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Latino UrbanismThe Politics of Planning, Policy and Redevelopment$
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David R. Diaz and Rodolfo D. Torres

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814784044

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814784044.001.0001

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Mexican Americans and Environmental Justice

Mexican Americans and Environmental Justice

Change and Continuity in Mexican American Politics

(p.163) Mexican Americans and Environmental Justice
Latino Urbanism

Benjamin Marquez

NYU Press

This chapter traces the history of the Latina/o environmental justice movement and assesses its future prospects. This movement arose from a break with the mainstream, Anglo-dominated environmental movement; Latina/o activists criticized it as being more concerned with the preservation of pristine recreational areas than with the issues most likely to affect poor and nonwhite communities, primarily exposure to toxins from illegal dumping, lead paint in aging homes, commercial pesticide use, dangerous working conditions, and the location of polluting industries in regions whose residents have the least power to exclude them. The chapter recounts some of the many victories achieved by Latina/o environmental activists during the 1990s. Recently, however, the movement faces an uncertain future, but its activists are committed to the long-term struggle that will be necessary.

Keywords:   environmental justice, Latinas, Latinos, environmental activists, 1990s, mainstream environmental movement

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