Starbucks launched Upstanders, their new original content series. “Upstanders” are everyday people who kick butt, stand up rather than stand by, and work to make their communities better.
Tag: free your voice
Earth Day 2016 will be quite different and special for Baltimore City’s Destiny Watford. Tonight, she will walk on to the San Francisco Opera House stage and accept her 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize. She is one of six international winners – ordinary people that took extraordinary grassroots action to better our environment. Goldman Environmental Prize winners receive $175,000 in funding to pursue their environmental vision. For Destiny Watford, now a student at Towson University, that vision will include helping Baltimore City’s Curtis Bay become a thriving community supported by green jobs and fair development.
In December 2015, we reported about the Free Your Voice group of Curtis Bay teens that were fighting to stop construction on the country’s largest trash incinerator in their neighborhood. Today, Curtis Bay’s youth learned that their grassroots organizing made a difference – the incinerator will not be built.
You may have heard the brouhaha surrounding the proposed Baltimore City waste-to-energy incinerator which is partially constructed in the Curtis Bay area? The incinerator’s 90-acre site is located in the Fairfield industrial area, which sits close to Brooklyn and Curtis Bay schools, homes and businesses. Curtis Bay’s incinerator would be Baltimore’s second waste-to-energy facility; Baltimore City’s trash is currently burned at the Wheelabrator incinerator next to Interstate 95.
If Curtis Bay’s youth have anything to say, the proposed largest-incinerator-in-the-U.S. will be a no-go. The community’s demand is that city officials and the private sector replace trashy development with cleaner and safer projects that don’t harm local residents. Burning 4,000 tons of tires and plastics every day emits toxic mercury and lead chemicals. Led by 20-year-old Destiny Watford, the well-organized Free Your Voice opposition plans a rally next Tuesday, December 15th at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) headquarters to demand the incinerator be called off. Check out their video
I have to admit, I fist-pumped the air when I heard the news that Baltimore high school students had won a key victory in their fight against the toxic garbage incinerator that’s planned for their neighborhood.
Plans are underway to build the nation’s largest garbage incinerator in Curtis Bay, a neighborhood that already has plenty of problems–including one of the nation’s highest levels of toxic air pollution, even before the incinerator has been built.