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Cindy Donis

East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice



pronouns: She/Her
state: CA
city: Los Angeles
languages: English, Spanish
race + ethnicity: Latina/e/o/x or Hispanic (e.g., Latin American, Central American, South American)
I grew up in Tongva Territory, so-called Southeast Los Angeles and experienced environmental racism before knowing what to call it. Currently, I am an organizer and member with East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ). EYCEJ members have done research on water in the past, this includes a report completed in 2016 titled Run Down the Runoff: Assessing the Impacts of Dry Weather Urban Runoff in Southeast and East Los Angeles by Iris Verduzco and Jocelyn Del Real Jimenez. Through this study, we learned about the exposure the Los Angeles River has to toxic pollutants from existing industry and made recommendations on regulation, moderating, and appropriate waste dumping. In 2019, we expanded on the research because of our concern of these pollutants seeping into our drinking water systems and engaged community members in a 4-part-series we titled H20urs: Communities Protecting Water. We were able to test water samples from public spaces and found high levels of lead and arsenic. We are continuing our learning about water quality, infrastructure, and management to engage in these conversations at the local and state level and ensure we are receiving safe drinking water as well as creating sustainable infrastructure for our communities.

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