Enforce the rule of law with citizen watchdogs and a free press.

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Tom Friedman

"Green movements historically have started as grassroots movements in democratic societies. ... Many countries, including China and America, have wonderful environmental laws on the books, but without civil society groups to monitor compliance and bring lawsuits against local governments or companies that try to skirt the rules of violate them outright, those laws will always be vulnerable." Hot, Flat, and Crowded, 412

Commentary

Sustainable South Bronx

“The organization never fit in the traditional lens of environmental justice, because we’ve always been operating from a very proactive space.” Miquela Craytor, Underdome Interview

Whereas a traditional Environmental Justice organizations focuses on litigation strategies to enforce the equitable distribution of environmental burdens and benefits, SSBx Executive Director Miquela Craytor explains.  “The organization never fit in the traditional lens of environmental justice, because we’ve always been operating from a very proactive space—wanting to fight for things, as opposed to dealing with regulation and things like that.  And so while we work on the issues that create environmental justice communities, we’re not operating from your traditional toolbox of what an EJ group has been thought to be.  

“We are all trying to make the world a better place, right? And the problem is if we start to look at people of power and what they listen to, we can try to hit them over the head a long time, but if they're not gonna change, why do we keep doing that? And our organization was created out of a place in which hitting people over the head hasn’t worked yet, so let’s try some other tactics. And those other tactics are being proactive. And sometimes it means we’re working alongside folks we’re traditionally would be picketing. I mean a few examples; we bought shares of stock in a really nasty company [New York Organic Fertilizer] that’s in the neighborhood as a means to do a shareholder resolution to find out what they were putting in their smoke stack and to make them accountable.” Miquela Craytor, Underdome Interview
 

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