Environmental activist Maya van Rossum will speak about the national Green Amendment Movement Tuesday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m., in the McNichol Art Gallery at Neumann University.
The movement, which she founded, focuses on state-level legal efforts to guarantee Americans clean air, water and food.
van Rossum is the author of The Green Amendment, the leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, an environmental attorney, and a community organizer.
She believes that, for decades, communities have relied on federal and state laws to ensure protection of a clean environment while, in fact, our laws are designed to accommodate pollution as much as to prevent it.
“Despite the benefits of clean energy, fossil fuel companies and the people who profit from them are incredibly powerful, both politically and financially. As a result, our laws are written to advance dirty energy and impede clean energy solutions,” says van Rossum.
The impact, she argues, is that people feel powerless when it comes to preserving the quality of their water, air, public parks, and natural spaces. Her solution for achieving better protection of our environment is to turn to the ultimate authority — our state and federal constitutions.
“We all have the right to pure water, clean air, and a healthy environment,” she says. “My presentation will focus on how to truly secure that right for our own sake and that of future generations.”
van Rossum has led the Delaware Riverkeeper Network for 25 years. She was appointed to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s transition committee on environment and energy, named one of the “10 Most Influential People of 2015” by SNL Energy, and has testified twice before U.S. Congressional committees.
Constitutional green amendments have been proposed in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia.