The community of Barrio Logan has been a poster child for injustice of all kinds throughout its history, but has never faced a moment like the present. A convergence of critical events could result in a future model of social and environmental justice, or could change Barrio Logan into a community unrecognizable and unlivable to its displaced former residents.

What’s happening in Barrio Logan?

The Community Plan Update: In the absence of city action, Environmental Health Coalition’s Barrio Logan Community Action Team developed the Barrio Logan Vision through a grassroots community-driven planning process that included residents, businesses and community organizations. Now the community plan update — the first under the city’s new General Plan — has finally commenced. Will the city adopt the community’s vision? Or will it allow special interests to dominate or undermine the planning process, leaving the future up to the developers longing to replace the current neighborhood and make big bucks at the expense of current residents?

The Mercado Project: Long on the list of injustices visited upon the neighborhood, the Mercado Project always promised to be Barrio Logan’s signature revitalization project. Will the city be successful in choosing a new developer and building a project that brings affordable housing and small business opportunities as EHC and the Barrio Logan Vision demand? Or will the pursuit of profits win out?

The Port: The Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and port tenants on the working waterfront are both a source of Barrio Logan’s unjust burden of air pollution and living wage jobs. EHC convinced the port to develop a Clean Air Plan to reduce emissions, but will it ever be given the teeth it needs to take a major bite out of diesel pollution in the neighborhood? Or will big development interests redevelop the terminal into an extension of the downtown waterfront, paving the way for full scale gentrification and displacement?

Proposition 98: Will a state proposition, in the guise of eminent domain reform, effectively gut our right to community planning, local environmental initiatives and affordable housing policies? EHC opposes Prop 98. Will voters agree, or will these local efforts in Barrio Logan be in vain?

EHC has worked directly with residents through community organizing, advocacy and leadership development for over two decades and will be fighting to ensure that the long overdue light of justice finally shines on Barrio Logan as it sits at this amazing crossroads. What do you think the future holds for Barrio Logan?

— LAURA BENSON

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