We want Guilford County to be a place we can live, love, play, and enjoy for generations to come. We want to support elected leaders who believe that access to clean water and air is a basic human right. The effects of climate change are inequitable as polluted air, water, and land have been distributed unequally. As our communities continue to experience the effects of climate change have led to worsening tornadoes and flash floods, the decisions to let corporations do what they want allowing industrial cancer-causing chemicals that poison our water, we must create policies that care for our well-being and the well-being of the planet.
CLEAN WATER, AIR, AND LAND FOR ALL
- Elected officials should get rid of cancer-causing toxins in the water and give our community oversight to keep Guilford County’s drinking water safe. In Greensboro, there are PFOS and PFAS chemicals in the water that cause cancer and low birth weights. The City of Greensboro should implement the planned upgrades to the water filtration system immediately. They should also establish a consumer oversight and expert advisory board over city water. We also need a local preemptive ban on the privatization of water infrastructure, to keep our water system public and our water affordable.
- Until our water system is updated and cleaned, our elected leaders should make sure that our cities and county distribute water vouchers as everyone cannot afford their own carbon filters or bottled water. Testing kits should be readily available to consumers so that people can assess for themselves how safe their drinking water is. Where test results return higher than EPA recommended levels of contamination, distribute potable water through vouchers.
- Our elected leaders need to ensure that our stormwater management improves by planting and maintaining natural areas that are designed to absorb extra runoff from heavy rains. This keeps the extra water from flooding our sewer system and dirtying the lakes and streams which supply our drinking water. It also prevents water from flooding our roads and homes. We need the city to incentivize and require developers and private owners to build more streamside vegetation, watershed gardens, or gardens that are designed to collect stormwater.
- Our elected leaders in Guilford County should create a zero waste strategic plan to make our neighborhoods cleaner, healthier, and prepared for a changing climate. Given that sites of waste disposal are more likely to be placed in Black and low-income communities, we need a reporting system that clearly describes the local and regional waste stream, the total waste output of the county, where landfills are located, and the locations of any superfund/contaminated water and soil sites.
CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY & EXPANDING PUBLIC CONTROL OF UTILITIES
- We need elected officials at the local, state and national level who will work with us to get us more control of our energy – so we can have more solar and renewable energy, create more jobs, decrease pollution, and so people can afford their utilities. This will also strengthen our electric grid and prevent catastrophic outages like we witnessed in Texas. Maine is in the process of transitioning their energy company to a public utility for better prices, more transparency, and better service.
- We need local and state officials to fine corporations that pollute our land, water and air and risk our health. Our elected leaders should ensure reporting requirements and that polluters face competitive dis-incentives for failing to divert from the waste stream, such as the worst polluters in Guilford County get a fine.
PREPARING FOR AND RECOVERING FROM DISASTERS
- We need local elected officials who support repairing and retrofitting low-income neighborhoods to be able to withstand the expected extreme weather that comes with climate change, like the 2018 Tornado.
- Minimize amount of time residents are displaced as housing is repaired and retrofitted
- Allow residents to stay in their structures during renovations when housing is code compliant, or providing residents with temporary housing in hotels.
- If demo/rebuild is necessary, incentivize high rates of return and regulate developers to avoid increased rents, background checks, etc.
- Increase green space and vegetation to mitigate flooding.