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"First an environmental activist, and now a city council member, Renee Chacon knows the people of Commerce City's concerns, and for years, that's included how industry in the area has affected the water and air. 
"If you live here over the long term it'll start affecting how you breathe, how you live, how your blood literally flows," Chacon said.  
For Chacon and others in the community, stricter permitting and better enforcement of polluters are among many possible solutions, but until now, they've felt excluded by state and federal health agencies.  
"I think at this point people are apathetic," Chacon said. "It's a form of learned helplessness that they've gone so many times to state and federal agencies."  
- CBS Colorado


Taking action to address extreme heat and current climate impacts on DIC and all communities.

Commerce City councilmember and co-founder of Womxn from the Mountain, an Indigenous nonprofit, Renee Chacon calls it an equity issue. 

“Where do we even have shading in spaces within these urban communities that they can cool down?” she said. “Half of our communities can't go to the mountains, where the air is much cleaner than where they live.”

The group surveyed nearly 900 residents in the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods, including Valverde, Sun Valley, Elyria-Swansea, Westwood, Globeville and Northeast Park Hill.

The results documented the ways extreme heat inequitably hits lower-income residents and communities of color, causing a cascade of health problems."

-CPR News

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