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Global Community Monitor’s 10th Anniversary Celebration at Tres Mexican Kitchen was a huge success.  A big thank you to all that attended!

Over a hundred people attended and we raised nearly $10,000 to further our mission of empowering communities living on the fenceline.  The silent auction was a huge hit with great deals on local wine, hotel stays, event tickets and gifts galore.
Not only was it a very successful celebration but it was also an awe-inspiring opportunity to connect with other activists working for Environmental Justice around the country.  Hilton Kelley, 2011 Goldman Prize Winner from Port Arthur, Texas, shared stories from his community and from his fight for fenceline communities.

Connections were made, and victories shared from community organizers to policy advocates-those that have built a web of support for the grassroots Environmental Justice movement.

If you did not have a chance to make it to the event, check it out this incredible video from our community partners- watch here. Thank you to all that gave to GCM’s 10th. We greatly appreciate it. If you have not had a chance, it’s not too late to give to the 10th Anniversary. You can help us continue to assist grassroots leaders around the world. Donate here.

We’d also like to extend gratitude to Tres Mexican Kitchen for the delicious food and drinks. Special thanks to our flamenco guitarist, Carl Nagin, for creating a warm and inviting ambiance.  Sincere thanks to our host committee and event sponsors who provided the much needed resources and dedication in ensuring a great event.

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to our Event Committee including our Event Intern, Sarah Price.  We could not have pulled such a great event off without you!

Looking forward to the next 10 years.

Global Community Monitor is turning 10 and we’re having a party!  On November 15, 2011, GCM is hosting an anniversary party to celebrate a decade of breathing new life into communities.  We’ve proved that the Bucket Brigades are a force to conted and we’ve started building a movement for Environmental Justice through empowering fenceline communities.

The anniversary celebration will include food and drinks provided by Tres Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Lounge; and a silent auction with more than 40 items donated by: The San Francisco Giants, Hotel Durant, Beach Blanket Babylon, Patagonia Clothing, Osmosis Spa, LUSH Cosmetics ($200 gift basket), The Berkeley Rep Theatre, Brown Sugar Kitchen and many more. This is the perfect to time get a great bargain on an early holiday gift.

Get a chance to really talk with Hilton Kelley, GCM Board Member and Goldman Prize Winner from Port

Courtesy of The Goldman Prize

 Arthur, Texas; will be in attendance.  This is a great opportunity, in small informal setting, to hear first hand about his latest battle against the controversial Keystone Pipeline and dirty tarsands crude from Canada already in the US!

Last, but certainly not least, we’ll have beautiful flamenco music provided by guitarist Carl Nagin.  Come on down, relax to flamenco music while enjoying cocktails, great Mexican food and inspiring company.

For all of those who missed it, Global Community Monitor co-hosted a special event with Pacific Environment and The Sierra Club to honor the 2011 Goldman Prize Winners.  The event was a huge success and a lot of fun making it a great opportunity to chat with activists from around the world.

Hilton Kelley inspired all of us with his story of the fight against big oil companies in Port Arthur, TX while Dmitry Lisitsyn from Sakhalin Island, Russia, made saving critically endangered ecosystems from large-scale petroleum development sound easy with his grace and down to earth attitude.

If you weren’t there, well we missed you, but check out the pictures!  Hopefully it will keep you inspired until next year.

I want to share some great news with you.

Hilton Kelley, GCM Board Member, long time community partner and friend, has just won the Goldman Prize, the world’s largest and most prestigious prize for grassroots environmentalists.  We here at Global Community Monitor are proud of Hilton and congratulate him on this great achievement of being recognized for all the incredible work that he has done to protect Port Arthur, Texas from oil refinery pollution and raise national awareness about the struggle of fenceline communities.
But Hilton is not resting on his laurels – he’s come out swinging at Texas refineries like Chevron and Shell for opposing a toxic spill warning system:
We hope that everyone living on the fenceline of a polluting facility and anyone who cares about clean air and healthy communities is inspired by this award.

Port Arthur, Texas Poised to Showcase Environmental Justice History

It sounds like a script from a Hollywood feel good movie:  a poor young man from a housing project surrounded by giant oil refineries joins the Navy to get away, becomes a member of the Screen Actor Guild and appears in TV shows, moves back to his poor run down community determined to clean it up and restore it and becomes a national leader in the fight for communities everywhere to win Environmental Justice.  Luckily for the West side of Port Arthur, Texas, it’s not just a good story –  it’s real life.
In the 10 plus years since Hilton Kelley heard the calling to return to his low income and polluted hometown, a lot has been accomplished with his hard work and persistence.  He founded the Community In-Power & Development Association, a group that works to empower residents to speak out about the problems and be part of the solution of restoring Port Arthur. He has helped reduce pollution and become an advocate to change policies nationally.
Along the way, Kelley met some key people to help him clean up pollution. One of these folks was Denny Larson of the Global Community Monitor (GCM) who introduced him to the air sampling “Bucket.” With this innovative tool, Kelley produced independent air sample results proving how toxic and sickening the air was in town.  Armed with this scientific evidence, he began educating and organizing residents about the connections between the epidemic of cancers and serious health problems and bad air.  As a result of Kelley’s effective work, vision and leadership, he was named to the Board of Directors of GCM.

Hilton Kelley, a tireless environmental educator, advocate for human-rights justice and role model has dedicated a great part of his activism to tackling the oil giants such as Shell and its defenders at Port Arthur, Texas, his home town and current residence.

Port Arthur, Texas has been the site of frequent Civil Rights and Environmental Justice complaints regarding refinery and chemical plant pollution and regulatory failures by the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Hilton could not stand by and see the destruction that refineries were bringing to the health and livelihoods of his local community.

Global Community Monitor (GCM) is very proud that Hilton Kelley’s work has gone hand-in-hand with that of our organization.

In 2000, Hilton attended training on bucket brigade air monitoring given by Denny Larson, Executive Director of Global Community Monitor. Here he learned that he did not have to rely on the state of Texas, or refinery air monitors that kept showing that the air in his foul smelling community was “clean”.

Three years later, with GCM’s assistance with training, funding and on-going support, Hilton received non-profit status for his own organization, Community In Power and Development Association (CIDA). As the founder of CIDA, Mr. Kelley also currently serves as Secretary and Director of GCM.

In 2006, CIDA and GCM blocked Motiva’s (Shell subsidiary) permit from the state of Texas to expand their existing Port Arthur refinery. This would have more than doubled its current production, making it the largest refinery in the nation. CIDA and GCM won major pollution reductions, a multi-million dollar community development foundation, and community safety measures. GCM has made this model available and has worked with communities near dozens of similar refinery expansions.

Because of his commitment and perseverance, Hilton has been presented with several awards such as the Texas Sierra Club’s Environmental Justice Award in 2002, Woodmen of The World Life Insurance Society “Conservation Award” in 2005, “Houston Hero” Award by Citizen League for Environmental Action Now (CLEAN) in 2006, Damu Smith Environmental Achievement Award in 2008, the Houston-Galveston Environmental Research and Outreach (HERO) Award in 2009, among others.

In 2008 the City of Port Arthur declared July 1 “Hilton Kelley Day” in honor of his outstanding environmental efforts.

Hilton has taken his local fight of Port Arthur to other communities around the United States, and around the world.  Hilton Kelley has moved his local struggle beyond protest, toward informed advocacy and collaborative engagement in a regional dialogue on environmental health. He is regularly invited as a keynote speaker and guest speaker at national and international conferences which main goals are to educate politicians, policymakers and the public in general on the social and environmental impacts of the oil industry to the quality of life of local communities.

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