(This article is part two of a three-part series about Jade Greening, a project to bring environmental justice to our community. Read part one here.)
Because the Jade District lacks a tree canopy, and is boxed in by transportation corridors, this majority-minority population of our neighborhood suffers many negative health impacts. To solve this intersectional problem, OPAL and APANO have brought together a coalition of interested parties to bring Environmental Justice to the Jade.
Partners to this work include Multnomah County Office of Sustainability, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Friends of Trees, Urban Forestry, Portland State University’s National Policy Consensus Center, air quality researchers, community members from the Jade District, and many others. The partners are currently working to develop a plan of community outreach, development of leadership, and tree-planting. The project is leveraging technical assistance from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, who are helping the team to identify existing community-originated plans for greenspace development in the Jade District. This will help to inform where outreach is targeted for maximum impact.
Word about our project is spreading! In September, OPAL and APANO received some big news: Oregon Governor Kate Brown has endorsed our project as an Oregon Solution! Oregon Solutions facilitates large, complex projects involving multiple stakeholders, to help meet their common interest. “I feel this project support’s Oregon’s Sustainable Community Objectives,” the Governor wrote in a letter signalling her support. She appointed Senator Michael Dembrow and OPAL Executive Director Huy Ong, as co-conveners, “who will lead a team of public, private, non-profit, and civic partners toward innovative community solutions to addressing air quality issues in the Jade District.
“By integrating and leveraging resources, this project has the potential to ensure that improving the air quality in the Jade District can be managed in a safe, responsible, and equitable way.”
As we move ahead, we’ll reveal exactly how we intend to undertake this effort, and we’ll let community know how to get involved. In the mean time, give to OPAL today to sustain our coalition-building, intersectional problem solving, and widely-renowned leadership in Oregon’s Environmental Justice movement.
View Governor Brown’s endorsement of the Jade Greening project as an Oregon Solution – click here.