SE Portland residents channel anger into action

Residents have possibly been breathing toxic air for decades

Members of the Eastside Portland Air Coalition gather in SE Portland, Feb. 20, 2016 (KOIN)
Members of the Eastside Portland Air Coalition gather in SE Portland, Feb. 20, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When Southeast Portland residents heard there could be toxic metals in the air they breathe, they were understandably angry. Some of those people took that anger and turned it into a grassroots movement now more than 2,000 strong.

The Eastside Portland Air Coalition isn’t even a month old, and organizers refuse to take a break.

“We’ve really been able to go from zero to 60 in almost no time,” says Amanda Jarman.

The group’s officers met Saturday morning and talked strategy. Their main goals are to change the way glass companies emit toxins and change the laws that allow the companies to emit them in the first place.

Complete coverage: Portland Air Quality

It is suspected the metals in the air are coming from Bullseye Glass and a second glass factory in North Portland.

“It’s really not even a political issue. I know that it needs to be resolved in the political arena, there’s no left and no right on air quality! We all need to breathe,” Jarman says.

The group is well organized, with everyone assigned a role. Many residents have stepped up to the plate.

“People coming forward and saying, I’m a graphic designer I want to make posters. I’m a photographer I want to tell the story through pictures. I’m an environmental engineer, I’m going to do hours of research analyzing how chromium 3 can turn into chromium 6,” Jarman tells KOIN 6 News.

Below is a list of the officers and their contact information.

•Coalitions/organizing in your neighborhood: Katharine Salzmann

•Legislative: Hannah Howell

•Science/medical/research: Katherine Wolfe

•Stories (words/images/web): Knot Disclosed

•Media: Jessica Applegate

•Legal: Jennifer Jones

•Pressure on Bullseye: Kerry Ryan

 

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