City of Salem Calls for Increased Review for Coal Exports

20130325_185429Last night the 9 member Salem City Council voted unanimously to pass a letter supporting Governor Kitzhaber’s call for an area-wide Environmental Impact Statement.

Mayor Peterson encouraged the rest of the Council to vote with her.  She also enclosed resolutions from 15 Salem Neighborhood Associations that had passed resolutions in the past couple months urging the Council to take action.

It was a packed house, with about 70+ people in attendance. Dr. Andy Harris testified about the health impacts (thanks, Regna & Oregon PSR!), Rev. Janet Parker testified about the moral importance of stopping coal exports, a Salem Neighborhood Association leader testified, Evan White & Hans West testified, among others. Linda Coons made sure that everyone had a sticker on.

We can now add Salem to the list of the more than 30 other cities, counties, and other entities that have expressed concern or opposition about coal exports!

A HUGE congratulations to everyone who made this happen.   It took a lot of work to get to this point.

Congratulations, especially to Evan White, Hans West, Eric Spivak and Jim Scheppke for their outstanding leadership of the Salem Beyond Coal Task Force and careful, strategic work to get Neighborhood Associations and Councilmembers on board.  Evan White and Hans West have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to make this happen.

Hats off, of course, to Lucy Sedgewick, Green Corps organizer who worked on the Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign in Salem in the fall.  Lucy kick started all of this work and built up a team of leaders and volunteer activists in Salem who brought this campaign over the finish line.

And congrats and a huge thanks to all of the volunteers of the Salem Beyond Coal Task Force who worked hard on the phones, on the pavement, talking with hundreds if not thousands of people — business owners, faith leaders, and so on, and mobilizing the grassroots effort that led to this win.

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