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
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.