OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon’s mission: Building power for Environmental Justice and Civil Rights in our communities.
OPAL is the membership-driven hub at the center of our region’s movement for Environmental Justice. Environmental Justice (EJ) addresses how people experience their environment: the places where we live, work, learn, play and pray. The question of who gets to live where, and why? is rooted in economic, social and racial justice. EJ communities include people of color, low-income, transit-dependent, people with disabilities, immigrants, women, LGBTQIA, youth, elders, and workers. We’re fighting back against historic inequality our communities experience, by working at the intersection of Transportation, Housing, Land Use and Climate Policy. OPAL stands for Organizing People, Activating Leaders. Decision-makers (governments, planners, developers, transit agencies, school boards, etc.) often ignore EJ communities, while we continue to experience unsafe, unhealthy living conditions. To force them to listen and to improve our conditions, we develop leadership among low-income people and people of color through grassroots organizing, political education, and skill-building. Our community identifies our campaign demands, which we advance through a variety of tactics and organizing strategies, including high-level advocacy and coalition-building. We believe that our communities have the answers to the problems we face, and that individuals most-impacted by policy are the right people to determine policy.