The Clean and Green Board was formed over a year ago as a result of discovering how unmonitored the Southeast Industrial Zone of Pomona is. It is bordered by residences and schools. It contains over a dozen trash
processing facilities, many of which are out of compliance with their permits. The Environmental Protection Agency advises city’s to NOT cluster these kinds of businesses.
I serve on the Clean and Green Board with the following:
A Kindergarten-First Grade Teacher
A Ganesha High School Student
The Director of the Lyle Regenerative Studies Center at Cal Poly
The Co-Director of a Global Non-Profit based in Pomona
The Director of a Non-Profit that helps local school children get to and finish college.
A Business Owner from the Southeast Industrial Zone
A Graduate Student in Environmental Studies
A retired teacher
A local pastor (that would be me.)
All of us work in Pomona; all but three of us live in Pomona.
One of our members has framed our work in a wonderful way. What does it mean to be a good neighbor? Businesses want to have good neighbors but not all businesses are good neighbors. People living in all sorts of neighborhoods want good neighbors, but we know that not everyone knows how to be a good neighbor.
In our work, we discovered that the city staff of Pomona don’t always know how to be a good neighbor. A city lot in the Southeast Industrial Zone has been a place where city employees have dumped all sorts of debris and liquid. Clean and Green met with City Councilmembers and City staff; the lot was cleaned. This lot is also a site of one of our city’s wells.
A few months later the business owner noticed city employees emptying a liquid substance on the lot. It was tested; we discovered it to be raw sewage. Oops.
When are we good neighbors? When people are watching? Jesus calls on us to be good neighbors even when no one is watching. It is encouraging to be part of the Clean and Green Board as we encourage greater neighborliness in the City of Pomona. Practicing neighborliness is an individual AND community virtue. Because neighborliness is also a community virtue, it is important for us as a faith community to engage in practices that bring us into relationships outside our walls with people not like us, like the Good Samaritan. Now there was a person who understood and practiced neighborliness.