West Covina, CA - On Tuesday, December 7th, West Covina residents and activists held a picket line and rally in front of the proposed location of an Amazon Logistics facility. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS PHOTOS AND VIDEOS FROM THE EVENT. Residents have also recently filed a CEQA lawsuit in an attempt to halt a recently approved Amazon project in the City of West Covina. The lawsuit alleges that the City’s granting of the Project Approvals violates CEQA and other applicable zoning/planning laws. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LAWSUIT BRIEF.
The proposed Amazon Logistics facility would be a 177,240 square foot distribution center in the heart of West Covina, operating 24 hours a day. The Development Agreement proposed states that the facility is estimated to create 914 daily vehicle trips and does not include proper remedies and more specificity as to the timing and nature of the testing. It is well known that Amazon facilities impact traffic wherever they are located. Recently, community residents in San Diego, California, successfully stopped an Amazon development in the region because of a proposed law that would require stronger protections for workers and communities impacted by the project.
Residents say they don’t want Amazon's typical high rates of injury, high rates of turnover, and low pay coming into their community. West Covina City Council could do more to support good, family-sustaining middle-class jobs, but Amazon's proposed facility does not accomplish this goal.
During the press conference, several plaintiffs and residents spoke about the proposed Amazon facility. “I don’t care what any politician in this city says; a job is not a job,” said Percy Martinez, a West Covina resident and retiree of Teamsters Local 396. “Not all jobs are created equal, especially when those businesses impact our environment.
We need good jobs in our community that fully mitigate its impacts on the community--not Amazon jobs that fail to adequately reduce its environmental impacts. West Covina can do better.”
“Many schools, daycare centers, and parks are located less than a couple of miles from the proposed facility,” said Andrea Vidaurre. “Many residents surrounding this site will bear the brunt of Amazon’s operations—including but not limited to noise, traffic, air quality, and other impacts. Amazon needs to mitigate the impacts to the environment and community fully.”
“I took offense when the Mayor said a job is a job,” said Ron Herrera, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 396. “If these politicians prioritize corporations over people, they should be voted out of office. I say no to the current proposed Amazon in West Covina! West Covina can do better not only for future employees but also for the community. Local 396 is pleased to join other plaintiffs and the community to fight for environmentally responsible development, which is important to us all.”
The proposed facility will not create sales tax revenue, and Amazon's developer agreed to provide West Covina only 4 million dollars in so-called "community benefits" over the next 20 years.