|From:||Lenny Siegel <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||Fri, 18 Nov 1994 20:55:20 -0800 (PST)|
|Subject:||ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & JOB|
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND CLEANUP JOBS The following is a memo that I (Lenny Siegel) prepared today (November 18, 1994) for the Federal Facilities Environmental Restoration Dialogue Committee Working Group on Funding and Priority Setting: Though most people think of EJ as overcoming the disproportionate concentration of people of color around hazardous waste sites, the issue actually is much broader. It melds environmental, social, and economic factors in communities of color and other disadvantaged communities. Thus, solid environmental justice policies must simultaneously address the problems of people who have been simultaneously exposed to environmental and economic inequity. To communities of color living near closing or closed military bases, such as the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco, the goal has been obvious. Local workers and contractors should receive a significant share of cleanup and other closure work. In fact, the same demands are emerging at other military bases, active as well as closing - in the South, in Alaska, on Indian lands - and near private Superfund sites. Unfortunately, little of this work has been available to members of affected communities. Here, quickly, are four of the most important reasons. 1. Set-asides and other rules calling for minority or local contracting are poorly written and miserably enforced. 2. Training programs are not organized or timed to match actual employment needs. 3. Cleanup work is organized, like construction, in a sporadic fashion. Blue-collar work in particular does not provide steady employment, let alone opportunities for career advancement for entry level workers. 4. Most contracts are awarded regionally or nationally, minimizing the opportunity for local hiring or contracting with small, local, or disadvantaged businesses. At Hunters Point, we have come up - as part of a larger program involving training and institution-building within the African-American community - with two objectives that directly relate to this working group's mission. In fact, CAREER/PRO is helping facilitate a meeting on the subject that brings together the Navy, the City and County of San Francisco, educational institutions, and representatives of the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhoods. A. The contracting agencies should develop a workplan that predicts contracting and employment opportunities over the next two - time subject to discussion - years so training and community development institutions can make ready the workforce. B. To the extent feasible, multiple tasks should be timed to provide steady employment, not peaks and valleys of activities. For some activities, these objectives are impractical or conflict with other factors, such as efficiency or weather. Thus far, no effort has been made to achieve them. I believe they can, in consultation with the community, be integrated into a site management plan and the more detailed workplans that accompany it.
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