Imagine St. James Parish

Reclaiming our land. Building our future.

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Imagine a new St. James Parish economy, one that doesn’t depend on the petrochemical industry, one that includes all of us and leaves no one behind – where you would be proud for your children and grandchildren to grow up.

St. James Parish is our home. Our ancestors worked this land along the Mississippi River, built levees to protect us from flooding, and created communities to care for us.

Then came the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.

These industries have polluted our air and water with noxious fumes and chemical runoff. They’ve poisoned our families and our neighbors – and they’ve made St. James Parish and surrounding parishes famous across the nation for one thing: cancer.

While we all suffer the effects of the industry’s pollution, the burden is not shared equally. The Parish Council allows the petrochemical industry to site its facilities within Black communities, poisoning our neighbors in their homes, schools, and churches.

That’s why we’re asking you to join us now.

What can you imagine for a new St. James Parish? Tell us now!

Imagine a new St. James Parish economy, one that doesn’t depend on the petrochemical industry, one that includes all of us and leaves no one behind – one you would be proud for your children to grow up in.

Our Story

For years, St. James Parish residents concerned about the expanding petrochemical industry have attended Parish Council meetings. We have provided information and expert testimony to the Parish Council, but Councilmembers have ignored us and continued to centralize polluting industries in the Parish’s Black districts. This is unacceptable for a body elected to represent all the people of St. James Parish.

Just last year, the St. James Parish Council voted to ban solar farms in the Parish for fear the panels could obstruct the views of white residents. We submitted a letter to the Council in 2019 requesting a similar ban on petrochemical plants in our districts and received no reply. This vote on solar continues a pattern of discriminatory zoning, forcing us to bring our case to court.

What can you imagine for St. James Parish?

Join Us

We’re suing the St. James Parish Council in court to put an end to the discriminatory siting of toxic chemical plants in historically Black neighborhoods — and to ban any new petrochemical facilities, pipelines, or other infrastructure in St. James Parish.

By placing toxic petrochemical and fossil fuel facilities in Black neighborhoods, the Parish Council is continuing a legacy of racism that began with slavery, and continued through sharecropping and Jim Crow. Now, we’re coming together as a community – Black and white – to change the narrative and reclaim our future.

Together, we can imagine a future free from toxicity and pollution, where our communities can thrive on the land where our forebears once toiled. We will build a local economy that poisons no one and that benefits us all.

As Seen In

For more information on the lawsuit against the St. James Parish Council, check out the Center for Constitutional Rights case page here!

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