Pollution and the environment have always been big issues for Californians. A statewide survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California last month showed that approximately half the state’s residents see air pollution as a serious threat to their health.
Among African Americans and Latinos, concern is even greater. The majority of those polled in these groups believe that people in lower-income areas are disproportionately affected by air pollution.
If you saw the lead story of today's San Francisco Chronicle, you would have seen a photo of a long line of people outside a lawyer's office in Richmond, near a sign that says: "Chevron Claims Filed Here."
The smoke from the Chevron refinery fire that started late Monday has cleared, but the controversy was still hot at a community meeting last night in Richmond. Around 700 people attended the meeting, where Chevron General Manager Nigel Hearne and local government and health officials faced frustration and anger.
Joan Davis from the Richmond Community Foundation began the meeting with some powerful questions: “Those of you who are feeling afraid, very quietly, stand. Those of you who are feeling angry, please stand, quietly.”