One technique used effectively around the country to learn more about how your community is affected by toxic herbicides is pretty easy for you to take on:
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.
How is YOUR Community being exposed to Glyphosate-based herbicides, including Roundup? Your community has the right to know!
YOU can help educate your community by asking the questions suggested by our Community Survey, or adding your own questions, then making the answers public.
- MEET ONE-ON-ONE with local town council members, your municipal water or grounds keeping, fish and wildlife departments or public works department, and your school board to get your questions answered.
Be sure to note where your answers came from, citing sources and dates.
- REALITY TEST THE ANSWERS YOU GET: Your group can collaborate to order water, urine or breastmilk testing materials and submit samples for analysis. This should offer a good balance/counterpoint to whatever information you are being given. Order materials HERE.
- TELL THE WORLD WHAT YOU FOUND OUT! Once you have the answers to these questions, make the answers public. Here’s how:
ISSUE A MEDIA RELEASE:
Write up (or have someone with writing experience write up) a release for media that includes the questions you asked, the sources for answers and the most encouraging or troubling answers. If you use the self test materials and get results that disagree with the answers being given you, include that in your media release. Use the most dramatic answer you get as your lead and headline. Include any planned follow-up events or plans to gather folks for more discussion. Here’s a SAMPLE MEDIA RELEASE – Community Survey
Here’s a great article about WRITING A GOOD MEDIA RELEASE!
Before sending your release, do some research.
- How do your local newspapers, radio stations and television news crews prefer to receive news leads or releases? Faxed? Mailed? Dropped off?
- Which reporter or correspondent is most likely to be interested in your story? Make sure you get it into their hands directly.
POST YOUR RESULTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Cheap and powerful, social media can get your message out fast!
Develop a short blurb (around 25 words or less) to describe your findings. Here’s a sample blurb to guide you. SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA BLURBS FOR FACEBOOK – Community Survey
- Post your release on your own or your group’s Facebook Page.
- Share it if possible on your Town’s Facebook Page.
- Share it with the Environmental Groups in your area.
- Share it with your Newspaper or Television Station’s Facebook page.
- Share it with your town council members.
- Share it everywhere.
- Then ASK your friends to share it too.
ASK QUESTIONS PUBLICLY:
If you get information that troubles you, consider bringing the questions to the public meeting of your town council or public works department or water department.
- Alert the media ahead of time that you will be raising these issues.
- Gather allies to stand with you to ask these questions.
- Remind people that your community has the right to know!
ORGANIZE A PUBLIC EVENT: POP QUIZ
Invite the public to participate in an event to spark public dialogue. Plan at least 2 months in advance so you have enough time to make it successful. Try to find a time to hold it that does not conflict with other local events. Maybe make it part of a local health expo that is already popular!
Invite neighbors, members of civic clubs, women’s groups, parents’ organizations, health organizations and don’t forget to invite your local town council members. Use Community Calendars, Flyers in Grocery Stores and Coffeeshops; wherever people gather. Announce it on the town website or blog.
Invite the local media to attend and ‘a local celebrity’ to moderate! Invite community television to film the event.
Once gathered…. invite all attendees to test their knowledge on the questions you asked (which you will have the answers to!) and then discuss what the real answers are! Make it fun as well as educational. Consider giving small prizes for correct answers or points to make it a game or Quiz Program.
Here is the COMMUNITY SURVEY we have drafted to get you started.
Consider adding questions that are specific to YOUR neighborhood and your local situation.
- Has your city or area been declared a Super Fund Site or had long term problems with chemical dumping or pollution in the past?
- Have your streams or lakes experienced any large scale fish kills recently?
- Are there Mining, Oil Drilling or Fracking going on nearby? Do you know what kinds of liquids are being injected in your fracking operations?
- What chemical companies or coal plants are in the area? Where do they release their waste?
- What kinds of protections are in place to protect the air and water in your community
- How do those protections compare with other cities in other states?