Oakland 2045 General Plan | Environmental Justice Element

Help develop Oakland's first Environmental Justice Element

Oakland's First Environmental Justice Element

Many of Oakland’s Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and low-income communities are disproportionately burdened by pollution and environmental stressors due to legacies of racialized zoning and policy-making.

In order to properly address this undue burden, the City is creating its first Environmental Justice (EJ) Element for the Oakland 2045 General Plan Update.

The Environmental Justice Element will serve as the keystone of the City’s environmental justice goals. This element will distinctly emphasize the importance of environmental justice in the General Plan.

In recognition of the connections between environmental justice topics and multiple elements of the General Plan, the City of Oakland will also integrate environmental justice into the policies, goals, and actions of all other elements.

New Draft Environmental Justice (EJ) Communities Map

Defining EJ Communities

Environmental Justice (EJ) Communities (sometimes referred to as “disadvantaged communities” by the State) are the specific beneficiaries of focused funding and targeted environmental justice efforts. They are eligible for special considerations and investments, and should also be recognized and uplifted in order to equitably allocate resources.

As part of the EJ Element, Oakland must identify EJ Communities that are low-income areas and are disproportionately impacted by pollution, socioeconomic vulnerability, and adverse health impacts. The City developed a screening analysis to identify EJ Communities that consists of a composite set of indicators (quantitative metrics of EJ issues). Each indicator is scored and then combined to identify the topmost cumulatively burdened communities. The map illustrates the geographic location of these communities and will be used to prioritize the needs of EJ Communities and to achieve environmental justice.

Check out our Primer on the Ongoing Update of the Draft Environmental Justice (EJ) Communities Map to learn more about the process of developing the Draft EJ Communities Map.

Environmental Justice Community Hub

View of Lake Merrit, showing greenery, pedestrian path, and some tall buildings

We are seeking the public's input to fully understand the excessive pollution burden, health impacts, and needs of Oakland's BIPOC and low-income communities. Participate in community conversations about Environmental Justice (EJ) in your neighborhood using our interactive Environmental Justice Community Hub. Use this tool to explore Oakland's Draft Map of Potential Environmental Justice Communities, share your vision for a healthy neighborhood, and document local environmental justice issues and solutions through this platform.

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