Several boxes of signatures were triumphantly carried in to City Hall by the three Chief Petitioners, Clean Water Portland Executive Director Kim Kaminski, Frances Quaempts-Miller and Malgosia Cegielskik,PhD. Following turning in the signatures, each of the three Chief Petitioners spoke briefly to the press gathering.|
Kim thanked all who participated in the successful effort and upbraided City Hall for their back door dealings which led to their approving water fluoridation without broad public participation.
"These are public servants, and it's their job to serve the public, not special interests, not do this behind closed doors......we don't want any more chemicals in our water."
Frances also thanked all those who contributed to the monumental effort that many said was an impossible task. She stressed the point, "not one of us got any money from any big corporations, not a single one of us took any money to do this work."
"What we care about are direct, real solutions to dental issues. We don't want to throw chemicals into the water and call it done....we want clean water; we want democracy and we will fight to get it."
Malgosia, a psychologist and a child psychologist, spoke last, emphasizing the toxicity that fluoride "contributes to children's brains that are already way over loaded with neurotoxins, and can't think, and can't learn, and can't pay attention."
Portland Fluoride Referendum a Success! ( Report Back from Clean Water Portland website)
OCT 11-WATER ADVOCATES TO PUT CITY COUNCIL FLUORIDATION VOTE ON HOLD, TURN IN OVER 43,000 REFERENDUM SIGNATURES
The effort to overturn the Portland City Council's rushed decision to add fluoridation chemicals to Portland's drinking water won a major victory on Thursday by submitting more than twice the number of signatures required to stop the fluoridation law from taking effect until voters could weigh in on the controversial decision. Most political pundits said the volunteer-run effort was unlikely to gather the 20,000 signatures needed, but a grassroots and bi-partisan volunteer effort along with professional signature collectors defied steep odds. Organizers had only a few weeks to organize the campaign in the face of what appeared to be an intentional effort by Commissioner Randy Leonard and Mayor Sam Adams to rush the decision through the City before there was time to organize for a referendum effort.
"In case there was any question, this overwhelming response sends a clear message that Portlanders value the quality of our drinking water," said Kim Kaminski with Clean Water Portland and one of the chief petitioners for the referendum. "Adding what even the pro-fluoride backers admit is an industrial byproduct to our world-class drinking water in the name of protecting children's teeth is misguided and increasing our water bills to pay for it is an insult."
Frances Quaempts-Miller, also a chief petitioner on the referendum, agreed, "The notion that you do something good for low-income kids by adding more chemicals to our drinking water is an idea that's 50 years out of date. As a woman and minority of Black and Muskogee Indian descent it's sad that adding fluoridation chemicals to our water is the best that the City Council and fluoridation backers can come up with to help at-risk kids."
Portlander Amanda Richards had been living in Guatemala with her fianc?e but when she heard about the fluoridation referendum she took a plane back to Portland and has been an active volunteer. "It was such an honor to work with the Portland community on this issue," said Richards. "Watching people from the left, the right and the middle all working together for the common cause of protecting Portland's drinking water made me proud to be a Portlander."