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Web Feature | SoCal Rewind

SoCal Rewind: Asthmatic L.A.

The community of Boyle Heights is littered with particulate-emitting factories, auto shops and manufacturing plants, and it sits nestled among some of the most gridlocked freeways in the nation. The concentration of pollution sources there is seen by residents and academics as a matter of environmental justice, as Boyle Heights and environs are predominantly Latino and working class.

In "Up in the Air," we highlighted residents in Boyle Heights who have taken up the fight against pollution in their neighborhoods. Their ground truthing campaign mapped sources of pollution that have not been officially recognized as such.

Seven years earlier and seven miles downwind, Life & Times looked at the increase in asthma and other respiratory conditions among Latino youths in Huntington Park. As in our current story, concerned citizens teamed up with a grassroots organization, in this case Communities for a Better Environment, to address the factors attributed to the illness.

Which left us wondering, is this two steps forward, one step back?

SoCal Rewind is an on-going series bringing you past reports on the issues of today. By drawing on KCET's extensive archive of Southern California news, culture and public affairs, we'll seek to inform current events by providing a little historical perspective, and maybe answer the question: Is there anything new under the SoCal sun?

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