Kids' drawings for Eramet

MARIETTA - - Canvassers in Marietta, Ohio and Vienna and Boaz, West Virginia report tremendous response to their door-to-door organizing, education and letter writing campaign to urge Eramet Marietta Inc. to clean up and be a good neighbor. In just twelve days of canvassing, 246 new members joined Ohio Citizen Action in Marietta and 185 people wrote personal letters to plant manager Frank Bjorklund.

Letters to Eramet

VIENNA, WV - - "The joke around here is 'back in sinus valley, or cancer valley.' We would truly like to bring a cleaner world to those of us raising children in this area. Please work with the people who are directly affected by your pollution to be a good neighbor," Sherri Killen, Director, Raven's Haven Exotic Bird Rescue, Inc.
Read the full letter

ATHENS - - "I have friends with chronic respiratory illness. They call it the mid Ohio valley crud. It is serious health effects from air pollution... Children should not have to struggle to breathe because the adults in their community did not care enough to provide them with clean air," Ellyn Burnes, Athens, Ohio resident.
Read the full letter

Canvasser Stories

Liz Floyd:
"Stories from Marietta and Vienna flowed from the residents we talked with, everyone knew about Eramet in some way or form.  This is a popular issue, "the talk of the town" as Eramet hit the front page while campaigning there.  Talk about hitting close to home, we all felt sluggish from being exposed to the many chemicals concentrated in this small area.  Eramet is one of the many factories in this town, by far one of the worst!  I know this hands-on now from all the people’s feelings and energy put into stories of the old Union Carbide Plant.  "You'll have to dig up the whole area and send it to outer space to truly clean that place up, I used to work there," one resident said. 

Eramet is a long-fought battle in this town, cleaning up this company is the answer for the many residents of Marietta.  I felt the relief of so many people from the simple fact that we're bringing Eramet to the table, and finally giving them an opportunity to clean up and be a good neighbor."

Walt Sullivan:
"After the first day, I realized you can’t just canvass like normal. You pretty much just have to let people talk. They are so grateful that someone is hearing them and they want to do something about it."
Hugh McLaughlin:
"Canvassing in Marietta was unlike any experience. All I had to do was say the word Eramet, and people immediately opened their doors and welcomed me in. The residents of Marietta are ready for a change, but many feel as though they can do nothing about their current situation. 

After meeting these individuals, I discovered the truth of what we were doing. It was no longer an issue revolving around idealist views, but an issue revolving around the need of a community. I understood the magnitude of the situation. Things need to change, and things will change, but only when we are able to come together."

Toni Brock:
"Usually when I am canvassing, people don’t really start paying attention until I mention that we are working with one of the largest polluters in Ohio. Then they look up at me and ask who. In Marietta, the instant I introduced myself as being with Ohio Citizen Action, the group that works on local air and water issues, people’s faces lit up. Seriously, many of them would look me straight in the eyes and give me the most sincere thank yous I have ever received. People care, people know and they are ready to be part of the solution."