Monday, October 10, 2016

Advocacy Blog: Why Vote YES on Question 6?

By Topher Hamblett, Director of Advocacy

As a native of the Ocean State, I take great pride in Rhode Islanders’ emphatic support, over the past three decades, of projects that clean up Narragansett Bay and enhance our environment. Many Rhode Islanders never leave, or, like me, leave and return because our strong sense of place. Narragansett Bay. The coastal ponds. The Blackstone, Pawtuxet, and Wood/Pawcatuck Rivers. The urban neighborhoods with old mill buildings that stand as monuments to the industrial revolution. Acadia Park. Sachuest Point. All of these places define who we are. They are in our soul.

On November 8th, Rhode Island voters will once again go to the polls to cast their vote for candidates, and a series of bond referenda. Question 6, the Green Economy Bond is a $35M ballot measure that builds on the tremendous success of past investments in water quality, open space, parks, and the cleanup and reuse of contaminated industrial sites. It also expands our growing network of bike paths that gets people outdoors and connects communities. I hope you will join me in VOTING YES on 6!

Thanks to the efforts of citizens, organizations, elected officials, and environmental agencies, Rhode Island is in the process of shedding that age-old, misguided myth that says, “environmental protection is bad for the economy.” We are transitioning to a mindset that says, “protecting and improving our environment is good for our economy." Think about it. Why do people want to live here? It’s our quality of life.  And what makes our quality of life so unique? It’s our environment!

And those old mill buildings that dot communities throughout Rhode Island? They produced and dumped tons of harmful chemicals into our rivers and Bay. Not to mention, harming the people who worked in them. Today, with the help of measures like the Green Economy Bond, they are being cleaned up and used for housing and business.

Please vote Yes on 6, and play a direct role in helping Rhode Island build upon its strengths and on the progress it has made in cleaning up Narragansett Bay.