Inland Communities Organizing Network (ICON) Ministry Group
November 21, 2016 is the day ICON won its most significant victory thus far! On that day, the Pomona City Council unanimously approved a permanent ban on allowing any further waste and recycling businesses in Pomona, as well as making sure existing environmental rules are enforced.
This victory culminated a seven-year battle between ICON, the Pomona city government and waste and recycling businesses. In 2010, First Presbyterian Church of Pomona approached ICON with a request to help them organize to deal with the major environmental pollution and traffic hazards growing in Pomona’s southeast quadrant. This included the threatened opening of a giant waste transfer facility. Since then, ICON has organized the citizens of Pomona, residents throughout the Pomona Valley, and both its member congregations and community groups (including LVHPC) to make the city and region healthy again for its people. In opposition was the 21 waste and recycling businesses in Pomona, along with many of Pomona’s city council members.
The victories came slowly. In 2012, ICON convinced the city to limit the size and scope of the proposed waste transfer facility. Then, in 2014, ICON got the Pomona City Council to agree to a 2-year moratorium on waste and recycling industries in order to allow for a task force (including ICON) to work on a proposed new waste and recycling ordinance. In 2015, the ordinance was presented to the Pomona City Council, and over the next year, ICON persistently exerted pressure on City Council members through public testimony and negotiations. In July 2016, the City Council ordered a comprehensive inspection to be made of all waste and recycling facilities. And, finally, on Nov. 21, ICON action was taken that all existing rules be enforced as well as a proposal to ban all future waste businesses.
Why did ICON win this major victory? It was because ICON wouldn’t go away! Having committed themselves to the people of Pomona to safeguard their health and their children’s health, ICON doggedly “stayed the course” for 7 years, organizing the people and their congregations and groups to win the victory!
This is what your ICON Ministry Group is all about. ICON is dedicated to building the capacity of its member congregations (including LVHPC) and groups to address the suffering of families within the Inland Valley region. It currently does this, not only through the Pomona waste and environmental pollution battle, but also through addressing public education issues, unsafe city streets, the plight of the homeless, eldercare and end-of-life options and environmental pollution. This is the work of your ICON Ministry Group, and of the other congregations and community groups that make up ICON.