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This Place Matters: Bridgeport, Conn., Residents Say No to Asphalt Crushing: Community stands up to asphalt
Joe Provey is a brand new grandfather. He’s also a brand new activist who’s organizing his neighbors to protect their families and homes from a hazardous rock and asphalt crushing facility. Crushing asphalt is dirty business, and facilities like these release hazardous substances and create acute dust and noise.
As if this weren’t bad enough, the neighborhood where Joe lives is already overburdened with more than its fair share of pollution. This is sadly a typical story in Bridgeport, Conn. It’s a low-income city, with many neighborhoods of color, and has long been home to heavy industry and a coal plant that the NAACP ranked as one of the country’s top ten environmental justice offenders.
So when residents learned that O&G Industries, a large construction company with a bad reputation, wanted to move a crushing facility into their neighborhood, they took action. These residents quickly formed a local group with a simple name and a simple message: No to O&G. After hearing about Toxics Action Center’s work helping other Bridgeport residents mobilize against the coal plant described above, No to O&G asked our Lead Community Organizer Claire Miller to help them out. Claire connected the group with seasoned community leaders who, with your help, we had assisted throughout the coal fight. She then helped the group determine that to stop O&G, they would need to prevent the City of Bridgeport from giving the company the special permits needed to move into a residential area. She’s now helping residents do whatever it takes to stop O&G from receiving the permit.
Shored up by Claire’s critical coaching and by support from you, Joe and his neighbors are turning dozens of people out to every public hearing, getting their voices heard, and rising up for environmental justice in Bridgeport. They are fundraising, circulating petitions, producing videos and newsletters, and reaching out to every sector of the community. We’re honored to work in partnership with them and hope to share a victory with you soon.
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