Thursday, June 9, 2016

good neighbors

a good neighbor demonstrates respect on a daily basis by the way they treat the people who live on the other side of the fence line

local government should never sell out the people on the fence line in exchange for the promise of increased tax revenues

Ohio Citizen's Good Neighbor Handbook includes excerpts from Hilton Kelly's activism in Port Arthur Texas, a small community over-burdened with the cumulative impact of multiple plants and ineffective regulatory enforcement. 

Page 25  Industry gives just enough to keep you quiet and keep a smile on your face.  Our county gave Motive Enterprises a tax abatement in January 2005 that will cost the schools $3.6 million a year. In return, Motiva gave each school $1,000. There are only seven schools in the area, so that is $7,000 back. There are always pictures in the news with a little child pointing to a test tube. The refinery guy is standing over him with a smile like he sponsored this whole project. It cost them all of $7,000. Sometimes, after residents complain about a chemical release, the refinery people go door to door offering each person in the house fifty dollars to sign off on a sheet saying their complaint was satisfied.  Of course, people are going to take that money. Fifty dollars is better than no dollars. There go your rights.

Page 26 Community advisory panel    The refineries have community advisory panels and they select well-to-do folks to be on the panels. They know the panel members are content with what they have because they don t even live in the community. The refinery guys say, “We have people here representing the community and they say everything’s fine.” That’s not the real community. When the panel meets, they have their little box lunches, they talk about what’s going  n at the plant, and then they go home. No one sitting on that panel brings up the issue of pollution and what needs to be done That is why I couldn’t be on that panel. I went to a couple of their meeting,  with all the refinery heads and all these people I grew up with, my teachers, clergymen, people that I had respected. I said, “you know what’s going on and you’re just sitting there”.

Page 27 I’m enjoying myself and I’ve learned a lot. There is nothing more rewarding than standing up for people who are not strong enough to stand up for themselves and having some victories. Every time I look at a little child outside in the park playing, I know they’re not breathing as much poison as they would be had it not been for our group fighting.

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