Community-Based Participatory Research and Policy Advocacy to Reduce Diesel Exposure in West Oakland, California

Community-Based Participatory Research and Policy Advocacy to Reduce Diesel Exposure in West Oakland, California

American Journal of Public Health Publishes Article on CSSJ Work

May 5, 2011, Oakland, CA: The American Journal of Public Health has published a peer-reviewed article on the Pacific Institute Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program West Oakland truck study and route campaign work with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project: “Community-based Participatory Research and Policy Advocacy to Reduce Diesel Exposure in West Oakland, California.”

Catalina Garzon, co-director of the Community Strategies Program; Meena Palaniappian, director of the Pacific Institute International Water and Communities Initiative; Swati Prakash, former director of the Community Strategies Program; and Pacific Institute Board member Margaret Gordon of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project are coauthors with Priscilla Gonzalez of the Berkeley Media Studies Group, Meredith Minkler and Analilia Garcia of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, and Brian Beveridge of the West Oakland environmental Indicators Project.

Article Abstract: We conducted a multimethod case study analysis of a community-based participatory research partnership in West Oakland, California, and its efforts to study and address the neighborhood’s disproportionate exposure to diesel air pollution. We employed 10 interviews with partners and policymakers, participant observation, and a review of documents. Results of the partnership’s truck count and truck idling studies suggested substantial exposure to diesel pollution and were used by the partners and their allies to make the case for a truck route ordinance. Despite weak enforcement, the partnership’s increased political visibility helped change the policy environment, with the community partner now heavily engaged in environmental decision-making on the local and regional levels. Finally, we discussed implications for research, policy, and practice.

Read the article here.