The city of Fontana is currently facing a threat to its community.
Residents are being terrorized by a constant hum of trucks and grating metal; worst of all, the air has become hazardous with increasing smog in the air that our own residents are forced to breathe.
Massive warehouses are being built in the backyards of Fontana residents, which could have drastic implications for community members.
As USC graduate students attending the School of Social Work and the School of Public Policy, we believe in the right to be able to breathe clean air and that Fontana City Council members and policymakers have an obligation to ensure residents have clean air and environmental justice.
As a Fontana resident, I am deeply concerned for the public health and safety of those living closely to new warehouses that have been built, and for the cleanliness of the air that myself and my family are breathing.
Gases emitted from warehouses, construction sites, and trucks can form particle pollutants that can be released into the air.
Fontana residents have been subject to breathing polluted air, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can cause allergies, asthma, heart disease, cancer, and lung-related problems. This is an environmental injustice.
Why is this happening in Fontana? Well, the mayor of Fontana, Acquanetta Warren, and members of the City Council continue to vote "Yes" to putting Fontana residents at risk. The City Council has decided to put the economy before the needs of Fontana residents to breathe clean air.
Just last year, the City of Fontana faced two lawsuits in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In 2017, a recall attempt took place against Mayor Warren, with one of the allegations stating negligence for both warehouses and new housing developments in Fontana.
It is time to say enough.
This upcoming November, Fontana residents have the opportunity to make their voices be heard.
There are currently contested City Council positions in District 2 and District 3. In District 2, Jesse Sandoval has been the only sitting City Councilmember to consistently vote against the building of new warehouses.
It is the duty of the public servants of Fontana to prioritize and protect the interests of Fontana residents; however, the incumbent City Council members have failed in doing this and this is why they must be voted out. The residents of Fontana can practice their civic duty by voting in the upcoming City Council elections knowing that they are voting for the protection of the community and their loved ones.
Time and time again, the leaders of Fontana have consistently voted to put the lives of children, elderly, and families at risk. For the general health and safety of the community members of Fontana, there must be a change in leadership.
Because of the shortsightedness and lack of concern from “Warehouse Warren” and the current City Council members, your children, your parents, and your loved ones in Fontana are becoming more vulnerable to the deteriorating environment and more susceptible to these chronic illnesses simply because they are being denied their basic human right to clean air.
The community of Fontana deserves leaders who care about the well-being of its residents.
You deserve more from your public servants. Vote on Nov. 3.
(Cassandra Godinez and Miranda Hidalgo are Fontana residents and USC graduate students.)