We had a moment of magic in front of the Oregon Convention Center last Wednesday, replete with rainbows. Just before Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Health Authority convened the last of four public forums on the Cleaner Air Oregon program, the rain gave way just enough and the most diverse collection of amazing voices raised a unified chorus for clean air in Oregon. I am speaking, of course, of the Rally for Clean Air. It was truly remarkable in the collection of the twelve organizations demonstrating the continued strength of community consensus that Cleaner Air Oregon must deliver health based standards that ensure clean air for everyone all of the time.
Neighbors for Clean Air wishes to thank all the partner organizations who showed up and made it happen, bringing tables (thank you, NECN), tents (thank you, Oregon PSR), bringing sound systems (thank you, 350 PDX) and bringing themselves and their powerful testimony:
Nicholas Caleb– Neighbors for Clean Air
Alma Velazquez – Cully Air Action Team
Dayna Jones – OPAL Environmental Justice / Lewis and Clark Law School
Jessica Rojas – Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
Dr. Susan Katz, MD – Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Rob Nosse – Oregon House of Representatives, District 42
Jessica Vega Pederson, Oregon House of Representatives, District 47, Candidate for Multnomah County Commissioner
Chris Winter – Crag Law Center
The organizations which sponsored the event were: Oregon Physicians for Responsibility, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Crag Law Center, Beyond Toxics, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, South Portland Air Quality, Eastside Portland Air Coalition, North Portland Air Quality, Cully Air Action Team, Neighbors for Clean Air, and 350 PDX.
And thanks to Sangye Ince-Johannsen, if you missed it, you can watch the video of the speeches. Definitely worth the time!
And while the voices outside the convention center were fresh and new, the ones framing the conversation inside the Convention Center Ballroom at the DEQ Cleaner Air Oregon Public Forum reminded us that we still have a lot of work to do to ensure the outcome of this effort is health based standards that ensure clean safe air for everyone all the time.
You can help too and add your voice to this chorus, by participating in the DEQ/OHA online survey. These are the same questions that were put to attendees at all of the public forums held across the state.