In South Los Angeles, we understand the value and importance of health. Our struggle for health equity and cleaner breathing air is an uphill battle. As we just wrapped up Clean Air Month in May, I’m proud to see our nation’s leaders charting a path toward a more equitable future.
In my work, I see first-hand how health outcomes are often tied to point of origin, income level, and other external factors. As executive director of Sylvia Nunn Angel’s, an organization focused on lifting up South Los Angeles’ youth, I see every day the disproportionate impact of poor air quality on the communities we serve. Because most of our families live in high-traffic corridors, it is incumbent upon leaders here in California to take steps to reduce harmful carbon emissions and improve air quality. We need robust investment in alternative fuels and renewable sources of energy. We need greater access to public transportation, and our community deserves a seat at the table to help our leaders determine clear air policy and where funding is directed.
We cannot afford to wait any longer; the stakes are too high. The youth of South L.A. deserve better. It’s up to us to leave behind a cleaner, healthier California for everyone.
Cynthia Nunn is the Executive Director of Sylvia Nunn Angel’s, a Compton-based nonprofit.