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Keep moving on…

As I thought about these communities I was angered by how the industries seem to not care about all the people that are in their midst. The local governments seem to not actively try and protect these people either, nor provide them with the basic infrastructures that we take for granted here in College Station. Both of these communities where predominantly minority lower class working people, both communities have limited public services (though in the case of East Houston new sidewalks where being built, but I feel that is only due to the gentrification the area is experiencing). Both of these communities defied my opinion of them, they were not deadbeats; they were friendly people that just wanted the same rights to clean air and a nice place to live like the rest of us. I would have liked to have heard from some industry representatives to get their side of the story and find out just why these areas are treated so badly and why there is no reinvestment in the community
(If they would be honest with us, probable not though). I also noticed that both of these areas have hardly any political power within the local governments. To me this situation seemed like it was the single biggest reason as to why these communities are treated so poorly and the industries are allowed to pollute so heavily there.

Again I feel very fortunate to be able to meet with both Juan and Hilton and see the battles that they are fighting. I believe that in the case of East Houston, Juan is fighting a losing battle but I hope for the best. Port Arthur on the other hand already has the law on their side; it is just a matter of ridding ourselves of bad government agencies and corrupt politicians. Visiting with these people showed me just how hard it really is for them to fight against these industries and their own government. The burden of proof seems to be completely upon their shoulders and it really is an uphill struggle. There is such a steep learning curve to get the right kinds of evidence they need that I can see people just giving up, but both Juan and Kelly have the inner drive to move forward and motivate the people around them to strive to keep on struggling. (Anglin)

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