Following on the heels of her first official visit to China, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson last weekend made a stop in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood, where she met with local elected officials and community members to learn more about environmental problems facing Asian communities in the city, according to a report in the Chinese-language World Journal.
At the top of the agenda was a housing redevelopment plan targeted for a section of Chinatown that borders the Lake Merrit BART station. It seems that community members still have bad memories of families there being displaced by the BART development, and they shared their concern with Jackson that history could be repeated with a new housing redevelopment plan.

According to the World Journal, Qiu-Zhen Liao, development director of Asian Health Services, said local community organizations have surveyed thousands of residents who do not speak English to explore what concerns exist around the redevelopment plan, and found that security, employment, housing quality and environmental quality were of the most concern to residents. Jackson praised the neighborhood nonprofits for being strong advocates in the community and noted that due to their efforts, the redevelopment plan would be taking more of their concerns into consideration.

- Reported by Summer Chiang