How do you mobilize your community to take action around an important health, environmental or other issue? In this brief interview, Angelo Logan, co-founder of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, talks about the importance of providing a venue where outrage can be expressed constructively, defining your “policy target” and making every interaction with the community you hope to mobilize “meaningful.”
Protecting the health of Southeast Los Angeles
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice is a community-based organization that provides free workshops, trainings and other events designed to empower residents in Southeast Los Angeles to engage in the decision-making processes that directly impact the health and quality of life in their neighborhoods. EYCEJ is particularly known for its work rallying residents to halt a planned expansion of the 710 freeway that would have significantly contributed to increased air pollution.
Today, EYCEJ has a database of over 550 community residents, many of whom are active and participate regularly in trainings, workshops and community outreach efforts. These active members also regularly speak on behalf of their community’s health at local council meetings, regional public meetings and state-wide public hearings.
Logan was a recent speaker at a skills clinic workshop held by ALERT, a UCLA Center for Health Policy Research initiative to pair community advocates with expert researchers and scientists who can lend data and credibility to their cause.
Related!: 3 Tips to Getting Mobilized
- Look before you leap. Research the issue that is important to you before you dedicate your time, money and/or skills to it. An educated advocate is an effective advocate.
- Don’t take on more ’cause’ than you can handle. Make sure the time you’re able to give fits into your life. Quality time counts as much as quantity!
- Go local. Consider volunteering at local schools, homeless shelters, community theaters or local parks. The easier it is for you to access your issue or cause, the more likely you are to do it.
Learn more about how to become involved in your community: http://www.getinvolved.gov/