West Oakland Pollution

For decades, West Oakland has been subject to extreme pollution from freeways, the Port of Oakland, and diesel trucks idling in the neighborhood. As a result, West Oakland residents, mostly Black and Brown workers and their families, visit the emergency room for asthma at rates 85 percent higher than the county average. Deaths from heart disease are 35 percent higher than the county average.

This extreme concentration of pollutants was both intentional and unnecessary. In the 1940s, Oakland city planners deliberately decided to locate heavy industry and truck corridors in poor and Black parts of the city, while banning trucks from going through rich, white neighborhoods. The government and polluting companies don’t care about our health, they only care about increasing their wealth and protecting the property and health of the privileged.