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VERNON SOUTHEAST REGION POWER PLANT 

 

 

THE ISSUE

 

The City of Vernon is seeking to decommission an aging power plant and to replace with a new electric generating facility that produces 85% fewer emissions than existing natural gas plants.  It hired Burnside and  Associates in 2008 to create a huge community outreach plan to inform the communities of Bell Gardens, Boyle Heights, Commerce, Huntington Park, Bell and Maywood about the benefits of the proposed power plant.

 

 

THE SOLUTION

 

Burnside & Associates launched a massive grassroots program to educate residents in the six-city area about the proposed power plant.  Given that 90% of the residents are Latino-Hispanic, most of the campaign was conducted in Spanish.  With a comprehensive walking, direct mail, phone and invitational campaign, we organized more than 20 informational dinners for some 750 residents, operated a ‘City of Vernon Swim Program' at all public swimming pools in the six-city area for hundreds of neighborhood children, underwrote a Summer Camp program for children, delivered coffee pots and information to the Parent Centers in more than 50 public schools in the area, supported a county-wide Science Fair and distributed science kits to public school students.  Our community outreach program resulted in the generation of 30,000 supporters and more than 8,000 project endorsement cards and letters to the Hearing Officer.

 

 

THE RESULT

 

The Southeast Region Energy Project is awaiting approval by the Air Quality Management Department, a prerequisite to LA City Council consideration.