Friday, August 12, 2011

Young Greenies, Sustainability Advocates -- Learn How to Write Your Congress-woman!

Below is a blog post from my friend and colleague, Paul Dillon. I am not trying to harp on friends who understand sustainability, but we have to be a lot more steeled and aggressive against lobbyist-loving politicians. Kid gloves, contrived respect for the person and the office, well, those days are long gone -- after Roy Cohen, Hoover, Reagan, Nixon, Bush, Rove, Rumsfeld, Newt, and the Tea Bag Express. Palin and the other women radical government haters and people disclaimers, well, time is now to fight with tools. Writer's tools. Not back peddling, no honoring politicians who dishonor their role in our community called the State of Washington, the State of the Union.

So, a little bit of fun below that as I commented on Paul's DOWN to EARTH blog --

Mr. Dillon:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the FY 2012 Interior Appropriations Act. It is an honor to represent the people of Eastern Washington and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Like you, I believe it is important that we protect our wildlife and the environment. However, these efforts should not come at the expense of grown [sic] and development. I believe the two policies can coexist. The FY 2012 Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act reflects this balance, providing $27.5 billion to ensure than our wildlife and environmental policies are consistent with growth and job creation. Be assured that I will keep your views in mind as the House considers this bill.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. As your Representative in Congress, I am committed to putting the best interests of Eastern Washington first. I invite you to visit my website at for additional information or to sign up for my e-newsletter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Best wishes,

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

My original letter:

Dear Rep. McMorris Rodgers:

The House Appropriations Committee recently passed the FY2012 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill that will significantly reduce funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, and in particular the Office of Smart Growth. The bill would reduce overall funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by $1.5 billion and completely eliminate the Office of Smart Growth. The bill, approved along party lines, also cuts Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds by $1 billion; Brownfields funding by $40 million; The Historic Preservation fund by $5 million.

As an advocate for smart growth, I urge you to reject this funding proposal. Spokane has benefited from this program and we have won awards from the program on two occasions:


  •  2006 - Spokane, WA Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) for market analysis to identify smart growth development opportunities in the University District.

  •  2007 - Spokane, WA Smart Growth Implementation Assistance for market opportunities for smart growth development.

The Washington Growth Management Act (GMA) encourages smart growth in that state law mandates that growth be directed into urban growth areas where urban services already exist. Smart growth strategies help create the housing, transportation and business resources necessary to keep America competitive in a global, 21st century economy. The EPA’s Office of Smart Growth is a critical part of implementing these strategies for a stronger America. Eliminating federal support for this program will hurt towns still struggling to rebound economically, American families looking to reduce their dependence on oil, and the businesses that need strong local economies to survive.

In addition, the Office of Smart Growth is a central part of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative, interagency initiative that coordinates federal investments in housing, transportation and the environment to make the most of taxpayer dollars. Cutting funding to the Office of Smart Growth would seriously damage the Partnership and its efforts to help federal dollars go further in communities across the country.

  I urge you to reject budget cuts to the EPA, and fully fund the Office of Smart Growth in the FY 2012 budget.

Best, Paul Dillon


Paul Haeder on August 12 at 12:47 p.m.



Paul, Paul, Paul — Take the kid gloves off. Boise's doing it. Portland's doing it. So are Vancouver, BC., Seattle, and. Chicago.


Learn to write politicians letters that have some meat and punch:


Dear Out of Touch Lobby-hound McMorris —

First, WE are here because of the environment — clean air, water, sound soils, land for growing food, and land and ecosystems that give Spokane and any city like it big development bucks, tourists, and outdoor activities you can not imagine. This is not treehugger stuff. This is deep planning, deep architecture, deep economics, deep biology, deep sociology, deep health care, deep engineering, deep human services, deep creativity, deep, deep, deep.


First, you need, ma'am, to leave the shallows and take off the floaties and begin to swim with the big guys, the adults, the smart kids who know your white girl's rap song so-so well.

Chicago is preparing for 110 degree summers, 30 or 40 days in a row. That's the mayor's office, business people, insurance companies, citizens, law makers, the smart professors, etc. We are talking by 2020, heat and death, That being said, other cities understand to be resilient to fossil fuel shortages and to deal with the energy companies' crook pricing facilitated by elected chumps … and to deal with the rain that never comes, or storms that come at the wrong time, and the heat that broils grass and forest under stories, they know that compact growth and new urbanism — call it smart growth — are tools to HELP communities. Tools. We need thousands of tools in the tool chest. One is not the only way, but to cut a tested and emerging area is backwards, unAmerican, and typical of your out of touch and uneducated style.

It's called sustainability. Put that word in a search — “sustainability and Boise” or “sustainability and smart growth and cities” or “sustainability and peak oil” or finally, “sustainability and climate change”. Start reading. See how businesses and communities are working together, and it isn't about tea bag or radical conservatism. It's about thinking and critical analysis.

You obviously had a lapse in your edification — major and medium cities know that EPA needs more tools, that citizens live longer with good food, good air, and sanity. Jobs, jobs, jobs is not about the next hotel chain coming to town, killing unions, forcing workers to work injured, and gouging wages. Or maybe a nuclear waste plant to process the stuff of Fukashima. Build on Green Bluff. Come on, ma'am, you are a person seemingly stuck in the 1950s.

Please start getting staffers to help you learn what cities must do to get through the next 100 years. How jobs are tied to clean energy, new architecture, new transportation models, and a new generation of youth living smaller and more compactly thanks largely to unregulated growth, car use, and fossil fuel waste generated by parents and grandparents. The RV trip and constant jet trips you are taking have caused some oxygen debt. .

So, please, please, stop the empty worded politicking and find voice in education. Many schools are helping teachers understand that their 8 th graders or younger know what wind turbines are, know what melting ice caps do, and how humanity is in need of a huge shift in how we do business. Gutting programs kills jobs, futures, and potential genius thinking of the next and the next generation.

Thanks, your loyal truth meter who knows a hustling political operative when he crosses her on the street 

I don't know, Paul. Think Tim DeChristopher more when you start engaging in these letters. Guts, our wonderful language, and think of the history of great writers like Twain, Atwood, Octovio Paz, Vonnegut, Gore Vidal, She is showing zero respect for milliions of thinkers from around the world who are dedicated to sustainability, smart growth and economic growth. She is on the wrong side of history, and you have to have the tools to tell her that. Mano y mano with a political hack gets you nowhere, my friend, except a dose of Prozac.


Think TIM DeChristopher.



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