Comité Cívico del Valle was established in 1987 to assist the farm working labor force with various social service and health needs in Imperial County. Comité began as a service provider by helping residents of Imperial County to gain citizenship through naturalization preparation classes. Later, the organization began to widen its mission to include health and social service topics such as environmental health education, nutrition and asthma awareness. Through its work in asthma prevention and pesticide awareness, the focus of Comité has evolved to include advocacy, civic engagement, resident education and participation in research studies. Currently CCV is leading a project on asthma Respira Sano which offers a comprehensive asthma education and management program to help Imperial Valley residents to deal with all aspects of the disease, and the Community Air Monitoring Project which consists of installing 40 Air Quality Monitors throughout Imperial County. Comité Cívico del Valle (CCV), along with the University of Washington and other partners, the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct a 4-year community-based air monitoring research project in Imperial County, CA.
The overall mission of Comité Cívico del Valle, Inc. (CCV) is to improve the living conditions of our communities through education, capacity building and civic participation. CCV's motto is "Informed people build healthy communities."
CCV's environmental justice strategy includes hosting its annual Environmental Health Leadership Summit, which has been a success since its initial inception on June 2, 2007 in Imperial County. This was the first ever conference meeting dedicated solely to the environment. Subsequent summits were held in 2009, 2010 and 2011. This summit convenes residents, educators, youth and community leaders, health care providers, and environmental justice advocates discussing important environmental health concerns. The purpose of each summit is to raise awareness about environmental justice issues, present new data and research, and identify key priorities. CCV continued collaboration with Brawley Union High School demonstrates a commitment to the future of environmental health leadership in youth at BUHS We are very proud to be hosting the 6th Annual Environmental Health Leadership Summit on November 21, 2015 at Brawley Union High School.
Comité Cívico del Valle also launched its IVAN (Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods) an innovative program of environmental monitoring reporting and enforcement in California. It is intended to improve health and conditions of well being in environmental justice communities where residents face high levels of environmental hazards and low levels of the economic, political , and social resources need to address them. IVAN has expanded to six environmental justice communities statewide. Which include Imperial County, Coachella Valley, Fresno , Kern and Wilmington and Kings County and its most recent launch in San Francisco Bayview Hunters Point.
All the IVAN networks include a task force consisting of environmental justice and other kinds of community-based organizations, along with staff from county city state and federal environmental agencies which meet monthly this allows for constant interaction between community and government agencies that are expected to help address environmental hazards in disadvantaged communities. The IVAN Network Statewide has proven to be a catalyst for community engagement and government accountability that have resulted in various benefits for environmental justice communities.