People in Miami, OK are signing a petition to ask the City Council to put a proposed ordinance on the ballot for the citizens to vote on. What would it do? It would give the Citizens the Right to Clean Water and a Healthy Tar Creek. It would also give Tar Creek some Rights too.
When people see the title, when they read the words on the gist, they get it. That right to Clean Water was a reason the town was settled right here, because clean water flowed through it. This ordinance does not address all the wrongs this little stream has endured. It just gives the Citizens right here the right to make sure any new wrong does not go unattended. What's wrong with that?
Only one person has defended the right for a friend who might pollute, to have that right. Nobody else has seen that as a right to defend. The citizens want to give polluters Consequences: Polluters Pay.
The City has never cried out to EPA, stop that flow of evil coming through our town. The wrong coming down our Tar Creek has been flowing for 42 years. That is the entire lifespan of the average homeless man. We Are not homeless, we are creek-less. The mining companies took your creek. What can this ordinance do? It can make sure n o other person, or company, etc. gets away with adding to those woes. What else will it do? It will say to EPA, we are not waiting quietly anymore. We deserve Clean Water and a Healthy Tar Creek and by-golly (people really used to say things like that) we can make the next polluter pay. Wrongs can be righted. Right?
There are wrongs and some of it is floating right through town, spilling over into the homes of people I know and respect. The wrong is scattered throughout town in yards that have not yet been tested for mine waste and the heavy metals that it contains. We are slow to demand it all be cleaned up now, but when annual funding limits yard cleanup a year, and testing to cleanup takes years. People loss the "upm" to make those calls to be placed on the get -to -it list.
We have been exposed to the heavy metals associated with the mining of great wealth. Those exposures can have consequences, my new friend's heart attack? Low lead levels now, but was there a damage done because it can do that and haunt us later. There are people I have come to know well lately who are dealing with Parkinson's. There are young people I knew struggled in school who are finding middle age difficult to manage. My bestie is going to dialysis three times a week, and the place is full when she gets there. What about that young man struggling to have a future when each day brings the question if the whole day will be his without an ambulance ride?
Our hospital fills with un-vaccinated people.
There isn't a vaccine for lead poisoning. Why? Because if you remove the lead, no one gets poisoned.
Let's get this Clean Water Ordinance passed, let's holler about getting our Tar Creek clean from the source north of us and lets enjoy our new decision to exercise our rights, enjoy and ask for more, better stewardship, ownership, that is Our Tar Creek and we are going to all be Water Protectors, watching, minding her business to make sure her Rights to flow and regenerate to sustain life are regained and protected to the fullest.
I read a new study today touting how children have better mental health and cognition if they live near woodlands. We have children who live near our Tar Creek which is surrounded for the most part by woodlands. No one can encourage their children to go there, our woodlands, ,our trees are high-water-marked with orange stains showing those metals abound in our woodlands. Paying in our woodlands will not give our children better metal health and cognition, we can be putting them at risk for harm from exposure to our metals is they go there. This is wrong, Right?
Our watershed puts us at risk and while we are imposing Rights, be sure and let your Senator know that our watershed floods us with a toxic soup. That ain't right. The women who have been flooded with that soup will tell you exactly how high it marked their walls and ruined their homes.
Clean water. We start with this. Right?
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim