Within the San Joaquin Valley’s eight counties, there are over 220 low-income unincorporated communities (UniComs) that lack basic infrastructure (e.g., sidewalks, parks, streetlights) and reliable access to public services (e.g., public safety officials, healthy drinking water) for their nearly 500,000 residents. In 2007, The California Endowment funded California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA) and PolicyLink to identify and document these UniComs and analyze and present to stakeholders and researchers the UniComs’ patterns of inequity and health disparities, some of which are unique to each county’s political and economic landscape, and some of which reflect larger patterns and trends that play out across the region, state and nation.
For more information on the Community Equity Initiative, please contact Program Director Jason Dominguez firstname.lastname@example.org
Throughout California hundreds of thousands of people live in Disadvantaged, Unincorporated Communities (DUCs). DUCs range from urban pockets that are excluded from cities, to more remote, densely settled rural communities. Residents in these communities often live without the most basic features of a safe and healthy environment - potable drinking water, sewer systems, safe housing, public transportation, access to healthy food, sidewalks, storm-water drainage, streetlights and parks - due to decades of neglect and exclusion from formal decision making by city, county and state governments.
Throughout California hundreds of thousands of people live in Disadvantaged, Unincorporated Communities (DUCs). The Community Equity Initiative (CEI) is an interdisciplinary effort designed to address and eliminate social, political and environmental factors that negatively impact these communities.
Startling new findings from a new UC Davis report: 51% of San Joaquin Valley residents endure elevated levels of combined environmental and social hazards. These conditions are even more extreme for over 1.2 million residents (31%) who are not only exposed to toxics, but whose social conditions make it difficult to advocate on their own behalf. CRLA's Community Equity Initiative helped to link low-income communities to this research project. This report will further our efforts to raise awareness of the many issues impacting disadvantaged unincorporated communities.
Written by Phoebe Seaton and Ilene Jacobs has been published in the HAC Rural Voices Magazine - Winter 09-10 edition. "Advocating for Equity in California's Rural Communities". An article centered around the Colonias and the work being done by nonprofit organizations to create solutions and improve their quality of life.