OTA is now…Beyond Toxics!

Sharon Gary-Smith, Exec. Director of McKenzie River Gathering with Lisa Arkin, Beyond Toxics Exec. Director and Alison Guzman, Beyond Toxics Outreach Coordinator

An organization that decides to change its name undertakes an exploration of their intentions, desires and aspirations. That is why I am thrilled by the name chosen by our Board of Directors, staff and members : Beyond Toxics!

It all started over a year ago when we asked our members to describe this organization and what they believed we could accomplish. Based on what I heard, I then realized that our name (Oregon Toxics Alliance) wasn’t right for us! (In fact, I have been asked numerous times if Oregon Toxics Alliance was a chemical consortium. Yikes!)

We received a lot of feedback: in person at that meeting and later submitted via mail email or phone calls. Here’s what I heard:

We are a grass roots group that is professional and collaborative, yet unafraid to be tenacious and edgy. Folks felt that we are one of the few Oregon non-profits that is dedicated to making sure environmental protections and social justice ethics are merged in every our project and every victory.

Indeed, that is the way we carried out our mission and performed our daily environmental justice work. The only problem was – our name just didn’t reflect that feisty and productive work ethic.

So, I feel that the chosen name of Beyond Toxics fits our vision of a world where every child is sure to develop to their full potential, uncontaminated by chemicals that can rob them of a healthy future. Our members expect that Beyond Toxics will act responsibly and aggressively to protect the public and the environment from toxic poisoning. We promise to deliver on that expectation!

I feel our new name is a re-dedication to principles and action. I promise each and every one of you to count on us, as an organization, to be ready to go the extra mile for a world beyond toxics. We are here to ensure your community has clean air, water and soil. We are here to make sure Oregon protects its environmental heritage and native wildlife. We are here to ensure that you have a rightful place at the decision-making table to plan for Oregon’s healthy, just and sustainable future.

– Lisa Arkin, Executive Director of Beyond Toxics