September 18 and 19, Sierra Club volunteers, staff, and friends knocked on more than 10,000 doors across the country to tell
voters about the environmental records of Bush and Kerry as part of the Sierra Club
Votes Campaign. Many traveled from other states to go door-to-door in key communities. All told, since Sierra Club Votes
started, more than 3,900 volunteers have contacted more than 355,000 voters. The Sierra Club has never undertaken such an
ambitious campaign before. There's still time to participate or
to help the campaign with a donation.
Sometimes we win, even
against the big guys, and even in places like Harrison County, Mississippi. For years, officials in Harrison County said yes
to almost everything DuPont wanted -- while cancer ravaged the community. This summer, local volunteers, including Chapter
Co-Chair Rose Johnson, at left, and Gulf Coast Group Chair Brenda Songy, put enough pressure on county supervisors that they
finally said no.
Sherry Cuevas, who lost both her daughter and daughter-in-law to cancer, was one of many Harrison County residents who had
never been involved in environmental or community activism. She now regularly attends Club meetings, and this spring she
circulated petitions and spoke out against DuPont's toxic-landfill plans at public meetings. Another local, a retired colonel
from the Army Corps of Engineers, told the supervisors, "Before now I wouldn't have been caught dead with these people [the
Sierra Club]. But I know the effects of dioxins, and I know the problems associated with trying to contain toxins." MORE
We all know the saying, "the customer is always right."
But when it comes to the Bush administration, it pays to ask, "Who exactly is the customer?"
Believe it or not, the Bush administration has set up a "complaint desk" for the energy industry. Want to drill for natural
gas in the Rocky Mountains but some pesky scientist says it could hurt wildlife? Call the White House "Task Force for Energy
Project Streamlining," which can turn the screws on the local field office.
Of course, if you're just an ordinary American citizen, expect to be ignored. The Forest Service held more than 600 hearings
for the Roadless Rule and received more than 2 million public comments, the vast majority of which favored strong
protections. But the Bush administration rewrote the rule to allow more drilling, mining, and timber harvesting.
The message to ordinary citizens? "Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line for the next available operator."
And instead of soft rock, replace hold music with the whir of chainsaws and the rumble of drilling pumps. MORE
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