A Healthy Family, A Healthy Community

by Jose Lozano

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children.” Native American proverb…

My position at the Environmental Protection Agency allows me to observe first-hand environmental hazards and their impact on public health. I love the fact that what I do every day plays a small part in protecting children like my one year old daughter Brooke. We must not forget the environment affects every aspect of our life and influences who we are. I want to do everything I can to ensure that the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat are all clean, healthy and uncompromised. My generation was brought up expecting nothing less and is what I hope to pass along to Brooke and future generations.

There are a dizzying number of topics for parents to worry over when it comes to protecting their families, and new warnings seem to cross my desk daily, enough to make any parent frantic. We all know that young children are especially susceptible to health problems caused by environmental hazards and sometimes result in a lifetime of health conditions. Naturally, there is a desire to ensure we nurture our children with healthy and safe communities to grow up in. It’s the foundation that we as parents build on and I’m certain that parents of all races, faiths, cultures and income levels would agree. Thus, as a society, we must strive to create an environment that is not only in the best interest of our families, but one that benefits our community.

Healthy families and healthy communities are the main focus this week for Hispanic Heritage Month. Our work under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act protects the air we breathe and the water we drink, swim and shower for all communities. Although I’m not directly involved with our regulatory process, every night, when I look at my little girl resting peacefully, I’m reminded of the importance of our work and how it impacts Brooke and generations to come.

About the author: Jose Lozano, a first generation American and New Jersey native, currently serves as Director of Operations at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. Jose served New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine in a variety of capacities beginning in 2005 as most recently served as Director for External Affairs at the NJ Office of Homeland Security.

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