Last night at midnight, a “shelter in place” order went into effect here in Northern California, directing people to stay home except to get groceries or medical care.
As is now crystal clear, a healthy democracy demands much more than simply showing up at the polls. But as we move into this fraught election year, let’s not forget just how important voting can be. It matters.
Last month, PAN Executive Director Kristin Schafer attended the opening day of the state legislature in Hawai’i. She joined our Protect Our Keiki coalition partners and hundreds of people from across the islands — including busloads of students — who came to meet up with their legislators, take part in workshops, and participate in traditional cultural practices, including pounding poi.
Reflecting back on 2019, I’m feeling inspired, appreciative — and energized.
I’m inspired by the momentum that’s building to make the changes our food system needs. California and New York took the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos off the market, building on last year’s successful legislative ban in Hawai’i.
Each year on December 3, we join our PAN International colleagues across the globe to mark the anniversary of the deadly pesticide plant leak in Bhopal, India. Today is the 35th anniversary of that tragic event.
Yet another scientific study, released today, shows just how deadly our chemical-intensive farming system has become to pollinators and other insects.
I spent the first week of April in Montevideo, Uruguay with PAN colleagues from around the world, pressing for global action on hazardous pesticides. This was a meeting of the “Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management” (SAICM), an arena for international coordination on toxic chemicals which PAN has been engaged in since 2006, when the process was initiated. It’s historically been a challenge to make pesticides a global priority, but thanks to growing public awareness about the harms of pesticides and persistent advocacy by our PAN International network, this finally seems to be changing.
Once again, this Administration is proving they value pesticide industry profits more than children’s health. This is not heated rhetoric, it’s a clear-eyed observation.
Over the winter holidays, I spent a few days with my father and stepmother on the small farm where I grew up in Butte Creek Canyon. The canyon — and their farm — were nearly destroyed in the Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in California history.
I’m feeling unexpectedly hopeful as 2018 winds down. Though the national political landscape remains tumultuous, we’re seeing some powerful, energizing trends in the world of food and farming.