The Stink in East Oakland 

A foundry once identified as Alameda County's second largest emitter of toxic air pollution faces renewed calls to clean up its act.

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AB&I's most powerful argument, however, is that it provides good, union jobs to more than 200 people. Gutierrez said AB&I "has an ongoing commitment to being a good neighbor and finding ways to give back to the community," which is home to some of its employees. AB&I contributes to the Alameda County Community Food Bank and local schools, works with community organizations, and in the last couple of years has convened a Community Advisory Panel.

Communities for a Better Environment says it, too, is concerned about jobs for community members, but that residents want jobs that don't harm their health. Along with other community organizations, Communities for a Better Environment joined the city in the year-long East Oakland Neighborhoods initiative, which created detailed plans for a "just, healthy, resilient, and prosperous neighborhood."

The plan includes dozens of local economic development projects that would provide jobs and business-development opportunities as well as environmental, health, and social benefits. Now that the plan is completed, the city is preparing to apply for millions in state and federal funding for implementation.

East Oakland residents are hoping that these green economic development projects can build a future where they don't have to trade their health for jobs, said Scott. "We live a decade less than people in the hills because of the things that are allowed to happen in our community."


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