PennFuture Joins Governor, Pittsburgh Mayoral Candidates, Other Local, State and National Leaders to Launch Statewide Campaign to Keep Pennsylvania Growing Greener

Voters Will Decide to Fund Environment on May 17

Apr 22, 2005, 01:00 ET from PennFuture

    HARRISBURG, Pa., and PITTSBURGH, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Citizens for
 Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture) today took part in simultaneous press
 conferences in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh to help launch a bipartisan statewide
 campaign to urge voters to vote Yes to support the statewide Growing Greener
 ballot question at the May 17 Municipal Primary.
     The Harrisburg press conference featured Governor Ed Rendell; Former Ridge
 Administration Secretary of Environmental Protection Dave Hess, speaking on
 behalf of John Oliver, Chair of the Vote Yes Campaign of the Pennsylvania
 Alliance for Restoration and Conservation (PARC), the organization leading the
 campaign; Deb Callahan, President of the League of Conservation Voters; Andrew
 McElwaine, President of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council; Kathleen
 McGinty, current Secretary of Environmental Protection; Michael DiBerardinis,
 Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; and John
 Hanger, President and CEO of PennFuture.
     The Pittsburgh press conference featured the endorsement of the Vote Yes
 to Keep Pennsylvania Growing Greener campaign from the field of candidates
 running for Mayor of Pittsburgh, including Democrats Louis "Hop" Kendrick,
 Michael Lamb, Les Ludwig, Bob O'Connor, Bill Peduto and Daniel Repovz.
 Republican Joe Weinroth sent a message of strong support, but was unable to
 attend the press conference due to personal and business commitments.
     "We need to act now to protect Pennsylvania's quality of life," said John
 Hanger, President and CEO of PennFuture.  "The longer we wait, the more
 Pennsylvania's clean water, natural areas, working farms and wildlife will be
 destroyed and lost forever."  We must vote YES - not only for our generation,
 but most importantly for our children and grandchildren.
     "Today's events show that support for this vitally needed funding is
 bipartisan, and goes across the political spectrum," continued Hanger.  "In
 Pittsburgh, the field of mayoral candidates all agree that the one vote they
 will all cast will be for the environment, and they are pledging to ask their
 supporters to follow their lead in the voting booth.  In Harrisburg,
 supporters at today's event include Ridge administration officials who started
 the Growing Greener process as well as Governor Rendell and his administration
 officials, who are expanding the program.  Truly, keeping Pennsylvania Growing
 Greener has wide support.
     "But we cannot be complacent," continued Hanger.  "Even though polls show
 widespread support for the program, voter turnout in primary elections in off
 years is notoriously light.  There may be those who oppose conservation who
 will be urging a vote against this critical funding.  That's why we are asking
 all citizens to make sure that their friends, neighbors and anyone who cares
 about a cleaner and brighter future for Pennsylvania marches to the polls and
 votes YES on this vitally needed question."
     The ballot question will simply ask Pennsylvanians whether they approve of
 the Commonwealth borrowing up to $625 million for the "maintenance and
 protection of the environment, open space and farmland preservation, watershed
 protection, abandoned mine reclamation, acid mine drainage remediation and
 other initiatives."  Anyone who is registered to vote in Pennsylvania may vote
 on the ballot question, even if she/he is a registered independent or belongs
 to a political party that is not holding a primary.
     If approved by the voters in May, the Growing Greener bond will provide
 much-needed funding for the conservation of open space and farmland, the
 cleanup of land and water polluted by mining, stream restoration and watershed
 protection projects, investment in Pennsylvania's state parks and other
 environmental initiatives.
     PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization that
 advances policies to protect and improve the state's environment and economy.
 PennFuture's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and
 in local, state and federal courts, advocating and advancing legislative
 action on a state and federal level, public education and assisting citizens
 in public advocacy.  PennFuture's offices are located in Harrisburg,
 Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

SOURCE PennFuture