LA Unified Board of Education Approves Resolution in Response to Noxious Odor Near Dominguez Channel
Contact: Stephanie Salazar
Los Angeles Unified Board of Education Approves Resolution in Response to Noxious Odor Near Dominguez Channel
LOS ANGELES (November 9, 2021) — The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education passed the “Keeping Schools and Communities Safe and Supported in Response to Noxious Odor Near Dominguez Channel” resolution, authored by Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin.
The resolution commits LA Unified to take all necessary steps to maintain the safety, health and wellness for all students, staff and schools in the Carson Community of Schools and surrounding Community of Schools, including assessing and responding to the impact of this event on students and staff who may have relocated or may have missed school.
The resolution also affirms that the Board of Education stands in agreement with the decision of the City of Carson and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to declare a local emergency and call on the Governor to do the same in response to the odorous nuisance near the Dominguez Channel.
“For a month, our schools and communities have been dealing with an odorous nuisance, which has impacted our health and quality of life. This is a stark reminder that our most vulnerable communities continue to be negatively impacted by environmental injustices,” said Ortiz Franklin. “I invite our local and state government agencies to work collaboratively alongside us to develop a proactive and equitable approach to address climate change, starting with restoring the Dominguez Channel.”
“All of our students and families deserve safe, clean air to breathe—and for far too long, our low-income communities of color have had to endure the effects of environmental injustice,” said Vice President Nick Melvoin. “We are proud to stand with the kids, families, and residents of Carson and demand action to protect the health and safety of their community.”
“The lack of urgency in addressing the foul stench in Carson is more than a smelly distraction for our students, employees and the greater community,” said Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III. “This environmental emergency deserves the same urgency as wildfires, earthquakes, and natural gas leaks. I join the call for all levels of government agencies to speed up corrective actions and ask that Governor Gavin Newsom declare a state of emergency. The health of our students cannot wait any longer.”
"We must call out environmental justice each and every time," said Board Member Mónica García. "I support Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin and community partners working hard to address this local emergency."
“Carson and surrounding communities, that are home to mostly low income, people of color who have historically had to cope with the effects of giant, nearby refineries and other polluting industrial sites should not be having to suffer through the sickening and health impacting foul odors from the Dominguez Channel. Local government has clearly failed the families living in this area,” said Board Member Scott Schmerelson. “The one bright light in this sad story has been the LAUSD Office of Environmental Health and Safety that continues to monitor the situation and work with LA County and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to measure air quality every day, in both the community and at schools, and take proactive steps to ensure the safety of students and school staff, including keeping students indoors when most impacted by the smell.”
“When community health is jeopardized there must be a sense of great urgency, no matter where it occurs. Keeping kids indoors or having them stay away from school is not any part of a good solution, even in the short term,” said Board Member Jackie Goldberg. “Aggressive, proactive steps are necessary to ensure school safety in Carson and we support the decision to declare a local emergency. Governor Newsom should be quick to follow suit.”
Ortiz Franklin is the newest member of the LA Unified Board of Education representing Board District 7, where she was previously a student, teacher, teacher-educator and advocate. She is committed to ensuring all students graduate fully prepared to thrive in the college, career and life of their choice. LA Unified Board District 7 includes the diverse communities of South LA, Watts, Gardena, Carson, Lomita, Harbor City, Wilmington and San Pedro.
To read the full resolution, visit boe.lausd.net/11-09-21RegBdCS. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Stephanie Salazar at 626-758-7748 or firstname.lastname@example.org.