Since getting arrested on August 23rd as part of the Tar Sands Action protesting the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, my life has changed in more ways than I can count. Both practically and figuratively, I feel stronger, more sure of what I am doing and who I am, and part of something “bigger than me.”
I have spoken at environmental rallies, at citizen’s meetings and at community events. I have written blog posts, and posts have been written about me, telling my “arrest” story and the “back story” and “real story” of our addiction to oil and how it not only impacts my children’s health but the air we breath and the future of our planet’s health as well. Interestingly enough I see the clear connections between the line that we “drew in the sand” in Washington around the pipeline and the sustained protests taking place in New York and around the world as part of Occupy Wall Street. Strangers have thanked me for getting arrested, for taking a stand for my children’s future and for their children future as well. People I know and many, many people that I don’t know ask me to tell them my story so they can understand why a mother of 2 from suburban New Jersey would take this bold step, and “step out” of her comfort zone. Why was this pipeline my line in the sand?
Message to President Obama, I want you to know that I felt this way when you were elected too. I was so excited and thrilled to be part of “history,” at a moment in time where so many people from so many different backgrounds and walks of life came together to see and hope for a better America. I began my first blog in 2008, fighting for truth and for you and why you should get elected. On inauguration day we had a party at my home, inviting friends and family to join us as we together cheered you on. Our young children spontaneously made hats and banners in your name and for the dawn of a new era of hope for the future. I cried as you stood proudly and proclaimed that under your watch: “the oceans would stop rising and the earth would began to heal.” I am watching you now President Obama and waiting for you to rise to the challenge and promise of these solemn and “heady” words. I believe in you. I believe still that these are more than just words and promises; that they are part of your manifesto and your legacy for future actions and policies for a cleaner renewable future for my children and for yours.
I see what you are up against and know without a doubt that every day brings new challenges your way. I have been one of your biggest advocates,cheering on the steps you and your administration has taken to increase CAFE standards and work on the margins to improve the world around us. But I have to tell you, that I also watched with dismay and disappointment as you didn’t engage in the cap and trade debate, as you have backed down on aggressive smog rules, and as you haven’t used your pulpit to speak loudly or really even at all about how you will address climate change. Where are your visible and tangible commitments in this fight we are in for our children’s future?
Right now, at this moment I am watching to see what you do and say when I come to visit on November 6th with thousands of my new friends – most of whom also watched with awe and excitement when you were elected, and were filled with hope for a better world, because of you. We want to cheer and get behind you for 2012 too. Give us something to cheer about and rally around. The decision to approve or disapprove the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline resides with you, and you alone. Make this your “line in the sand.” For so many reasons, the governmental process leading up to a decision on this pipeline has been flawed and problematic. Rather than pipelines that put people out of their homes, threaten our air and water supplies and perpetuate our dangerous and deadly addiction to fossil fuels, we need transmission lines and a national grid that will crisscross this country carrying renewable energy from wind and solar farms…put American’s to work building these lines for the future.
Knock, knock President Obama, I am coming to visit, I hope you will be home…..