Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Enumclaw, WA, says no to Nestlé

A victory for democracy and community in Washington state--in late June, Enumclaw, Washington, City Council member Liz Reynolds, with help from the Sierra Club’s Cascade Chapter, led a push to oppose Nestlé’s efforts to establish a water bottling plant there. Cascade Chapter Conservation Committee member Rebecca Wolfe (who is also coordinator for AfD’s Seattle chapter), and Water & Salmon Committee member Elaine Packard, responded to Reynold's questions and concerns. AfD Defending Water for Life campaign chair Ruth Caplan and co-chair Nancy Price, who is western states coordinator for the campaign, supplied Liz with good advice and suggestions. Rebecca writes:
Liz was the only one of the seven members who understood the risks of allowing Nestlé to “dip a toe” in Enumclaw’s municipal water supply. By organizing local opposition and with support from AfD and Sierra Club members, she was able to get a vote of “No More Meetings with Nestlé” at the June 23 City Council meeting.

This situation and the involvement of AfD members, in cooperation with Sierra Club members, demonstrates exactly what co-chair Lou Hammann has written about how we, as activists all across the nation, in AfD and other pro-democracy, pro-environment organizations are making a significant impact even when it seems that our local groups are not being very active. We carry the name of “The Alliance for Democracy” with us in all of our activism. We share “Justice Rising” and other excellent publications about our AfD issues. We are thriving in very real, very immediate ways so that the Alliance for Democracy is very much alive wherever we are doing the important work to “disrupt and disable” corporate abuse.
For her part, Liz says she can’t take credit for getting Nestlé out of Enumclaw. She researched Nestlé’s record and asked the public to do the same and come to their own conclusions. “The citizens made their own minds up and spoke and I listened and supported them. The citizens made it very clear how they felt,” she wrote in an email. She’s made a formal request that all documents in regard to Nestlé’s attempt to buy into Enumclaw’s water be publicly disclosed.

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