EGP Wins Award for Reporting on Exide

October 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Eastern Group Publication (EGP) was presented an award for outstanding reporting by New America Media, an organization that represents ethnic media outlets and journalist from across the country.

More than 200 people turned out Sept. 19 for the 2017 NAM California Ethnic Media Awards in downtown San Francisco.

Former EGP reporter Nancy Martinez, (pictured) was recognized Sept. 19 by New America Media for Outstanding Coverage of the Environment.

Former EGP reporter Nancy Martinez, (pictured) was recognized Sept. 19 by New America Media for Outstanding Coverage of the Environment.

The event was a celebration of California’s ethnic media sector, the “bridge,” said NAM Executive Director Sandy Close, “that connects the diverse communities of the state to the wider civic realm and to each other.”

Judges selected 12 winners in 11 categories, including Politics and the 2016 Election, Health Care, Immigration, Education, Sports, Youth Voice and Cross Cultural Reporting. Awardees were chosen from a pool of 140 entries in four languages across California.

There are hundreds of ethnic media outlets across the state, serving communities both large and small. Whether they are large broadcasters, daily broadsheets or weekly and monthly magazines, hundreds of thousands of California residents regularly turn to ethnic media for news and information.

Former EGP Reporter Nancy Martinez won in the category Outstanding Coverage of the Environment for her story on the decades-long struggle to get elected officials and state regulars to address Exide Technologies’ toxic emissions and soil contamination in east and southeast Los Angeles, even as nearby Porter Ranch got immediate attention last year when a natural gas leak threatened the area’s more affluent residents.

Her article, “Exide, Porter Ranch: A Double Standard,” was “years in the making,” said Martinez, who began reporting for EGP at 22. “It really made a difference in my career because it elevated the type of reporting I was doing. It was a journey to get to that point.”

The awarded article is one of dozens of stories EGP has published over the last decade on the Exide environmental catastrophe that continues today, as residents and state regulators battle over the plan to clean up lead and other chemicals at thousands of homes, schools, daycare centers, businesses and parks.

State regulators, environmentalists and public health groups have called the fallout from Exide’s decades of polluting the largest environmental catastrophe in California history.

Martinez’ article was the first to point out the stark difference in how residents in lower-income, predominantly Latinos communities are treated compared to wealthier, predominately white residents when it comes to environmental justice issues. The article gave voice to the frustration and fear of residents long ignored.

“EGP thanks New America Media for its recognition of Nancy Martinez’ outstanding reporting on the Exide environmental catastrophe, and the double standard that still exists when it comes to environmental justice for people of color and limited means,” said EGP Publisher Dolores Sanchez.

“Martinez is well-deserving of this award.”

East Yard to Honor Leadership and Activism

June 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice will host its third annual fundraising event honoring leadership and activism June 23 at Tamayo’s Restaurant & Art Gallery in Commerce.

This year, the “Fighting For Life 2016 Celebration,” the largest in the nonprofit’s history, will honor Martha Matsouka, executive director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College and Martha Dina Argüello, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles for their work in environmental and social justice.

A special recognition will go to Eastern Group Publications/EGP News Staff Writer Nancy Martinez for her extensive coverage of the Exide Technologies contamination scandal. EGP publishes this newspaper.

Argüello and Matsouka, or “las Marthas” as they are known by activists, have been essential contributors to justice issues involving race, gender, health, economics, toxics, goods movement, land use, government and industry accountability, according to East Yards.

l-r Martha Matsouka, executive director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College and Martha Dina Arguello, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility- Los Angles will be recognized next week by East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice. (Courtesy of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice)

l-r Martha Matsouka, executive director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College and Martha Dina Arguello, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility- Los Angles will be recognized next week by East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice. (Courtesy of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice)

“They have long histories in the movement and are critical to the continuing success of EYCEJ, and many other spaces,” East Yard spokesperson Zully Juarez told EGP, citing a “platica” (conversation) on activism, organizing and personal experiences las Marthas had in May with East Yard members from Bell Gardens High School as an example of their work.

Martinez is being recognized “for highlighting Exide on Eastern Group Publications (EGPNews.com) and uplifting our communities’ voices and stories,” Juarez told EGP.

Martinez’s extensive four-year coverage of the Exide contamination fallout has led to her being a featured guest on KCRW’s Which Way, L.A.? hosted by Warren Olney, Press Play with Madeleine Brand and KPFK 90.7 FM’s Deadline L.A. with Barbara Osborn and Howard Blume.

Eastern Group Publications/EGP News Staff Writer Nancy Martinez will be recognized at East Yard’s “Fighting For Life 2016 Celebration.”

Eastern Group Publications/EGP News Staff Writer Nancy Martinez will be recognized at East Yard’s “Fighting For Life 2016 Celebration.”

“As we engage in long-fought campaigns from the ports of Long Beach to the impacts of Exide in Southeast LA and East LA and other nationwide campaigns, it is just as important for us to take time to acknowledge and celebrate our victories,” Juarez told EGP.

Proceeds from the event will help fund East Yard’s involvement in grassroots organizing and efforts to build leadership skills to enable underrepresented communities be heard. This activism influences policy makers and government agencies to institute health-protective environmental justice policies in the best interest of local, regional, and statewide residents, according to Juarez.

The environmental justice group, founded in 2001, is committed to developing a base of well-informed and well-equipped self-advocates, said Juarez, explaining that leadership development of our core group of volunteers, who lead advocacy efforts, is center to the nonprofit group’s mission.

Entertainment at the fundraising event will include performances by Jade Phoenix, a Queer, Trans Femme, Woman of Color, First Generation Filipinx-American, Parent, LA based Performance Poet and Activist/Educator. Robert Cabrales, director of Tenant Organizing at Inner City Law Center, will serve as master of ceremonies.

For sponsorship and ticket information, or to make a donation, visit http://eycej.org/calendar/fightingforlife/.

 

Update: 2:13pm, June 17, 2016. EYCEJ was founded in 2001. Print versions say 2011.

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