplementationoftheseplans.Beforemovingforwardwithanyplans,governmentagencies mustdecidehowtoclosemajorfundinggaps. AccordingtotheMCGMAP,LosAngelesCountywillrequireatleast$23billiontocompletethe entirelistofproposedprojects.35Designsforthe710freewayaloneareexpectedtototalmorethan$88 million.36OneofthebiggestfundingsourcesforplansoutlinedintheMCGMAPcomesfromthe HighwaySafety,TrafficReduction,AirQuality,andPortSecurityBondActof2006(Proposition1B).This propositionpassedintheNovember2006electionallocates$20billiontostatewidetransportation investments.Thisbondmoneydesignates$3.1billiontofundgoodsmovementrelatedinfrastructure, emissionreductionplans,andhomelandsecurity.37Fromthe$3.1billion,$1.65billionwasapprovedfor tradecorridorimprovementsspecifictoSouthernCalifornia.Inadditiontothesestatefunds,Metrohas agreedtooffer$100millionforprojectswithinLosAngelesrelatedtothegoodsmovement.38Evenwith thesefunds,SouthernCalifornialacksthemoneytocompletealltheretrofittingdesiredforthe710 freeway.Themostviableoptiontoclosethisgapisthroughpartnershipswiththeprivatesectoraswell astheimplementationofuserfees.Infact,theLosAngelesandLongBeachportshavealreadybegun implementinguserfeessuchasthe$35dollarper20footequivalentstorageunit(TEU)CleanTruckFee tohelppayfortheretrofittingofolddrayagetrucks.Thisfeeischargedtocargoownersforevery loadedcontainerenteringorleavingtheports.Similarly,a$15dollarperloadedTEUfeeiscollectedto 34 Authority,MetropolitanTransportation.I710CorridorProject.2010.January2010 .pg.2 35 LAMetro.pg57 36 SCAG.pg.9 37 LAMetro.pg57 38 LAMetro.pg.57 18

19 fundhighwayandrailimprovementprojectswithinthevicinityoftheports.39Anothertypeofuserfee stakeholdersarediscussingismitigationbanking.Thiswouldallowdeveloperstoadvancetheir projectsregardlessofitsimpactonenvironmentalecosystemsifthedevelopersmitigatetheireffectsby banking,orprovidingfundsforenvironmentalprotectioninotherareas.40Forlargerprojects,suchas therevampingofthe710,itwillbenecessarytopersuadeprivateinvestorstobetheprimaryfunders. Whilesomeproposalsareonholduntilfundingbecomesavailable,othersarebeingprioritizedandare inadvancedplanningstages.Although,thesefreewayimprovementsaremeanttoalleviateproblems associatedwithovercapacityandenhancethequalityoflifeforSouthernCalifornians,manycorridor residentsarefeelingthreatenedasexpansioneffortsthrustthefreewaysdeeperintotheircommunities. EnvironmentalJusticeintheI710Corridor Theneedtoexpandandthedesireforhealthierandsafercommunitieshavecreatedtensions betweencorridorresidentsandfreewaydevelopers.Thecitysaggressiveinitialdesirestokeepitsport industryrunningsmoothly,leftlittleroomfornegotiationswithcorridorresidents,forcingthese communitiestouniteinorderfortheirconcernsbeheard. In2001whentheplantowidenthe710wasintroduced,MetroandCaltransaviditytoenhance theefficiencyofthegoodsmovementpromptedthemtofasttracktheproject,allowingconstructionto beginwithoutconsultingcommunitieswhowouldfaceadverseaffectsfromtheexpansion.Upon hearingdetailsoftheplanwhichincludedaddingfourlanestoeachsideofthefreewayanddestroying 600homestomakeroomforthem,communitiesalongthecorridorimmediatelybeganexpressingtheir oppositionthroughdemonstrations,townhallmeetings,andothereventsaimedatunitingcorridor 39 LAMetro.pg.58 40 LAMetro.pg.58 19

20 residents.41Theunifiedvoiceofcorridorcommunitiespersuadedtransportationauthoritiestoaddress theseconcernsinanunprecedentedmanner. TheNaturalEnvironmentalPolicyAct(NEPA)isanationalactrequiringprojectsimplementedby governmententitiestocreateanEnvironmentalImpactStatement(EIS)toassesstheimpactsthe proposedprojectwouldhaveontheenvironmentandsurroundingcommunities.Inadditionto completinganEIS,CaltransandMetroarerequiredbythestatespecificCaliforniaEnvironmental QualityAct(CEQA)tocreateanEnvironmentalImpactReport(EIR).42TheEIRissimilartotheEIS; however,theEIRreportaddressesadditionalconcernsspecifictoCalifornia.NocriteriarequireanEISor EIRtoaddressenvironmentaljusticeconcernsoridentifyanydisproportionateadverseeffectsonlow incomeorminoritycommunities,buttheFederalExecutiveOrder12898imposesthisrequirement. CaltransandMetroinadherencetotheexecutiveorderdecidedtodedicateaportionoftheEISandEIR toidentifyingandaddressingenvironmentaljusticeconcerns.43Resultantfromcommunitypressureand theregulationimposedbytheexecutiveorder,CaltransandMetro,forthefirsttime,enlistedanumber ofcommunityparticipationopportunitiesinthedevelopmentoftheEISandEIR.Community participationconsistsofinvitationstoadvisoryandpublicpolicymeetings,holdingcommunity workshops,anddedicatingservicestoansweringquestionsandconcernsregardingthe710project. Coupledwithgeneralcommunityoutreachprograms,MetroandCaltranshavesetupatiered systemofcommitteestorepresenttheneedsandconcernsofaffectedcommunities.Tier1committees arecomposedofresidentsfromneighborhoodswhoaremostdirectlyaffectedbythe710andthe expansionefforts.Tier2committeesrepresentawiderrangeofconstituentsincludinglocal communities,academicaffiliates,andbusinesses.Tier2committeesalsoconsistofthechairsofTier1 41 Justice,EastYardcommunitiesforEnvironmental.710ExpansionProject.2009.January2010 . 42 LAMetro 43 Authority,MetropolitanTransportation.EnvrionmentalJustice.EnvironmentalImpactReport.LosAngeles: Metro,2009. 20

21 committeesandadelegatefromeachremainingcityinthecorridor.Tiercommitteesareresponsiblefor developingcriteriaforconstructiononthe710andrecommendationstofulfillthosecriteria.44Creating atieredsystemincreasesparticipationbyinvitingindividualstodiscusstransportationissuesandneeds inalocalenvironment.Smalldiscussiongroupscanmoreeasilyfacilitateperfectparticipation,allowing everyvoicetobeheard.Increasedparticipationalsoleadstogreaterunityamongcorridorcommunities. Thepowerofcorridorresidentsresidesintheirabilitytomaintainunity,becausetheirstrengthin numbersminimizesthepoliticalcloutoftransportationagencies.Notallcommunitiesarefortunate enoughtohaveneighborswhoreadilyandeasilyrelatetothem.Atthenorthernendofthefreeway,a decadeslongcontroversyoveranextensionofthe710hasleftonecommunitystrugglingtosavetheir homesandlifestyle. TheI710ExtensionProject Beginningatthetimeoforiginalconstruction,the710wasmeanttoconnecttothe210freeway inPasadena.However,communityoppositionfromPasadenaleftthe710stoppingjustshortofthe intendedinterchange.Inlinewiththereconstructioneffortsinthesouth,transportationofficialsare nowmorethaneverstrivingtofinishthismissinglinkinordertoeasetrafficcongestionandexpedite themovementofgoods.45 TheCaliforniaDepartmentofTransportationhasbeenoneofthemajorproponentsforthe extensionproject.Byextendingthefreeway,Caltranshopestoalleviatecongestionbothonthefreeway andonsurroundingstreets.Theextended710freewaywouldconnecthighoccupancyvehicle(HOV) lanes,commonlyreferredtoascarpoollanes,onfourmajorfreeways,the710,210,10,and110,making traveleasierandmoreefficientforthosewhochoosetocarpool.Additionally,byreducingcongestion, 44 Committee,I710Tier2CommunityAdvisory.MajorOpportnity/StrategyRecommendationsandConditions.Los Angeles:Tier2CommunityAdvisoryCommittee,2004.pp.7 45 MissingLinkStudy 21

22 Caltransandotherproponents,expectairqualitywillgreatlyimprove.46Withthesevisionsinmindand widespreadsupportfromstate,regionalandlocalgovernments,Caltranshasattemptedtocreateaplan thatrelievestheconcernsofPasadenaandSouthPasadenaresidentsinhopesthattheywilleaseupon theiroppositionandallowthefreewaytorunthrough. Oneofthefirstattemptstoextendthe710wasin1964viatheMeridianRoute.Thisproposal wasmeanttobea6.2milesurfaceroutethroughthecitiesofAlhambra,LosAngeles,Pasadenaand SouthPasadenatoaninterchangeatthe210freeway.Theroutewasspecificallydesignedtoavoidany historicalhomeswithinthesecommunities.OrganizedeffortsfromPasadenaandSouthPasadena, forcedCaltranstocreateanenvironmentalimpactstatement(EIS)beforetheywerepermittedto continuewithplansfortheextension.AfterpreparationoftheEIS,however,PasadenaandSouth Pasadenaresidentswerestillunconvincedtheextensionwouldbringthepromisedbenefitstotheir cities.47VariouslawsuitsfromthetwocitiesagainstCaltranswerecarriedoutfollowingtheMeridian proposalinanattempttostopanyextensionfromgettingconstructed.Thesedelaysendedinan absoluteobjectiontoasurfaceroutebythetwocities,andsilenceddiscussionsoftheextensionfora fewyears.Recently,inconjunctionwithstateandregionaltransportationplans,Caltranshasintroduced yetanotherapproachforthe710extension. Currentproposition Afteryearsofstrugglingtoagreeonaroutefortheextensionthatbothcommunityresidents andgovernmentagencieswouldaccept,SenatorGilbertCedilloofthe22ndCaliforniasenatedistrict developedabill,SB1350,in2008thatadvancedconstructionoftheextensioninacompletelynew direction.Thebillprohibitedanysurfacerouteextensionandallowedforconstructiontocontinueonly intheformofatunnel.48Thedesignofatunnelwouldextendthe710inawaythatpreservedmore 46 Association,CaliforniaTransportation.District7Update.LosAngeles:Caltrans,2002.pg.81 47 Caltrans,Pg.78 48 Cedillo,Senator.BillNumber:SB1350.LosAngeles,2008. 22

23 homes,schoolsandbusinessesalongthecorridorandimprovedmitigationofnoiseandpollution.49The tunnelalternativehassparkedinterestaroundtheglobeasitwouldbethelargesttunnelprojectinthe historyoftheUnitedStatesandwouldlikelyusethelargesttunnelingdrillownedbytheSpanish.50The newtunnelproposalwouldmoveforwardinarouteneutralmanner,meaningthatofficialsare requiredtoexploreallpossiblealternativestothetunnel.51Thisneutralityhasexpandedthepossible 710routetofivedifferentzones,spreadingbetweenthe2freewayonthewestandthe605freewayon theEast.Thefivezonesfanoutfromtheterminusofthe710inAlhambraandasaresultmademany communities,whopreviouslythoughttheyhadnostakeintheexpansion,concernedabouttheprojects impact(SeeFigure2). Figure2:Caltrans,I710TechnicalFeasibilityStudyInformation 49 Wolfe,Christy.Cedillo's710BillHeadstoGovernor,Resolves50YearDisputeandPreservesHomes.22 September2009.2009. 50 LAMetro.pg.4 51 Merl,Jean."CaltransRenewsStudyof710FreewayTunnel."LosAngelesTimes19January2009.Pg.2 23

24 Regardlessoftheclaimedneutrality,acarefulanalysisofprojectexpensesandusabilitydepicts somezonesasfarmorefavorableforconstructionthanothers.Zone5,thefurthesttotheeastruns almostdirectlyparalleltothe10freewayinaneastwestdirection,essentiallydefeatingthepurposeof extendingthefreewaynorth.52Zone1,similarlytoZone5,extendsinaneastwestdirectiontothe2 freewayonthewest.Whatseemstobethemostprobabletunnelrouteistheoriginallyplanned extensionfromAlhambra,directlynorthtothe210inPasadena.Thisisthemostdirecttunnelingroute, makingittheshortestandthereforetheleastexpensivetoconstruct,anessentialconsiderationwith suchamassiveproject.AmajorconsiderationintherecentactivityinvolvingtheI710extensionisthe recentpassageofcountywideMeasureRintheNovember2008election. MeasureR MeasureR,asproposedbytheMetropolitanTransitAuthority,wasdevelopedinresponseto thelackoffundingavailableforcountywidetransportationprojects.Themeasure,passedinNovember 2008,implementedahalfcentsalestaxincrease.Revenuefromthismeasureisexpectedtoamountto nearly$8billionoverthenextthirtyyears,providingjustoverathirdofthetotal$22billionestimated tocompletelyfundtheproposedtransportationprojects.Themajorityoftheprojectmoneywillbe directedtowardsmasstransitprojects;however,twentypercentofthetotalfundsareearmarkedfor highwayprojectsandprograms.Otherareasreceivingasignificantportionoffundsarerailandrapid transitconstruction,operationalimprovements,includingenhancingthebussystemsandincreasing servicesforseniorcitizensandthedisabled;andlocaltransportationimprovements,suchascreating saferbusstopsandincreasingbikeprograms.Assetprotectionsagainstunnecessaryorexploitive measures,fundscannottransferfromtransittohighwayprojectsfortenyearsandmusthaveatleast twothirdsapprovalfromapanelofjudges.53 52 Meryl,Jean.Pg.2 53 MetropolitanTransportationAuthority.MeasureRWorkshop.LosAngeles:Metro,2009. 24

25 CoupledwiththeimprovementsMeasureRoutlined,inordertogetpassed,Metrowasforced tolayoutanumberofpromisestothepublicthatMeasureRfundswouldfulfill.Promisesrangedfrom explicitcommitments,suchastheconstructionofsoundwallsandgradeseparations,tomorebroad basedlongtermgoals,includingreducingdependencyonforeignoilthroughafocusonpublictransit andenhancedgeographicequity.Anumberofpromisesalsooutlinedwaystostrengthenthe relationshipbetweengoverningagenciesandthegeneralpublicinregardstotransportationdecision making.ToregulatethisrelationshiptheMeasureRproposalpromisestoconductannualaudits,give constantanduptodatereports,maintaintransparency,andtosetupanadvisoryboardtoensurefunds arespentonwhatvotershavedecided.Inallpossiblecasesthemeasureaimstoreinvestrevenuesinto thelocaleconomybycreatingjobsandincreasingenvironmentalbenefits.54 Unfortunately,itwillbenearlyimpossibleformeasureRtoproduceenoughfundstoactualize alltheprojectsoutlinedintheproposal.SimilartotheregionaltransportationplansofSCAGandthe MCGMAP,transportationplannersanticipatemanagingthegaplargelythroughpublicprivate partnerships(PPPs).Althoughenlistingprivateentitiestomeetfundingneedswillacceleratethe completionofnecessaryprojects,privateinvestorsdemandtheirinvestmentsreturnprofits.Los AngelesCountywillthenbeforcedtoleveragerealestateandsharefuturerevenuestreamstomeetthe demandsofprivateinvestors.Additionally,investorswilldemandassurancethatameanstocontrol riskswillbeimplemented.Obligationstotheprivatesectorputpressuresongovernmentagenciesto establishalternatefundingsourcesthatdonotrequireextendeddebtrepaymentstoexternalagencies. Alternaterevenuesourcesandstrategiesincludeincreasinggovernmentdebtlimitations,sellingdebt andbondsonMeasureRfunds,andacceleratingconstructiontimelines.55 ThepassageofMeasureRhasimportantimplicationsforthefutureoftheLosAngeles transportationsystem.Currently,thepublictransitsystemofLosAngelesisonlyresponsibleforthree 54 Metro.MeasureRWorkshop. 55 MeasureRWorkshop 25

26 percentofallcommutertrips.56Inanefforttoincreasethispercentageandencouragegreaterpublic transituse,themajorityofMeasureRfundsaredesignatedtotransitdevelopment,butsomehighway projectsarestillreceivingsignificantamountsoffundingfromMeasureR.$780millionofMeasureR fundsareearmarkedforthe710extensionwhichadvocatespointout,isindirectcontentionofthe effortstoincreasepublictransportationuseasthe710extensionwillonlyincreasetheinfrastructure whichsupportsLosAngelescarcentriclifestyle.57ThemoneyallocatedfromMeasureRisadriving forceinbringingthelongawaitedI710extensionclosertoreality. Despitethe780millionfromMeasureRthereisstillasignificantfundinggapforthe710 extension.Constructionofthetunnelisexpectedtoexceedthreebilliondollarswithoperational expensestotalingapproximatelyanothertwentyfivemillion.58Thesecostswouldmakethe710tunnel moreexpensivepermilethanmostotherurbanfreewaysandmorethantheentireLosAngelessubway system.59TheoptionbothMetroandCaltransarepursuingtobridgethisfundinggapistocreatea partnershipwithprivateinvestors.Inordertocoverprivatecosts,anexpectedtollranginganywhere betweenfourandeightdollarspertripwillbechargedforusageofthetunnel.60Althoughtosomea tunnelseemsoutofsightandthereforeoutofmind,exuberantcostsandalackofinformationabout tunnelingisstillmakingmanycommunitiesskepticalaboutthebenefitsofanundergroundfreeway. Insteadofalleviatingconcernsandsuppressingcommunityopposition,Caltranshasinsteadleftmany frustratedandconfused. CommunityConcerns Oneofthegreatestriskforresidentsaffectedbythe710extensionishealth.Evenwiththe propositionforatunnel,whichforcescarsandtrucksunderground,emissionsfromthesevehiclesmust 56 Bullard,et.al.Pg53 57 Arnold,Margaret.The710:ACommunitySaysNo.TheArroyoSecoJournal,15.(2009). 58 SouthernCaliforniaAssociationofGovernments.TunnelFinancialFeasibilityAssesment.LosAngeles:2008. 59 Knapp,Clarice.RoadtoRuin.LosAngeles:UnitedtoSaveSouthPasadena.2004.Pg.10 60 SCAG.Tunnelfinancialfeasibilityassessment. 26

27 stillbeexpelledfromthetunnelsomewherealongtheroute.Residentsareworried,whetheremissions areexhaustedthroughtheportals(entryandexitsofthetunnel)orthroughchimneylikeventsalong theroute,theemissionswillseverelylowerthequalityofairintheirneighborhoods.Studieshavefound thatfineparticulatematter(PM)indieselexhaustisnotonlyavascularthreat,butcanactuallypass throughnaturalbodydefensesandpenetratethelungs.ThisdiscoverypromptedthestateofCalifornia toaddPMtothelistoftoxicaircontaminatesandtheEPAtoclassifydieselexhaustasaknown carcinogen.Recentstudieshaveshownthatseventypercentofcancerrisksintheregioncanbe attributedtoPMfromdieseltrucks.61Thesefindingshavemaderesidentsunwillingtosupportany proposalthatwouldpotentiallyincreaseriskstotheirhealth.Inadditiontothesehealthconcerns, residentsmustalsoconsidertheirpropertyandhomeswhicharealsoinjeopardy. DespiteCaltransclaimstunnelingwillsavehomes,schoolsandbusinessessignificantsurface constructionisrequiredtocreatethetunnelsportals,andthisconstructionwillinevitablytakehomes andbusinesses.Residentsanxiouslyawaitthefinaltunnelrouteandthesentencingofwhowilllose theirhomesandtowhatdegree.Unfortunately,afinalrouteisnotyetbeenidentifiedandtherefore answerscannotbegiventoinquiringresidents,leavingmanyworriedandfrustrated.Residentswho nowresideinCaltransownedhomes,liveonedgewiththefearofknowinghoweasilyCaltranscould removethemfromtheirhomestomakewayforconstruction.Oppositely,landnotusedfor constructionwilleventuallysellontheopenmarket,asCaltranswillnolongerneedit,grantingtenants theopportunitytobecomehomeowners,iftheycanaffordthesellingprice.Thosewhoarealready homeownersworryhoworifthefoundationoftheirhomeswillsufferfromsubsurfacediggingandhow thisprojectmightaffecttheirpropertyvalues. The710freewaylargelyservesgoodsmovementrelatedindustries.Eventhosewhocommute rarelyusethe710becauseofitscongestionandsafetyrisks.Thesereasonsexplainwhyresidentsinthe 61 CaliforniaAirResourceBoard. 27

28 pathofthefreewayfeeltheyaregoingtobearadisproportionateamountofthecostsassociatedwith theextensionyetreceivelittletonobenefits.Communitiesthreatenedbylargeinfrastructureprojects understandtransportationisasocialinvestmentaffectingthesocial,economicandenvironmental qualityoflifeinurbancommunities.62Transportationinvestmentsshouldservetobenefitthe community,astheywillbearthemajorityofthesocialcosts.TheworkingclasscommunityofElSereno sitsatthenorthernendofthe710andisthereforesubjecttothedetrimentaleffectsoftheconstruction andoperationofthetunnelportal.Entryandexitpointsforthefreewayarewherehomeandbusiness demolitionwilloccurandtrucktrafficwillincreasethemost.ElSerenoresidentsunderstandeventhose whoowncarswillnotutilizethetunnelenoughtocounterthecoststheywillpaywiththeirhealthand lifestyles.Statisticssupportthisfact,statingthatthe20percentofthepopulationthatearnedthe highestincomeaccountsfor32percentoftravel;themiddle20percentaccountsfor19percentofall travel;andthelowest20percentaccountsforonly9percentofalltravelinLosAngeles.63Residents feelthosewhowillbenefitmostfromthetunnelshouldbearmostthecosts. Thisdiscrepancybetweenthosewhobearthecostsandthosewhoreapthebenefitsisleaving manyfeelingvictimtoenvironmentalinjustices.Environmentaljusticeisthefairtreatmentand meaningfulinvolvementofallpeopleregardlessofrace,color,nationalorigin,orincomewithrespectto thedevelopment,implementation,andenforcementofenvironmentallaws,regulations,andpolicies.64 Withinthiscontextfairtreatmentmeansthatnogroupofpeople,includingracial,ethnic,or socioeconomicgroups,shouldbearadisproportionateshareofthenegativeenvironmental consequencesresultingfromindustrial,municipal,andcommercialoperationsortheexecutionof federal,state,local,andtribalprogramsandpolicies.65Pasadena,SouthPasadena,andneighboring 62 Bullard,etal.,26 63 Bullard,etal.,57 64 Bullard,RobertD.andGlenS.Johnson."EnvironmentalJustice:GrassrootsActivismanditsImpactonPublic PolicyDecisionMaking."JournalofSocialIssues56.3(2000). 65 Bullard,et.al. 28

29 communitieswithinLosAngelesareunconvincedofthebenefitsCaltransandotheragenciesare promisingtheywillreceive.TheseconcernscoupledwithCaltransapparentneglectofthose communitieshaveresultedinnotonlyheatedopposition,butlegalactionfromeffectedcitiesand communities. PreliminaryPowerAnalysis FromthemomenteffortsbegantoconstructtheI710freewayfromtheLosAngelesandLong Beachportstothe210freeway,PasadenaandSouthPasadenaresidentshaverigorouslyorganized themselvesinopposition.Overthedecadesfreewayproponentshavepouredmoneyintosilencingthis oppositionandcontinuingconstruction.PasadenaandSouthPasadena,however,refusetobeeasily silenced.Theirincessantoppositionandaggressivecampaignshaveinspiredanumberofothercities andcommunitiestojointhemandplacedPasadenaandSouthPasadenaresidentsattheforefrontofa rapidlygrowingmovement. TomorefullyunderstandthetwosidesofthisdebateIwillpresentapreliminarypoweranalysis toidentifykeystakeholdersanddecisionmakers,theirmotivations,wherepoweroriginatesfromand howthesestakeholdersrelatetooneanother(Seeappendix,Fig.3). Caltrans,Metro,andSCAGarethemostinfluentialgovernmententitiesdictatingtransportation decisionsrelatingtothe710extension.Theyaregrantedofficialdecisionmakingpowerbycity,state andfederalgovernments.Transportationagenciesareallowedspecialprivilegesinregardstoland acquisitionandpermittedtomakemosttransportationdecisionsindependentlyofanyexecutiveleader. Individualswhoholdofficialpowerintransportationdecisionmakingarethosewhoformtheboardof directorsfortheseagencies.Twoofthemostimportantplayersinthe710debateareAraNajarian,the ChairoftheMetroboardofdirectorsandmayorofGlendale,andJoseHuizar,LosAngelesCityCouncil MemberforeastLosAngelesandMetroboardmember.Boardmembersmakefinaltransportation decisionsbasedonamajorityvote.Whileextremepowerisgrantedtothesemembersasagroup, 29

30 individualboardmemberscanbecomepowerlesswithoutsupportfromtherestoftheboard.Currently, Caltrans,MetroandSCAGasgovernmententitiesareinsupportofthe710extensionwhileNajarianand Huizarareadvocatingmoreforacomparablealternative.Governmentdepartmentsandagenciesare grantedthemeanstocarryouttheirdecisions;however,fundingfromtaxationobligesthemtofulfill theneedsandwantsoftaxpayers.Taxpayers,arethusindirectly,themostimportantdecisionmakers. Thosewhoholdunofficialpoweraretaxpayingcitizens.Although,taxesarelargelyuniform, differentgroupsoftaxpayersholddifferentamountsofpower.Unabletomeetthedemandof individuals,governmententitiesrespondtothosewhosevoicesaretheloudest.Proponentsforthe extensionincludetheAmericanTruckersAssociation,producerswhoshipproductsviatruck,and internationaltradingpartners.Themainsourceofpowerfortheseorganizationsliesintheirwidespread supportandmonetaryresources.Abletofundmassivecampaignsandmonetarilysupportboard membersandpoliticians,theseagenciesareadrivingforceinfluencingtransportationdecisionmaking. OtherunofficialpowersincludetheTenantsAssociation,nonprofitorganizationsand publicentitiesincludingtheNaturalResourceDefenseCouncil(NRDC),andvariouscommunitygroups. Theseentitiesexertpowerbyorganizingenoughoppositiontopressureboardmemberstovotefor proposalscommunitiesdeembeneficial.Withoutthesamemonetaryresourcesassomeofthe aforementionedlargerorganizationsandbusinesses,communitygroupsandassociationsneedstronger numberstomaintainthesameinfluencingpower. ElSerenotheForgottenCommunity SouthPasadenasaggressiveoppositiontacticshaveovershadowedtheirsouthernneighbor,El Sereno,whichsitsattheterminusofthecurrent710freeway.UnlikePasadenaandSouthPasadena,El Serenoisnotknowntohavepursuedmanyorganizingeffortsagainstthefreewayconstruction.Whilea directroutethreatensSouthPasadenaandPasadenacommunities,nearlyeveryproposedroutewould runthroughElSereno,makingitoneofthelargeststakeholdersinvolvedinthe710freewaygap 30

31 closure.ThecommunityofElSerenoandtheirresponsetothe710freewayextensionproposaloffersa casestudyofhowlowincome,minoritycommunitiescanestablishinfrastructuretocontest developmentsthatpromisetobedetrimentaltothewelfareofresidents.Throughcarefulinvestigation includinginterviewswithvariousstakeholders,certaintoolswerediscoveredasnecessaryandavailable todevelopinfrastructurewithinthecommunitytoallowthemtouniteandstandagainstanymovement thatchallengestheircommunityswellbeing. Communityprofile NortheastLosAngeleshasahistoricalbackgroundwhichdiffersfromtherestofLosAngeles. Originally,anunpopulatedanddistantsettlement,NortheastLosAngelesdevelopedintoanewhome formanyMexicanswhowereforcedeastwardbytheantiMexicansentimentoftheU.S.settlers followingtheMexicanAmericanwarin1846.ThismigrationbytheMexicanpopulationestablished whatistodayoneofthelargestconcentrationsofMexicansoutsideofMexico.66ElSerenoisjustoneof manycommunitiesthroughoutLosAngelesthatishometoamajorityHispanicpopulation.67 ElSerenos40,000residentsarenestledina4.7squaremilesectionofnortheastLosAngeles.68 Although,theyarepartoftheCityofLosAngelesandhavesimilardemographicstotheirsurrounding neighbors,ElSerenohasveryfewassociationswiththeCityandisinitselfauniqueandthriving community.ElSerranoslocationatthenortheastborderofLosAngelesmakestheirclosestneighbor thepredominatelywhiteandaffluentcityofSouthPasadena.ThisproximitytoSouthPasadena accentuatesthevastincongruenceineconomicsanddemographicsbetweenthesetwoverydistinct communities,oneofcolorandonenot. 66 Benitez,Tomas.EastL.A.:PastandPresent.2004.2010. 67 Commerce,ElSerenoChamberof.LocationandDemographics.2009.2010 . 68 ElSerenoChamberofCommerce 31

32 83%ofElSerenos40,000residentsidentifythemselvesasHispanicwith67.5%speakingSpanish astheirprimarylanguage.ElSerenoisayoungcommunitywithamedianageof32.3and16.7%ofthe populationbetweentheagesoffiveandfourteen.Aworkingclasscommunity,ElSerenoaveragesan annualincomeof$37,480and49%ofresidentsaretenants.69Twomajoragenciesrepresentthepeople ofElSerenowithinthegreaterLosAngeles:theNeighborhoodCouncilandthedistrictcouncilmember. ThefourteenthdistrictencompassesthecommunitiesofBoyleHeights,EagleRock,ElSereno, DowntownLosAngeles,Garvanza,GlassellPark,Hermon,RoseHills,HighlandParkandMount Washington.JoseHuizar,thecouncilmemberwhopresidesoverthefourteenthdistrictwaselectedto officein1995afterservingontheLosAngelesUnifiedSchoolDistrictBoardofEducation.Huizarprides himselfonimplementingsustainableplanningpracticesthroughoutthedistrictandhiseffortsto revitalizemajorcommercialcorridors.InadditiontohisroleintheCityCouncil,HuizarsitsontheMetro board,andthushasavestedinterestinthefateofthe710tunnel.70 Locally,ElSerenoisrepresentedbytheNeighborhoodCouncil,aninstitutiondevelopedto vocalizethecommunitysinterestsandconcernstothecityatlarge.TheNeighborhoodCouncilsystem wasestablishedin2001inanefforttoempowercommunitiesandallowindividualstohaveagreater influenceindecisionmaking.Communitiesareresponsiblefordevelopingtheirownneighborhood councils,andthereforewillonlyexistwhereresidentshavedecidedthereisaneed.Neighborhood CouncilsmustgetcertifiedbytheBoardofNeighborhoodCommissionersofLosAngelestobe recognized,butarethenencouragedtobecomeindependentandguidethecommunityas independentlyaspossiblefromcitygovernment.71NeighborhoodCouncilsaregranteda$50,000budget bytheCitywhichtheCouncilsarefreetospendastheydeemnecessary.Additionalfundingisavailable 69 ElSerenoChamberofCommerce 70 TheCityofLosAngeles.JoseHuizar.2010.2010http://cd14.lacity.org/YOUR_TEAM/District_Profile/index.htm. 71 CityofLosAngeles.DepartmentofNeighborhoodEmpowermentLosAngeles.2010.2010. 32

33 withapprovalfromtheboard.72Currently,ElSerenosNeighborhoodCouncilisheadedbyHugoGarcia. Mr.GarciaisalifelongresidentofElSerenoandhasahistoryofChicanoactivismsincehighschool.Mr. GarciacofoundedtheElSerenoOrganizingCommittee,anorganizationestablishedtoadvocateand takeactionforthebettermentofthecommunity,andhasworkedinoppositionofthe710extension.73 Apartfromthesegovernmentalagencies,ElSerenoalsohasanestablishedChamberofCommerce.The ElSerenoChamberofCommerceconsistsof150participatingbusinesses.TheChamberhosts communityeventstostrengtheneconomicactivityandpromoteneighborhoodunity.74 AlthoughElSerenohasmoreatstakethantheirmorevocalneighbors,PasadenaandSouth Pasadena,attemptstomimictheirsuccessfulmethodsofoppositionhavefailed.Theimpendingthreat ofthefreewayextensionnecessitatesimmediateactionfromtheElSerenocommunity. ElSerenorepresentsoneoftheremainingcommunitiesinNortheastLosAngeleswherethe cultureofaHispanicworkingclassstillremainsstrong.CommunitieslikeElSerenoareunderconstant threatfromamyriadofissuesincludinggentrification,failingeducationsystems,strugglingbusinesses, discriminationandcrime.AlthoughmanycommunitiessimilartoElSerenohavestruggledtoestablish andmaintainanenvironmentaljusticeorganization,ElSerenosrecentinvolvementwiththeI710 freewayprovidesthemtheopportunitytoserveasanexampleofacommunitythatdoesmakea difference.Unlikemanyothercommunitiesintheregion,ElSerenoisdirectlyimpactedbytheproposed extensionofthefreeway,yetdespitethesuccessesofneighboringSouthPasadenaandPasadena,El Serenohashadlittlesuccessthusfarinmaintainingstrongopposition.Whilealackofresourcesseems liketheobviousculprittotheirmisfortunes,previouscampaignsagainstCaltranshavedemonstrated thatElSerenoresidentsdohavetheresourcesandassetsnecessarytoformtheirowncampaign,one whichisdistincttotheircommunity. 72 CityofLosAngeles 73 Garcia,Hugo.NeighborhoodCouncilMemberFelisiaCastaneda.23March2010. 74 ElSerenoChamberofCommerce 33

34 ElSerenoHistoryoforganizing ElSerenoisoneofthelastthrivingandartisticcommunitiesinLosAngelesthatstillmaintainsits workingclassmentality.Thisworkingclass,whilesustainingastrongsenseofpride,hascountless limitations,someoutoftheircontrolandsomewithintheircontrol,whichhindertheirabilityto maintainandprogressthewellbeingoftheircommunity.Despitetheselimitations,ElSerenohas demonstratedasetofintangibleassetsthathaveallowedtheircommunitytoorganizeinawayeven theirrivals,northernneighborsPasadenaandSouthPasadena,havebeenunabletoachieve.Evenso,El Serenohasstruggledtostanduptotheinjusticesbroughtaboutbythesignificantlymorepowerful Caltrans.Thishasnotstoppedthecommunityfromputtingforthefforts,somewhichhaveresultedin success,andothersnot. Whenproposalstocompletethe710extensionthroughtothe210inPasadenafirstresurfaced intheearly1990sanEnvironmentalImpactStatement(EIS)wasrequiredbyCaltransbeforetheycould proceedwithplanning.AftertheEISwasintroducedaRoute710MitigationandEnvironmentalAdvisory CommitteewasestablishedtoidentifyspecificmitigationmeasuresrequiredforElSereno,Pasadena, andSouthPasadena.Caltrans,refusedtoacceptarepresentativeofElSerenowhorequestedtoserve onthepanel.75Asaresult,plansforanabovegradefreewayrunningthroughElSerenofounditsway intothefinalCaltransproposal.WhenresidentsofElSerenodiscoveredwhatCaltranswasoffering SouthPasadenaandPasadena,ElSerenowasquicktoreact.Theproposalforthe710extensionthrough SouthPasadenacalledforthefreewaytobe80%belowgrade,andinPasadenatheextensionwas plannedfor100%belowgrade.76ThismeanttheroadrunningthroughSouthPasadenaandPasadena wouldbelargelydepressed,orbelowthesurroundinggroundlevel,makingitlessobtrusiveandmore aestheticallypleasing.Furthermore,aconstructionmethodknownascutandcover,wheretrenchesare 75 Bullard,et.al.,172 76 Bullard,et.al. 34

35 dug,allowingthefreewaytorunfarbelowgrade,thencoveredandreplacedwithparksorotherpublic space,wasgoingtobeusednearschoolsinPasadena;whilenearElSerenosSierraVistaMiddleSchool, allfreewayconstructionwasplannedatasignificantlylowercostatorabovegrade.77Thisdiscovery wasimmenselydiscerningforresidentsastheirmiddleschoolalreadysufferedfromunderfundinganda lackoffacilitiesthatSouthPasadenaandPasadenaschoolshadanabundanceof.Thetwoneighboring citiesenjoyedstateoftheartschoolgymsand,evensimply,properlysealedclassroomwindowsto maintainoptimaltemperatureandsealoutairpollutantsinsideclassroombuildings,fortheirchildren. TheyouthofElSereno,however,wereforcedoutsideduringinclementweatherforphysicaleducation forlackofasufficientgym,anddidnotenjoythesimplebenefitofproperlysealedwindowstoprotect themfromoutsideairpollutants.78ElSereno,parentswereinfuriatedtheirchildrenwerenotgranted thesametreatmentastheirCaucasian,moreaffluentneighbors.Inadditiontothetactlessapproach CaltranswastakingtowardsElSerenosschools,littleconsiderationwastakenastohowanabovegrade freewaymightfurtherisolatethecommunity. ElSerenosmainthoroughfare,HuntingtonDrive,isasixlaneroadwhichcutsdirectlythrough thecenterofthecommunity.Thisroadalreadyservestohindertheeaseandsafetyofpedestriantraffic withinthecommunity.Theproposedsectionofthe710throughElSerenowouldcreateadditional barrierstopedestrianmobilityandsafetywithinthecommunity.ThefreewaywouldfurtherdivideEl Serenomorethanitsneighboringcommunities.NewCommunitydivisionscreatedbythefreeway extensionwouldbeunsurpassableexceptbycar.Residentswouldliterallybecutofffromcultural institutionstheyfrequented,simplybecausetheycouldnotreachcertaindestinationswithinthetown, furtherisolatingthecommunityfromoneanotherandforcingresidents,notonlytheirdailyroutines, buttheirentirelives.79 77 Bullard,et.al.,163 78 Garcia,Hugo. 79 Bullard,et.al.,168 35

36 Inadditiontodestroyingthesolidarityofthecommunity,ElSerenowouldbesubjecttoeven moredisplacementthroughlossofhomesandproperties.Ofallthehouseswhichwouldbedestroyed inallthreecommunities,ElSerenowouldsuffer47%ofhousingdemolitionstomakewayforthe freeway.80Tomakemattersworse,themajorityofthesehouseswouldbesubsidizedunitsforlow incomeresidents.Unlikedisplacedresidentsinneighboringcities,ElSerenotenantswouldnothavethe luxuryofmovingtoaffordablehousingneartheirpreviousplaceofresidence.Insteadtheywouldhave tomovetoacompletelynewcommunityorcity.81Inadditiontoconcernsoverwhatwouldhappento affordablehousingwithinthecommunity,ElSerenoofficialswereconcernedaboutthehistoricalhomes withintheirneighborhood.ProtectionswereputinplaceforanumberofPasadenaandSouthPasadena homesundertherequestoftheNationalTrustforHistoricPreservation.However,thesmalldistrictinEl Serenoidentifiedbythetrustashavinghistoricalhomesinneedofappropriatemitigation,werenot offeredthesameprotectionsbyCaltrans.82DiscrepanciesbetweenhowthefreewaywouldaffectSouth PasadenaandPasadenaincomparisontoElSerenoleftElSerenoresidentsfeelingharshlydiscriminated against.Whileallthethreecommunitieshadnearlyidenticalresourcesatstake,ElSerenowasnotgiven anywhereclosetothesamemitigationconsiderationsasPasadenaandSouthPasadena. WhatmightexplainthisdisparityintreatmentbyCaltrans?Ethnicityandeconomicstatus seemedtobetheonlydifferencesbetweenElSerenoandtheirneighbors,whichwouldmakethisa clearcaseofenvironmentalracism.Environmentalracismcanbeexplainedasanenvironmentalpolicy, practice,ordirectivethatdifferentiallyaffectsordisadvantages(whetherintendedorunintended) individuals,groups,orcommunitiesbasedonraceorcolor.83ThediscriminationbyCaltransisadirect violationofthe14thAmendmentoftheUnitedStateswhichprohibitsdiscriminationbyanygovernment body,andofTitleVIofthepostCivilWarActsof1964whichbroadlyprohibitstheuseoffederalfunds 80 Bullard,et.al.,164 81 Bullard,et.al.,172 82 Bullard,et.al.,168 83 Bullard,et.al.,111 36

37 byrecipientstodiscriminateonthebasisofrace,color,ornationalorigin.84Therecognitionofthese violationsledfourindividuals,includingHugoGarciaandPeteNavarro,toseekhelpfromtheNational AssociationoftheAdvancementofColoredPeoples(NAACP)LegalDefenseandEducationFundtohelp buildacaseagainstCaltransforenvironmentalracism.TheNAACPLegalDefenseFundworkedwith MothersofEastLosAngeles,theElSerenoNeighborhoodActionCommittee,theElSerenoOrganizing Committee,andtheMexicanAmericanLegalDefenseandEducationFund(MALDEF)tofilealawsuitin Septemberof1995againstCaltransformitigationeffortsthatdiscriminatedagainstElSereno.85 Residentswantedtomaketheircasewidelyknowntothepublic.Withmediaconnectionsfromthe NAACPsLegalDefenseFundElSerenosfightagainstCaltransmadeapresenceinboththeEnglishand Spanishmainstreammedia.TospreadthewordaboutthecourtcasewithinthecommunityMr.Garcia andothersworkedtoeducatetheresidentsaboutthedetailsofthelawsuit.Garciaandcrewheld communitymeetings,inwhichtherewasoverwhelmingparticipationandsupport.Withthe communityssupport,plaintiffswereabletograbtheattentionoflocalofficials,thusescalatingpublic presenceoftheircase.86Thefinaldecisionruledinfavoroftheplaintiffsandmitigationtacticswere changedinElSerenotomatchthoseinSouthPasadenaandPasadena.AlthoughElSerenoslawsuitwas amajorvictoryforthecommunity,ElSerenohasstruggledtomaintainanupperhandagainstCaltrans. ElSerenohasaproventheyarecapabletheirresourcestowinalawsuitagainststronghold,Caltrans. Cantheydoitagainifthecircumstanceariseswheretheircommunityisagainatrisk?Yes.Thebattle forElephantHillisthemostrecentsuccessstoryofElSereno. ElephantHill ElephantHillisthenamegiventoanopenhillsideinElSereno.Thehillsideprovidesaretreat whereresidentscangotoenjoyasmallpieceofnatureinacommunitywithlittleopenspace.Inthe 84 Bullard,et.al.,157 85 Bullard,et.al. 86 Garcia,Hugo. 37

38 1980s,thishillsidewasunderthreatofdevelopmentfromGreenhillInvestmentCo.,arealestate companywantingtousethelandasadevelopmentspaceforluxuryhomes.87Uponhearingofthisplan theElSerenohomeownersassociationbegantoexpressconcernsregardingenvironmentalsafety, gentrification,andthelossofoneoftheonlyaccessibleopenspacesinLosAngeles.In1993,residents weredisappointedtohear,notonlythecitysapprovalofthisdevelopment,butalsoofthe environmentalimpactreport(EIR).FortunatelyforElSereno,however,aslumpintherealestatemarket resultedinGreenhillInvestmentCo.postponingthedevelopmentandultimatelysellingthelandrights toMontereyHillsInvestorsin2003.88Immediately,adoortodoorcampaign,ledbylocalactivistsHugo GarciaandElvaYanez,wasstartedtogathersupportinoppositionofthedevelopment.Afteramorein depthlookintothepotentialplansofMontereyHillsInvestors,residentsdiscoveredtheinvestment companyhadbroadenedtheboundariesoftheproposeddevelopment,arrangingtobuildmorethan doublethenumberofunitsoriginallyplanned.Theserevisionsweremadewithoutanadditional environmentalreview,convincingGarciaandYaneztobringlegalattentiontothecase.89In2006a coalitionwasformedhelpingresidentsgainpoliticalleverageandtakelegislativeactionagainstthe developers.OnlyaftertenpublichearingsdidtheCityCouncilruletorequireasupplemental environmentalreviewpriortoanydevelopmentbyMontereyHillInvestors.90 DespiteElSerenosongoingopposition,MontereyHillsInvestorsproceededtoarguefortheir rightstotheoriginalandadditionalland.In2009thecompanysuedthecityofLosAngelesforcausing unnecessarydamagesandcostingthemmillionsofdollars.91Theinvestmentcompanywonthecase againstthecity,butthisdidnotstopElSereno.WithsupportfromCouncilmemberHuizarandlegal assistancefromtheNaturalResourceDefenseCouncil(NRDC),ElSerenoresidentsappealedthecourt 87 Sahgun,Louis."ElSerenoSavestheHeavens."LosAngelesTimes10Novemer2009.Pg.3 88 Yanez,Elva.EngagingCommunities.SanDiego:ActiveLivingResearchConference,2010. 89 Sahgun,Louis.Pg.2 90 Yanez,Elva 91 Zahniser,David."DeveloperWinsSuitAgainstL.A.overElSerenoHousingTractProject."LosAngelesTimes8 January2009. 38

39 decision,92andinNovemberof2009LosAngelesfinallysettledthecasewiththedevelopersbyagreeing topurchasethe24acrepropertyandanadditionalfiveadjacentacresfor$9million.93Thenewly purchasedlandwillsoondevelopintoaparkwithhikingtrails,apanoramicviewingpointandpicnic areas.94ThismostmmediateneedforactioncoupledwiththepreviouseffortsmadebyElSerenoto campaignfortheircommunitysrights,promptedmetoquestionhowthecommunitycouldestablisha lastingconfidenceandstructurewhichwouldallowthemtodefendtheircommunityinthefuture.To betterunderstandthesentimentsofElSerenosresidentsIspokedirectlywithmembersofthe community. ElSereno:TheirVoicesHeard ThediversityinElSerenofostersanarrayofopinionsandconcernswhichIsoughttocaputure throughmultipleinterviews.Iconductedeightseparateinterviewswithresidentsandlocalpolitical figures.IntervieweeswerechosenfromstakeholderswhohadahistoryofinvolvementrelatingtotheI 710extension.Interviewquestionsweredesignedtounderstandwhatstakeholdersbelievearethe majorissuesfacingElSerenoandwhatbarriersexist,preventingsuccessfulcommunityorganizing. IntervieweeswereaskedtodescribeElSerenosstrengthsandweaknesseswithregardstothe communitysorganizationalcapacityandhowthesestrengthsandweaknesseshavehelpedorhindered effortsagainstthe710extension.Finally,interviewsubjectswereaskedaboutbestapproachesEl Serenocouldtaketosecurealargerroleindecisionmaking. Allinterviewswereconductedinperson,ifpossible,orviaphone.Inpersoninterviewswere conductedeitherattheintervieweeshomeoratalocalcaf.Fouroftheeightinterviewswere recordedwithahandheldvoicerecorderandlatertranscribedontoacomputer.Theotherfourwere 92 Yanez,Elva. 93 WaveStaff."CityCouncilSettlesWithElephantHillDeveloper."LosAngelesWave5November2009. 94 Sahgun,Louis. 39

40 recordedvianotetakingdirectlyontoacomputerduringtheinterview.Thefollowingsectiondescribes interviewsubjectsandtheselectionprocessbywhichtheywerechosen. InterviewsweremeanttogatherawiderangeofopinionsfromstakeholdersinElSereno regardingthecommunity.Twointerviews,MarieSalasandTomWilliams,areElSerenoresidentswitha historyofactivismaroundthe710freewayandareknownthroughoutthecommunityfortheiractivism. RobertoFloresandJohnSmith95*areactiveparticipantsintheEastsideCaf,acommunityspace developedbyresidentsofElSerenotopromotetheselfempowermentofthecommunity.Interviewee, Smith,providedanoutsiderviewofthecommunity.Heisnotaresidentbuthasonlybeeninvolvedwith theEastsideCafforaboutoneyear.PeteNavarroandHugoGarciabothwereinvolvedwiththelegal caseagainstCaltransinvolvingenvironmentalracism,andbothhaveexperienceswithlocalgovernment. ThetwoalsohelpedleadtheElSerenoActionCommittee.EldaVizcarra,isthePlanningand TransportationDeputyofCouncilmemberHuizar.HeprovidesinsightintothecommunityofElSereno fromapoliticalleadersperspective. Afterconductingallinterviews,similaritiesanddifferencesamongthevariousthoughtsand opinionswerecarefullyanalyzed.Similaritiesfromtheinterviewswerethenusedtodevelopmy recommendationsforcommunitydevelopment.Thefollowingsectiondescribesthefindingsfrommy interviews(Seeappendix,Fig.4). InterviewFindings Withoutcontentions,ElSereno,likemanyeastsidecommunities,strugglesdailywithamyriad ofissues.Onesinglelargestconcerncannotbeagreedupon.Althoughdifferencesinopinioncanbe dividing,someissuesarerecognizedbymostasconcernsdemandingsignificantattention.Theonly mattermentionedamongallintervieweeswashousing.HousinginElSerenoisachronicissueaffecting nearlyeveryonewithinthecommunity.Alackofhousingthroughoutthecityhasmadeitdifficultfor 95 Pseudonym 40

41 renterstobecomehomeownersandevenmoredifficultforpeopletofindhousing.Accordingtothe DepartmentofHousingandUrbanDevelopment,ifahouseholdspendsnomorethan30%oftheir annualincomeonhousingitisdeemedaffordable.96InLosAngeles,duetothehousingshortage,12 millionrentersandhomeownersarepayingmorethan50%oftheirannualincomeforhousingcosts.97 Theseexorbitantcostsmakeitdifficultforlowincomeresidentstoaffordotherbasicneeds.WithinEl Sereno,Caltranshasthepotentialtohelpalleviatescarcityproblemsbyrentingorsellinghomes purchasedyearsagoataffordablerates. Caltranseagernesstopurchasehomesandlandalongthe710corridortohaveintheeventof freewayexpansions,makesCaltransthelargestlandlordinElSereno.Asagovernmentbody,manyfeel Caltransisobligatedtorentandsellthesepropertiesataffordableratestoalleviatescarcitywithinthe housingmarketandfeeloffensebyhowCaltransishandlingtheirhomeownership.Nearlyeveryblock throughoutthecorridorhasatleastfiveemptyhomes.98ForunknownreasonsCaltransisneither rentingnorsellingthesepropertieswhichcouldprovideamuchneededhomeforlowincomeresidents. ApartfromtheblatantdisregardfortheLosAngeleshousingblight,Caltransabandonedhomesare causingnuisancesforneighbors.Manyproperties,particularlythosethataregroupedtogether,attract criminalanddelinquentbehaviorsuchasprostitutionanddrugdeals,andareinvitingtoamyriadof drunksandhomeless.99Propertieswhichneighborsareabletoprotectfromnefariouspersonsand activities,stillfacethechallengeofkeepingoutthehostofpestswhichfindtheirwayin.Neighbors mustoftenfightoffrat,cockroach,andraccooninfestationsthatcrossoverontotheirproperties.100 MismanagementbyCaltransalsocarriesovertohomesinwhichtenantsreside. 96 U.S.DepartmentofHousingandUrbanDevelopment.AffordableHousing.10May2010.2010 . 97 U.S.DepartmentofHousingandUrbanDevelopment 98 Salas,Marie.ElSerenoResident,CaltransTenantFelisiaCastaneda.25March2010. 99 Smith,Joe.EastsideCafeParticipantFelisiaCastaneda.24March2010. 100 Salas,Marie. 41

42 Caltranstenants,attractedtothehomesfortheiraffordablerates,arestrugglingtosurvivein deterioratinghomes.AlthoughCaltransisalandlordtohundredsofresidents,theirroleasa governmenttransportationagencyexemptsthemfromthenormalhealthandsafetyregulations imposedonconventionallandlords.ThisabsenceofoversightallowsCaltranstoneglecttheneedsof residentswithoutliability.Tenantsthroughoutthecorridorweresurprisedtodiscoverfaultyplumbing, crackedwindows,poorlyconstructedcabinets,termites,andrats,justmonthsafterbeginningtheir leasewithCaltrans.Homesthathadappearedingoodconditionatthetimeofsigningtheleasewere literallyfallingapart.FurtherinfuriatingresidentsarethelengthsoftimeittakesCaltranstomakeeven themostsimpleandnecessaryrepairstotheirhomes.ThelevelofdisrespectandabuseCaltransput tenantsthroughhasdubbedthembyresidentsasthelargestslumlordinLosAngeles.101Thisnegligence fromCaltranshasjeopardizedtheircredibilityasagovernmentbodyandhasleadresidentsandtenants tolosefaithinthepoliticalstructureasawhole. Thesecondissuethatwasnearlyuniversallymentionedasakeyissuefacingthecommunitywas afeelingsofdisconnectbetweenelectedleadersandmembersofthecommunity.Althoughthecityis dividedinawaythatissupposedtograntmorerepresentationtoindividuals,localpoliticiansareoften criticizedforcateringonlytotheneedsoftheirconstituentswhocansecurethemreelection.ElSereno cannotprovidethesamefinancialassetsastheirmoreaffluentneighboringcommunities;but,the populationofElSerenodoesmakesanecessaryallyforanypoliticianlookingtoraiseenoughvotesfor election.102Whilepoliticiansworktomaintainapleasantfaade,ElSerenoresidentsaregrowingmore frustratedwithaseriesofbrokenpromisesandmistreatments.Anyagreementsbypoliticalleaderswith Caltransisseenasapartnershipwithanorganizationmanyresidentsfeelisthebiggestthreattotheir community.Residentshaveseentheseagreementsintheformofpublicsupportforthe710extension andtheneglectbypoliticianstoaidCaltranstenants.WhilePasadenaandSouthPasadenaaregranted 101 Salas,Marie 102 TomWilliams 42

43 theluxuryofmeetingwiththeirelectedleaderstodiscussissuesandconcerns,residentsofElSereno arestrugglingtomaketheirvoicesheard.Whenresidentsareabletoreachpoliticiansitisrarethese encountersaretakenseriouslyoramounttoanyrealchange.Withonegovernmentbodysubjecting halfofthecommunitytoslumlordconditionsandelectedofficialsturningtheirbacksonthis mistreatment,thegovernmenthasprovenmoreofaburdenthanbenefitforElSereno.Coupledwith theseissues,healthandtrafficwerealsomentionedatleastinpartbyalmostalltheintervieweesas majorareasofconcern. Mostoftheresidentsinterviewedmadereferencetoanumberoforganizationsmostactivein advocatingfortherightsoftheresidents.Someoftheinstitutionsmentionedwere;theEastsideCaf, SemillasdelPueblo,theElSerenoNeighborhoodActionCommittee,theElSerenoOrganizing Committee,andtheTenantsAssociation.Iwillusethefollowingsectiontobrieflydescribeeach institutionandtheirrelationshipwiththecommunityasdescribedbytheinterviewees. TheEastsideCafisaculturalandeducationalspacefoundedbyElSerenoresidentsforthe evolvementofsustainableselfreliancethrougheducation,culturalawareness,healthandthearts.103 TheCafisfoundedonprinciplesofselfgovernanceandselfdetermination.FoundersoftheCafhope itwillprovideaplaceforthecommunitytolearn,developnetworks,andreinforceandsupportactivities thatareconducivetotheadvancementofthecommunitysselfreliance.TheCafisavibrantcenterfor thesurroundingcommunity.Fandangos,largemusicalevents,areoftenheldattheCafasawayto unitepeopleandpromotetheculturalvibrancyofthecommunity.Everyyearthecafhostsa celebrationforDiadelosMuertos(DayoftheDead),aMexicanholidaytorememberandhonorthose whohavepassedaway.Inadditiontotheseannualevents,theCafisaspaceforEnglishlearning classes,womensselfdefenseclasses,andisopentousebyanymemberofthecommunity.The 103 Williams,Tom.ElSerenoResidentFelisiaCastaneda.18March2010. 43

44 EastsideCafsupportsacommunitygardenthatservesasspaceforpeopletomeetandlearnabout healthyliving.TheCafisentirelyrunbythecommunityandreceivesnofundsotherthandonations. SemillasdelPuebloisacharterschooldevelopedspecificallyfortheeducationofimmigrant childrenofLosAngeleswhomightotherwisehaveadisadvantageatamainstreamschool.Thepurpose oftheschoolistopromotecommunityengagementandaglobalperspective.Theschoolusesthenative MesoamericanlanguageofNahuatltohelpcreateculturalawarenessandprideamongtheyouth.104The schoolplaysanimportantrolewithinthecommunity,asitservesasaculturalcenterandahavenfor thedevelopmentofthecommunitysyouth.In2006theschoolwasunderattackbypeoplewhofeared theschoolwasacommunistinstitutiontryingtocreateaZapatistamovementinLosAngeles.These fearssparkedantiimmigrationandracistsentiment,leadingtoattacksontheschool,includingbomb threats.ElSereno,enragedbythisblatantracismorganizedagroupofcommunitymemberstoserveas securityaroundtheschool.Thesesecuritymembersbecameknownastheharmonykeepers.Across thestreetXocolatcafwasopenedtohelppromoteaculturalandcommunitycenterwithinthevicinity oftheschool.Thecafalsosuppliesfoodfortheschool. TheElSerenoOrganizingCommitteeandtheElSerenoActionCommitteearetwocommunity organizationsdevelopedtoprovidethecommunitywiththesupportitneedstocreatechangewithin thecommunity.Theorganizationsalsoworktochallengedevelopmentswithadverseeffectsonthe community.TheElSerenoOrganizingCommitteeisaffiliatedmorewiththecommunitynorthof HuntingtonDriveandtheElSerenoActionCommitteeaffiliatesitselfmorewiththeareasouthof HuntingtonDrive. TheTenantsAssociationisanorganizationofCaltranstenantsthatholdregularmeetingsand provideameansofsupporttotenantswhoareexperiencingdifficultieswithCaltrans.Theassociation 104 SemillasCommunitySchools.MissionandVision.2010.2010 . 44

45 hasprovidedabasisfororganizationaroundthe710asmanymembersareworriedabouthow constructionoftheextensionwillaffecttheirhomesandhomeownership. Theseinstitutionswerementionedwithvariousopinionsonthedegreeoftheireffectivenessto uniteandorganizethepeople.However,almostuniformlymentionedwereexamplesoftimeswhenthe communityorganizedquicklyandwithforcewithoutanyformalinstitutionatall.Theabilitythe communityhasdevelopedtonetworkanduniteintimesofneeddemonstratesanunderlying foundationthatcannotbequalifiedasanofficialinstitution.Thestrongnetworkthecommunityhas developedovertheyearswasmentionedbyfiveofmyinterviewedsubjectsasbeingamajor contributortosuccessesinthepast.Inadditiontothisimportantgrassrootsinfrastructure,these examplesoforganizingmakeitapparentthattherearenumerousleaderswithinthecommunity, capableofactivatingthepeople.Althoughthisinfrastructureformsanecessarybaseforcommunity empowerment,theyareweakenedbyidentifiablefaultswithinElSereno. AtleastonceineveryinterviewthedividednatureofElSerenowasbroughtupasaninhibitor toorganizing.ThephysicaldivideofHuntingtonDrivehaspartitionedthecommunityintoseparate districts.ThelargeroadmakescrossingbetweenthetwosidesofElSerenounsafeandinconvenient.As aresultresidentstendtofrequentstores,churches,andotherinstitutionsonthesideofHuntington Drivewheretheylive.PeopleinElSerenoarethereforelesslikelytofamiliarizethemselveswithothers acrossHuntingtonDrive.Physicaldivisionshavefurtheredthedifferencesamongcommunitymembers bymakingiteasierforresidentstoalignthemselveswiththeirimmediateneighborsratherthanthe communityasawhole.Overtimethesealignmentshavedevelopedtheirownattitudesandopinions aboutthemostpressingissuesandthebeststrategiestoaddressthem.Throughtheirlargenumberof registeredvoters,ElSerenohasafairamountofpoliticalleverage.However,disunityamongthe residentssendsapowerfulsignaltopoliticalfiguresthatthecommunitycannotposealegitimate threat,weakeningtheirinfluence.Withoutsomeoneorsomethingtobridgetheboundariesofthese 45

46 alliances,thecommunityhindersitsabilitytocreatethebroadbasedcoalitionitneeds.Thesefactions alsoimpedethedispersionofinformationthroughoutElSereno. Alackofinformationwasaconstantpointofdiscussionamongallinterviewsubjects.Whilemy interviewsubjectswereallawareofthemagnitudeofdiscriminationfromCaltransandthe environmentalinjusticesoftheproposed710tunnel,theyallreiteratedthatotherswereoftenunaware ofhowserioustheissuewasorcompletelyoblivioustothediscriminationfacedbythecommunity.The tunnelproposalisrelativelyrecentandmanypeoplebelieveatunnelwillcompletelymitigatethe effectstheywereworriedaboutwiththesurfacerouteextension.Coupledwiththislackofinformation anabundanceofmisinformationfromoutsidecommunitiesandCaltransthemselvesisconfusingmany ELSerenoresidents.EducatingthepeopleaboutthetruthofElSerenosplightwasidentifiedbynearly alltheintervieweesasnecessarytoadvanceorganizedopposition. Asignificantamountoftimewasallottedduringinterviewstodiscusswhatthebeststrategies weretoachieveselfdetermination.Throughouttheinterviewstwodifferentconceptsstoodoutas influentialforcesdrivingthedirectionsElSerenowastakinginorganizingefforts.Thefirstisthemore conventionalideaofbuildinggovernmentalstructuresfromthebottomup.This,approachinvolves inspiringthecommunity,througheducation,tovocalizebothwhattheysupportandoppose.Oncethe communityisunitedintheirefforts,pressurecanbeplacedonlocalleadersandelectedofficersto allocateresourcesinawaywhichbenefitsthecommunitymost.Localgovernmentwouldbeforcedto relaythedemandsofthecommunitytothenexttierofgovernment.Inthisfashion,legislationwould changeanddevelopthatallowedforthecommunitytotakealargerroleinthedecisionmakingprocess andthuspromoteamoresovereigncommunity.Toachievethisgoodoldfashionorganizing105door todoorconsultations,communitymeetings,andorganizedpetitionsandprotestsneedtotakeplace. Organizingandempowermentofthecommunityshouldoccurwiththegoalofimprovingliving 105 Navarro,Pete.Attorney,CommunityActivistFelisiaCastaneda.24March2010. 46

47 conditionsforCaltranstenants,divertingdevelopmentfromsupplementingtheautomobileto supplementingtransit,andestablishingasysteminwhichElSerenocantakepartindecisionmaking ratherthanbeforcedtofightit.Thealternateagendaaspirestosimilargoals;however,ithasamore revolutionaryapproachwithfocusonacomprehensive,longtermgoal. Thesecondapproachtoselfdeterminationinvolvesamoredeeprootedshiftintheattitudes andactionsofthepeople.Thisapproachleavesoutpoliticalfigurescompletelyandreliesonthe strengthsandabilitiesofthecommunitytoleadElSerenotoaprosperousfuture.Whilesomebelieve workingwithgovernmentstocreatepositivechangesbackedbylegislativedecisionsisthebestwayto achievetheirgoal,thisalternateideaexcludesthegovernmentfromdictatingwhatthepeopledo.Ifthe communitycanuniteandsuccessfullydeterminewhattheyneedtodoforthebenefitofElSerenoand thencarryouttheseactions,thegovernmentswillbeforcedtoworkaroundtheagendaofthepeople. Thiswillgenerateanewsystemwherepeoplearenotconstrictedbybureaucraticregulations,but governmentsplayasecondaryroletothenaturalleadershipwithinthecommunity.Inthisstrategy,the peoplemustresistthedevelopmentofaharmfulfreewayextensionthroughtheircommunityandinthe processdevelopastrongercommunitynetworkthatwillhelpempowerthemtostoprelyingonthe currentgovernmentsystemforanything.ElSereno,haseverythingnecessarytodirectthemselves towardsahealthyandsuccessfulfuture;however,thepeoplemustlearntocollectivelyusetheseassets toachievetheirgoalswhentheyfeelthetimeisright.Throughpopulareducationandcommunity discussionsaboutwhatpeoplewantfromthecommunity,anewformofgovernmentwilltakehold whereElSerenoresidentsarethesoledeterminerofwhathappensinthecommunity. ElSerenohaseffectivelyutilizedsomeofthemostimportantelementsofcommunity organizing.Naturalleaderswhorecognizetangiblethreatstothecommunityareawareofwhat strategiesbestcommunicatethesethreatstotherestofthecommunity.Creatinganenvironment whereresidentscanrecognizetheirneighborsareexperiencingsimilarinjusticesisatoolleadershave 47

48 successfullyusedtoinspireactivismandformabasefororganizing.However,ElSerenohasnot identifiedissuesthatcanunitethecommunityinitsentirety.The710extensionhasthepotentialtobe thisunifyingagentifleaderscancontinuetousetheirskillsinapositivemannertoinspireresidents. FutureOrganizinginElSerenoandRecommendations Bydevelopingtheinfrastructurealreadyinplacewithinthecommunityandefficientlyutilizing itsuniqueassets,ElSerenoresidentshavethepotentialtomakedemandsfromCaltransandseta precedentofcommunityresistancetoallpolicies,projects,andpeoplethatdonotdirectlybenefitthe community.However,nothingwillstrengthenElSerenomorethanunifyingthemselvescompletely.If residentsareunabletobridgethesocialandphysicalbarriersthatdividethem,theireffortsmayresult indetrimentalinefficiencies. Foryearsthecommunityhasfeltunderrepresentedanddiscriminatedagainstbythoseoutside thecommunity.EffortsbyPasadenaandSouthPasadenatorallyElSerenoagainstthefreewayhave provedineffectiveandinsomecasescausedfeelingsofconfusionandindignation.Thesefeelingsare resultantfromthelargecontrastsbetweenthecommunities.Although,thesecommunitiesmayallwant toopposeafreewayrunningthroughtheirhomes,culturalandsocietaldifferencesmotivatethemin uniqueways.ThefirststepinempoweringElSerenoistoridthemofthesefeelingsofsubordination andbelittlementbyoutsideforces. Allowingthecommunitytoopenlydiscussamongthemselvestherecenteventsinvolvingthe 710willprovideanopportunityforthemtodiscoverwhattheywantanddontwant.IdentifyingwhatEl SerenoresidentswantwithouttheinfluenceofPasadena,SouthPasadena,orotheroutsidesourceswill helpdistinguishthecommunityfromtherestofLosAngelesandthesurroundingarea,allowingthemto recognizetheyare,infact,auniqueandseparatecommunitywithuniqueneeds.Settingupaspace wherethesedialoguescanbeheldisanimportantstepinestablishingasenseofplaceforthe community.Althoughthereareafeworganizations,mainlytheEastsideCaf,thathaveaspacewhere 48

49 suchmeetingscantakeplace,theseorganizationshavealreadybuiltafoundationbasedonspecific ideologiesandestablishedasystemofgovernance.Amoreneutralspacethatrelatestotheentire communityshouldserveasthemeetingplaceforfutureorganizing.Thechosenestablishmentshouldbe asymbolofcultureandtoleranceandprovideanenvironmentconducivetolearninganduniting residents.TwoofthemostappropriateinstitutionsaretheSemillasdelPuebloSchoolandthe communitygarden. Schools,asidefromtheirhistoricalroleasacommunitymeetingplace,arealearning environment.Theynaturallyinstillasenseoftrustinthecommunitybecauseitiswhereparentssend theirchildrenandwheretheyouthcandeveloprelationships,findmentors,andmakefriends.Semillas, inadditiontoaschool,isalsoaculturalcenter.ThestressSemillasplacesonculturalvaluesandyouth empowermentmakesitaninstitutionthatthelargelyHispanicpopulationofElSerenocanrelateto.In additiontoexemplifyingtheintrinsicvaluesofthecommunity,Semillashasalreadydemonstrateditself asanagentofunitywithinthecommunity.In2006,whentheschoolwasunderattackfromhostile reactionaries,ElSerenoresidentsimmediatelyjoinedforcestoprotecttheschoolandthechildren.The strengthSemillashastopullthecommunitytogetherwouldmakeitanidealplacetocommence organizingefforts. ThecommunitygardenhasadifferenthistorythantheSemillasschool;however,itrepresents similarvaluesandalsohaspotentialtoserveasapowerfulunifyingagent.Thepurposeofthegardenis toserveasacommunityspaceandtopromoteandeducatepeopleonhealthylifestyles.Formany,a placethatmakeshealthy,freshfoodavailableisafortuitousbenefitforthecommunity.Gardens themselvesareoftenthoughtofasaplaceofpeaceandtranquilityandbyfocusingacommunitygroup aroundthegardenpeoplewouldlearntoappreciatetheenvironmentasaresourceinadditiontoa luxury.Thegardenwouldprovideaphysicalresourcethatresidentscanallappreciateandtherefore learntoshare.Additionally,utilizingthegardeninthiswaywouldstrengthenthecommunityconnection 49

50 tothegardenandthuspressureCaltranstosellordonatethespacetothecommunity.Anyattemptsby Caltranstodestroythegardenwouldbetakenasadirectattackoncommunitysovereignty.Choosingan appropriatemeetingplaceisimportantbecauseitwillcontributetotheatmosphereofthemeetingand thushelpdictatethesuccessofthegathering. Beforediscussionsofwantsandneedscommenceitisimportanttoinformthecommunityof exactlywhatcurrentissuesareaffectingthem.AgeneralmeetingmustbeheldtoeducateElSereno aboutthediscriminationtheyhavefacedandwhatthefuturewillholdforthecommunitywithand withoutthe710extension.ThemeetingshouldconsistofapanelofElSerenoresidentswhohavea deepunderstandingofthevariousissuesfacingthecommunityandinvolvingthe710.Keepingthepanel tolocalresidentswouldinsurethatinformationexplainstheissuesspecifictoElSerenoandispresented inawaythatisrelatabletothecommunity.Panelistsshouldincludesomeonetospeakabouttenants issuesandthehousingshortage,anothertospeakaboutthelawsuitfiledagainstCaltransandthe implicationsithasonthefuture,andsomeoneelsetoaddresshealth.Themeetingshouldconsistof presentationsbythepanelfollowedbyaquestionandanswersession.Attheendeveryoneshould leavewithafactsheetcontainingkeypoints.Thefirstmeetingshouldstrictlybeinformational,allowing peopletothink,intheirowntime,aboutwhatthisinformationmeansandhoworiftheywantto addresstheissuespresented.Thenextchallengewillbefindingawaytogetpeopletothemeeting. Outreachwillbeanimportantanddifficultfactorinthedevelopmentofasuccessfulcampaign againstCaltransandthecreationofanenvironmentalorganization.Whileoutreachwillprogressively geteasierasnetworksgrowandstrengthen,asystemmustdevelopthatenhancestheefficiencyof informationdispersion.Previousexperiencehasproventhatsimpledoortodoorinvitationsareboth manageableandsuccessful.Forthefirstmeetingthesessionshouldbeadvertisedasjustinformation, tolessenanypressuresorfearspeoplemayhaveaboutattendingagatheringwithastrictagenda.An effectivewaytoadvertisethismeetingthroughoutthecommunityistorecruithelpfromthosewhoare 50

51 alreadyactive.MarieSalaswasabletogetoverthreehundredCaltranstenantsfromthe710corridorto cometoherhousethroughasimpleinvitationtodiscusstheconditionswhichtheyweresubjectedtoby Caltrans.ThroughheractivismasaCaltranstenantshehasbeenabletocreatenumerousconnections amongcorridorresidents.Peoplehavecometotrustherasareliablesourceofinformationandadvice. Thereareotherswhohavedemonstratedanabilitytogatheranumberofpeopleinjustafewdays time.Workingwiththeseindividualsinacohesivefashionwillalmostguaranteealargeturnoutforthe informationalmeeting.Oncethisinitialcrowdisgatheredanannouncementshouldbemadeexplaining whenthenextmeetingwillbeandwhattoexpectatit.Acalendarlistingthedatesandtimesof meetingsandcommunityeventsshouldbeattachedtothetakehomefactsheet. ToensurethismeetingattractspeoplefrombothsidesofHuntingtonDriveaswellasfromany factionsthathaveemergedinElSereno,committeesshouldformfromeacharea.Theseneighborhood committeeswouldworkinasimilarfashiontotheTier1and2committeesestablishedbyMetroand Caltransforsouth710corridorresidents.Theywouldhavetheresponsibilityfordeliveringinformation totheirneighbors.Inadditiontodispersinginformation,theserepresentativesshouldserveasavoice, expressingthemostimportantissuesfacingthatregionofElSereno.Thesecommitteesshouldformon avolunteerbasis.Thosewhofeeltheyneedspecificrepresentationfortheirneighborswouldstep forwardtodoso.Byspreadingtheseresponsibilitiestomultiplepeople,residentswouldhaveacloser, morerecognizablefacetoexpresstheirconcernstoo.Additionally,localizingthisrepresentationto streetsorblockswouldbuildstrongerrelationshipsandincreaseinvolvement.Oncethestageissetfora communitydiscussionaboutthe710extensionandenvironmentaljustice,residentsinterestedin creatingacampaignwillcontinueplanning. Itisimportanttorememberthatresidentshavelongbeensubjectedtodiscriminatorytacticsby transportationplannerswhodonothaveElSerenosinterestsatheart.Foracampaigntobesuccessful ideasandlogisticsmustbedeterminedsoleybyresidentsofElSereno.Themostvaluablethingthatcan 51

52 beofferedfromtheoutsideisinformationaccessibletotheentirecommunity,somethingthathasbeen withheldfromthemnumeroustimesbefore.Oncethisinformationisdispersed,ElSerenowill immediatelyincreasetheopportunityandpotentialithastoorganizeinsuchawaytoproducesimilar resultsastheirneighborsinPasadenaandSouthPasadena.WhatIwillsuggestinthefollowing paragraphsisadescriptionofkeyelementsthatanenvironmentaljusticeorganizationinElSereno mightconsistof. PeopleOrganizedinDefenseofEarthandherResources(PODER)isanenvironmentaljustice organizationstartedinAustin,Texasinresponsetodiscriminatoryplanningstrategiesimplemented throughoutthecityofAustin.SimilartoElSereno,eastAustiniscomprisedofalargelyHispanic populationwhocontendswithfreewaysandmajorroadwaysrunningthroughtheircommunities.106El SerenocouldbenefitfromsimilarstrategiesPODERisutilizingintheirTransportationandCommunity EmpowermentCampaign.PODERaimstoincreasetheparticipationofcommunitiesofcolorin corporateandgovernmentdecisionmakingrelatedtotoxicpollution,economicdevelopmentandtheir impactonourneighborhoods107throughcommunityeducationandempowerment.Oneofthemain toolsPODERusestoachievethesegoalsiscommunityworkshops.Theseworkshopsareheldindifferent neighborhoodstohelpthecommunityidentifywhattheirtransportationneedsare.PODERutilizesa videotoconveytheimpacttransportationhasonthecommunityandfollowstheviewingwithanopen discussionofwhatthecommunityneedsandhowtoattaintheseneeds.108InElSerenothesesmall workshopscouldbeausefultooltoinduceproductivediscussionsfromresidents. Arepresentativefromtheneighborhoodcommitteescouldleadworkshopsafterattendinga communitywideworkshopdemonstratinghowtheyshouldrun.Thepurposeofworkinginsmall neighborhoodgroupsistopromotecompleteparticipation.Atthesametimehavingarepresentative 106 Bullard,et.al.,110 107 Resources,PeopleOrganizedinDefenseofEarthandHer.Mission.2010.2010. 108 Bullard,et.al.,111 52

53 committeefromeachneighborhoodensuresthatthereiswidespreadcommunication.Workshopscould occurasfrequentlyasthecommunitydeemednecessaryandcouldfocusonaspecificcampaignor serveasanupdatetowhatishappeningwithinthecommunity.ElSerenoshouldalsodecideonperiodic timestoholdcommunitywidemeetings,similartothefirstinformationalmeetingIpreviously described.Thismeetingwouldlikelyoccuratleastonceperyeartoensurealltheneighborhood committeeswereoperatingatasimilarlevel.Inadditiontofosteringtheparticipationofevery individual,theseworkshoplevelswouldprovidearangeofwaysinwhichtoparticipate.Arrangingfor thelargeannualmeetingsandworkshopsmaytakemoretimeandeffortthantheweeklyormonthly neighborhoodworkshopsbutwouldoccurlessfrequently.Inthisway,peoplecanvolunteerfora leadershiprolethatbestsuitstheirtimeandability.Residents,ofcourse,wouldalsohavethe opportunitytobeanattendeeonly,iftheychoosenottoorcannotpartakeinanyplanningprocesses. Workshopswillencourageanopendialogueamongresidentsandwillsimultaneouslyfunctionasa socialgathering,strengtheningcommunitynetworksandfosteringasenseofunity. AnothercomponentofPODERthatElSerenocouldbenefitfrominstigatingistheirfocuson youthempowerment.AsidefromthefactthatElSerenohasalargeyouthpopulation,thedecadeslong debateoverthe710extensionsuggestitmaybebeneficialtopreparetheyouthforfuturecontentions ofasimilarnature.Additionally,includingtheyouthinthedevelopmentofthisnewsystemwillensureit remainsintactforyearstocome.Furthermore,youthareuniquestakeholdersintransportationissues becauseyoutharemostvulnerabletopoortransportationinjustices,inaccessandsafety.109Youthare mostdependentonpublictransitandaremostsusceptibletothehazardsofpedestrianandbikeactivity duetotheirinabilitytodrive.InacommunitylikeElSereno,wherethelackofafterschoolandyouth activitiesisanissue,involvingtheminthedevelopmentofadecisionmakingsystemcouldbea powerfultooltoenableandeducatetheyouth.Youthempowermentprogramscouldconsistoftwo 109 Bullard,et.al.,111 53

54 types:educationalandrecreational.Educationalprogramswouldincludeworkshopssimilartothose heldforthegeneralcommunity;however,theseworkshopswouldhaveamoredynamicatmosphere andbedirectedtowardsyouthculture.Recreationalactivitieswouldservetodeveloprelationships amongElSerenosyouthandstrengthencommunitynetworks.Recreationalactivitiescouldbefree concerts,openmicnights,orintermuralsportactivities. TheEastsideCafisahubforlocalartistsandthecafiscurrentlyintheprocessofdevelopinga concertserieswithaspecificgoalofencouragingcommunicationandnetworkingamongresidentsas wellaspromotingawarenessofthe710extension.Withthoroughadvertisementoftheseevents,this serieswillbeinfluentialinreinforcingthewebofrelationshipsthatunitesthecommunity. Althoughthedevelopmentofthisorganizationalsystemwillbelargelyvolunteerbased, monetaryresourceswillundoubtedlystillbenecessary.Historically,obtainingmonetarysupportfor campaignsinElSerenohasbeendifficult.Developingaunifiedorganizationalsystemwithsupportof theentirecommunitywillmakebothmonetaryandnonmonetaryresourcesmoreabundant.Additional fundingcouldcomefromavarietyofsources.Themostimmediatesourceoffundsforcommunity projectsandprogramsistheNeighborhoodCouncil.Thecouncilisgrantedupto$50,000dollarsper fiscalyeartoallocateasitdeemsnecessary.Asthecouncil,inessence,worksforthecommunity, residentsofElSereno,throughthissystemoftiereddemocracy,willdecidehowtoallocatethefunds grantedtotheNeighborhoodCouncil.Additionalfundscouldbesecuredthroughgrantsand partnershipswithnonprofitorganizations.EdelVizcarrathePlanningandTransportationDeputyto CouncilmemberHuizarnotedinmyinterviewthatthecouncilmembersresourcesareavailabletoassist ingrantwritingaswellasexpeditingthepermitprocessforvariousconstructionprojects.Although theseresourcesfromthecitycouncilhavenearlyalwaysbeenavailable,mostpeoplewereunawareof theiravailabilityorhowtoacquirethem.VizcarrarecommendscontactingtheElSerenofieldstaff,the cityhalloffice,orhimdirectlytolearnmoreabouttheseopportunities.Thecitycouncil,however, 54

55 shouldserveasasecondaryresourcetotheNeighborhoodCouncilandthirdlytothedirectresources andfundsfromcommunitymembers. Conclusion Rapidlychangingpopulationsandgrowingconsumerdemandshaveresultedinacalltostate andlocalgovernmentsbythefederalgovernmenttocreateproposalstoaccommodatethesechanges. SouthernCalifornia,inresponsetothisrequest,hastakenonthechallengeofincreasingportand corridorcapacity,improvingefficiency,andsustainingtheenvironmentandwellbeingofsurrounding communities.Transportationagencieshaveplayedamajorroleinthisplanning.Variousprojectshave beenproposedtoincreasecapacityonfreewaysandfacilitatetraffic.Oneprojectgettingattentionfrom bothstateandcitytransportationagenciesistheI710freeway.Thisfreewayisoneofthelargest arteriesconnectingtheLosAngelesandLongBeachportsinland,andthusisakeycomponentofthe goodsmovementinfrastructure.Expansionprojectalongtheentirecorridorhaveresultedin widespreadcommunityconcerns.Inresponsetotheseconcernstransportationplannershave developedwaystoincludecommunitiesintheplanningprocess.However,onecommunityisfacedwith continuousneglectandoppression. ElSerenospositionattheterminusofthe710,makesthemakeystakeholderintheproposed tunnelextensionwhichwouldconnectthefreewaytoaninterchangeatthe210freewayinPasadena. PasadenaandSouthPasadenahaverallied,fordecades,inoppositionofthisextensionforfearitwill havesevereadverseeffectsonthecommunity.Unabletocomeupwiththesameresourcesas PasadenaandSouthPasadena,ElSerenohasstruggledtohavetheirdemandsansweredbyCaltransin thesamewayastheirneighborshave.Thisdiscrepancyisablatantracistinjusticebytransportation plannersyethasnotbeenaddressed. AfteranalyzinginformationgatheredfromvariousresidentsinElSereno,itisclearthese injusticesaretakingamajortollonthequalityoflifeofresidents.Currently,thecommunityhasno 55

56 strongvoiceagainsttheconstructionofthe710extension.However,previoussuccessfulorganizing campaignsareproofthatthecommunityhasthepotentialtostanduptoCaltransandselfdetermine thefutureoftheircommunity.Bytappingintotheintangibleassetsthecommunityholds,suchastrong communitynetworkandnaturalbornleaders,ElSerenocancreateaforcefulcampaignagainstthe freewayandutilizethiscampaigntoformthebasisofalastingenvironmentaljusticeorganization.Such anorganizationwouldsetanexampleforothercommunitiesfacingoppressionfromtransportation plannersandwouldalsosetanimportantprecedentallowingcommunitiestobecomemoresovereign withinalargemetropolitanarea. 56

57 Appendix Figure3 57

58 Figure4 58

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