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
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.
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