In Waterbury our community is overburdened by disaster sites also known as brown-fields, commercial vehicle pollution, and emissions from solid waste processing plants. Our neighborhoods are also severely underserved by a public transportation system built for a city much smaller than Waterbury is, especially our neighborhoods where Black and Brown folx live. According to the National Equity Atlas, communities of color in Connecticut experience greater pollution exposure than white communities, with an index ranking of 28 and 27 for the Black and Latino population respectively compared to 21 for the white population, and 18% of households of color in the state lack access to a car compared to 6% of white households. This is even worse in Waterbury.
The True Affordability and Efficiency Rating done by The Center for Neighborhood Technology’s Housing and Transportation reveals that Waterbury had ZERO neighborhoods that “are compact, close to jobs and services, with a variety of transportation choices, allow people to spend less time, energy, and money on transportation.”
As Waterbury residents we can easily identify the local dynamics and failures by municipal leadership to repair and make better the neighborhoods our Black and Brown residents live in. Waterbury municipal leaders lack the technical skills and personal motivation to address race-based dilemmas. Their ignorance and lack of will power is literally killing people. The current leadership has known for the last decade that “[c]hildren, females, Hispanics, non-Hispanic Blacks, and residents of Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, and Stamford are disproportionately affected by asthma in Connecticut,” but has done little to curtail pollution, add more access to green public transportation, and incentivize business growth besides brown-field remediation.
This is why we have partnered with other grass roots organizations to fight for TCI-P legislation here in Connecticut and the Mid-Atlantic region.
Read our teams testimony here: