Dear fellow MoveOn member,
I can tell you from firsthand experience that living in a toxic environment, with little hope of getting out, is a family's worst nightmare. More than 20,000 tons of chemical wastes were buried in my community—the Love Canal neighborhood within Niagara Falls, NY—causing disease and painful illness.1
As Congress returns back to work, their top priority will be to pass a budget to avoid government shutdown before the end of this month. And Trump's proposed budget includes terrifying cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.2
I lived at Love Canal—which was the catalyst for the national EPA Superfund program—with my two small children.3 My daughter had a rare blood disease, and my son suffered from many medical problems, including liver disease, asthma, and epilepsy. Our house was worthless and our American dream taken away through no fault of our own.4
I am also old enough to remember the black smoke of the steel mills, the rivers catching fire, and sickness and death in communities that surrounded the factories. The magnitude of cuts suggested by this administration will take America back decades.
There is no gentle way to state the obvious: Donald Trump's priority is corporations over people, children, and the planet. These cuts will gut the agency removing protections for American families.
Cuts in the EPA budget mean no one is watching the polluters. No one will be there to make the polluters pay for cleanup and the costs of sick children from with asthma, cancer, birth defects, and so much more.
Rather than weakening the EPA and environmental protections, we should be strengthening rules to protect communities from the impacts of factory farms, fossil fuel production and use, and other pollution sources, and we should be working to ensure all people have access to clean water, safe food, and a livable climate.
—Lois Gibbs, Center for Health, Environment & Justice + People's Action
1. "Love Canal and the Poisoning of America," The Atlantic, December 1979
2. "EPA hit hardest as Trump budget targets regulations," Reuters, March 16, 2017
3. "Love Canal and the Poisoning of America," The Atlantic, December 1979
4. "Love Canal: My Story," SUNY Press, June 30, 1982
A note from the MoveOn team: This is one of thousands of petitions launched by individual MoveOn members and partner organizations in opposition to the Trump administration's dangerous agenda. Petitions like this one are useful building blocks of our broader resistance organizing efforts. They are delivered to decision-makers, highlighted to media outlets, and circulated online to raise awareness and grow our progressive community. You can start your own petition here.
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