Our Current Projects ….
The 2018 Farm Bill is under consideration during the month of September in a House-Senate conference committee in Washington DC. and must be passed by the end of the month, so the conferees are rushing to reconcile the two versions. The version of the bill passed by the House contains a number of provisions that would be extremely damaging to our efforts to promote a sustainable world, and to maintain local, democratic control over our families’ health and safety.
In particular, the House bill has a provision which would establish federal preemption of municipal authority over the regulation of pesticides, just as it lowers standards for applicators under federal law. It would repeal sections of the Clean Water Act, and includes the “King Amendment” which would restrict states’ authorities over such matters as food labeling and a variety of other environmental enforcement.
Two excellent descriptions of the bill’s dangerous provisions have been posted online by Cornucopia and Beyond Pesticides. Please take the time to read them.
Beyond Pesticides has also authored a letter to the members of the conference committee in opposition to the House version. They ask us to ask our local elected officials to sign on to the letter, as soon as possible.
From Beyond Pesticides:
Our ask of you: Please forward this sign on letter to sympathetic local elected officials, urging them to stand up for local home rule by joining with other local officials in this letter to Congressional leadership. We are asking you try to receive a sign on as soon as possible. We intend to close the letter for sign-ons by September12 (date may be extended further depending upon the Congressional schedule).
Note: We are NOT looking for state or federal elected officials to sign on – please DO NOT send this letter to them. We are looking for City/County/Town/Village/Municipal elected officials (for example, Mayor, City Council Member, Town Selectmen, County Commissioner). We would also accept sign-ons from elected members of School Boards, Superintendents, or if your community has elected members of a Park Board.
Click here to download a draft email you can use to contact your local officials, with a link to the conference committee letter. Please take action on this very important issue, and contact your own Congressman and US senator to urge them to support the Senate version of the 2018 Farm Bill.
In February of 2016, Go Green Oak Park presented a petition, signed by over 600 residents, to the Oak Park Village Board. We asked them to take four actions to protect our community from the health effects of pesticides and toxic chemicals.
We thank the Trustees and Mayor Abu-Taleb for adopting one of our requests, a non-binding resolution calling upon the Illinois General Assembly to amend the Pesticide Act to remove the section which preempts municipal and county regulation of the use of pesticides. A similar resolution has also been adopted by the Evanston City Council, and we hope to get many more municipalities around the state to follow suit.
The purpose of these resolutions is to voice strong grassroots support for the return of Home Rule on matters of pesticide regulation. We are currently reaching out to organizations in communities across the state to join this chorus, and provide the following sets of documents for anyone who is willing to help in this effort.
The first “binder” is the basic information for becoming familiar with the preemption issue. You can browse the document below, or click here to download the document in PDF.