Your cellphone chimes cheerily, abruptly awakening you, and an unfamiliar voice mechanically informs you of distressing news.
A 20-inch high-pressure high-capacity pipeline transporting natural gas from fracking fields to shipping ports will be built adjacent to your densely populated neighborhood. Or a mountainous nuclear waste dump that could leak TCE, PCB, and arsenic through fractures in the bedrock into the aquifer below will be built near your community.
“Whew! Thank goodness it’s only a dream,” you reassure yourself before turning over and dropping back to sleep.
Except it’s not a dream. It’s a nightmarish reality potentially involving hundreds of thousands of citizens on either side of the eight-county swath of Ohio’s Second Congressional District.
If you live along Duke Energy’s proposed natural gas transmission pipeline route through Hamilton County suburbs like Blue Ash, Reading and Amberley Village (https://nopecincy.org/pipeline-failure-app/) or your Pike County address abuts the decommissioned uranium processing facility (formerly the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant) or your drinking water comes from anywhere along the Ohio River — that means you.
“This is preposterous!” you exclaim. “I must protest this to my Congressman.” But with no signs of representational life — no town halls since 2013, no response to these environmental threats, and a clear concern for billionaire donors over his constituents — your Congressman does not have your back.
Fortunately, you are not alone. Concerned citizens have banded together to advocate for their families’ health and safety in two groups on opposite ends of the 2nd District. Hamilton County’s NOPE, Neighbors Opposed to Pipeline Expansion (https://nopecincy.org/), and Pike County’s CARD, Citizens Against a Radioactive Dump (https://tinyurl.com/y8je47zh), are vigorously protesting these potential environmental disasters.
Researching the health threats to our families and our planet, these concerned citizens have hired expert advisers to confirm their findings, have met to discuss strategy, and have pleaded to the persistently deaf ears of our representatives in the Ohio State Assembly and U.S. Congress. Please support NOPE and CARD by joining, investing and educating yourself and others. Don’t let a disturbing nightmare become your family’s present and future health risk.
We the People of the 2nd Congressional District are stuck for now with a lack of representation by an establishment Washington politician whose campaign funds are stuffed with thousands of dollars from Duke Energy (https://tinyurl.com/yaoz6mof ) and Fluor Corporation, the Piketon plant contractor https://tinyurl.com/yd6bxtyr).
Are those campaign donations hush money? It surely appears so.
But this longstanding pattern of constituent neglect and corporate-donor-induced silence can abruptly shift this year.
You have the power to change everything with a quick visit to your county Board of Elections during the Early Voting period, requesting and completing a vote-by-mail ballot, or joining the line at your polling location on election day.
Your vote before or during the May 8 Democratic Primary and the November 6 General Election can be your personal expression of “Just say NOPE.”
We the People, for a Change!
Dr. Janet Everhard is a physician and volunteer to veterans from the historic river town of New Richmond and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Representative in Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District.