Introducing our CRPE Green Zones Tour Mini-Documentary
New film highlights the people at the heart of the Green Zones Community Tours.
The California Environmental Justice Alliance is proud to present our first-ever mini- documentary, highlighting the campaign wins and organizing work of the Center on Race, Poverty, & the Environment (CRPE).
In October of 2019, CRPE led a Green Zones Community Tour of the southern San Joaquin Valley for CEJA organizations from across the state. From as far away as San Francisco to as nearby as South Los Angeles, dozens of environmental justice residents, advocates, and organizers gathered in Delano to hear personal stories and movement lessons from local resident leaders. This tour was the fourth in a series of Green Zones Community Tours led by CEJA member and partner organizations since 2018.
This 10-minute film highlights the history of local resistance in the Central Valley – including Kern County, the heart of California’s oil and agricultural industry – from the farmworkers’ movement in the 1960s to present day battles against the oil and gas industry. The video also showcases community leaders from the San Joaquin Valley such as Anabel Marquez, President of Committee for a Better Shafter, who are transforming local areas considered to be “toxic hotspots” into healthy and resilient neighborhoods.
Filmed in 2019 before the COVID the community’s vision for justice remains the same: to provide communities in southern San Joaquin Valley with tools to come together and envision their own just transition, away from polluting fossil fuels and industrial farming and, moving toward a resilient, equitable, and clean energy economy for everyone.
Since 2018, CEJA’s Green Zones Community Tours have brought residents together to share stories, strategize together, and learn from one another’s work firsthand. Led by local resident leaders and staff organizers, these tours have been conducted in San Francisco, San Diego, and the Inland Valley/Inland Empire. Although the tours have been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CEJA’s Green Zones committee continues to unite members from across the state by organizing educational webinars, providing training to residents, and creating spaces where allies like CRPE and community members can safely learn from one another. You can learn more about our Green Zones committee at our website here.
In 2021, Kern County residents saw the successful outcome of their many years of organizing with the state’s issuing of a draft public health setback banning new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, and healthcare facilities.
This documentary provides a unique look into the organizing practices of the Green Zones committee and CRPE that laid the path for the issuing of this draft rule, and contrasts the destructive and polluting nature of the fossil fuel economy against the hard and steadfast organizing of local residents for a just transition. As CRPE Community Organizer Juan Flores reminds us, “We always put our communities first and then we move from there.” You can learn more about the community-led oil and gas organizing work in Kern County by visiting www.crpe-ej.org.
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