Community Action Roadmap
Empowering Near-port Communities
United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Transportation and Air Quality
December 2019
For more information:

Community Action Roadmap

Step 1: Prioritize Goals and Concerns 4
Step 2: Identify Levers for Change
Step 3: Build Relationships
Step 4: Develop an Action Plan
Step 5: Make Your Case
Step 6: Build Momentum for Change 14
Community Action Resources
How to Use this
This document outlines
six key steps to effective
community engagement on
ports-related issues.
The Introduction section
provides background for
the use of this document
and its companion
document, the Ports Primer
for Communities (Ports
In the Community Action
Roadmap section, the
Overview provides an
outline of the roadmap and
a diagram of the steps.
Each step is described
in more detail on the
remaining pages, along
with tips, exercises and
references to related
sections in the Ports Primer
for Communities.
The final section,
Community Action
Resources, offers additional
resources to assist with
The Ports Primer for Communities and Community Action Roadmap have been developed by the Environmental
Protection Agency's Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) in partnership with Regional Offices and the Office of
Environmental Justice to support near-ports communities in improving their local quality of life.
This work builds off of the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Roadmap, which originated with the
National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. More information on the CARE Roadmap is available in the Community
Action Resources section of this document.
Cover Image Credits
© Smith - Not For Reuse, © A Sanchez - Not For Reuse, ©
WilliamSherman - Not For Reuse, © - Not For Reuse, © - Not For Reuse, ©iStock.
com/AwakenedEye - Not For Reuse, © - Not For Reuse

The Community Action Roadmap: Empowering Near-
port Communities (Community Action Roadmap)
provides a step-by-step guide to help near-port
communities effectively engage in port decisions
that may impact local land use, environmental
health and quality of life. This Community Action
Roadmap supplements the companion document,
Ports Primer for Communities. The Ports Primer for
Communities provides an overview of ports planning
and operations, potential benefits and impacts of ports
operations, successful community strategies, and
links to additional resources.
Ports can benefit near-by communities by providing
jobs, infrastructure and resources to support
community amenities. However, ports activities can
also impact near-by communities with noise, air and
water pollution, traffic related to transport, loading and
related industrial land uses. Near-port communities,
which are often low income and/or communities of
color, bear a disproportionate burden from these
impacts, including reduced health while not sharing
proportionally in growth in prosperity.
According to EPA's Office of Environmental Justice:
Environmental justice "will be achieved
when everyone enjoys the same degree of
protection from environmental and health
hazards and equal access to the decision-
making to have a healthy environment in
which to live, learn and work."
Together, the Ports Primer for Communities and
Community Action Roadmap offer information and
tools to empower local community members and
leaders to improve their local quality of life. Each
step in the Community Action Roadmap process is
designed to build community capacity to prioritize
goals, identify opportunities for influence, build
partnerships, develop an action plan, make a
persuasive case and build momentum for change.
Ports Primer for Communities is available for
download from the OTAQ website at:
www, epa. aov/communitv-Dort-collaboration-and-
Getting to Know your Port
Before embarking on your community
action, take the time to learn more about
port facilities. Understanding some basic
information about how your port authority is
structured will help target your efforts more
effectively. Sections 2 and 3 of the Ports
Primer for Communities provide an overview
of the role of ports, port operations and port
After reviewing Sections 2 and 3, test your
knowledge of your local port. Here are a few
questions to guide your review:
~	What is the difference between a port and a
port authority?
n What is the name of your port authority? Can
you locate their main office and website?
~	Is your port authority an operational port
or a landlord port? If landlord, what type of
~	What is the governing structure of your port
~	What are some of the federal, state and local
agencies that regulate port activities?

Community Action Roadmap
Using the Community Action
The Community Action Roadmap outlines six key
steps for effectively engaging in local decision-
making. As shown in the diagram on page 3, the steps
are outlined in a specific order starting with setting
goals; however, you may choose to begin at the step
that best fits your unique situation. Timeframes for
each step will vary depending on local needs and
goals, and over time, communities may cycle through
the steps several times to address new issues and
strengthen their local partnerships.
Selecting a Starting Place
The following scenarios provide examples of how
different communities may approach the roadmap.
Community Collaboration, Scenario A - Your
community may have come together around a
specific issue, but may be wondering how to build
on this initial collaboration to do more. You may
choose to start with Step 1 and involve residents and
organizations in developing a shared set of priority
goals and concerns.
Community Participation, Scenario B - Your
community may be interested in providing public
comment on a ports-related issue (e.g., an
infrastructure improvement project). You may start
at Step 2 by ensuring that community residents are
informed about when and how they can provide
their input during the decision-making process.
Following successful participation in the comment
period, you may decide to work towards capturing the
community's interest and momentum by circling back
to Step 1 and prioritizing additional community goals
for continued engagement.
Community Partnership, Scenario C - Your
community may have spent several years outlining
a plan to improve quality of life. However, you are
having trouble finding partners and resources to
implement your goals. You may choose to enter the
roadmap on Step 3 and focus on building partnerships
with agencies and organizations that may have
expertise, resources or authority to help you achieve
your priorities.
Try it Out!
The following self-assessment is designed to help you determine which step would most benefit your
community at this time. Review the questions, and mark no, some, or yes. After completing the assessment,
discuss where to start with your community. Consider starting with the step in the process where you first
marked a no or some.
Self- Assessment
Mark: no, some
or yes
Has your community identified and prioritized a set of goals?

Does your community know the key agencies and decision-making
processes that can have the most impact on your goals?

Does your community have relationships with the key decision-makers,
the business community, environmental organizations and a range of
community groups that reflect the diversity in your community?

Has your community evaluated a range of methods for achieving your goal
and selected a few that will be most effective?

Does your community have an action plan and the data, tools and
resources to make the case for the changes you want?

Has your community reflected on past efforts, celebrated successes and
determined how to address lessons learned and build on strengths?


Prioritize Goals
and Concerns.
Identify and prioritize
goals and concerns that
are motivating
community leaders to
engage with the Port.
Identify Levers for Change.
Identify port governance structure
and key regulatory agencies.
Identify upcoming planning
processes, decision documents
and other opportunities for
community influence.
Momentum for Change.
Evaluate the results of
community efforts, and share
these with the public. Celebrate
successes. Identify next steps to
build community influence.
Build Relationships.
Identify key community
stakeholders and resource partners
Conduct outreach and build
relationships. Share information,
and solicit input and feedback.
Make Your Case.
Gather information that
supports community
Develop an
Action Plan.
Evaluate methods of
engagement and select
the most effective
approach (may select
concerns and goals.
Implement selected
more than one).

to Step 1:
Prioritize Goals and Concerns
In this step, identify and prioritize goals and concerns
that are motivating community members and
organizations to engage on port issues.
Your community may have been focused on a single
issue and is now ready to broaden to other concerns.
Or your community may be overwhelmed with so
many issues, it's challenging to know where to start.
In either case, taking the time to reach out to others
in your community and establish a shared list of
prioritized goals is the first step in making concrete
changes with collective action.
Some concerns may be directly related to the port
operations, while others may be connected to port-
related industries and transport. In addition, many
near-ports communities are isolated by infrastructure
and industrial uses, reducing access to key amenities
such as groceries, health services, open space and
reliable transportation. Concerns may be related to
ongoing operations or a specific project that may
cause temporary or long-term impacts.
Strength in Numbers. Try to gather input from
as many residents, business owners and local
organizations as possible. Even if the concerns
vary across the community, by developing a list of
shared goals, the community can work together to
tackle each one at the right time. There are many
methods for gathering goals and concerns from your
community, and it's often best to try more than one.
Here are a few suggestions:
•	Conduct door-to-door outreach and discussion.
•	Ask to visit community and faith organizations
during their regular meetings.
•	Hold a community meeting and invite participants
to share their goals and concerns
•	Ask for a show of hands, offer a survey, or invite
dot voting on flip charts to help prioritize.
•	Post an online survey.
•	Use social media.
•	Provide interpreters at meetings and events
and translate outreach materials to meaningfully
engage persons with limited English proficiency.
• Provide information and outreach materials
in accessible formats to enable effective
communication for persons with disabilities.
Check Your Ports Primer!
As you consider goals and concerns, the
following Ports Primer sections provide more
detail on potential community benefits and
impacts related to land use, economy and the
Land Use and Transportation: 5.1-5.3
Local and Regional Economy: 6.3
Environmental Impacts: 1.1 and 7.5
Potential Community Concerns
Road Traffic/Water Traffic

Air Quality

Human Health

Pedestrian Safety


Abandoned Lots

Brownfield Sites
Polluted Waters
Access to Open Space
Light Pollution
Natural Disasters


Try it Out!
1.	Identify Issues: Review the checklist on the previous page, and mark which issues are the most important
in your community now. Add the priority concerns and any others not included in the checklist to a chart
like the one below.
2.	Add Detail: Once you have listed the key issues, describe each concern in as much detail as possible. For
example, if air quality is a concern, try to identify the location of operations and times when the air quality
is most concerning.
3.	Describe Impacts: Describe the community impacts of each concern. For example, does air quality
impact sensitive populations such as children or the elderly? Or residences along a truck route? Have
community members experienced increased or exacerbated health challenges that they associate with
poor air quality?
4.	Set Goals: Translate each concern into a goal. For example, "Improved air quality in the neighborhood
with a focus on reducing air pollution that directly impacts sensitive populations, such as children."
5.	Prioritize for Action: As a final step, try to prioritize the concerns and goals in order of most importance.
Ask your community, "if there was only one change we could make this year, which would it be?"
Issues of Detailed Description


61 Step 2:
Identify Levers for Change
Your community has the potential to influence change
on many ports-related actions, including:
•	Construction projects with temporary and/or long-
term impacts.
•	Planning projects, including comprehensive
plans, land use plans, transportation plans, and
port expansion plans.
•	Regulatory changes, including changes in
requirements and standards for noise, air
emissions, water quality and the handling of
hazardous materials.
•	Operational changes, including times, locations
and management practices for specific activities.
Some of these actions may be led by the port agency
or authority, while others may be led by the local
government or regional transportation planning
agency. Finding the levers for change means
identifying decision-makers, regulations, policies,
planning documents and points in the decision-
making process that are important for addressing your
community's concerns.
For new organizations, it can be difficult to know
where to start. Agency staff can often help outline
the contact information and responsibilities of
relevant authorities. Sometimes, diligent efforts are
required to locate staff who are positioned in the
agency to address your inquiries and issues. Building
relationships early with port leaders and staff can be
the most effective lever for change.
Check Your Ports Primer!
Review the following sections again to refresh
your memory on some of the levers for change
that may be relevant to your priority issue.
How Ports Work: 3.1-3.3
Land Use and Transportation: 5.1-5.2
Local and Regional Economy: 6.1 and 6.3
Environmental Impacts: 7.2-7.4
Develop an Elevator Speech. When calling agency
staff for information, it can be helpful to organize
your "elevator speech." An elevator speech clearly
communicates the who, what, when, where and why
in 1 to 3 minutes. In general, try to state the facts and
what you need without assigning blame. Here is an
Our neighborhood located across from the
entrance of the port is experiencing heavy truck
traffic and reduced air quality. This is impacting
residents by creating busy unsafe streets and
increasing health concerns like asthma. Who
do I contact to learn how to resolve this issue?
When you reach the right contact, you may ask,
Where can I find the regulation or plan that
governs this issue? If I have questions about
the regulation or plan as I review it, when
would be a good time to follow up with you?
Use the Freedom of Information Act. Wth certain
exemptions protecting interests such as personal
privacy, national security and law enforcement, the
Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to
access records from any federal agency. In addition,
most state and local governments are covered by
state public records laws. See the Community Action
Resources section.
Be Open to New or Unexpected Avenues to
Change. After prioritizing your concerns and goals
in Step 1, members of your community may feel
committed to a specific action or avenue to change.
Remember that new or unexpected opportunities for
creating positive change may come to light as you
move through the rest of the roadmap. Keep your goal
in mind, and be open to learning about new ways to
achieve that goal.
Be Patient and Stay Nimble. Revisit and refine your
goals periodically. If your research into levers for
change reveals that your initial goal is not achievable
in the near term, don't be discouraged. Look for near-
term opportunities that can help you take small steps
toward your ultimate goals.

Try it Out!
Our priority goal is:
1. In addition to the port authority, what are the other state and federal agencies, local departments, regional
boards or commissions that may be able to influence your priority issue? List 3 to 5 entities that are likely to
have the biggest influence on your issue. This identification process can sometimes be challenging. Agency
staff can play a key role in assisting with this challenge.
2. Locate the website for each entity and list the major services and responsibilities that relate to your issue.
3. Scan the news section of each website to see what projects or initiatives are planned that might be related
to your prioritized goals. Additional places to look for information on projects and initiatives include: 1)
meeting minutes from the port authority, metropolitan planning organization, and city council; 2) Federal
register notices; 3) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews and agencies' NEPA websites
(including EPA's Environmental Impact Statement database). Note the contact information and any
upcoming meetings or comment periods. Try to identify which regulations and plans govern your issue.
4. After your initial research, you may need to call the agency contacts to confirm which departments and staff
are responsible, where to find the regulations and plans that govern your issue, and what are the best near-
term opportunities for promoting change. Identifying contacts can sometimes be challenging. Agency staff
can play a key role in assisting with this challenge.
5. As a final step, develop a contact sheet outlining the information you have gathered for future reference,
including agency contacts, plans, regulations, and upcoming events.

MH Step 3:
Ikl Build Relationships
Once your community has prioritized goals and
identified agencies to contact and avenues to pursue,
the next step is to build a coalition of supporters who
can help make positive change happen. Relationship
building can occur on several levels at the same time.
Review the relationship-building areas below. Note
areas where you already have strong support as well
as areas where you would like to invest in building
stronger relationships.
In the community. Reach out to other
organizations that may interact with residents on
different issues. These groups may include unions
and health care, youth, family support, faith and
sports groups. Ask to join their meetings to share
information and ask people for their support.
With adjacent communities. Adjacent
communities may sometimes seem a world away
due to different demographics or infrastructure
barriers such as rail lines, highways or industrial
superblocks. However, putting differences aside
and joining forces to tackle an issue that affects
both communities can be an effective way to
promote change on tough issues. City staff
working in outreach, planning, social services
and grants can help identify community leaders in
adjacent neighborhoods.
With liaisons and opinion leaders. Chambers
of Commerce and neighborhood associations
are structured as liaison organizations between
communities and local governments. Their staff
and members can be helpful partners, particularly
if they already have working relationships with
local agencies and decision-makers.
With agency staff who may have relevant
expertise, resources or programs. While staff
may not have the authority to make the desired
changes, they may be able to provide technical
expertise, programs and grant assistance that can
help. They can also be an internal champion for
your issue at their agency. View EPA regional staff
as your initial and primary contact who can also
connect you with other agencies to assist locally.
With elected officials, commissioners,
agency leaders and decision makers. Their
bigger-picture perspective can help you identify
additional resources as well as new partnership
and capacity-building opportunities.
With other community stakeholders, including
businesses, schools and environmental
organizations. Consider linking up with schools
and businesses that have a vested interest in the
issue. Partnering with a local environmental group
with a successful track record of advocacy and
engagement can also work well.
With port staff and decision makers. Building
trust between the community and a port can be
challenging if the port has not been receptive
to community concerns in the past. A respectful
tone can reduce defensiveness and encourage
productive communication.
Look for creative ways to help port staff engage
effectively with community members, understand
issues from the community's perspective, and
become invested in helping. For example, taking
staff on a tour to look at an issue in the field
can be more effective than putting them on the
spot at a large public meeting. Working with
management at the port to expand training in
community engagement beyond public relations
staff can help increase productive conversations
between project managers at the port and
surrounding communities.
Finally, many ports have environmental offices,
community relations or public affairs staff who
can offer a "lay of the land" assessment for
community members about existing environmental
partnerships, initiatives and programs related
to their concerns. Staff can help community
members plug into existing projects, deepen their
involvement, and build relationships to help the
port and community members accomplish shared

Listen Well. One reliable way to build support is to
ask for input. When sharing information, whether with
your neighbor or the mayor, ask what they think of the
issue, what they recommend to help resolve it, and
who else to talk to. Identify areas of common interest.
Acknowledge Anger about the Past. There is a
lot of history related to where ports are located, who
lives near ports, and how some communities are
disproportionately exposed to related pollution. This
history may result in deep-seated anger from near-
port residents. Acknowledging this anger is important
and necessary, but need not prevent constructive
dialogue, problem solving, pollution reduction and
community investments to occur moving forward.
Connect on Common Ground. Not everyone may
be eager to work closely with you at the beginning.
Remember that regardless of your new contact's
current perspective or position on your issue, they are
a potential ally. Find common points of connection
around which to build a cordial relationship.
Stay in Touch. Always follow up with new contacts.
Thank them for their support and keep them posted
on status and events. Stay committed to your goals,
and be positive. Establishing dialogue and trust is
extremely important.
Try It Out!
1. Who are the influencers in your community?
2. Which stakeholders are already supporters?
3. Review the list of potential supporters on page 8. Who else could you connect with to build support,
resources and influence for your issue? Use a chart like the one below to capture opportunities for new
relationships. As you move forward, continue to update the contact sheet you started in Step 2.
(name, and
What kinds of
support could
this person
Are there
opportunities to
offer them mutual
Who can help
build this
What strategy(ies)
should we use to
share our community's

Check Your Ports Primer!
Review the following sections again to refresh
your memory on the agency and regulatory
structure for your issues. This framework will
help ensure you identify partners in each sector
with expertise or authority related to your issue.
How Ports Work: 3.1-3.3
Land Use and Transportation: 5.1-5.2
Local and Regional Economy: 6.1 and 6.3
Environmental Impacts: 7.2-7.4
Special Note
In many communities across the United States,
stakeholders have advocated for years to reduce
pollution from local port operations with little or no
discernable success. This document recognizes
that a lack of time and resources is often a reality
in communities. Taking these steps and achieving
outcomes can be more challenging in some
communities than it will be in others.

PStep 4:
Develop an Action Plan
For the next step in the process, collaborate with your partners to select a project and develop a robust action
plan for achieving your goal. An action plan outlines the set of activities for your project, and designates timing
and leads for each activity. In addition, you will need to consider what engagement strategy will best support
your project and define how you plan to measure success for your efforts.
Try It Out!
1.	Pick a Project. What project will help you best
meet the goal you established in Step 2? Review
the exercise under Check Your Ports Primer for
Communities! for ideas of what has worked in
similar communities. Consider what project makes
sense for you to pursue now and what others
you would like to keep in mind as you build your
capacity and momentum. Also, consider whether
a direct dialogue with port decision-makers at this
time could be helpful for selecting a near-term
project that engages the port collaboratively.
2.	Select Your Engagement Strategy. Review
the chart on the next page and determine which
method is the most effective way for you to engage
the community and decision-makers? Depending
on where you are in the process, you may choose
to focus on education, input, collaboration,
mitigation, advocacy, or some combination.
3.	Develop an Action Plan. Develop a chart similar to the one below, and list each activity needed to
accomplish your project, then designate a lead and a timeframe. Establish a regular check-in schedule
between lead partners to stay coordinated and help each other problem-solve when you encounter
roadblocks. Keep your supporters updated, motivated and involved.
4.	Define Success. Place a star next to key milestones in your action plan to evaluate and celebrate
success. Review the two Measuring Success resources listed on page 16. What are some metrics
for measuring your process and organizational capacity (building skills)? What metrics (methods for
measuring) can help measure tangible outcomes?
5.	Identify Resources. Reach out to partner agencies and organizations to identify grants, technical
assistance, programs and other resources to help implement your project. If your organization is new, you
can partner on grant applications to build your grant management track record, and ask agency staff for
f* = milestone)
Lead Person or Organization

Check Your Ports Primer for
Review section 4.1 "Tools for Influencing Ports
Planning and Operations" for more ideas
on what actions could help build support for
change. Then, explore the case studies in
the Ports Primer for Communities. Select
which approaches might be a good fit for your
community's goals and describe why.
Section 4.2: Port-Community Relations
Section 5.4: Land Use and Transportation
Section 6.4: Jobs and Benefits
Section 1.6: Environment
Section 8.3: Citizen Science

Example Actions
•	Distribute information about port activities,
impacts and opportunities for public comment.
•	Provide peer-to-peer training using the Ports
Primer for Communities or other educational
•	Form a coalition of organizations focused on
resolving the issue.
•	Builds broad based support.
•	Ensures advocacy goals reflect issues and
concerns from the broader community.
•	Builds capacity for outreach, problem
solving and action.
feedback to
the port and
• Provide feedback via public comment periods
during formal decision-making processes (e.g.,
through the National Environmental Policy Act
•	Documents goals and concerns in a written
•	A potential approach if there is a significant
document or project proposal under public
•	May influence further evaluation or
alternative approaches.
•	Commenting earlier in the process will have
more potential to influence change.
Develop port-
•	Share the community's general goals and
concerns with port governing bodies or
businesses, and conduct a dialogue to identify
opportunities for collaborative projects that help
achieve these goals.
•	Join a port citizen advisory group (or lobby to
create one).
•	Serve on a port authority board.
•	Develop a specific collaboration between the
port and community, such as piloting a new
•	Advantageous at any point in the process.
•	Empowers community to directly inform
specific decisions.
•	Tends to be a more proactive, problem-
solving role.
•	Builds productive relationships to tackle
bigger issues in the future.
to mitigate
port impacts.
•	Apply for community funding to mitigate an
•	Pilot a new program through a local
government or organization.
•	Seek opportunities to partner with state or local
•	A potential approach if communicating with
port and related agencies is unproductive.
•	Empowers community to effect change
•	Community may have more direct control
over project design and implementation.
•	May mitigate only a portion of the full issue
or concern.
Apply political
or legal
pressure on
•	Lobby elected officials.
•	Develop ways to hold the port authority
and responsible agencies accountable for
evaluating and reducing community impacts.
•	Negotiate for a community benefits agreement.
•	Pursue litigation if violations of laws are
identified and not corrected.
•	A potential avenue if communicating with
port and related agencies is unproductive
•	May promote more adversarial relationships.
•	Has potential to create more significant
•	May set precedents for progressive change
in other near-port communities.
•	Litigation may cost more in time and money
than other strategies.

Step 5:
Make Your Case
When you are ready to implement your project,
consider how you can involve all the partners you
gained in Step 3. Ideally each partner can play an
instrumental role based on their skills, expertise,
authority, connections and influence. No matter which
project you have selected, take the time to plan your
actions and carefully make your case.
To keep your project on track, it is important to
develop an action plan that identifies key tasks,
partners and a timeline. Invite each partner to play
their role and ask for their feedback and input on the
action plan. Taking the time to identify these steps and
lead partners can ensure that everyone has the same
understanding as you move forward.
As you implement your action plan, consider the
following tips for tailoring your message. These
considerations can help ensure that you are making a
strong case for the changes you would like to see.
Determine Who is the Audience or Decision-
Maker. Depending on your project, this may be
fellow community members, elected officials, or ports
agency staff. You may find that you will have multiple
audiences over the course of your effort.
Identify Your Target Audience's Concerns. Are they
interested in health, jobs, the economy in general,
the environment, city image, regulatory compliance or
social justice? Your message needs to build a bridge
from your concern to theirs, and describe how the
issue and your solution relates to their interests.
Check Your Ports Primer for
Refresh your memory on data, analysis and
mapping tools that may support your case:
Section 4.1: Mapping Disparities
Section 8: Scientific Data and Citizen Science
Appendix: Mapping and Data Tools
Try It Out!
Gather information that supports your community
concerns and goals. Data can be collected from
many sources. Review the types of data in the
checklist below, and identify which you already have
and which new sources could be useful for making
your case. Work with your partners. Engage agency
staff who are positioned to help or local academic
institutions in gathering data and information.
~	Reports developed by city, county state or
federal agencies, non-profits or academic
institutions lend credibility and can have the
benefit of presenting data that have already been
compiled, analyzed and displayed graphically.
Looking at older reports can be useful to learn
about the history of the port and regulations.
These reports can also help identify people
involved in decision-making at the port.
~	Census data including demographics, income
and health statistics can be helpful to identify
vulnerable populations and disparities between
your community and others in the region.
~	Environmental standards, regulatory information
and data from county, state or federal agencies
can be used to show violations, exceedances
in standards, or disparities between your
community and regional or national averages.
~	Geographic Information System (GIS) data or
online mapping tools can be used to map the
proximity of the issue to impacted communities
as well as disparities in health, quality of life and
environmental risk.
~	Community experience data can document
personal and collective impacts to community
members through photos, podcasts, video,
experience maps, or personal logs.
~	Citizen science data can empower community
members to fill data gaps and gather information
they trust by collecting their own data. This
alternative data source can prompt agencies to
verify the information by gathering additional data
that they otherwise may not have collected.

Practice crafting your message! First, determine
your target audience and develop a message that
responds to the questions below. Review the list of
potential partners on page 8 for reference. Remember
to use language that the audience you selected will
recognize. Next, pick a second target audience and
see how your message might differ.
1. Who is your target audience? What is their main
interest or concern?
2. Craft your message - succinctly answer the
questions below.
What's the issue?
Where is the issue a concern?
Why is it important? How is it affecting the
How do you want the issue to change?
When is the time for input or action?
Design your message in printed form or other
media. Depending on your audience, this could be a
presentation, a handout, a poster, a press release, a
video, a public service announcement or a technical
briefing document. State your message and what you
would like changed as clearly and briefly as possible.
It may be helpful to develop additional messages
tailored to fit the specific audience, with a focus
on expressing the shared nature of goals and/
or principles held in common. This helps to bridge
differences in perspectives and help others
understand how your goal fits with things they care
about, so your goal will resonate with them.
Use Images! As the saying goes, a picture says a
thousand words. Here are some tips on using images
to convey a quick and compelling message. Check
the images below that will be most effective for your
|~l Use photos showing the impact of the issue on
the community. Include people in the photos
when possible.
~	Use a map to show where the impact occurs
and the proximity of the issue to vulnerable
communities (e.g., schools, preschools and
senior facilities) or valuable resources (e.g.,
creeks, housing, businesses or open space).
] Use maps to show related health, environmental
or economic disparities between your community
and surrounding communities.
~	Use graphs to show data and how the issue
relates to regulatory standards or national
~	Highlight quotes from local or other respected
opinion leaders. Include a photo of the speaker.
~	Show or tell a success story from a similarly-
affected community to demonstrate that change
is not only needed, it's possible.

Step 6:
Build Momentum for Change
During and after implementation, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure that you are capturing
the energy and effort of your actions in a way that builds momentum for the future.
Reflect and Evaluate
After your project is done (and along the way!), take
time to reflect and evaluate. For grassroots efforts
using a lot of volunteer support, it's natural that some
areas excel from passion alone, while other areas are
more challenging and have a steeper learning curve.
As you evaluate, revisit your measures of success
for (1) process and organizational capacity and (2)
environmental and/or quality of life improvements.
Metrics for the former can usually be assessed using
a self-evaluation like the one below. Metrics for the
latter may require data collection and analysis.
Try It Out!
Evaluate Your Process. Use a self-evaluation to
improve and identify next steps. Ideally, you should
include feedback from your key partners. You can
use an anonymous survey or discuss as a group
and flip chart the notes. Walk through each of the
key functions (e.g., outreach, volunteer coordination,
fundraising, data gathering and analysis, the
message, enlisting partners) and solicit feedback.
Example Self-Evaluation
1.	What worked well?
2.	What could be improved?
3.	What are some ideas for
addressing those challenges?
4.	Do you have existing partners who
could help build success in these
5.	Are there any new partnerships you
could form to address any gaps?
6.	What are some next steps?
Celebrate Success
It's important to celebrate small successes as you
go and to share the results of your project with the
public. Whether or not you were able to accomplish
all of the intended outcomes, celebrating the efforts
of community members and partners can help ensure
supporters feel appreciated and maintain momentum
for the next round.
Try It Out!
Celebrate Creatively! It is important to recognize hard
work and accomplishments. Review the ideas below,
and add your own. What would draw on local talent
and demonstrate success and appreciation?
Celebrate Accomplishments!
~	Develop a press release.
~	Send thank you notes.
~	Post video interviews online.
~	Present recognition awards.
~	Paint a mural with local artists.
~	Host a block party or hold a parade.
~	Invite a motivational speaker.
~	Enlist a youth band or dance group.
~	Provide food from a local vendor.
~	Include activities for children/youth.

Formalize and Institutionalize
Decide What's Next!
The close of your first project may also be a time to
reflect on your organizational and communication
structure. Whether you entered the Community Action
Roadmap as an individual activist, a newly formed
environmental justice organization, or a seasoned
organization, after all the work you have done, you
have likely built quite a bit of capacity that did not
exist before. Now is the time to think about how to
institutionalize (build a lasting organization) that
capacity so that it can be used again and again.
Would it be helpful to organize your partnerships into
a more formal coalition? Could you formalize some
key roles (such as outreach, fundraising, media,
technical analysis, government liaison, volunteer
coordinator) to streamline your process? Are there
ways to enhance communication and outreach?
Try It Out!
Consider Ways to Institutionalize. Consider which
of the following tools would help you be more effective
and then describe why. Are there other tools you
could add to the list?
Whether you win or lose your first advocacy
campaign, generally there is more to accomplish.
Based on the successes and challenges you identified
during your self-evaluation, determine what remains
to be done to achieve your goal. You may be ready
to move on to tackling a new goal, or you may have
ideas about new projects that could help you meet
your initial goal.
If you are ready to consider selecting a new goal to
work on, circle back to Step 1 to identify which priority
goal(s) to tackle next. Cycling through the steps a
second time will likely be much quicker, and can add
value and ensure you are building the necessary
capacity for each goal to achieve your vision.
Try It Out!
Capture Your Momentum. When you have fully
completed your project, revisit the priority goals you
identified in Step 1. Based on the work you have
done, are there any new goals you would add?
Select the next goal or project to tackle!
Ways to Institutionalize
~	Form a coalition or partnership.
~	Apply for non-profit status.
~	Establish key roles (within your
organization or across multiple
partner organizations).
~	Develop a decision-making
structure and process.
~	Establish an outreach strategy.
~	Identify an academic partner to
support research and data analysis.
~	Secure more funding.

i	4 Ja
' -	rt
Use Your
Momentum and
Decide What's

Community Action Resources
Setting a Timeline for Your Roadmap
The timeframe for each step in the Roadmap process will vary, depending on your goals. In some instances,
there may be external deadlines your community must respond to, such as an established timeframe for a
public comment period. These deadlines can create the need for an accelerated timeframe. (This could be as
short as a month or two!)
In other cases, your community may be able to set its own goals for timing that respond to the scope of
desired community engagement and partnership building. The more partners you are trying to engage, or the
more complex the topic or ambitious your goal, the more extended the timeframe will need to be. For short,
discrete projects, such as an established community-port partnership to distribute information about air quality
to community residents, the timeframe for moving through the Roadmap could be three to six months. For
larger efforts, such as a broad-based community visioning and implementation effort, the timeframe could be
extended to one to two years.
In any scenario, it is a good idea to set target deadlines for each step of the process. This can help build
momentum and generate enthusiasm and a sense of accomplishment for you and your partners along the way.
Measuring Success
One way to track success over time is to establish measures of success at the outset of a project. You
may wish to develop metrics (qualitative and quantitative) for (1) your process and organizational capacity
(e.g., engaged five new partners) and (2) environmental and/or quality of life improvements (e.g., air quality
The following resources provide additional considerations for establishing and tracking performance metrics:
•	Measurement Tips and Resources for Community Projects (EPA CARE Program)
Located at: https://www.epa.aov/sites/production/files/2015-04/documents/care measurement tips.pdf
•	Evaluation Metrics Manual: Chapter 6 - Capacity Building (National Institutes of Health)
Located at: http://www.niehs.nih.aov/research/supported/assets/docs/i g/peph evaluation metrics
manual chapter 6 508.pdf
Using FOIA
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the
right to access information from the federal government. It is often
described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their
government. FOIA requests can be used to gain access to government
records that are not routinely made available to or easily accessible
by the public. For more information on FOIA and how to make a FOIA
request, visit: http://www.foia.aov/about.html.

Community Guidance Publications
The following chart contains resources on additional subjects that may be of interest to near-port communities,
including community engagement, collaborative problem-solving, land use and equitable development.
Additional resources that pertain directly to port operations and impacts can be found in the Ports Primer for
Resource (Author)
Available online at:
CARE Roadmap: A 10-Step Plan to
Improve Community Environment
and Health (EPA)
A tool to help communities identify,
prioritize, and address environmental
health risks.
documents/the care
roadmaD uDdateda.Ddf
Creating Equitable, Healthy,
and Sustainable Communities:
Strategies for Advancing Smart
Growth, Environmental Justice,
and Equitable Development (EPA)
Principles and approaches for
promoting equitable, sustainable
Developing Effective Coalitions:
An Eight Step Guide (Prevention
A step-by-step guide to coalition-
Environmental Justice
Collaborative Problem-Solving
Model (EPA)
A handbook explaining how to use the
Collaborative Problem-Solving Model
to address environmental issues in
distressed communities.
Environmental Justice: Key
Resources for Building a
Community of Practice for Local
Use Planning (EPA)
Resources to inform the land
use planning process, promote a
collaborative decision-making process
and support environmental justice.
Local Government Advisory
Committee's EJ Best Practices for
Local Government (EPA)
Explores environmental injustice
challenges faced in a local
government context and offers best
practices for advancing environmental
documents/2015 best
oractices for local
Public Participation Spectrum
(International Association of Public
A framework for setting expectations
and understanding the impact of
various types of public participation.
httos: //cd n. vm aws. co m/www.
Dillars/Soectrum 8.5x11 Print,
A Sustainability Workbook
for Environmental Justice
Communities (EPA)
Workbook for using a Collaborative
Problem-Solving approach to tackle
tough environmental issues in
disadvantaged communities.
TASC-LEAP-Workbook. Ddf