Community Member

Southeast Queens Residents Environmental Justice Coalition

Addisleigh Park, New York

Southeast Queens Residents Environmental Justice Coalition (SQREJC) was founded in 2023 to foster civic pride among the Southeast Queens (SEQ) community in response to decades of environmental injustice and neglect. Namely, the community has for over 30 years experienced chronic surface and groundwater flooding and has served as a sacrifice zone for New York City’s waste, resulting in elevated levels of water and air pollution. Despite being formally founded only recently, the five community groups that compose the coalition have worked collaboratively towards these same goals for decades, educating residents through town halls, holding rallies to pressure city officials, and leading community improvement projects throughout SEQ. SQREJC’s efforts have already resulted in major wins in the courts through a settlement limiting pollution from waste transfer stations, and at City Council, where the coalition prevented legislation that would have brought more waste into SEQ.

The five community groups included in the coalition are Addisleigh Park Civic Organization, Brinkerhoff Action Association, Greater Triangular Civic Association, St. Albans Civic Improvement Association, 149th South Ozone Park Civic Association.

SQREJC member Lauretta Humphrey (C) at the unveiling ceremony of Congressman John Lewis Memorial Stamp. Pictured with Congressman Gregory Meeks (R) and Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado (L).

SQREJC is a coalition of five long-standing community organizations in Southeast Queens, with histories stretching as far back as 1906. Although the five groups had worked together informally for years, their relationship was formalized with the founding of SQREJC, a Black-led organization of eight members dedicated to ensuring safety and environmental justice for Southeast Queens as a whole. In the short time since coming together as SQREJC, the group has already achieved major victories: suing waste transfer stations in the area to secure limits on pollution that will improve the area’s water and air quality, as well as successfully fighting legislation that would bring more pollution from waste truck traffic into Southeast Queens. With SQREJC’s leaders and member organizations bringing decades of collective experience in advocacy on behalf of the Southeast Queens community, the group poses a formidable challenge to the area’s entrenched pollution, flooding, and sewage problems.

For more information:

CB 12 prez wants composting restored – Queens Chronicle, March 2024 

Opinion: Which NY Communities Are Most Susceptible to Climate Change Harms? – City Limits, June 2022

Raw Sewage Flooded Their Homes. They’re Still Waiting for Help. – The New York Times, April 2021

Stewart Sinclair

Stewart Sinclair

Stewart L. Sinclair is a writer, editor and educator from Ventura, California. His essays, reportage and narrative nonfiction have appeared in Guernica, The Millions, The Morning News, The New Orleans Review, Creative Nonfiction’s “True Story” series and elsewhere.


Andrea Scarborough


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Flooding, Hurricanes/Tropical Storms, Water Contamination

Environmental Justice Concerns

Air Pollution, Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Incinerator/Dumping/Landfill, Lead Contamination, Sewage/Sewage Treatment


Community Farm/Gardens, Community Organizing and Education, Direct Relief and Aid, Green Infrastructure, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Nature-Based Solutions, Policy Reform, Political activism, including protests, petitions, and lobbying, Risk mapping and/or monitoring e.g. flooding/contaminants etc

501c3 Tax Deductible


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