Greg Thrush, TSF’s Environmental Justice Community Organizer, is launching outreach efforts to people in the Grass Valley area who do not traditionally participate in decision making about environmental issues that affect them, including water quality and access and exposure to toxics. Since May he has visited apartment complexes and neighborhoods to provide residents with information about exposures related to legacy mining including mercury in fish and heavy metals in dust. Greg also provided information about the new voting process rolled out by Nevada County during the June primaries under the Voter’s Choice Act.
As part of this effort, Greg has translated TSF’s outreach materials on the topics of mercury in fish and abandoned mines and dust into Spanish, and these educational brochures are now up on our website. TSF is in the process of building a dedicated webpage, Recursos, for Spanish language resources, to present our work to a wider audience and to provide an environmental resource guide for Spanish speakers in the area.
Greg has also been talking with local community organizations, city and county agencies and other informed individuals to learn how Nevada County can and is contributing to environmentally healthy communities. He is reaching out to members of the Grass Valley community to learn what issues are most important to them, an effort that will inform the Environmental Health Summit that TSF is planning for the fall of 2018.
A recent visit to the Community Water Center (CWC) in Visalia, CA, where Greg had the opportunity to talk with award-winning community organizers about their campaigns to ensure that all residents in the Central Valley have access to clean drinking water, has been informative to his efforts to draw attention to water quality issues in Nevada County.
In the San Joaquin Valley where CWC operates, groundwater, the source of most communities’ drinking water, is being affected by farming practices. Wells are frequently contaminated with nitrates, heavy metals and industrial chemicals resulting primarily from agricultural runoff. CWC operates under the premise that safe, affordable drinking water is a human right, and the organization rallies community members around this cause using organizing, advocacy and education.
If you are interested in Greg’s work, feel free to reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.