From ROSALIND PETERSON
Caifornia Sky Watch
June 13, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California
Please let everyone know that the delegation from Connecticut and California (Rosalind & Meredith Smith), spent this past week lobbying the U.S. Congress to defeat the U.S. Navy plan to harm marine mammals, other aquatic life and animals, along with negative impacts on human health, air and water.
We all arrived in Washington, D.C. armed with petitions from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and also from other states in the United States. We hand delivered petitions to California Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon. In addition, Meredith Smith is staying in Washington, D.C., this coming week to lobby against the Navy.
Meredith arranged to meet at 4:00 P.M. with California Congressman Mike Thompson on Thursday, June 11th, to discuss what plans could be worked out to have Congressman Thompson work with us on congressional hearings into the Navy program. Meredith presented Congressman Thompson with a second binder containing all the petitions that we have gathered since we gave Thompson’s aide, Heidi Dickerson, the first binder containing all of the original signatures gathered prior to the time that KTVU filmed the event in Fort Bragg, CA last month.
Meredith was also going to let Congressman Thompson know about the binder presented to Heidi Dickerson last month since he did not seem to know that the public had presented his office with this binder full of petitions from all over California.
Today and during her stay in Washington, DC next week Meredith will be meeting with additional members of Congress and will be hand delivering our petitions to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Her efforts on behalf of the citizens of Mendocino County are to be highly commended. When she returns she will be reporting on the success of her efforts in Washington, D.C.
While the delegation was in Washington, D.C. this week we brought color brochures, packets, and information about the Navy Warfare expansion to every member of the U.S. Senate. In addition, we visited the offices of over 300 U.S. Congressmen with regard to this issue. There were many that did not know about this Navy plan and many expressed interest in learning more about it. Our elected officials seemed surprised that the Navy plan involved, as Congressmen Thompson and Waxman had stated in their letter, both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the regions around the Marinas Islands, the Hawaiian Islands, the gulf of both Alaska and Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean from California to Oregon.
It should be noted that our elected officials were surprised that the petitions we collected were from real people and not just from anonymous people on the Internet. One staff member was completly surprised by this information.
Meredith Smith, owner of the Mendocino Cafe, should be commended for her efforts both this week and next week in bring this information to the attention of our elected officials. It is now time for all of us to follow through with calls to our elected officials in Washington, D.C., over the next three months at their toll free number (1866) 220-0044 to let them know that we are going to continue to speak out, collect signatures on petitions, and work toward congressional hearings to protect public health and our marine mammals.
Your continued work on this project – writing letters, gathering signatures which will be presented again to our elected officials (hand delivered), telephone calls, letters to the editor will all have a positive effect. Thank you again for all of your efforts and work on this project. If we work together we can initiate change and end this Navy Warfare expansion project.