When the 2019 General Assembly session began in early January, we had high hopes that this would be a banner year for the environment and public health. We had spent the previous four months working with stakeholders from around the state to put together a plan to reduce single-use plastic pollution. We had a commitment from the Governor to fight the climate crisis by supporting mandatory and enforceable carbon emissions reductions across the three largest sectors of Rhode Island’s economy.
I’ve spent my entire life living in Rhode Island. I’ve grown up here, gone to school here, spent most of my time here, and ultimately been influenced by this place. Remaining in the state or leaving indefinitely both seem like equally plausible scenarios, considering my age and the line of thought that encourages young people to go out and find opportunities. However, this decision has been made more difficult for me because of experiences that have shifted my perspective on what it means to stay within the state.
We're only 12 days into the New Year, and we've celebrated some major victories for our health and environment. It's all because Clean Water Action members like you took the time to take action! Whether you called, emailed, or wrote to your legislators, you helped us accomplish the following:
Yesterday, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted to pass H5082, which will phase out the use of organohalogens, a dangerous chemical used in flame retardants that is associated with cancer and respiratory ailments.
The Senate already unanimously passed this bill in the spring, but when the General Assembly adjourned suddenly in June, the House version was left in legislative limbo. Over the summer, we worked to make sure that a strong version of this bill would be on the agenda when the General Assembly reconvened in the fall to address its unfinished business.
Clean Water Action works hard to keep people involved in the democratic process, even outside of election day. Contrary to popular belief, politicians are not working against the interest of the people. They just have a lot on their plates.
Like many activists around the country, Clean Water Action's New Jersey office took the streets to protest and rally during the Women's March in Washington DC. We joined the sister march in NYC - both peaceful rallies with hundreds of thousands showing up to support women's rights, racial equality, environmental justice, and more.
On Saturday, January 21st, I attended my very first political rally - the Providence Women's March. I honestly had no idea what to expect. My friend and I arrived at the South Lawn of the State House an hour early and were relieved to see a throng of pink-clad women and men meandering past tables displaying signs for recognizable social action groups. An hour later, the gathering would manifest itself into a powerful assemblage of people who collectively had a lot to say.
It’s back, just like a bad dream. The highly controversial South Jersey Natural Gas application for a 23-mile, mile gas pipeline through the protected Pinelands forest preserve is back on the burner.