When Erica Fernandez found out that a liquefied natural gas facility was proposed for the coast of Oxnard and Malibu with a 36-inch pipeline routed through low-income neighborhoods, she was outraged. She worked in concert with the Sierra Club and Latino No on LNG group to mobilize the youth and Latino voice in protests and public meetings. She organized weekly protests at the BHP Billiton offices in Oxnard, met regularly with community members, marched through neighborhoods that would be most impacted, reached out to the media, and brought more than 250 high school students to a critical rally.
Her passionate testimony at the California State Lands Commission meeting was quoted in news articles, and helped convince the Commission to vote to deny the project. Next, she helped convince the California Coastal Commission to vote 12-0 against the project, and worked on a letter writing and phone call campaign to the Governor asking him to veto the project, just as the commissioners did.
Erica's community organizing and dogged determination played a crucial role in helping her community to resist a multinational billion-dollar corporation. —Brower Youth Awards