For years, residents of Esperanza Community Housing Corporation's South Los Angeles property have toiled under the adverse environmental effects of urban oil drilling. Living in close proximity to the AllenCo Energy site leased by the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Esperanza families faced widespread asthma, debilitating headaches, persistent nosebleeds and more. It's an environmental injustice to have these tenants in a historically low-income neighborhood along Los Angeles' Figueroa Corridor have to fight so hard for daily clean air, and that's one injustice that was described in explicit detail during a panel on environmental justice we held at a LEEPS event last month.
Now the fight is heating up to keep AllenCo drilling out of the neighborhood once the government-ordered shutdown for the site is lifted. Driving voices in the powerful campaign have included the Esperanza residents themselves, South Los Angeles activist Nalleli Cobo, and the STAND-L.A. coalition that seeks to protect Los Angeles residents from the effects of urban oil extraction.
STAND-L.A. and its partners held a rally at the Archdiocese office site on the Los Angeles Miracle Mile to bring attention to the injustice of the oil lease this week. We were happy to join them, lending our voices in support of those possessed by Esparanza tenants (and other working people like them). We further align ourselves with the coalition's call to our local civic leaders: Los Angeles should forbid oil drilling on land within 2500 feet of residents, in order to protect families like Nalleli Cobo's. The front lines of a critical fight are being drawn right in our backyards, and the GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles team will also commit itself to the cause of environmentally-disadvantaged residents—who need better health outcomes, better community opportunities, better jobs, and a better clean-energy-based economy from those of us with the power to decide.
Please learn more about STAND-L.A.'s work with Esperanza, and efforts underway to prevent AllenCo drilling from harming Figueroa Corridor families.