Oakland 2045 General Plan | Environmental Justice (EJ) Element

Oakland's first Environmental Justice (EJ) Element was adopted in September 2023.

Oakland Environmental Justice Element, Adopted 9/26/23

Map of Oakland's EJ Communities

As part of the EJ Element, Oakland identified EJ Communities (sometimes referred to as “disadvantaged communities” by the State) that are low-income areas disproportionately impacted by pollution, socioeconomic vulnerability, and adverse health impacts. These communities are eligible for special considerations and investments, and are recognized and uplifted in order to equitably allocate resources.

The City developed a screening analysis to identify EJ Communities that consists of a composite set of indicators (quantitative metrics of EJ issues). Each indicator is scored and then combined to identify the topmost cumulatively burdened communities. The map illustrates the geographic location of these communities and will be used to prioritize the needs of EJ Communities and to achieve environmental justice.

Map of Oakland EJ Communities (Interactive)

Environmental Justice Element Public Hearing Draft Out Now! (July 2023)

Oakland’s first EJ Element serves as the foundation for achieving equity and environmental justice when planning for future growth and development in the City and builds upon Oakland’s current regulatory setting for equity and environmental justice. Staff will be taking the EJ Element Public Hearing Draft to the Planning Commission and City Council for adoption this summer and fall. These Adoption hearings shall conclude Phase 1 of the City of Oakland’s 2045 General Plan Update.

City Releases Environmental Justice Element Public Review Draft! (March 2023)

The City of Oakland is extremely pleased to announce the release of the Draft Environmental Justice (EJ) Element for public review and feedback! This is the first time the City has created an Environmental Justice Element and we are excited about the draft strategies and policies to reduce pollution burdens on Oakland's most vulnerable communities. The Draft EJ Elements is accompanied by a Racial Equity Impact Analysis (REIA) that analyzes the Element to support the development of equitable policies that are concrete, data-driven, outcome-oriented, and problem-solving.

The Draft EJ Element was available for 90-day comment period between March 24, 2023, and June 22, 2023.

Oakland's First Environmental Justice Element

Many of Oakland’s Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and low-income communities are disproportionately burdened by pollution and environmental stressors due to legacies of racialized zoning and policy-making.

In order to properly address this undue burden, the City is creating its first Environmental Justice (EJ) Element for the Oakland 2045 General Plan Update.

The Environmental Justice Element will serve as the keystone of the City’s environmental justice goals. This element will distinctly emphasize the importance of environmental justice in the General Plan.

In recognition of the connections between environmental justice topics and multiple elements of the General Plan, the City of Oakland will also integrate environmental justice into the policies, goals, and actions of all other elements.

EJ Element Factsheets

EJ Element Video

Check out our new EJ Element video, featuring local community leaders!

Spotlighting Community Voices on Environmental Justice

Screenshot of Ms. Margaret Gordon discussing how to reduce pollution in Oakland's most impacted communities

As part of the EJ Element Update, we're showcasing a few community perspectives on environmental justice from local leaders and community members. The opinions expressed within these videos are solely those of the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of the City of Oakland or its staff.

Related Project Documents

Environmental Justice Element Timeline

  • March 2023 - Public Review Draft Released

    90-day public review period begins

  • April-June 2023 - Community Engagement

    Focused public engagement on Environmental Justice Element through in-person events, Town Halls, and pop-ups, as well as through public meetings including study sessions by Planning Commission and City Council committees

  • June-July 2023 - Incorporate Public Feedback

    Incorporate public feedback on the Environmental Justice Element

  • July 2023 - Public Hearing Draft Published

    Staff takes the Public Hearing Draft to the Planning Commission and City Council for adoption

  • August-September 2023 - Adoption Hearings

    Public hearings on the adoption of the Environmental Justice Element

  • September 26, m2023 - Environmental Justice Element Adopted

    City Council adopts Oakland's first Environmental Justice Element!

Oakland 2045 General Plan Main Page

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