Iowa Goldfinch


September 2019 Newsletter

Presidential Candidates Mention Green Amendments – But Is This The Best For Us Strategically?

Well, much to our shock and surprise, our Green Amendment movement has entered the presidential race – mentioned as an important goal by one of the presidential candidates during the CNN Climate Town Halls.  While we are thrilled that the power and importance of constitutional environmental rights – Green Amendments – is resonating even at the presidential election level, it is important that we not get ahead of ourselves.  A federal Green Amendment is crucial for full and ultimate success. But, state Green Amendments are equally powerful, and they are also more achievable in the near-term. In addition, to secure a federal Green Amendment we need ¾ of the States to vote in support of the idea.  So, from a strategic perspective, by advancing State Green Amendments first, not only do we get powerful and meaningful protection near-term, we are also laying the groundwork necessary to successfully secure a federal Green Amendment.

We all know, if we jump to a federal Green Amendment today, we will lose.  Not only will we lose the vote for passage, but we will have set back the movement as something to be lightly dismissed as pie in the sky.  But, if we show the strength of support for Green Amendments state by state by state, not only will we be securing Green Amendment protections at the state level, but we will also be laying the foundation necessary for a successful Green Amendment vote in the near-term.

So please support our Green Amendment movement in your heart and with your family, friends and community, but help deliver the message that we need to act at the state level first if we want to succeed at the federal level second.

The State Focus First Being Said ….
The Battle To Save Our Water, Air, Climate and Environment Must Be Won Today, Before We Reach The Point of No Return.

Consider giving a personal donation to help us accomplish passage of Green Amendments nationwide.

Across our nation communities are drinking contaminated water, breathing contaminated air, watching forests fall and drilling rigs rise, and watching as contaminated sites are paved and developed rather than having their dangerous toxins cleaned up. We need to change the legal paradigm that is designed to approve a project first, and manage the inevitable pollution and environmental degradation later through permits and industry self-reporting when the damage to our communities and Earth occurs.

 Green Amendments For The Generations seeks a transformational shift when it comes to environmental rights recognition and protection – changing it from inspirational rhetoric to a constitutional right with legal vigor and strength.  Green Amendments recognize and protect the inalienable rights of all people to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and a healthy environment in the bill of rights section of a constitution. The goal of Green Amendments For The Generations is to secure Green Amendments in every state constitution across our nation, and ultimately at the federal level, in order to ensure that the right to healthy environments has the highest constitutional recognition and protection available.

Because of Green Amendments For The Generations we have constitutional environmental rights proposals in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and West Virginia.  It’s not going to be easy, but they are proposed and advancing.

In addition, we have active efforts in Delaware, Maine, and New Mexico.  And we have more new states interested every day.

In every state where a Green Amendment is advancing, it is Green Amendments For The Generations that inspired the effort.  And, in every one of these states we are actively engaged in working to inform and secure a constitutional right to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments.  But, to be able meet the growing call for assistance we need your help.  Please consider making a donation today.

New Mexico Coming on Board – Sign Up To Help.

After 10 days of meetings and talks and tours with legislators, indigenous leaders, and environmental leaders, it is clear that the people of New Mexico see the value of advancing a New Mexico Green Amendment.  Green Amendments For The Generations is already working with state leaders to develop and advance a New Mexico Green Amendment strategy.

Along the path of exploring a NM Green Amendment, we have learned the power and importance of being clear and focused on the inclusion of indigenous rights – both in terms of natural resources, but also indigenous sacred and ancestral lands, the rights of indigenous communities, and the importance of consultation.  Our trip to New Mexico has resulted in an important and eye-opening evolution in our model Green Amendment language and work, which you will see reflected in how Maya speaks and thinks about our progress, and which you will see reflected in our materials, focus, efforts and language.  We are grateful to our New Mexico partners for this important education and evolution.

Would you like to get involved in the New Mexico Green Amendment effort?  Sign a petition in support.

Delaware To Receive Green Amendment Message – Won’t You Join Us?

If you are interested in how a Green Amendment can benefit Delaware consider joining us on Saturday, October 5 at 12:30 at the Milton Public Library.  At this event co-sponsored by our partners Sussex Health and Environmental Network (SHEN), Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP), and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, we will talk about the many values of a Green Amendment and how we might advance one in the great state of Delaware.

In the meantime, consider signing our petition so we can grow the numbers in support of advancing a DE Green Amendment, here.

The Vision for a New Jersey Green Amendment Continues to Grow – As Do The Opportunities For You To Get Engaged.

Green Amendments For The Generations has been working with our partners, Clean Water Action, Environment New Jersey, the Highlands Coalition, and NJ Sierra Club to educate communities and decision-makers about what a Green Amendment is, what it does, and how having a New Jersey Green Amendment could benefit environmental protection in the state.  As New Jersey residents learn more and more about the challenges to pure water, clean air and the impacts of a changing climate there is an increasing recognition of the value of having a NJ Green Amendment.

Testifying before New Jersey Senate Environment Committee in Support of a proposed NJ Green Amendment. Bipartisan supermajority voted YES. October 15, 2018.

In New Jersey we are also starting monthly phone calls so that interested members of the public can get the most recent updates, ask any questions you might have, and offer your own ideas for how we can work to advance a NJ Green Amendment. The coalition’s goal is to get the legislative votes necessary so that the people of New Jersey can vote on passage of an Amendment in November 2020.  It’s an aggressive and exciting schedule.  Sign up to join the monthly calls by emailing us at:

Newark’s water crisis and the devastating ramifications of air pollution for the children of Camden are raising the profile of NJ environmental degradation for many whom long thought that New Jersey was doing well by its residents when it came to protecting water, air and our environment.

  • As reported in the press, lead contamination in Newark water supplies has serious deleterious consequences for the health of the city’s children and residents. Rather than take swift action upon immediately learning that changed management of the water system was causing lead to enter Newark’s drinking water, city, state and federal government officials have all been pointing the finger at one another. A Green Amendment could have helped residents who knew something was going wrong to more quickly and effectively demand and secure needed drinking water access and protections.
  • Camden recently received an “F” rating from the American Lung Association for air pollution. A 2018 study of geographic and social disparities in exposure to air pollutants at 90,000 public schools in the U.S., found Camden County to be the third most polluted school county in the country.1  This study also found one-third of all schools in New Jersey to be at high risk for exposure to harmful toxins in the air. Eleven of the 140 worst schools identified for air pollution were located in south Camden, near the industrialized waterfront. Air pollution has serious health ramifications for children and adults, among them is that it can very literally impact the ability of children to reach their full potential for learning.

It is reasons like these that residents and decision-makers in New Jersey are turning to the idea of constitutional protection of their environmental rights – i.e. a NJ Green Amendment – as an important and timely solution.  Communities like the Borough of Cape May Point and the Essex County Board of Freeholders have passed resolutions in support of a NJ Green Amendment, so too has the Medical Society of New Jersey.   If you want to talk with your community about passing a resolution, you can take a look at those resolutions and additional guidance here, and please do get in touch with us so we can help you plan and implement your ask.

New York Secures First Passage of Its Proposed Green Amendment.
New York’s Green Amendment, while not the ideal model we would hope for, has secured first passage from state legislators.  It is an important advancement.  We will see what the coming months bring, but the NY Green Amendment is advancing and in need of your active support if you live in, or enjoy, beautiful New York state.

Green Amendments For The Generations Speaks to State Legislators Nationwide.

Founder and author Maya van Rossum was asked to give a plenary session for legislators at this year’s National Caucus of Environmental Legislators annual conference.  Her talk was well received, and after delivering her message, she was approached by over half a dozen legislators making clear that they wanted to advance a Green Amendment in their state. Stay tuned, maybe one of those states was yours!

Spreading the Green Amendment Word. The Green Amendment message continues to be on the move, state by state. Consider attending one of our upcoming events, or perhaps reach out to see if we can come speak with your organization or your community.  It is through this one-on-one engagement that we are advancing the Green Amendment movement.  We need your help. Please attend a talk that is already scheduled or reach out if you can help us bring our Green Amendment movement to your state, organization or town.

Green Amendment Is A Powerful Tool for Environmental Justice
There are so many benefits to having a Green Amendment.  Protecting the rights of all people equitably, and advancing environmental justice, are just two of them. Review and share our environmental justice fact sheet to learn why and how.

What does it mean to have a Green Amendment? Help us educate others so they too will support our Green Amendment movement.

The question of what it means to have a Green Amendment is an important first question for many.  There are a number of ways to helps spread the word:

  • Share this newsletter with those that might be inspired by the Green Amendment movement.
  • Sharing the Book is another great way to introduce new people to this transformative idea. If you buy in bulk for sharing (3 or more), we are happy to give you a great deal.  Because all funds go to supporting the Green Amendment movement, we need to at least recover our costs, but your helping to spread the word is hugely valuable, so let us work together to see what we can do.
  • Maya is always available to come speak if you have an audience willing and wanting to listen and learn more. All you need to do is get in touch and ask.  She is a passionate and compelling speaker and always happy to engage.
  • Keep up to speed on what is happening with the advancement of Green Amendments by following Green Amendments For The Generations on Facebook where we post ongoing actions in all of our active states.

Whether you have attended a talk about the Book, are considering leading an action in your own state, have signed a letter or petition to advance the Green Amendments progressing in the state where you live, or have shared a copy of the book with a friend, family member or your favorite legislator, you have been part of advancing this important concept and conversation. Thank you for being a Green Amendment leader!