CEO’s sentiments

Consider the following scenario: Your city council has approved the placement of a toxic
waste dump in a small, low-income community. The company building the dump has
hosted informational meetings, but residents rarely attend and are unaware of the
proposal. The approval will bring very little economic benefit to the community. The CEO
of the company feels that, since no one attended the meetings, the approval is valid. Do you
agree with the CEO’s claim? Why or why not? Consider the principal of social justice and
include recommendations for what should have been done prior to the council meeting to
ensure that the decision was ethical, fair, and valid. Describe two strategies you would
implement to engage this community in advocacy for health equity.

I disagree with the CEO’s sentiments that since none of the community members attended the
meetings, it implied that the approval was valid. In this case, failure to attend to or participate in
the meetings may be attributed to a lack of awareness about the city council’s plan or the
intended development of a dump within their community. As such, without the engagement and
involvement of the community members, the city council and the development company violated
the people’s right to social justice. According to Harley & Scandrett (2019), social justice
indicates that the dimensions of social justice exceed those embodies in the principles of criminal
or civil law, economic demand and supply, and traditional moral structures. It thus emphasizes
just relations between groups within society rather than the justice for individuals based on their
conduct. Traditionally, social justice stipulated that all people should have equal access to health,
wealth, justice, opportunities, and privileges regardless of their economic, legal, or political
affiliations.

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Conversely, modern practices in social justice involve punishing or favoring different
groups of people based on value judgments related to current conditions, historical events, or
interactions within the group. Therefore, the decision made by the city council violates various
principles of social justice, such as equity, supportive environments, inclusivity, fairness, and
equal opportunity. As such, the recommended approach to the situation or before the council
meeting that would have guaranteed validity, integrity, and ethical decisions entails the inclusion
of the community members in the discussion regarding the proposed project (Harley &
Scandrett, 2019). These should be coupled with the engagement of relevant stakeholders who
include business owners, healthcare providers, policymakers, and different leaders within the
community.

Most fundamentally, the city council officials should have conducted public awareness
and civic education initiatives to inform the community members about the proposed project.
This way, they would have evaluated the various benefits and shortcomings, as well as side
effects associated with the project based on the opinions of the residents. Similarly, in the
advocacy for health equity, it would be recommendable to involve the relevant stakeholders in
assessing the viability of the proposed project to the community members (Harley & Scandrett,
2019). Since the construction of the dump would lead to minimal benefits for the community, it
would be prudent to re-strategize and focus on other projects such as the development of a
recycling plant.

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References

Harley, A., & Scandrett, E. (2019). Community, development and popular struggles for
environmental justice. Environmental Justice, Popular Struggle and Community
Development, 1-14.

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