APPROACH TO PROGRAM
Rachel Russel working with youth from
Literacy for Environmental Justice
Life isn't simple and neither is Arc Ecology's approach to program. The following are five examples of how Arc Ecology approaches program work.
We start with our own community of Bayview Hunters Point. The work illustrates five over-arching themes:
- Our approach is multilayered. Approaching environmental public health for example we try to identify and address the myriad of sources affecting a community's health within the rubric of our program.
- Our approach includes multiple bottom lines. Again using environmental public health as an example, we seek problem solving strategies that can benefit linked issues like community development
- Our approach is long term -- sometimes very long term. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Lincoln in 1861, clearly much remains to be done now 151 years later. Solving problems takes time and our programs reflect strategies that respect the requirements of real change.
- We are product driven. Whether it is on an annual project or longer term program basis, our programs are designed to deliver products and make improvements in the issues we focus on every year we work on them. Whether it is improving public awareness by working with the press, negotiating a community benefit agreement with a government agency, or designing a wetland, we want our project to positively impact the communities touched by them.
- Finally and most importantly we are community centric. Our project must involve, engage, be shaped by, and be informed by the communities in which they take place. Whether its Bayview Hunters Point or Metro Clark in the Philippines.
The Navy has released an updated
version of its assessment of radiological
contamination on Treasure Island.
Does Treasure Island Pose a Radiological and Health Hazard to Residents & Visitors?
Arc Ecology is conducting an independent radiological review to start to answer that question. We need your help. Please give generously. All donations are tax deductible.
Click here to view the image below at full resolution
Posting a community meeting notice.
Arc Ecology uses public meeting notifications
as an opportunity to hire neighborhood residents.
Much of the civic and media discussion around democratic public engagement focuses on the vote. Although important, it is also a basic fact of democracy that effective organizations know that the vote is the last of a series of actions affecting governmental policies and those chosen to interpret and create them. In fact many important governmental process that wholly impact the public's and environment's well being occur entirely outside of the voting booth.
Effective civic engagement is a core Arc Ecology value. Civic engagement is the foundation upon which nearly all of our programs are built. As a tax deductible nonprofit charitable public interest organization Arc Ecology works to make sure that the public is aware of all of the opportunities it has to participate in forging the final outcome. We provide trainings through workshops, community meetings, newsletters, flyers, and the web to help the public understand when and how to utilize these opportunities. We meet with community leaders one to one to ensure they understand the governmental mechanisms being employed during a decision making process. We provide technical assistance to ensure that stakeholder publications and policy statements are accurate. We bring stakeholders to meetings where recommendations are being acted upon and policies developed. Making democracy work for the public and impacted stakeholders is more than ensuring they know where and when to vote. It's making sure the public can take advantage of every opportunity available to have its voices heard.
Environmental & Economic Justice
EPA defines "environmental justice" as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
Fair Treatment means that no group of people should bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harms and risks, including those resulting from the negative environmental consequences of industrial, governmental, and commercial operations or programs and policies.
Long before ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE had a name it was a founding mission of Arc Ecology's in 1984. The disproportionate impacts of environmental pollution on minority and poor communities were self evident. The lack of technical resources consistently undermined E&EJ community efforts to protect public health and defend neighborhood integrity from urban development projects. Arc Ecology committed to providing E&EJ communities the resources needed to protect those interests and to provide advocacy where appropriate to advance fairness and solutions.