Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Making positive change in 2013

by Ana Duncan Pardo, Communications Coordinator

We've heard a lot of worrying about what kind of impact the new state legislature will have. We agree that this will likely be a tough year in NC for the environment and social justice, but we definitely aren't throwing in the towel!

Last week, our Executive Director shared Toxic Free NC's strategy for pushing forward despite a less friendly legislature. This week, I want to share Toxic Free NC’s resolutions for how we’ll continue making positive change in 2013: 

1. We will teach more people than ever about organic gardening and organize with them for local food policy change.
One of the things we're most excited about this year is our new Organic Is for Everyone program about food access. We’re so excited about getting our hands into the dirt and helping people across North Carolina grow and eat more organic food!
We are looking forward to working with communities in NC to grow more organic food, and to push for policy changes at the city and county level that pave the way for thriving, sustainable local foodsheds.

2) We'll continue pushing for common sense reform of federal toxic chemicals regulation.
Over the past two years, we’ve collected thousands of petitions and galvanized the environmental and health communities in the movement for safer chemicals policy. We will organize even more advocates to meet with NC Congressional delegates. We’ll share tips and tools to help you to be a savvy consumer. And we’ll keep pushing our message about the need for federal toxic chemical reform out through the media.

3) We will work with NC's largest child care chains to help them switch to safer pest control in child care centers.
By educating the leadership of the biggest companies in the NC child care industry, we expect to reduce tens of thousands of North Carolina children's exposure to toxic pesticides by helping them switch to least toxic Integrated Pest Management.

4) We will ensure that farm workers' voices are heard on the issues that affect them.
We spent much of last year collecting farm workers' ideas for improving workplace standards for pesticide safety. This year, we'll be helping to bring North Carolina farm workers' own words into the national conversation about laws that directly impact their health and safety.

Our success depends on you. Effective community organizing means that the people who really care about these issues lead the way. How do you plan to keep making positive change in 2013? Share your ideas with us on Facebook!

Thank you for being an ally we can depend on. Toxic Free NC is stronger because you're with us.
Here's to the New Year!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Our plan for Toxic Free NC in 2013

by Fawn Pattison

It's a New Year like we’ve never known before.

In the wake of November’s election, 2013 ushered in the harshest political environment that North Carolina’s health and environment have ever known. The state legislature can and will inflict plenty of damage. But that doesn’t mean we should despair!

The state legislature does not lead social change – it only follows. Their job is to codify the change already taking place within our communities. That’s why Toxic Free NC always focuses our work where it matters most – in the communities around North Carolina where real change begins.
We’ll never cease to watchdog state government and speak out for health and justice, but our work doesn’t depend on them. Here’s our plan to keep moving forward in this harsh political environment:
  • We'll work with folks like you to change city and county ordinances to bring healthy, pesticide-free food to more of the people who need it most. Local policies can promote local and organic foods, gardening, beekeeping and urban farming, and reduce pesticide pollution.
  • We’ll continue to sweep though the child care sector – public and private – with a safer approach to pest control that protects our children from chemical harm.
  • We’ll target the corporations that neglect our health and well-being with shoddy products that over-use hazardous chemicals, and we'll help you to be a savvy consumer.
  • And most of all, we will keep building our base of power by bringing the voices and ideas that matter most – yours – into powerful collaboration with new allies around the state. Whether it’s helping your child care drop the toxic chemicals, or taking citizen lobbyist teams to Congress for federal chemical reform, we will use this time to keep getting smarter and stronger. 
Working together, we will continue to make real change on the ground throughout North Carolina. And when the state legislature’s iron is hot again, we’ll be ready to strike!

Now more than ever, we are so grateful to have you with us. And now more than ever, we need your help.Make a gift to Toxic Free NC and lend your support to make us even stronger. Even better, if you're not already a monthly donor, consider making a recurring gift so we can count on you to be with us every step of the way. When the going gets tough, we’re in it together. Please make a donation today.

P.S. Next week, we're sharing details about our community organizing plans for 2013. We're excited to share them with you. Stay tuned!