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The CEED workshop on the Clean Power Plan provides community members with a deeper understanding of what this rule means for power plants in environmental justice communities.

This toolkit describes key elements of the CPP within the context of the power system, pathways for implementation, and challenges to maximize environmental justice for locally impacted communities.

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Handouts:

Letters and Reports:

Popular education activities:

 

Images from the Climate Justice Alliance CPP Training:

CJA CPP Training Nov 2015

 

 

CEED encourages the free use of our popular education materials for community learning and movement building for environmental justice communities. Please enjoy and share the tools published here. We ask you to acknowledge CEED for the creation of these materials in any reproduction of our images, documents, or activities. For use outside of EJ communities please contact CEED. Commercial use is not permitted. Please contact CEED with any questions or comments about the use of these materials.

CEED is committed to the principle that all families and communities have the right to information about their energy system, environmental health, and climate planning. Our popular education is designed to initiate conversation and reveal information about environmental health in our communities.

A number of hands on, interactive workshops and educational materials have been developed and refined with community partners over the years. These materials link racial, economic and social justice with community experiences and environmental issues.

Contact CEED for more information about conducting a workshop in your community, and check out some of our materials online.

What’s in my Neighborhood?

  • *Twin Cities Toxic Trivia (interactive)
  • *EJ 101 Animation (video)
  • *Green Zones Workshop

Climate Justice

  • *Energy Democracy
  • *Global Carbon Emissions (TP)
  • CPP Toolkit

Justice in your Home Heating and Electricity

  • Energy Justice workshops
  • Home Heating Bills (workbook)
  • Home Electric Bills (workbook)
  • How to Read your Bills (workbook)

Climate Resiliency Planning

  • Emergency maps
  • What to do in Extreme Weather (factsheet)
  • How to make a Family and Community Emergency Plan (factsheet)

It has historically been very difficult for communities to get access to information and data that would show the many layers of pollution sources in their neighborhoods.

This is one effort CEED conducted in Minneapolis and St. Paul to start to bridge this gap and develop tools for communities to start to access that information themselves. The Twin Cities EJ Mapping Tool provides information about sources of pollution in a community and lets a user compare environmental risks across neighborhoods based on race and income. In seeing the distribution of vulnerabilities across our neighborhoods and communities, we can be informed and continue to promote a common understanding of environmental risks amongst ourselves.

In 2020, CEED performed an update to the tool in partnership with University of Minnesota Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). CEED gathered feedback from community members and grassroots partners on what would be most useful to represent on the map. Over an iterative process we updated data sources that are currently illustrated on the tool. (Footnote: All the data sources that are used in the tool are publicly accessible. No new information was collected or analyzed as part of the development or update of this tool). While this map notes various burdens impacting communities, we were also intentional in noting areas of resiliency and pride throughout neighborhoods (e.g schools).

The long-term intent is that this tool is useful from a community basis in assessing cumulative sources of pollution; potential coordination needs across multiple regulatory agencies; and needs for building local climate resiliency.

Expand the “layers” tab indicating larger themes within the map to show various demographic and pollution information in the Twin Cities.

  • Within the layers tab, make sure the box next to “Environmental Justice Atlas” is selected.
  • Expand the layers using drop down arrows. Make sure the top layer (indicating the larger theme) is selected to see information within each sub-layer. For instance, if you want to see schools in your neighborhood, select the “Public Infrastructure” theme and then select the “Schools” sub-layer.
  • You can zoom in to your own neighborhood using the + and – buttons and recenter by selecting and dragging over the map. *Tip: select the “Political Boundaries” theme and then select the “Neighborhoods” sub-layer to view your neighborhood boundaries.Find out how far you live from pollution sources by using the “measure” tool.

Interact with the EJ Atlas online to see complete information in your own neighborhood here: https://arcg.is/0rzLG4

First Steps to Green Zones in Minneapolis

The Environmental Justice Working Group to the 2013 Minneapolis Climate Action Plan (MCAP) successfully placed the California Green Zones model as a key strategy for achieving racial and economic justice in the city’s climate plan. The EJ working group had to organize for 9 months to get included into the city’s climate planning process, which had little to no representation from the most impacted communities in a city that is nearly 50% people of color and high disparities in environmental amenities among neighborhoods. The MCAP Environmental Justice Working Group worked to make sure health co-benefits were included and that Indigenous, low-income and communities of color would benefit. Thanks to the work of the EJ working group, facilitated by CEED, the Minneapolis climate plan was broadly accepted by the City Council with a mandate on equity policies, and was one of the first climate plans in the Midwest to address racial, social and economic disparities in housing, transportation and waste planning.

“The Green Zone Initiative will create a city designation for neighborhoods, or clusters of neighborhoods that face the cumulative impacts of environmental, social, political and economic vulnerability. Green Zones are an environmental and economic development tool that targets new green infrastructure and retrofits for a specific area, in a comprehensive manner. Minneapolis Green Zones could correspond with targeted housing and commercial retrofit campaigns, to increase energy efficiency or boos renewable energy installation. Green Zone designated neighborhoods may be better positioned to access benefits offered by the city as well as state and federal agencies, ranging from targeted pollution reduction, to increased funding opportunities.” (Minneapolis Climate Action Plan, p. 15)

Read the full recommendations by the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan EJ Working Group.

 

Making Green Zones a Strategic Priority

Following this effort, for the first time in its history, the Minneapolis Community Environmental Advisory Commission (CEAC) having multiple representatives from overburdened communities, submitted its official recommendation letter recommending the City Council and Mayor acknowledge persistent environmental health inequality in Minneapolis and move toward a comprehensive Green Zones policy development process. The recommendation in February 2014 fell on the 20th anniversary of the Federal Executive Order on Environmental Justice. In March 2014, with continued pressure from community groups, the City Council put Green Zones in their Minneapolis Climate Action Plan Two-year (2014-2015) Priorities.

In 2014, the Minneapolis Energy Pathways Study, which was the basis for the City’s Clean Energy Partnership with Xcel Energy and Center Point Energy, again outlined Green Zones as a key strategy to achieving racial and economic equity in its plans for energy sustainability and climate solutions:

“Communities identified as Green Zones, after an extensive screening process, may collaborate with the City and partners to create a community-based vision for improved sustainability and environmental justice. This may include working with the City planning office in devising a plan and goals, allocating funds or staff to support such a program, or connecting targeted communities with programs that will train and employ local residents to do the work that is needed.” (p. 24 and A-81)

 

The Minneapolis City Council, bound by implementing its strategic goals of implementing a Green Zones policy, will be developing a Green Zones policy taskforce in the coming year.

Read the CEAC letter to the City of Minneapolis on Environmental Justice.

 

City of Minneapolis Green Zones Workgroup

 

In February 2016, the Minneapolis City Council created a Green Zones Workgroup comprised of city staff, community residents, business owners, and other participants led by the City Coordinator’s Office, including Sustainability and Equity and Inclusion staff, in conjunction with relevant City staff and external partners.

The Workgroup is tasked to review data including environmental issues, race and income, and draft recommendations for Green Zone designation criteria, goals and metrics for progress, and strategies aimed at improving health and supporting economic development within Minneapolis Green Zones. The Workgroup shall present its recommendations to Council for approval no later than fourth quarter 2016.

Read the Green Zones Policy Workgroup Resolution passed by City Council on February 12, 2016 here.

Find information from the City of Minneapolis Green Zones Workgroup at the City’s webpage.

 

Health Impact Assessment on a Minneapolis Green Zones Policy

gz-intersectionsIn 2015, a Minnesota Department of Health partnership with community groups in the Phillips neighborhood resulted in a year long process for the development of Health Impact Assessment on Green Zones. This Green Zones HIA Steering Committee, which includes Isuroon, Hope Community, Waite House, Land Stewardship Project, CEED, and Nexus Community Partners, has been trying to change institutional understanding of Green Zones as a community centered policy, and sponsored trainings of Minneapolis residents in overburdened communities conducted by CEED and that brought in expertise from California and their Los Angeles Green Zones policy development efforts.

hia_crop

 

 

Read more in the Green Zones in Minneapolis Factsheet.

 

 

This 3 minute animation follows young Maya as she sees the pollution in her neighborhood, wonders why other neighborhoods do not have the same burden, and how her community is being “played” as pieces in a policy game. When others outside her community plan to add more unhealthy facilities and spaces in her community, Maya and her neighbors reject their plans and create their own vision for a healthy neighborhood. It is a story about a community taking control to transform itself to be a healthy place to live, work and play.

The video was a year long process in the making, done in collaboration with Minneapolis-based artist Ricardo Levins Morales (RLM Art Studios) and Line Break Media and RLM Art Studios. It can be shared on YouTube and be used in by activists and educators in workshops to spark discussion about environmental (in)justice and community transformation. It can be used across language preferences, as it is entirely a soundscape with no words.