The Rev. Jesse Jackson kicked off a national tour Wednesday to focus public attention on environmental problems afflicting poor and minority communities, which he says are more likely to be locations for hazardous industrial plants.
Jackson began his National Environmental Justice Tour at a school in the River Terrace neighborhood of Washington that is located near a power plant and an incinerator, both of which emit harmful pollution.
Jackson, noting that local activists were fighting utility plans to build two new electric generators in the area, said he wanted the nation to recognize the disproportionate environmental threat to poor communities that do not have the political clout to keep out health-damaging facilities.
Over the next week, the civil rights leader is scheduled to speak at an environmental forum in Atlanta, tour toxic waste sites affecting Hispanic and Indian communities in Albuquerque, N.M., and rally with local environmental activists fighting pollution problems in Richmond and East Los Angeles in California and Baton Rouge, La.
with Jackson will be Denis Hayes, leader of Earth Day 1990, one of the
groups planning activities for the 20th anniversary of the first Earth
Day on April 22.