Sacramento Environmental Justice

North Highlands, West Arden Arcade, North Vineyard, and South Sacramento were identified as disadvantaged communities under SB 1000 in the Sacramento County General Plan. Outreach to communities was focused in these areas, and policies in the environmental justice element are being designed to benefit these areas.

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Sac County EJ Communities

Sacramento County Timeline

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City of Sacramento begins its general plan update process in October 2018, which will include an Environmental Justice element, and significant community engagement. The city process will be influenced by the Sacramento County EJ element, but is otherwise separate.

SB 1000: The Decision Making landscape in Sacramento county

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While the creation of a Sacramento County Environmental Justice Element is still in progress, many stakeholders are influencing the policies and community engagement processes conducted by the county Office of Planning and Environmental Review

Challenges with SB 1000 Implementation

  • Saturation of projects that require or seek community engagement, SB 1000 community engagement does not carry enough "gravity"

  • Lack of Funding outside of foundation grants for advocates and community engagement

  • SB 1000 leaves the definition of disadvantaged communities (beyond Calenviroscreen 3.0 baseline) open to interpretation for cities and counties

  • Environmental Justice can be an inherently partisan or political topic, which can distract the conversation

  • When SB 1000 implementation is presented, people often jump to discussing economic development opportunities for DACs rather than focusing on the health outcomes of the communities influenced by the built environment

  • Communities need ongoing, concrete, and meaningful means of civic participation, rather than one time community engagement efforts

IDENTIFYING environmental justice communities

Calenviroscreen 3.0

The primary tool used by state and local policy makers to identify disadvantaged communities and prioritize community investments. Uses 19 indicators, spanning exposure to air, soil, and water pollution, and their interaction with biological, social, and health characteristics of different populations.

Healthy PLaces Index

Uses 25  indicators, organized into 8 policy action areas, including economy, education, healthcare access, housing, neighborhoods, clean environment, transportation, and social environment. Provides policy recommendations for each indicator used. 7 of the 19 indicators used in CalEnviroScreen are also used in the Healthy Places Index.