Environmental Justice in Action
By Chris Treadway
Supervisors took the occasion to pass a July 22 resolution officially honoring Clark “for over 25 years of dedication and struggle on behalf of environmental justice in Contra Costa County and beyond.”
As defined by Contra Costa Health Services, “Environmental justice refers to the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures and incomes by identifying, advocating for and adopting laws, regulations and policies that reduce disparity in the exposure to toxics in the environment.”
Clark’s years of advocacy have made him synonymous with the issue, said county Supervisor John Gioia.
“Ever since I started public office life in 1988 — even before – - Henry has been considered a leader in West County on environmental justice issues,” Gioia said. “I think nobody would argue that he is the preeminent environmental justice advocate in the county.”
The West County Toxics Coalition has grown to 1,000 members since 1986 and won numerous awards.
Clark, who has received individual recognition as well, hasn’t confined his involvement to the coalition. He serves on the board of the North Richmond Center for Health and has been active with the North Richmond Municipal Advisory Council, the county Hazardous Materials Commission, the board of Green Action and California Communities Against Toxics, to name a few.
“Obviously, some people will agree with the stands he’s taken and some will disagree,” Gioia said. “But I think they all will agree he always stands for the inclusion of the community and for full transparency on the nature of projects. There’s respect. Even people who come out of industry respect him.”
Originally published by Chris Treadway, West County Times.
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