My family has a lot of holiday traditions: decorating the tree while listening to carols, making gingerbread cookies, going to visit my great aunt and uncle – bringing them some of Mom’s homemade Christmas bread and my aunt giving us her delicious homemade Chex mix. But, my favorite tradition started several years ago (before there were CD players in vehicles) on a ride home from my grandmother’s house.
My mom is an Elvis fan. Always has been. Always will be. So, we would get excited whenever Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” came on the radio. My mom, who is not a “singer,” would start belting out Elvis’ part, and my sister and I would sing the “ooh, ooh, ooh” back up parts. We wouldn’t win any singing contests, but we would giggle with delight as we headed home singing as if we WERE Elvis and his back-up singers. And to complete the tradition, my elderly stepfather would quietly reach up and turn off his hearing aid. And a Merry Christmas was had by all.
So, while we wait and hope for a “Blue Christmas” – my hopes for the New Year are that it is not blue, but instead “green.” Last January, a lot of us felt “blue,” because the governor and his Administration proposed rollbacks to important, long-standing laws that protect our clean air, healthy waters and wildlife, and vibrant forests. Governor LePage wanted to eliminate Maine’s wildly successful bottle recycling bill. End the ban on billboards on Maine roadsides. Reduce protections to important wildlife habitat on shorelands, in wetlands, and vernal pools. And the list goes on and on.
Luckily, NRCM and our members, supporters, friends, and the public spoke out loudly and often to legislators, the governor’s office, committees and state agencies saying that Maine’s environment should be protected and not open for the business of destroying it for the sake of polluting companies who don’t care about Maine’s natural resources.
Well, it’s nearly 2012 and the start of a new legislative session. We defeated most rollback bills last year, but we can be sure that more are on the way. That’s why we can’t sit back and wait for others to do the work of protecting Maine’s air, water, wildlife, and forests. We need to start contacting our legislators today to urge them to support bills that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, protect Maine’s 10.4-million-acre North Woods, protect Maine’s wildlife, and reduce toxic pollution from consumer products.
If you haven’t yet signed up for NRCM’s Action Network, please do so today to sign up to receive emails about projects that interest you. You will then receive emails when your voice is most needed to protect the Maine we know and love, now and for future generations.
NRCM Public Affairs Coordinator