In addition to our ongoing work for environmental rights, Green Amendments For The Generations actively supports a variety of work in communities all across the United States. We do so because we recognize the strong relationship and interconntectedness between these various issues and our own mission. And that by being strong allies in these causes, we not only make our mission easier, but also build up our communities and help others in the process.
Learn about our other issues:
In response to the COVID 19 epidemic, Green Amendments For the Generations has submitted a letter to Congress for responsible action on the epidemic that minimizes impacts to Climate Change.
View our COVID CLIMATE RESPONSE letter to members of Congress.
Take action and send a letter to Congress urging them respond to the Coronavirus that minimizes impacts to Climate.
Green Amendments For the Generations has joined with New Mexico leaders to protest advancement of regulations that would allow the fracking industry to use its toxic wastewater in devastating ways. The letter begins:
“We are writing to urge you to pause your plans to adopt proposed regulations regarding the use of “produced water.” As oil and gas extraction has boomed in New Mexico, the oil and gas industry has faced rising costs and difficulties in disposing its waste . In the midst of a global health pandemic and crashing oil prices, rather than slow or even stop production, industry continues to call on the Trump Administration and the Michelle Lujan Grisham Administration to simply reclassify their waste as “not toxic.” The industry’s strategy is to re-label their waste so they can more cheaply dispose of it, dumping it into rivers, onto crops, and into drinking water supplies.”
Learn more at the Wild Earth Guardians website.
Green Amendments founder Maya van Rossum worked in her community of Radnor to oppose the ongoing misuse of a name and imagery offensive to Native American communities. The effort included a significant and substantive comment that could be helpful to any community taking on such a challenge. You can find this substantive resource by clicking here: Comment Re Sports Team Names & Imagery Offensive to Native Americans
On July 30th, Green Amendments For The Generations Founder, Maya van Rossum talks with Native American activist Donna Fann-Boyle about the issue surrounding the use of Native American imagery in sports teams mascots and how that affects Native American well being. Watch the interview here: https://youtu.be/7ltC8rsBP2A
On September 2, 2020 the Radnor School Board voted to end the use of the "Raider" name and Native American imagery. This is an important success in the effort to seek respect for First Nation Communities.
Note from Maya: Some have asked why my Green Amendments For The Generations organization is involved in this issue along with me (a Radnor resident, Radnor alumni, and Radnor Hall of Famer). Achieving racial equity and justice is an issue important across social justice and environmental organizations. Native Americans are among those hardest hit by racism that has, amongst other things, been expressed in environmental racism and turning Native American communities into environmental sacrifice zones. Helping to end racial injustice across our community and nation is the moral and right thing for all people and organizations to pursue; and from an environmental organization perspective ending racism of all kinds will help us end environmental violence, racism and injustice against communities of color including Native American communities. Standing in solidarity across social, racial and environmental justice issues is important.
Green Amendments For The Generation signs on in support of the NJ Cumulative Impacts Bill alongside over 250 labor, justice and faith groups. Passing the NJ Cumulative Bill is a necessary step in correcting the legacy of environmental racism and injustice in New Jersey by mandating the state to consider impacts on communities of color and low-income neighborhoods when reviewing permits for polluting projects. The bill aims to protect public health by limiting the placement and expansion of polluting facilities in overburdened communities, and by ensuring the people have a voice in the process.
Holtec International (Holtec) is seeking a federal license to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel/waste that would be transported from all over the nation to southeast New Mexico. This proposal is unsafe and unwise for people, communities and the environment in New Mexico and in those locations from where the waste will be taken. Green Amendments For The Generations joins with others in the position that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs to focus on a permanent solution for addressing the hazardous nuclear waste that has been created as the result of the agency’s reviews, approvals and oversight. Interim storage is a half measure that needlessly increases the threat of contamination from nuclear waste transport and storage to our environment and communities, which is neither an appropriate, nor a defensible solution.
Green Amendments For The Generations believes that licensing the Holtec facility will wrongly pass off the problem of spent nuclear waste to communities in New Mexico. All across the country communities have benefited from the creation of this waste -- and to now put the communities of New Mexico in the sacrifice zone as the repository for this joint problem is simply wrong. New Mexico did not benefit from this waste, and in fact has worked hard to preserve their natural landscapes for their ecological, human health, recreational and economic values -- bringing this waste to New Mexico as proposed puts in jeopardy all of the investment and effort that secured the preservation of important and irreplaceable natural resources.
Green Amendments For The Generations teamed up with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network to submit comments in opposition to this dangerous proposal. You can review our comment here: Final Holtec comment for submission Green Amendments FTG
January 7, 2021
Insurrection By Fascists Is Not Protest, It’s Insurrection
Statement from Maya K. van Rossum, Founder & Author, Green Amendments For The Generations
It was shocking to watch the insurrection unfold at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. Fascists and white supremacists came to our Capitol with weapons, bombs, and a goal of intimidation and harm in an effort to overthrow the democratic election of the next U.S. President. They were not there to champion lives lost, votes stolen or people harmed. Quite the opposite, they were there with messages of hate and seeking to take from the American people their right to cast a valid ballot for the U.S. presidency. While I disagree with the misinformation and lies being spewed in the Senate Chamber about the 2020 election, what was happening there was per the Constitution and those legislators had the right to use the constitutional process to air their grievances. But what happened outside the chamber, in the lead up to the day, and even in the aftermath was illegitimate and in some respects criminal. It has been deeply disturbing to watch as the President, members of Congress, and recognized political leaders spent their days spreading lies about the validity of the election, fomenting hate and signaling, both directly and indirectly, the call for a violent overthrow of the U.S. government. And then to watch as the encouragement to rise up violently was undertaken was not a surprise but still a shock. What happened on January 6 was not a challenge to government action, not protected speech nor assembly nor protest; it was insurrection advanced by fascists.
I have been involved in, even organized, many peaceful protests to question and challenge concerning government decisions and actions in an effort to shift the outcome and long-term public policy. We have all witnessed, even participated in, protests to protect civil rights and ensure that the lives of Black, Brown and Indigenous people are respected as strongly as the lives of others. I know from first-hand experience that there is tremendous effort undertaken to ensure that protests deliver a compelling message of concern, and that there is great effort to ensure the protests remain peaceful. Participants in genuine protests are trained in how to engage in non-violent demonstrations of their concerns. Specially trained participants are assigned to the task of identifying and de-escalating tensions in order to avoid conflicts that inflict harm and undermine the message. Non-violent protest and civil disobedience have an important place in influencing our system of government to ensure the rights and needs of the people are heard and protected. Non-violent protest and civil disobedience are among the reasons we have secured strong civil rights, environmental rights, human rights and political rights protections here in the U.S.
The intentional and out-of-control events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was not protest; it was not an effort to influence, protect, or be heard. The events of January 6 were an effort to overthrow legitimate democracy and government. And it is important that we all recognize the difference and see the events of January 6 for what they were – insurrection led by fascists designed to harm people and their rights.
As I watched the events unfold I, like so many, was struck by the underwhelming law enforcement response in reaction to the insurrection. Just last year, peaceful protesters focused on delivering a message of concern and a call for equity, justice, change and systemic reform to protect lives and rights walked the streets of D.C. and other cities. They were met with swift and harsh response from police. We all witnessed as police, during a peaceful march of people, unnecessarily and violently pushed an elderly gentleman to the ground, his head hitting the hard pavement, and police walking over him and providing no concern or assistance. We watched as tear gas and rubber bullets and physical abuse were quickly unleashed on people peacefully marching, chanting, and singing to support the message that Black Lives Matter. It is striking in comparison to see how law enforcement all too often uses gentle response to intentional violence when it is led by white supremacists and fascists such as that seen on January 6. Again, it is so striking to me that when the protesters include a diversity of faces and skin color and the message is about protecting civil, environmental, human and political rights, they are met with a callous response and over-reaction; but when the message is carried forward by fascists seeking to inflict oppression and both support and advance violence, too often the reaction is for law enforcement officials to stand aside and let it happen.
Peaceful non-violent protest is just and right and protected in our nation.
A violent insurrection is wrong and not to be tolerated. Insurrection carried forth by fascists is what happened on January 6, 2021 in our nation’s capital. It was wrong.
The PA State Board of Education recently solicited comments on proposed Integrated Standards for Science, Environment and Ecology. The proposed Integrated Standards for Science, Environment and Ecology at the secondary education level (i.e. grades 6 through 12) do not explicitly include performance expectations for Environment and Ecology.
GAFTG, in partnership with American Impact Capital Foundation, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Berks Gas Truth and Better Path Coalition, submitted comments suggesting the proposed integrated standards be amended to include a separate fifth domain dedicated to Environment and Ecology, as well as a specific analysis of Pennsylvania’s constitutional Green Amendment - the environmental rights recognized and protected by Article 1 Section 27 of the Pennsylvania constitution. View our comments here.
Green Amendments For the Generations has joined a growing coalition of Pennsylvania leaders to challenge a proposal by Nacero, Inc.to construct a new fracked gas refinery facility in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. The facility would turn natural gas, much if not most of it fracked gas, into gasoline for cars. The unproven technology would cost $6 billion according to press reports, much of it apparently anticipated to come from the government/taxpayers. While being touted as a climate change solution, the project will in fact prop up the Pennsylvania fracking industry, help it to grow and expand, and slow the transition to clean energy including clean energy cars. That is why the project is solidly supported by fracking industry supporters and is an obvious ploy to continue to perpetuate that devasating fossil fuel industry. A joint press release explaining and denouncing the project can be found here: Nacero Press Statement and includes the following description/discussion:
The company plans to market two gasoline products, which it will call “Nacero Blue” and “Nacero Green.” Nacero Blue relies on fracked gas inputs. Nacero Green is described as being made from gases from agricultural sites, landfills, and waste treatment facilities. Both products--which are chemically identical--would require more dangerous pipeline infrastructure to move the gas to the plant. Nacero is relying on carbon capture “when feasible” to prop up its claims, but feasibility of carbon capture is not a reality. Calling it “renewable natural gas” is nothing more than greenwashing the burning of gases (primarily methane) that will hurt our climate and release harmful pollutants into the air.
The climate impacts of this proposed refinery cannot be minimized by the company’s greenwashing. This new refinery would require increased drilling and fracking, which in turn leads to heightened negative impacts on residents’ health and safety. These negative impacts include increased toxic waste from drilling, water contamination, harmful air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and negative economic impacts such as reduced property values.
Global Pact Coalition
Green Amendments for the Generations
The U.S. team of the Global Pact Coalition and Green Amendment for the Generations are thrilled to announce that they will now work together towards securing the right to a healthy environment in the United States.
The goal of Green Amendments For The Generations is to advance a Green Amendment movement that sweeps the nation and secures for all people constitutional recognition and protection of their inalienable rights to pure water, clean air, a stable climate and healthy environments. Communities are suffering as the result of environmental degradation, with increasing harm caused by a human induced climate crisis, including floods, droughts, disease, impacts to food, changing weather dynamics and more. Reliance on legislation to protect the environment has not been enough, as our laws are designed to accommodate pollution rather than prevent it. Securing the passage of enforceable environmental rights amendments in the Bill of Rights section of every constitution – state and federal – provides a powerful solution for the people here today and generations to come.
The goal of the Global Pact Coalition is to mobilize support towards the adoption of a Global Pact for the Environment, an international treaty that would recognize the right to a healthy environment for all and secure our environmental rights and duties. This draft international text aims to enshrine a new generation of fundamental rights related to the protection of the environment, and in particular, the right to a healthy environment. While the Global Pact Coalition works at the international level, the U.S. team of the Global Pact focuses on American citizens and residents’ environmental rights and aims to receive support from American citizens/residents, hoping that the federal government will support the adoption of the Global Pact for the Environment.
Civil society must come together to demand that States recognize and protect the rights to a healthy environment in the Bill of Rights section of the Constitution. Green Amendments For The Generations and the U.S. team of the Global Pact will therefore join their forces and work together to mobilize support and inspire the recognition of your right to a healthy environment at the federal level.
The Delaware River is home to a genetically unique population of Atlantic Sturgeon found nowhere else in the world. The Atlantic sturgeon, listed as a federally protected endangered species since 2012, has a storied history in our Delaware River. Early American settlers said there were so many they could cross the River walking on their backs. But today, there are less than 250 spawning adults left of the River’s genetically unique line. Resource managers and regulatory agencies have neglected their duties to protect the health, habitat, and safety of the sturgeon. Soon it will be too late. The agencies have lacked in their duties by:
- The Delaware River Basin Commission is failing to pass legal standards needed to ensure the sturgeon have enough oxygen in the water to support every aspect of their lives.
- The USEPA is, like the DRBC, failing to ensure needed pollution protection standards.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers keeps dredging and deepening the River, inflicting direct harm on the sturgeon and permitting passage of bigger ships that are slicing the sturgeon with their propellers or bashing them to death with their immense size.
- The National Marine Fisheries Service says yes to every dredging, development, port, industrial operation and powerplant put before them, despite their direct harms on the sturgeon.
On November 16th, 2022, Green Amendments For The Generations, along with organizational allies gathered outside of Philadelphia City Hall in a mock funeral demonstration to demand action to save the Delaware River's unique population of Atlantic Sturgeon. Read more about the action in our press release.
If you want to help, please sign the petition to urge the agencies to act and Save The Atlantic Sturgeon of the Delaware.
For more information about the event, issue, and background information, please visit https://dinointhedelaware.org/