New York City Council welcomes anti-styrofoam activists!
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Doing environmental work, it's easy to feel like the planet has no political party. This is good in that environmental issues affect all of us, regardless of affiliation, but it is also bad because it often feels like no political party has our back.
So it's nice, once in a while, to get a warm welcome from politicians. It's a reminder that they do appreciate our support, especially when they take stands that potentially antagonize wealthy interests.
Now I'm not saying we should get used to that feeling. It is rare, and we need to keep pushing until it isn't rare any more. We will know we have succeeded when the politicians change their views towards ours, not when we stop pushing controversial.
So I am happy to report that the New York City Council seems very open to a Styrofoam ban, as you might expect, since the mayor made it one of his top priorities in the State of the City address. When i met with staff from the Speaker's office on Friday, they were more than open to the idea – they agreed that banning these toxic to-go containers is highly urgent, and promised to take swift action on the issue so many of us have signed on to support.
In City Council time, however, "highly urgent" means "maybe by June." So it's essential that we use this time to gather more signatures, join with more partners, and provide testimony from the real experts, people who want to throw out Styrofoam! So we will be back, and will soon have a win to celebrate.
To do this we'll need your help. Can you donate $5 so we can:
- Reach out to more organizations and local partners (we've already enlisted the help of locals who want to ban Styrofoam from city schools and the New York State lobbying group Environment New York).
- Find and work with experts to testify about the dangers of using foam packaging.
- Continue to meet with city councilors in person about the issue so we can line up votes in advance of testimony.
We also need more signatures on our petition, so please click here to add your name to tell NYC: throw out Styrofoam! Or click here to share the petition via Facebook, twitter or good old email.