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Category Archive for: ‘Action Alert’

  • Speak Out on Nuclear Weapons

    Action starts: February 8, 2010
    Action ends: February 28, 2010

    In the next two weeks, President Obama will decide the administration’s direction and priorities on nuclear weapons issues, and perhaps the fate of the world, when he finalizes the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). You can help him make the right decisions by writing a letter to the editor or submitting an op-ed to your local paper to explain how the NPR will set the direction for U.S. nuclear weapons policy for the next 5-10 years, and that the administration must seize this opportunity to take a global leadership role and make the United States and the world much safer.

    Here are some suggested talking points you can use:

    • Just one nuclear bomb detonated anywhere in the world will affect everyone on the planet and have unimaginable human, environmental and economic consequences.
    • Right now, President Obama is making critical decisions about U.S. nuclear weapons and the threats that every American faces, as part of a comprehensive nuclear policy review the administration is conducting. The review is expected to be completed by March 1.
    • President Obama can make all Americans safer by de-emphasizing nuclear weapons in our security policy.
    • Nuclear weapons don’t make us safer, they are a liability for us.
    • The potential spread of nuclear weapons dramatically increases the chances of a nuclear war or nuclear materials getting into the hands of terrorists.
    • Nuclear weapons cannot help us stop nuclear terrorism; the only way to stop nuclear terrorism is to lock down and eliminate nuclear materials.
    • The Nuclear Posture Review should include:
      1. A commitment and plan to deep cuts in global nuclear arsenals.
      2. A declaration that as we move towards these deep cuts, the sole purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter their use by another country.
      3. A plan to take our nuclear forces off dangerous “Launch on Warning” status, which could lead to a catastrophic accidental or unintentional launch; and
      4. A pledge not to produce any new types of nuclear weapons, as are currently contemplated by the Pentagon to upgrade our allegedly aging weapons stockpile.
      5. A “no first use” policy that the United States will not launch a preemptive nuclear strike.

    Take Action Now!

    1. Send a letter to the editor  using PSR-LA’s e-advocacy tools.
    2. You can also use these talking points to send a message directly to President Obama by clicking here whitehouse.gov
  • Jumpstart Good Green Jobs in LA

    Sign the Apollo Alliance petitionAction starts: December 15, 2009
    Action ends: December 24, 2009

    Green union jobs can help rebuild our communities, and the time is now! PSR-LA’s key role as a member of the LA Apollo Alliance has ensured that policies for a healthier, greener California and Los Angeles are at the forefront in our local and state-wide policy work.

    This month, President Obama held a Jobs Summit in DC to discuss the potential for job creation in this economic crisis. As we speak, the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen is shining the light on the need for global solutions to climate change.

    Here at home, we have been building a movement for equitable, green and sustainable solutions! Show your support for good green jobs solutions in Los Angeles.

    In April 2009 the Los Angeles Apollo Alliance, a coalition of over 24 community, labor and environmental groups, organized to win a landmark Green Building Retrofit Ordinance to:

    • make existing city owned buildings more energy and water efficient and invest in ALL communities
    • create good union green jobs
    • create a pathway out of poverty for disadvantaged workers and community members

    With Your support, our City leaders can step out to highlight the innovative work of community members, organized labor and the environmental community and implement our vision in 2010!

    Help us ensure the promise of the green economy reaches every community and that our neighbors, friends and family are put back to work.

    Sign the petition to jumpstart the creation of good green jobs in LA!

  • Keep Methyl Iodide Out of California!

    keep-methyl-iodide-out-of-caAction starts: December 8, 2009
    Action ends: December 14, 2009

    State authorities will likely decide this month if they will allow the use of methyl iodide – a highly carcinogenic and water contaminating chemical – as a pesticide in California. We have to act now to ensure that methyl iodide is never used in California’s fields.

    Methyl iodide is so dangerous that it is used to create cancer in laboratories and over 50 scientists across the country – 5 of them Nobel Laureates – sent a letter to the EPA expressing astonishment that the agency was “working to legalize broadcast releases of one of the more toxic chemicals used in manufacturing into the environment.”

    Exposure to methyl iodide is linked to severe health concerns, including miscarriages and cancer. Scientists are concerned that it will contaminate groundwater. State agencies estimate that workers could be exposed to 3000 times the “acceptable” dose.

    Methyl Iodide would be one of the most toxic pesticides in use in California, would seriously threaten the health of farmworkers and rural communities, and could contaminate California’s groundwater.

    The agrochemical industry is pushing hard to use methyl iodide. Make sure your voice is heard: Demand that this highly toxic chemical not be approved as a pesticide in California!

    Take Action Now!

    1. Call California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger TODAY and tell him not to register methyl iodide. Call his office at 916-445-2841 and say “I’m [name] from [city, state] and I’m calling to urge the Governor to not register the highly toxic, cancer-causing chemical methyl iodide as a pesticide in California. Thank you.” One call right now will make a difference!
    2. Sign onto the letter to Governor Schwarzenegger and DPR Director Warmerdam, highlighting the toxic health risks associate with methyl iodide.
  • Demand Proper Cleanup of Radioactive and Chemical Contaminants

    sb-990

    For years, PSR-LA worked to ensure the cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), the site of rocket engine tests, nuclear energy research and a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959. Extensive chemical and radioactive contamination exists across the site in soil, groundwater, and surface water.

    Sign the letter demanding proper cleanup of SSFL.

    Federally-funded studies have found evidence that on-site exposures resulted in significantly elevated death rates from cancer among exposed workers, indications of increased cancer rates in nearby populations associated with their proximity to the site, and off-site releases of pollutants at levels that could produce significant health effects in the surrounding communities.

    In 2007, PSR-LA joined environmental, anti-nuclear, and community groups in advocating for SB990 (Kuehl), a bill that requires the parties responsible for the contamination – the Boeing Company, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – to clean the site to the highest environmental standards. Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill in 2008 making SB990 State law.

    Unfortunately, the draft Consent Order to implement SB990 circumvents provisions of SB990, including the core stipulation that the most protective EPA Superfund standards be used to clean up the site. As it stands, the draft Consent Order could result in a clean up, or lack of clean up, that would fail to protect public health. 

    Please take action now! Sign PSR-LA’s letter urging the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to revise the draft Consent Order to comply with SB990 or develop a new Consent Order which follows the law and the will of the people and State of California.

    Thank you for all you do.

    –All of us at PSR-LA

  • Stop Toxic Emissions from Locomotives and Railyards

    stop_toxic_emissionsSend a letter to the CA Air Resources Board

    Diesel emissions are known toxic air contaminants and  emissions from locomotives and rail yard equipment have not been effectively regulated. Breathing in diesel exhaust contributes to cancer, asthma, heart disease, premature birth, increased school absence, and other health problems. Act now to protect public health!

    Health Risk Assessments (HRA) on 18 rail yards in California have demonstrated that living near a rail yard, a large diesel emission source, poses significant public health risk resulting from exposure to diesel particulate matter (PM). The Air Resource Board identified diesel particulate matter (PM) as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer and other adverse health problems, including respiratory illnesses and increased risk of heart disease. The HRAs found that in total, these rail yards are responsible for 210 tons of diesel pollution a year and put over 3 million people at risk of cancer. Five of these rail yards pose an excessive individual cancer risk of 500-2,500 chances per million, well beyond the level EPA considers.

    Send a letter now

  • Stand Against the Chemical Industry on BPA

    take-action-support-sb797Action starts: September 3, 2009
    Action ends: September 11, 2009

    Thanks to your support this year, SB 797 (The Toxics-Free Toddlers and Babies Act), which would eliminate the use of bisphenol-A (BPA in children’s feeding containers, is headed to the Assembly floor for a vote in a few short days! Decision makers need to hear the trusted voice of physicians and health advocates again — we are facing very powerful opposition from the chemical industry, and our legislators need to put public health first.

    Today, we need you to pick up the phone and say “Vote Yes on SB 797″! Here’s a quick guide to calling your Assembly member:

    • Find your Assembly member’s name and number by typing your street address here — dial the Sacramento (916) office.
    • Express your support for SB 797 – here’s some sample text: “Hi, my name is Ana and I live in Assembly member _______’s district. I’m calling to urge a YES vote on SB 797, the Toxics-Free Babies and Toddlers Act. BPA is toxic to children’s developing bodies, and all communities deserve equal access to safe products for their children. Thank you.”
    • Email lainfo@psrla.org to let us know you called!
  • Call on the Governor to Enforce Pesticide Laws in the Budget!

    boy_with_asthmaAction starts: July 1, 2009
    Action ends: July 15, 2009

    Regulators have abandoned their commitment to clean the San Joaquin Valley’s air and protect public health from pesticide air pollution. Call Governor Schwarzenegger now and urge him to protect farmworker and community health by enforcing pesticide air pollution laws in the state budget!

    We need greater pesticide use reduction, not less. Take Action Now!

    Call or email Governor Schwarzenegger today and urge him to support the budget trailer that provides the San Joaquin Valley equal protection of a 20% reduction in pesticide VOC emissions. Call the Governor at 916-445-2841, and use the sample rap below, or email him using our online advocacy tools.

    Sample Rap: “Hello, My name is [your name] and I live in [your city]. I am calling to ask the Governor to vote for the budget trailer that requires a 20% reduction in pesticide VOC emissions in the San Joaquin Valley. This is a critical measure to ensure that existing laws to protect public health are properly enforced. All Californians deserve to breathe clean air. Thank you.”

    Why take action?

    Hundreds of workers and rural families are drifted on EVERY year from these toxic pesticides.

    In 1994 and 1996, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) promised to meet requirements to reduce emissions from smog-forming pesticides by 20% below 1990 levels in the Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, Ventura, Southeast Desert and South Coast air basins. In their final regulations though, DPR backtracked and only reduced smog-causing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from pesticides by 12% in the San Joaquin Valley instead of the 20% that they promised!

    Read more and take action.

  • Make Sure SB 797 Protects Children From BPA

    Action starts: June 19, 2009
    Action ends: June 25, 2009

    We’re asking for your continued help on an important bill to protect the health of California’s children. Over the past two months, PSR-LA has supported SB 797, The Toxin-Free Toddlers and Babies Act, through close Senate committee votes and a tough Senate floor vote.

    We’re continuing to put pressure on our legislators in the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee to keep California’s children BPA-free by supporting this bill.

    Send a letter to this Assembly Committee to support SB 797 right now.

    Bisphenol-A, widely known as BPA, is a hormone-disrupting chemical found in many of the products we use everyday to feed our children. It contaminates children’s food and drink when it leaches from products like metal food and infant formula cans, jar lids, and plastic bottles and sippy cups. SB 797- Toxin-Free Toddlers and Babies Act would protect California’s children by nearly eliminating BPA from these baby products.

    Take action! Send a letter of support to these Assembly Members today.

    Thank you for being a champion for health!

  • Last Chance! Sign the Call for a Nuclear Weapons Free World

    Action starts: January 1, 2009
    Action ends: February 27, 2009

    cnfwPSR-LA has been working with 112 local, national, and international coalition partners to collect tens of thousands of signatures for the Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World. We first introduced you to this call to action in December, and now we need you to sign on if you haven’t already done so — Tomorrow, Friday February 27 is your last chance, so please sign now!

    The call is simple and direct:

    “We call upon the President of the United States to make a world free of nuclear weapons an urgent priority and to assure U.S. leadership to realize this goal.”

    The steps we are asking the President to take include: an end to developing new nuclear weapons; further reductions in existing arsenals; and support for the existing international treaties that seek to eliminate these weapons.

    Read more about the campaign, history of nuclear weapons, and the practical steps that can be taken to make a nuclear weapons free world a reality.

    Thank you for taking action!

  • Keep Coal and Nuclear Subsidies Out of the Stimulus Package

    Action starts: February 4, 2009
    Action ends: February 11, 2009


    While the need to move forward with an economic stimulus plan is evident, billions of dollars in the Senate draft for the stimulus package – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – will be wasted on dirty and dangerous energy sources, particularly coal and nuclear power.

    Learn more from PSR National.

    Tell your Senate members to strip unnecessary federal subsidies for coal and nuclear power out of the stimulus package. The Congress needs to support clean renewable energy programs to protect American’s health and move away from dirty and dangerous energy sources.

    CALL: Senator Dianne Feinstein
    Phone: 202-224-3841

    CALL: Senator Barbara Boxer
    Phone: 202-224-3553

    Thank you for taking action! Please consider joining us at the upcoming Global Security Seminar with Professor Asher Susser: The War in Gaza: Ramifications for Israel, the Palestinians and the Middle East”. Read more.

  • Tell Governor NO on Smog-Forming Pesticides in Budget

    Action starts: January 21, 2009
    Action ends: February 21, 2009

    Republicans have added a trailer to the state budget bill to further roll back promises to reduce smog pollution from pesticides.  Call or email Governor Schwarzenegger, and tell him to NOT accept the Budget Trailer on smog-forming pesticides!

    You can call him at 916-445-2841 to tell him this message, or email him using our online action tools.

    Background

    In the mid 1990’s, California regulators promised to adopt regulations that would reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC) from pesticides by 20% below 1990 levels in five air basins by 2005. Republicans are demanding a roll-back in these standards by trying to amend the California state budget legislation. Instead of 20% reductions the budget trailer would lower reductions to only 10% in Ventura and 12% for all other air basins (this will  impact the San Joaquin Valley  and Southeast Desert Air basins).

    Pesticides are one of the largest contributors to smog in the San Joaquin Valley and Ventura County, and a major contributor in the Southeast Desert, which includes the Coachella Valley.

    Pesticides are highly toxic, causing many mass farm worker and community poisonings, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) from pesticides contribute to smog and fine particulate matter formation. The only guaranteed way to reduce smog, particulate matter and toxic emissions from pesticides is to reduce pesticide use.

    Ozone pollution–commonly called smog–is a summer time pollutant that damages lung tissue, exacerbates asthma, reduces lung capacity, increases respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions, and increases school and work absenteeism.  Fine particulate matter is a wintertime pollutant that exacerbates asthma and causes death in people with heart or lung disease.

    We must voice strong opposition to this trailer and demand that the state legislature  protect people’s health. Californians deserve to breathe clean air.

  • Hold VOC Regulators Accountable!

    Action starts: January 9, 2009
    Action ends: January 15, 2009


    On November 28th the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released new draft regulations to address smog-forming pesticides. The draft regulations seriously backpedal on DPR’s promise to reduce smog-forming pesticides in the five air basins across the state- especially in the San Joaquin Valley. DPR is cheating Californians out of their right to breathe clean air and avoiding real use reductions of smog-forming pesticides.

    Voice your opposition in writing by Jan 15th and in person at the public hearings January 12th in Bakersfield and January 14th in Sacramento.

    Take action now with the Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA)! Demand DPR comply fully with the Clean Air Act by reducing the use of smog-forming pesticides.

    • Pesticides are one of the largest contributors to smog in the San Joaquin Valley and Ventura County and a major contributor in the Southeast Desert, which includes the Coachella Valley. DPR should prioritize pesticide use reduction because pesticides are highly toxic, causing many mass farm worker and community poisonings, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) from pesticides contribute to smog and fine particulate matter formation. The only guaranteed way to reduce smog-forming, particulate matter-forming, and toxic emissions from pesticides is to reduce pesticide use.
    • Regulations to reduce the VOC from pesticides are long overdue. In the mid 1990’s, California regulators promised to adopt regulations that would reduce VOC from pesticides by 20% below 1990 levels in five air basins by 2005. But the regulations did not keep their promise, leaving Californians to breathe polluted air. The proposed regulations do little to change the status quo.

    We must voice strong opposition to this backpedaling and promise-breaking now and demand that DPR adopt strong regulations to protect people’s health. Californians deserve to breathe clean air.

    Take Action Now

  • Setting the Right Course—Meet With Congress Now

    Dr. Jose Quiroga, PSR-LA Board of Directors

    Dr. Jose Quiroga, PSR-LA Board of Directors

    As health professionals, your voice is powerful in helping this country take the next steps forward.

    PSR-LA has to work harder and smarter than ever in California to ensure that the policies needed to change our country are not diluted, dissolved, or ignored. To really improve the health of children and families exposed to pesticides, poor air quality, harmful everyday chemicals; to prevent military pollution and the disastrous medical consequences of war—we cannot simply settle for slightly better policies—we must continue to effectively prevent what we cannot cure.  Much work lies ahead.

    For years, PSR-LA has been the trusted voice that health professional colleagues, community members, media, and elected officials, has sought advice from. Now we have a unique opportunity to assert our voices nationally and locally to make even more progress towards our mission: “…to reduce threats to public health related to war and environmental toxins…”

    We are in the process of setting up advocacy visits to the district offices of local representatives. California’s U.S. House and Senate delegation includes influential Committee and Subcommittee Chairs, and we need to make sure they enter the 111th Congress with PSR’s legislative priorities in hand. Contact Ana Mascareñas at (213) 689-9170, or email her at amascarenas@psrla.org if you’re interested in visiting your representative’s district office.

    They need to hear the credible, trusted voice of their health professional constituents.

  • Action Alert – Wilshire Plaza Hotel

    Little did the Coming Clean conference attendees (including PSR-LAʼs Martha Arguello and Emily Snider) know when they left by bus for their “L.A. toxic tour” on Saturday that they would return to find a picket of 75 hotel workers blocking the driveway.

    Being forced to cross a union picket line does not bode well with a passionate group of progressive environmental justice advocates and activists—particularly since the group had contracted with the hotel under the condition of its union status. After the initial shock of this unexpected event wore off, it became quickly apparent that the critical mass of our group—and our position as guests of the hotel offered a powerful opportunity to support the hotel workers by taking action both in the lobby and on the street. Current management at the hotel is seeking to break the union by cutting their wages as much as in half and eliminating health care benefits entirely.

    In addition to negotiating with the Manager and General Manager, Coming Clean conference goers called the press, released statements, displayed signs and buttons and added volume to the union chant: “Se ve, se siente la union esta presente!!” (translation: See us! Feel us! The union is here.) As the picket wrapped up, Martha Arguello was handed the megaphone to address the crowd in both Spanish and English with a message of solidarity. Hotel workers responded enthusiastically “Si se puede!”

    Follow-up action is being taken by PSR-LA and other Coming Clean member organizations to support UNITE HERE Local 11 by sending letters and boycotting the hotel until a union contract is negotiated. The April 18 Integrated Pest Management workshop that PSR-LA scheduled to take place on at the Wilshire Plaza was moved to an alternate union-approved venue.

    Little did the Coming Clean conference attendees (including PSR-LAʼs Martha Arguello and Emily Snider) know when they left by bus for their “L.A. toxic tour” on Saturday that they would return to find a picket of 75 hotel workers blocking the driveway.
    Being forced to cross a union picket line does not bode well with a passionate group of progressive environmental justice advocates and activists—particularly since the group had contracted with the hotel under
    the condition of its union status. After the initial shock of this unexpected event wore off, it became quickly apparent that the critical mass of our group—and our position as guests of the hotel offered a powerful opportunity to support the hotel workers by taking action both in the lobby and on the street. Current management at the hotel is seeking to break the union by cutting their wages as much as in half and eliminating health care benefits entirely.
    In addition to negotiating with the Manager
    and General Manager, Coming Clean conference goers called the press, released statements, displayed signs and buttons and added volume to the union chanLittle did the Coming Clean conference attendees (including PSR-LAʼs Martha Arguello and Emily Snider) know when they left by bus for their “L.A. toxic tour” on Saturday that they would return to find a picket of 75 hotel workers blocking the driveway.
    Being forced to cross a union picket line does not bode well with a passionate group of progressive environmental justice advocates and activists—particularly since the group had contracted with the hotel under
    the condition of its union status. After the initial shock of this unexpected event wore off, it became quickly apparent that the critical mass of our group—and our position as guests of the hotel offered a powerful opportunity to support the hotel workers by taking action both in the lobby and on the street. Current management at the hotel is seeking to break the union by cutting their wages as much as in half and eliminating health care benefits entirely.
    In addition to negotiating with the Manager
    and General Manager, Coming Clean conference goers called the press, released statements, displayed signs and buttons and added volume to the union chant:
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