From Rafi Santo of the Integral Activism Team:
For those that weren’t able to make it to this Sunday’s meeting, we have an incredible opportunity to take action on our Back to the Sack: No More Plastic Bags initiative this week to help stop a weak recycling bill from passing through the Governor Paterson’s desk unchanged.
Here’s the deal:
- New York City Council passed a strong progressive plastic bag recycling law, which you can read about here.
- New York State is about to pass a weaker law, the Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act, that would supersede the NYC law. Not cool!
- We now have the chance to join environmental groups in asking Governor Patterson to exempt New York City from the state law by inserting something into the bill called a “Chapter Amendment”.
What you can do:
Call and Email!
Call and urge Governor Patterson, along with Senator Marcellino and Assemblyman Sweeney, to add
chapter amendments to bills S.8643-A/A.11725 that would exempt New York City from the state legislation and would allow the city’s existing plastic bag recycling statute to take effect.
Phone: 518- 455-2390
And please, send this email on to your friends, post the link to the petition in your Facebook feed, your blog, etc. and let’s make plastic bags history!
How we got here:
Over the past couple of weeks, the Integral Activism team has been contacting both elected officials like Cristine Quinn (Speaker of the New York City Council) as well as environmental organizations like the National Resources Defense Council to figure out where the existing power centers stood on the State bill and how we could help to advance a progressive agenda.
If you don’t live in New York State:
Many American cities are contemplating or already enacting initiatives to reduce or eliminate plastic bag usage
- San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Portland, OR, to name a few. In fact, NYC is somewhat behind the curve on this issue. For an article in the Oregonian on what’s new in Portland, follow the link below. Now is a good time to find contact info for your local and state representatives, call them, and voice your opinion on plastic bags. It’s super easy to do.
What we’re doing is different:
Aside from having some very enthusiastic responses from all the offices we contacted, one thing that stood out was how what we’re trying to do is unique. Talking to these people, it became clear that it is rare for them to hear from grassroots community groups or citizens of any sort that are outside of the existing power structure. What was amazing was also to see how easy it was to enter the process. A five minute phone call here, an email there, and immediately we have been hooked into relevant networks. It’s been a strong lesson for us in realizing to what degree empowerment really lives in the mind, and what degree of transformation is possible with mindful action.
Help us this week with calls to the numbers provided! As soon as we have updates on where things stand in Albany with the bill, we’ll let you know. Thanks for the help in getting us all back to the sack!
All the best,
Integral Activism Team
The Interdependence Project