Coastal Justice in California

Voter Registration Map
Coastal residents are more likely to register to vote.
Client:   The City Project

People of color and those that are in poverty are more likely to live far from California's rich coastal resources.  GreenInfo and The City Project have been examining the unequal access of Californians to the coast for over a decade, to help the City Project advocate for maximum public access to the coastal zone while ensuring the fair treatment of all people regardless of culture, color, or income.  Recent state legislation now mandates requirements for these policies, driving the need for a new report on the status of coastal access.

Reaching back to 2005, The City Project initiated a coastal access campaign which was first detailed in the policy report Free the Beach! Public Access, Equal Justice, and the California Coast, published in the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

In 2016, the California Coastal Act was amended through Assembly Bill 2616 to more explicitly incorporate equal justice requirements promoting access to the coast, along with related provisions. The City Project asked GreenInfo to develop the first-ever mapping of these factors, to help it encourage effective implementation of this new legislation.

The maps/tables and The City Project's overall analysis have been published in a new report, Coastal Justice and the California Coastal Act: An Equity Mapping and Analysis, using updated demographic information. This new the analysis found:
  • The coastal zone is wealthier and less diverse than the state as a whole.  
  • It has median household income nearly $12,000 higher than the state.  
  • The percent of non-Hispanic whites is 20% higher than in California.
  • Registered voters do not reflect the demographics of the state., eligible voters are more likely to register in coastal cities/counties  (Amanda - not sure what this means - LO)
GreenInfo collected, analyzed, and summarized data from the American Community Survey 2014 5-yr release, 2016 1-yr release, and the California Secretary of the State Report of Registration to help tell this important story, and prepared maps and tables for The City Project's report.

Results: The information GreenInfo provided informed the policy brief released with recommendations to the Coastal Commission and staff.

Focus:   Environment, Public Health, Social Justice/Equity  

Services:  GIS Services, Communications, Publications, Analysis, Data, Maps, Cartography 

Tags:   coast, Esri ArcGIS, Poverty, race and ethnicity, social justice, voter registration  

“ This is fascinating. You never cease to amaze me - we could not do what we do without you and your data analysis.”

—  Robert Garcia, Founding Director and Counsel

Project Years: 2016

GreenInfo Network creates, analyzes, visualizes and communicates information in the public interest. We specialize in mapping and related technology for nonprofits and public agencies, focusing on using it for conservation, social equity, public health, environment and foundation grant making.
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