Making progress but needing help

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Dear environmentally concerned friends,

We are close to accomplishing some of our goals.

In our petition to the village board in the early spring of this year, signed by over 600 people, we defined four points we wished them to consider.

Our first priority was the resolution for reinstating home rule for pesticide regulation. The process has been slowed by our mayor's wish for more clarification on some issues. And we are addressing these. We do have the support of several trustees.

At the same time we have been talking with numerous communities outside Oak Park. Highland Park and Wilmette are quite interested. We are meeting with them in January. Evanston's Environmental Board just last week passed a resolution modeled on ours. And the Illinois Environmental Council has given us a list of environmental groups to begin the process of contacting other communities about our action plan.

Encouragement has come from state Senator Don Harmon, who is working with us on this. And Midwest Pesticide Action Center is supporting the measure. Beyond Pesticides, a 30-year-old watchdog group in Washington D.C., published a brief description of our endeavors in their last quarterly with an explanation of its importance. In an email from them, our resolution was described as a "model policy" and "on the cutting edge." They will give assistance as we need it.

So it is encouraging, to say the least. Our game plan is to have as many Illinois municipalities as possible vote for this resolution. It asks the General Assembly to amend the Pesticide Act for the purpose of reinstating home rule. This will give our state senators the support and will to stand up to the chemical industry and lawn/golf course lobby to reclaim our democracy and protect our environment from big corporations. 

Our second proposal in the petition is the development of an educational piece which would go to all residents in Oak Park. We have already talked with the Public Health Board and the Environmental and Energy Commission.

But we cannot do any of this without your help. (There are really only two of us presently.) Please email peggy@gogreenoakpark.org if you would like to pitch in.

Peggy McGrath, David Holmquist

Go Green Oak Park

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