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Upcoming Events

Sept. 20, 12:30-2:30: Triangle Climate Strike! Join forces with Triangle students & communities as millions around the world walk out of homes and workplaces to join young people in the streets for the biggest global climate strike yet! Halifax Mall, 300 N Salisbury Street, Raleigh

Sept. 23, 10:00 AM, Climate Emergency: Tri-State Pipeline Strike! As part of the Global Climate Strike week of action, we will join w/  landowners across WV, VA, & NC impacted by the MVP, ACP and other climate-impacting threats. Communities resisting the pipeline threats will share their story and stand in solidarity to protect the region’s rights to clean water and to protect their future!

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Uniting Community Voices for Healthy Water, Democracy, & Justice

Tracey Edwards Sept 19

Tracey Edwards, of Stokes County, moved the audience with tales of illness and death that residents think may be linked to coal ash at the Belews Creek plant.

On September 19th, Clean Water for NC hosted our 31st Annual Meeting in Greensboro, featuring speakers on the impacts of coal ash, the link between voting rights and Environmental Justice, indigenous NC communities facing threats, and the fight for water rights in Detroit. t was great to see many members and allies there! Click below to read a summary of the presentations.

Hope Taylor opened the meeting by celebrating the role of collaborative grassroots action in reining in the “rush to frack” for gas in North Carolina. In the past 2 years, growing public understanding and weaker economic prospects for natural gas helped to reveal the hypocrisy of state legislators willing to strangle local health and safety controls, and sell their votes for campaign support from industry.

Tracey Edwards spoke movingly, as she held up an image of her mother’s gravesite; “I used to visit my mother every day. Now this is where I have to visit her.” Tracey and her mother had experienced a range of health effects that could be due to living downwind of the huge coal ash dumps at the Duke Energy Belews Creek coal fired power plant. She and her mother worked together to reach out to their community about long term respiratory, neurological and skin problems that may be associated with coal ash exposure, in addition to toxins leaching from the dumps into groundwater. Tracey is working with a team of activists and health professionals to create a “health registry” for her area.

Bob Hall

Bob Hall of Democracy NC

Bob Hall, long-time leader of Democracy NC, emphasized how critical participation in every election is, down to the most local level, for protecting environmental health, safety and quality of life. Any move that decreases participation in elections makes preventing environmental injustices even harder, so fighting back against new laws that limit participation is part of what Environmental Justice advocates need to be doing!

Ericka Faircloth

Ericka Faircloth of CWFNC’s Durham office

Ericka Faircloth, of CWFNC’s Durham office, told how NC indigenous communities have to fight environmental injustices such as concentrated livestock operations, gas pipelines, coal ash dumps and fracking in some locations. From western NC to the coast, indigenous groups are working to preserve cultures that are older than the state itself, as they protect their environmental health.

DeMeeko Williams

DeMeeko Williams of the Detroit Water Brigade brought lessons on water justice all the way from Detroit!

Demeeko Williams, an activist with the Detroit Water Brigade, which provides water to residents whose service has been cut off, spoke about the impact on thousands of residents in Detroit have faced step rate increases, and shut offs. The bankrupt city was forced under the control of unelected managers who made bad deals with corporations for control of the public water supply. Instead of working to keep water affordable and allowing shut offs of large businesses who make up the majority of the unpaid accounts, the city water managers focused on shutting off residential accounts, with severe consequences for people’s health and quality of life. The Detroit Water Brigade is part of a growing network of organizations organizing to reclaim public control of the water system.

Katie Hicks, CWFNC Associate Director, gave the wrap up “Water Justice” challenge to the participants, with accounts of how water and sewer privatization by several companies have become more entrenched across the state. To make matters worse, the resulting high rates, poor water quality and unresponsive service are disproportionately impacting communities of color and lower income. Clean Water for NC is building the network of customers willing to speak out against such injustices and developing tools for them to increase power to protect their right to safe, affordable water!

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