Inland Empire residents are exposed to some of the worst air pollution in the nation. The contamination of air in the Inland Empire (IE), Riverside and San Bernardino Counties has led to increased respiratory conditions and cancer rates. As only 4 of 10 jobs pay a livable wage here, families find themselves living paycheck to paycheck and with no health safety net. With no strong health protections and weakened immune and lung capacity, families in environmental justice communities are the most vulnerable to Coronavirus.Our partners at Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) have responded to the COVID-19 health crisis by creating a mutual aid fund. CCAEJ’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund is distributing mutual aid directly to people in areas of the IE experiencing the greatest need. Demi Espinoza, our Inland Empire staffer and Board President of CCAEJ, is working with staff to raise awareness of the fund and helping with the deliveries of care packages.
“I am so proud of the CCAEJ staff’s leadership to organize direct aid and provide support to frontline communities,” said Espinoza. “This fund supports critical basic needs like groceries, toiletries, and direct funds to support rent and utilities. I am concerned that compounding impacts of environmental injustice disparities like asthma and other respiratory illnesses will lead to more severe cases of COVID-19 in the Inland Empire region. That’s why we need to support communities to stay at home and support their access to basic needs like rent and groceries. Please consider donating to CCAEJ’s Mutual Aid fund to protect environmental justice communities during COVID-19.” You can donate to the mutual fund and follow CCAEJ on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to learn more about the movement for environmental justice.