Community Organizing for Environmental Justice on Saint Paul’s West Side

by Dominique Diaddigo-Dash

Generations of Minnesotans living on St. Paul’s West Side have been exposed to the environmental hazards and air pollution that come from their neighborhood being treated as a dumping ground for toxic waste.

West Siders know it’s no coincidence that across the country and right here at home, polluters can easily set up shop in neighborhoods where immigrants, Black and brown folks, and working class people live – assuming no one will speak out. But communities have the right to be part of the decisions that impact the health and future of our families.

Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant in Saint Paul. Photo credit: Metropolitan Council
Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant in Saint Paul.
Photo credit: Metropolitan Council

Right now, the Sierra Club is standing with the West Side Community Organization as they evaluate a proposal for a new sewage incinerator near the West Side of Saint Paul.

This work is part of the Sierra Club’s Healthy Communities Campaign. Organizers with the campaign build solidarity and listen to impacted residents because together we have the power to hold public agencies accountable for equitable decision making.

In the words of Sherilyn Young, West Side community member "I believe we need to help our elected officials make decisions that will allow all of us, plants, animals, and the ecosystem, to survive this destructive, consumption-based economy. Empowering ourselves, with support from the Sierra Club, is a way we can help set the agenda to protect water for future generations."

Sign up for updates here. Together we can work to ensure that we all have a voice in the health and future of our communities.

If you have questions, please contact Sierra Club Healthy Communities organizer, Dominique Diaddigo-Cash,

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