Environmental health focuses on the health interrelationships between people and their environments, promotes human health and well-being, and fosters a safe and healthful environment.
Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful
involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or
income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement
of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
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The Multnomah County PACE-EH Coalition, which was active from 2000 – 2004, had a vision to create a network of individuals and local organizations that take an active role in setting an environmental health and environmental justice agenda for their communities. The coalition valued each individual’s right to a healthy place to live, work, and play-and the right of all communities to have influence in decisions that affect their environments and their health.
Although the Multnomah County sponsored coalition is no longer in operation, the community assessment work done by the coalition continues to influence positive environmental health and environmental justice change throughout Multnomah County. For example, the PACE-EH efforts provided the data and impetus for Multnomah County Environmental Health Services to apply and receive a 3-year HUD Healthy Home grant to reduce multiple household hazards in family’s home that have children under six with asthma.
The following web pages provide you a historical reference of the PACE-EH coalition and their community assessment activities. For more information about activities that resulted from the PACE-EH process, please view the Healthy Homes website.
In 2003 and 2004 we organized community members in Inner North and Northeast
Portland to participate in a PACE-EH environmental health and environmental
justice assessment. Through this experience, we learned that there are concerns
among some residents living in affordable housing. Specifically those concerns
are mold/mildew, lead and the childhood threats associated with it, the psychological
and biological impacts of trash and garbage on their properties, renter’s
rights, and communication gaps with property managers and owners. Please
see the links below titled Pilot Assessment Report and Action plan for more
information on this effort.
Other recent and exciting news includes the announcement of PACE becoming a non-profit c(3) organization. OPAL (Organizing People, Activating Leaders) is now a progressive coalition of community-based organizations, public officials, environmental justice advocates and activists committed to promoting environmental justice awareness in the communities of the Portland Metro area. While still in the formation stages, the c3 community-based organization will carry-on and expanding the grassroots organizing and social change work in metro-Portland and surrounding communities, building upon the success of the PACE-EH model, and working to empower community members around environmental justice and health issues
The first pilot project assessment report from N/NE Portland
The 2005 PACE EH Action Plan
PACE (Public Awareness = Community Empowerment)