L.A.'s social justice epicenter since 1976

Ben Russak


Deputy Director of Environmental Health & Justice

“As the descendant of Patterson silk strikers and union activists, awareness of economic injustice is in my DNA; as the son of a Broadway actor/opera singer and concert pianist, that awareness is  fused with a passion for creative expression.”

Ben focuses on maximizing the access of Los Angeles’ environmental justice communities to climate-reduction investments funded by California’s Cap-and-Trade auctions. His 2015 report, Advantaging Communities: Co-Benefits and Community Engagement through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, is informed by his facilitation of workshops and collaborative efforts with local grassroots advocates, and provides guidelines to protect low-income households from involuntary displacement, maximizing their access to economic opportunity, and environmental and public health. Ben is a 2014 graduate of UCLA’s Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program, where he participated in the 2014 Community Scholars program, providing recommendations for improved residential quality of life through conflicting land use resolution along Pacoima’s Montague/Branford industrial corridor. 323-556-7225