Joppa is one of Dallas’ most intact Freedman’s Township. One of only three left. It was founded by slaves liberated from the near-by Miller plantation on the banks of the Trinity River. Descendants of those slaves still own homes in Joppa.
But over the last century it’s been surrounded by heavy industry and tons of air pollution. EPA’s nearest air monitor is nine miles away.
In March, the Joppa Freedman’s Township Association defeated a proposal to locate two additional concrete batch plants there when it came before the Dallas City Council. A week before the vote Downwinders at Risk board members used their new portable particulate matter monitors to show how high current high pollution levels already are.
Despite the community’s longtime pollution burden, it was the first time any actual air monitoring in the had actually been done there.
Now, the JFTA and Downwinders have agreed to partner in an unprecedented and historic way to try to redress decades of environmental racism by working for the creation of a”Joppa Environmental Preservation District.”
This new district would have special zoning and land use policies dedicated to reducing the amount of pollution Joppa residents are subjected to on a daily basis – all designed to “Let Joppa Breathe.”
As a first step, we want this Environmental Preservation District to have more extensive air quality monitoring, especially for Particulate Matter.
And to do that by this summer, we need your support on May 22nd.
That evening JFTA and Downwinders are hosting a benefit to raise money to buy multiple air quality monitors for the community.
Thanks to your generosity and the Dallas Sierra Club, we already have enough for one, but we need more – at least one on each side of the community and more if we can get them.
We want Joppa to be an example of the kind of dense monitoring we want to bring to all of DFW in the years ahead.
A $25 ticket gets you food, wine or beer, and a program highlighting the cultural and historical significance of Joppa as well as celebrating our determined effort to preserve and revitalize it.
Not only will we be unveiling more details about our plans on May 22, you’ll also be treated to a line-up of great entertainment, beginning with MC duties being performed by Dallas spoken word artist and poet Rage Almighty.
Come out on May 22nd to support a good cause, eat good food, and watch an inspiring program that will leave you fired-up and ready to go.