Archive for the 'Making Democracy Work' Category

YOU Can Be a Superhero for Clean Water!

By Jennifer Peters, National Water Campaigns Coordinator – follow Jennifer on Twitter (@EarthAvenger)

Are You a Clean Water Superhero?

Are You a Clean Water Superhero?

Why do kids (and many grown-ups) love superheroes so much? Because superheroes remind us that when faced with danger or challenging obstacles, ordinary people can rise to do extraordinary things.  Spiderman was a nerdy orphan living in Queens before he was bitten by a radioactive spider that gave him his superhuman strength and agility. As a child Batman witnessed the brutal murder of his parents and vowed to fight criminals when he grew up.

Here at Clean Water Action, our staff of superheroes have been fighting for clean water for over four decades.  Nearly 42 years after Congress enacted the Clean Water Act, our nation’s first line of defense against water pollution, we are facing an epic battle against polluters and their buddies in Congress who want to roll back decades of progress cleaning up our nations’ rivers, lakes, streams and bays.  Just last week, Congress voted to kill an important proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which would better protect our water, dead in its tracks.

How are we fighting back? We don’t have the millions of dollars the polluters and special interests do, but we DO have the power of people just like you. Every night our organizers knock on thousands of doors across the country and invite people to speak up for clean water.  So far we’ve collected nearly 40,000 handwritten letters from people who get that we need to do more to protect our water now and for future generations.  And their kids get it too – like the little girl who drew this picture of Wonder Woman and Batman fighting for clean water. Read the rest of this entry »

Americans Speak on Clean Water (Part 2)

By Phil Dimotsis, Organizer. Follow Phil on Twitter (@PhiluptuousD)

Yesterday I shared with you just a few of the passionate words that people from across the nation had to say about the fight to protect clean water. There were too many, and too many good letters, not to share more. Read the rest of this entry »

Congress’ Dirty Water Caucus: How do we combat stupid?

by Jonathan A. Scott, on Twitter @jscottnh

Following Tuesday’s US House vote to pass the ROPA Dirty Water bill (HR 5078, approved 262-152) we published this infographic on Clean Water Action’s Twitter and Facebook accounts:

ROPA graph postWe also published a link to information on how individual House Members voted (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/113-2014/h489)

One concerned/angry Clean Water Action supporter on Facebook commented, “How do we combat stupid.” Read the rest of this entry »

“For clean water today and in the future, we must act now.” Americans Speak on Clean Water (Part 1)

By Phil Dimotsis, Organizer. Follow Phil on Twitter (@PhiluptuousD)

Letters for clean water

Letters for clean water

Ed. Note: This is Part 1 of 2. See part 2 here.

Our grassroots canvass teams, the lifeblood of our work, have so far collected nearly 40,000 hand-written comments to EPA supporting their common sense rulemaking to restore the Clean Water Act. That’s astounding – nearly 40,000 parents, grandparents, children, recreationalists, home owners, farmers, educators, concerned citizens, and thousands alike have taken precious time out of their day to participate in their community to make sure our government continues to do right by us.

I’ve had the privilege to read and sort through many of these letters, notes, and drawings from across the nation and I must admit – to see such broad public support not only makes me happy as a clam, but also empowers those at EPA who are attempting to do the right thing and restore fundamental protections for streams, rivers, lakes, bays, and drinking water sources.

I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you some particularly poignant and simply stated pieces of these letters to EPA, which struck a chord in me – because as one man writes, these protections are “a no brainer.” Read the rest of this entry »

Who Cares About Clean Water?

By Susan Eastwood – follow Susan on Twitter – @SCEastwood

I live in Ashford, a town of around 4500 people that is 80% forested. We are truly rural.

The Mount Hope River runs through our backwoods and the head waters are just a mile or two to the North. As I sit on my deck this morning, I notice the mountain laurel has burst into bloom overnight. If you listen, you can hear the river running over the rocks in the hollow below – the headwaters are just to the North of our property.

Who cares about clean water? I do! Read the rest of this entry »

Clean vs Dirty: why won’t the US House get it?

By Jonathan A. Scott, follow Jon on Twitter – @jscottnh

Today the U.S. House is engaged in all-out debate on the merits of yet another bad bill that is all too likely to pass along party lines. Backed by a long list of outfits I sure wouldn’t trust to protect my water (Big Ag, Dirty Coal, the Fertilizer Institute, National Mining Assoc. & the American Petroleum Institute, the National Pork Producers Council, the International Council of Shopping Centers, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, the Treated Wood Council and of course the US Chamber of Commerce and the Farm Bureau (chosen by polluters as the public face for this dirty water campaign), this House bill would block EPA from protecting our water, including drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans.

When Dirty Water measures like this prevail everybody loses except for an elite few. That’s why we sometimes say “We Can’t All Live Downstream.” Read the rest of this entry »

Finally Managing Groundwater

By Jennifer Clary, California Program Manager

The California Legislature ended its 2014 session on Friday evening by adopting the first comprehensive groundwater regulation in the state’s 164-year history.  SB 1168 (Pavley) and AB 1739 (Dickinson) provide a framework for managing the state’s groundwater basins that will require management plans and potentially pumping limits in the state’s most heavily used basins.

There’s an old adage that says “water flows to money.” That is definitely the case with groundwater, as large cities, irrigation districts and corporate agriculture can afford to drill wells ever deeper to capture dwindling groundwater supplies.  The current drought, now in its third year, has brought this inequity to the forefront as groundwater levels have dropped precipitously in some parts of the state, causing groundwater-fed streams and small domestic wells to go dry. This means small farmers are losing their water supply to neighbors with a deeper well and more powerful pump.  Read the rest of this entry »

Where will you be on September 21st?

By Lynn Thorp, National Campaigns Director – Follow Lynn on Twitter

alt with dates bigger-01Climate change is impacting us. And it’s not good. Pollution from power plants and other sources is affecting our food…our air…our water. It’s super-sizing things like hurricanes and droughts. If we don’t take action, it’s only going to get worse. So, don’t you think it’s time we did something about it?

On September 21st, you’ll have your chance to demand action.

Tens of thousands of people and more than 750 organizations are going to New York City on 9/21 for the People’s Climate March. Leaders from all over the world are going to be at the United Nations’ Summit on Climate Change to chart a course of action to address the global warming crisis and we think they should hear from us. If you can make it to NYC, visit this page to RSVP.

We’re joining the People’s March because everything we’re fighting for is impacted by a changing climate, especially when it comes to our water. Just this month, we saw how the algae blooms in Lake Erie, which get worse when temperatures rise, can lead to public health threats in drinking water. Climate change is water change and if we want to protect clean water, we have to take action now. Read the rest of this entry »

A New Water Bond for California

By Jennifer Clary, California Program Manager

Earlier this week, the Governor and Legislature reached near unanimous agreement on a $7.54 billion water bond for the November 2014 ballot that responds to the state’s deepening drought conditions. This bond (now Proposition 1) replaces an extremely unpopular $11.14 billion bond that was placed on the ballot during the Schwarzenegger administration (2009). The public’s opportunity to vote on the 2009 bond measure was delayed by the Legislature twice (in 2010 and 2012) as polls repeatedly showed it lacked the support to pass.

Bond negotiations have been going on for more than a year. Early in the process, Clean Water Action rallied environmental allies and developed a unified list of priorities that any water financing bill must include. Specifically, our water bond position statement said that bond funding must:

  • Help communities with contaminated water obtain safe and affordable drinking water;
  • Make ecosystem protection investments in the watersheds that supply drinking water; and
  • Prioritize investment in local, sustainable water supplies, as opposed to large construction projects that move or store water

Read the rest of this entry »

Organizing for Clean Water

By Paula Weiner, Pittsburgh Phone Organizer
Legacy. That’s what first attracted me me to apply for a job with Clean Water Action.  While aiding others in the choice between a blue scarf and a purple one is important in its own way, I am finding that the ability to leave a lasting difference on our beleaguered planet is more rewarding than I could ever have imagined.  Being a canvasser is not an easy job,  especially when you consider what Clean Water Action is up against.
The people and companies responsible some of the most horrendous acts damaging the earth are well funded and deeply connected, so when I pick up the phone at Clean Water Action, one of my goals is to broaden the base of Earth’s stewards.
Our members run the gamut from school teachers and scientists, to students and nuclear-power-plant employees and everything in between. The most important thing is the care we all have for our solitary planet. Water is the most basic, fundamental necessity we have and I don’t know why it is so scary for the companies that wage war against us. No wait, I do know why: GREED.  That’s the bottom line sometimes, greed.

Read the rest of this entry »

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