Tuesday, July 08, 2008

On Life in South Central Los Angeles

Think Green issues are for "elite" suburbanites? Think again. See below a brilliant statement about the quality of life in South Central Los Angeles by L.A. Green activist , Linda Piera-Avila. Ms. Piera testified before city planners in opposition to a proposed warehouse on the site of the South Central Urban Farm.

According to "No Place to Play," a report by The Trust for Public Land, two-thirds of children 18 and under in Los Angeles do not live within walking distance of a public park.

The study compared the number and percentage of children living within one-quarter mile of a park -- what's considered to be walking distance-in seven major metropolitan areas. With only one-third of children living near open space and 1.8 million children countywide lacking easy park access, Los Angeles fared worst among the areas evaluated.

According to Los Angeles City's website, www.lacity.org, there are 250 parks in the city of Los Angeles. Not one is sited in the 90058 zip code, the same zip code as the proposed warehouse project

A recent study by the California Air Resources Board found that in the South Coast air basin alone, particulate matter causes:
  • 5400 premature deaths annually

  • 2400 hospital admissions

  • 980,000 Lost Work Days

  • 140,000 cases of Asthma & Lower Respiratory


The estimated economic value of the health impacts of particulate and ozone pollution from these issues is $19 Billion annually statewide. The concentration of these health and economic impacts in certain communities versus others exacerbates the seriousness of this issue and also raises environmental justice concerns.

Clearly, approving a warehouse in an area already lacking in parks and open space exacerbates an already dire situation. Siting a token 2.5 acre soccer field immediately adjacent to a mega warehouse spewing copious amounts of diesel exhaust is counterproductive to children's health. A full environmental impact report (EIR) is warranted to assess the compounded impact of both the lack of parkland as well as the
potential for increased health, safety and economic risks that this project would pose on the neighboring residents. Additionally, environmental justice issues need to be acknowledged and evaluated in an EIR to ascertain whether or not residents of 90058 would shoulder an unfair burden of chemical, air and noise pollution, social effects of deprivation of open space, increased traffic congestion, and heightened
health and safety risks based on their economic status and ethnic background.

Thank you.

Linda Piera-Avila
Council Member Elect
Green Party of Los Angeles County

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