Valley Improvement Projects’ Mission Statement:
To improve the quality of life of underrepresented and marginalized residents of California’s Central Valley by promoting social and environmental justice issues through youth outreach, education, technology, and art.
In 2012 a group of Modesto community organizers came together under the name Valley Improvement Projects, or V.I.P., with the mission of improving the quality of life of underrepresented and marginalized residents of California’s Central Valley by promoting social and environmental issues through youth outreach, education, technology, and art.
V.I.P. opened the Community Center for Social & Environmental Justice in July 2013 in downtown Modesto to give people a place to meet, learn, and take united actions against the power structures that keep most of the wealth, resources, and opportunities in the hands of only a few at the top. Unfortunately the Community Center had to close in September of 2014.
Since then V.I.P has been holding regular meetings at the Modesto Peace/Life Center (every 2nd Friday of the month at 6pm), continuing to build our outreach and presence in the community, and fighting for Social and Environmental Justice in Modesto, Stanislaus County, the San Joaquin Valley, and all of California!
Valley Improvement Projects (V.I.P.)
P.O. Box 4214
Modesto, CA 95352
Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. VIP advocates for:
- Zero Emissions
- Reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants in disadvantaged communities, including particulate matter (PM2.5/PM10), ground-level ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), lead, dioxin, and others.
- Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide (N2O) that exacerbate climate change, especially through the development and utilization of renewable energy.
- Zero Waste
- Increase and improve local recycling, composting, and product re-use opportunities and practices.
- Reduce the use of non-biodegradable, “single-use” styrofoam and plastic products such as bottles, bags, cups, straws, food containers and utensils.
- Sustainable Community Development
- Create walk-able/bike-able communities and adequate public transportation systems through “infill” development, not sprawl into farmland and open spaces.
- Ensure access to healthy food sources and safe drinking water in disadvantaged communities.
Social Justice is the equal access to resources, health, well-being, justice, and opportunity for all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income. VIP advocates for:
- Criminal Justice System Reform
- Expand programs that serve as an alternative to incarceration such as Collaborative Justice Courts.
- Expand programs that serve as an alternative to the “cash bail” system such as Pretrial Risk Assessments.
- Law Enforcement Accountability
- Encourage community members to “CopWatch” by providing them with training on safely and legally observing police conduct.
- Provide forms, information, and support to community members who file complaints against local law enforcement officials.
- Establish and empower “Community Review Boards” that provide independent oversight of local law enforcement actions.
- “Know Your Rights”
- Provide basic legal information to vulnerable communities involving:
- Police interactions at home, in a car, or on the street
- Immigration and migrant workers
- Homeless ordinances (camping, panhandling, etc.)
- Students and schools
- Employment and workplaces
- Tenants and housing
- Formerly incarcerated (probation, record expungement, etc.)
- Protests, demonstrations, and civil disobedience
Outreach and Solidarity
- Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Communities
- VIP makes a special effort to reach-out to the poor, working poor, communities of color, immigrants, Spanish-speakers, LGBTQ community, religious minorities, indigenous communities, youth, elders, people with disabilities, the homeless, and many others who carry extra burdens in our society.
- Youth Outreach and Education
- VIP works to provide our local young people with productive recreational activities as well as socially and culturally relevant educational workshops and information.
- Regional and Statewide Coalitions
- VIP is a proud member of the California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC), Central Valley Air Quality Coalition (CVAQ), Stanislaus Sustainable Communities Coalition (SSCC), Central California Environmental Justice Network (CCEJN), and California Cleaner Freight Coalition (CCFC).
- Media Outreach and Communication
- VIP reports on our activities and raises awareness of issues through various forms of media. Community members are welcome to request any of our informational material by mail (P.O. Box 4214 Modesto, CA 95352), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (209-589-9277), or on social media (Facebook and Instagram).