From Rhetoric to Reality: Green Amendments as a New Path for Environmental Protection
For decades, communities have relied on Federal and State laws to ensure protection of a clean environment. And for decades, while achieving some important successes in environmental protection, overall the health of our environment for present and future generations has continued to degrade from a growing number of sources. The truth is, our laws are designed to accommodate pollution as much as, perhaps even more than, to prevent it. As a result people feel powerless when it comes to preserving the quality of their water, air, public parks, and natural spaces. But there is a solution for achieving better, and much needed, protection of our environment: bypass the laws and turn to the ultimate authority—our state and federal constitutions.
This talk will seek to discuss and inspire a new tool for environmental preservation, one that will provide a new way of thinking about, and pursuing, environmental protection from a policy as well as a legal perspective.
We all have the right to pure water, clean air, and a healthy environment. It’s time to truly secure that right for our own sake and that of future generations. www.wagreenamendment.org.
This talk will have a special introduction by Representative Debra Lekanoff, representing the 40th legislative district of Washington state and lead sponsor of the Washington Green Amendment
About the Speaker
Maya K. van Rossum is the Founder of Green Amendments For the Generations, a grassroots non-profit organization inspiring a nationwide movement to secure constitutional recognition and protection of environmental rights in every state and ultimately at the federal level. van Rossum is also the Delaware Riverkeeper, leading the watershed based advocacy organization, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, for over 30 years in its efforts to protect the health of the Delaware River and its tributaries. A skilled activist, attorney, strategist and community organizer, she was named in 2020 as a River Hero by River Network, in 2019 as one of Philadelphia Business Journal’s Power 100, and One Of The “10 Most Influential People of 2015” When It Comes to Energy Issues by SNL Energy. Her writing has been featured in such publications as BloombergLaw, Law360, the Boston Globe, and TIME Magazine. She is author of, The Green Amendment: the People’s Fight for a Clean, Safe, and Healthy Environment. Since launching Green Amendments For The Generations, constitutional amendments have been proposed in 11 states, with New York formally passing a Green Amendment in 2021.
Environmental Speaker Series
The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.
The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.