Community Empowerment Program

Through this program we provide advice and technical assistance to community groups and concerned individuals. We inform, motivate, and involve community members in actions that protect, restore, and enhance public health and the environment. We change the dynamics of environmental decision-making processes by promoting the participation of communities of color, low-income residents, and other underrepresented populations. We convince government agencies to abandon their “decide-announce-defend” decision-making model and rely instead on stakeholder processes and community-initiated decisions. We help community members understand complicated environmental issues, educate them about their public participation rights and opportunities, and train them to use environmental laws and policymaking processes to protect their communities.

See our Advocacy Resources section for tools to improve your effectiveness in fighting for a clean environment.

Join our Environmental Justice Coalition e-mail discussion group to learn more about environmental justice issues and events in the Los Angeles region.

LAX Community Benefits Agreement

The California Environmental Rights Alliance participates as a member of the LAX Coalition for Economic, Environmental, and Educational Justice (pdf, 84 kb).  Through this partnership, we helped negotiate a $499.5 million agreement with Los Angeles World Airports to assure that airport modernization would benefit the most heavily impacted communities near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  This contract between the airport and the coalition, known as a "community benefits agreement," requires the airport to minimize its environmental impacts, provide schools with funding to reduce noise impacts, and enhance opportunities for local residents to secure airport-related jobs through training and "first source" hiring mandates.  We hope that others can use this precedent to negotiate similar agreements and prevent litigation.  We provide links to the two-part agreement here for you to review and use as a model.

     LAX Community Benefits Agreement (pdf, 144 kb)
     LAX Cooperation Agreement (pdf, 152 kb)


The California Environmental Rights Alliance relies upon your generosity to make our work possible.  Please see our Donate section to learn how you can support our efforts.