Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice: West Contra Costa County Neighborhood Indicators Project

The West County Indicators Project (WCIP) is a community-based research project that works with local residents and organizations to achieve a vision for healthy communities in West Contra Costa County, California. A project of the Pacific Institute and eight community and neighborhood organizations in Richmond, North Richmond, and San Pablo, the WCIP purpose is to enable community residents and organizations to develop a positive vision for their community; identify, research, and develop solutions to key issues; and have the information they need to build community power, conduct broad-based community education, and win their campaigns for better services, policies, and programs in the neighborhoods of West Contra Costa County.

Through this project, the Pacific Institute has:

  • facilitated participatory research planning,
  • provided training on community-based research tools,
  • conducted primary and secondary research,
  • facilitated reflection and strategy sessions, and
  • published materials for popular education and policy change.

Measuring What Matters
 provides neighborhood-level data, community testimonies, recommendations for solutions, and resources for further research and community action.In June, 2009, the Indicators Project released Measuring What Matters: Neighborhood Research for Economic and Environmental Health and Justice in Richmond, North Richmond, and San Pablo.

Since the report’s release at a community-led forum attended by over 100 residents, elected officials, media representatives and others, over 1,000 copies of the bilingual report have been distributed and used by individuals to raise awareness and facilitate community actions. These community actions have included campaigns to increase public funding of city parks, to build community awareness for preventing lead poisoning, to pass local policy to increase Chevron’s contributions to Richmond’s public revenue, and more. Accomplishments of the project to date include:

  • The Neighborhood House of North Richmond publicly announced they are creating an Environmental Health Department to build on work carried out through the Indicators Project.
  • Twelve youth from the RYSE youth center worked with the Indicators Project in planning and leading a community forum on access to youth programs, during which they presented the findings and testimonies to elected officials.
  • The North Richmond Municipal Advisory Committee–the local governmental body for North Richmond–and Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia recognized the Pacific Institute for its “contributions to the environmental justice movement in Contra Costa County.”

The Pacific Institute is currently available to present research from the Indicators Project, share data and methods developed by the project, and facilitate connections between individuals and organizations working on the issues addressed by the project.

For more information please contact Catalina Garzón, 510-251-1600.