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Why Environmental Justice Organizations in Los Angeles
Why Environmental Justice Organizations in Los Angeles
Environmental Justice

Why Environmental Justice Organizations in Los Angeles are Crucial for a Sustainable Future


Why Environmental Justice Organizations in Los Angeles
Why Environmental Justice Organizations in Los Angeles


Los Angeles, known for its diversity and glamour, grapples with pollution and inequality, especially impacting low-income communities near freeways and industrial sites.

Environmental justice groups in LA play a vital role in advocating for marginalized communities excluded from decision-making.

Their fight focuses on policies enhancing environmental, health, and overall well-being.

These organizations empower residents to actively participate in fostering positive change, making them indispensable for a sustainable and equitable future in Los Angeles

In this piece, discover impactful LA environmental justice organizations, their contributions, challenges, opportunities, and ways to support and engage with them.

East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice

East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) is a community-based organization initially focused on the 710 freeway expansion’s impacts in East and Southeast Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Established in 2001 by concerned residents, EYCEJ has broadened its scope to address diverse environmental justice issues, including oil drilling, waste management, and climate change.

EYCEJ employs various strategies like community organizing, policy advocacy, leadership development, and civic engagement.

Key achievements include:

  1. Preventing the construction of a harmful power plant in Vernon.
  2. Securing a $40 million settlement from Exide Technologies, addressing lead and arsenic contamination.
  3. Initiating the Clean Up, Green Up campaign for improved environmental standards and economic opportunities in industrial areas.
  4. Contribution to the LA 100 study outlining paths to 100% renewable energy in Los Angeles.

EYCEJ actively participates in the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), a statewide coalition promoting environmental justice at the state level

Communities for a Better Environment

Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) is a social justice organization focusing on environmental health and justice.

Founded in 1978, CBE expanded to California in 1980, with offices in Huntington Park and Oakland, serving various communities.

CBE’s mission is to empower communities, particularly those of color and low-income, for environmental health and justice.

CBE employs legal, scientific, and grassroots approaches for:

  1. Research and monitoring of environmental and health impacts.
  2. Filing lawsuits and administrative complaints to enforce regulations.
  3. Mobilizing and organizing community members for environmental justice.
  4. Supporting community-led solutions like renewable energy and green jobs.

Recent successes include:

  1. A lawsuit was won against SCAQMD, leading to stricter rules on emissions.
  2. Prevention of Tesoro refinery expansion in Wilmington.
  3. Securing a $4 million settlement from Los Angeles for environmental projects in affected communities.

CBE, a CEJA member, collaborates with environmental justice groups and allies.

LA Forward

LA Forward, founded in 2017, aims to make Los Angeles more progressive, equitable, and sustainable.

With a vision for an inclusive city, they focus on democracy, housing, climate, and justice.

Their Climate Justice Team fights for a sustainable and just climate future by:

  1. Ending fossil fuel extraction and advocating for a complete phase-out of oil and gas drilling.
  2. Promoting a renewable energy future and supporting the LA 100 study’s paths to 100% renewable energy.
  3. We are working towards a just transition and a green new deal.
  4. Advocating for a public bank to cease subsidizing polluting industries.
  5. Promoting a circular economy to minimize resource waste in the fight against climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.
  6. Supporting sustainable transportation systems, including walk and bike infrastructure and zero-emission vehicles.
  7. Encouraging climate-friendly housing and land-use patterns, preventing displacement, and promoting affordable housing near transit and jobs while opposing sprawl.

LA Forward’s Climate Action Guide provides information on fighting climate change in Southern California.


Environmental justice organizations in Los Angeles play a vital role in ensuring a sustainable future by advocating for the rights of marginalized communities.

Despite their impactful work, these organizations encounter challenges like funding shortages, political opposition, and limited public awareness.

Supporting them as allies, donors, volunteers, or advocates is crucial.

To learn more or get involved in their initiatives, visit their websites, follow them on social media, or reach out directly. Together, we can contribute to creating a better Los Angeles for all.

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