Photo taken by Gus Aguirre jr

Planning for a Better Tomorrow

A powerhouse of EJ advocates gathered the last weekend of January 2019 in the beautiful mountains of Springville, California to develop a Strategic Plan for the Central California Environmental Justice Network (CCEJN). This gathering brought together individuals with a long-trajectory in the EJ movement (Rosenda and John Mataka, Linda McKay, Tom Franz)  but also some younger folks who are as eager to engage in the fight against environmental racism.

This time together allowed the CCEJN Family to reflect on our 19 years of working tirelessly to bring a better environment to families in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). In these two decades, CCEJN grew from a group of like minded individuals working on a volunteer basis holding annual EJ conferences and quarterly meetings, to having six staff members working in three offices (Kern, Tulare, Fresno) on four areas: the IVAN Reporting Network; Community Air Monitoring; Oil & Gas and Pesticides.  

Attendees record their involvement with CCEJN on a timeline

This December we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary, so this was the best opportunity, not only to look back on all the work our network has done, but also to discuss a road map for the years to come. A inspiring venue with sprawling landscapes littered with trees and wildlife. The John Muir lodge hosted our three days of meetings, where we planned our next moves.

Surrounded by nature it was not hard to understand our identity was rooted in preserving the beauty that surrounded us in the hills of Tulare.These views of clear starry skies and green landscapes are not familiar to the families we empower through our work. For that reason, CCEJN will continue to work tirelessly so that one day everyone can enjoy clear skies and clean air.

Stay tune to find out where CCEJN will be heading in the next five years and don’t forget to mark your calendars for a big conference, action and party in January of 2020!