Social Change Requires Heart

On this Valentine’s Day of affection, I want to express my gratitude to our members and volunteers. Knowing that you care keeps me traveling back and forth to the State Legislature to talk to elected leaders about pesticide use reduction. You give me the daily fortitude to deliver the message that Oregonians can, and must, be leaders in the fight to reduce pollution in our bodies and the environment. Believe me, that message isn’t always well received by state lawmakers – they require a lot of convincing! So, with you in mind, I continue to knock on their doors and explain how they can help protect Oregon from harmful chemicals.

When I’m fighting for sensible policies to reduce the use of toxic chemicals, I’m always thinking of our members, like Heidi, who is a new volunteer helping us plan our March 8 Lobby Day in Salem. Heidi works full-time and has a three-year old daughter. She wants to be able to take her little girl to playground without worrying about pesticides sprayed on lawns and pathways.

Today I think of Lynn, who pays many hundreds of dollars to the Oregon Department of Forestry to get notices of pending helicopter pesticide sprays in rural Lane County. Lynn brings this information to her rural neighbors so that they can take steps to protect their farm animals and “shelter in place” during these military-style aerial spray operations. She cares because she knows these practices pollute homesteads and salmon streams alike.

Today I recall the dozens of rural residents south of Bend whose wells were poisoned after the County sprayed all the roads in their sub-division with a highly toxic herbicide. I shiver when I remember that this chemical, used to defoliate jungles during the Vietnam War, is now in their baby formula, soup and coffee!

These are real stories from real Beyond Toxics members. Our members want us to be strong advocates for laws that put environment at the heart of what we do in Oregon.

Volunteers make all the difference to inspire and create real power! So please join me and many others on the morning on Friday, March 8 – Beyond Toxics Lobby Day at the State Capitol – to present our case to state government for heart-centered justice in the land we love.

And, when we pass the Safe Public Places law, I promise we’ll all have a massive party to celebrate the vision of one small non-profit with really fabulous and caring members!

Lisa Arkin, Executive Director
Beyond Toxics


MORE about the Safe Public Places Act


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