Ardent Eden

Ardent Eden is a place to explore my thoughts about the interdependence of life - humanity and nature - and to engage with others for collective problem-solving.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hey Mr. Congressman

At Andrea's behest, I snuck away from holiday preparations to write a quick letter reminding Mr. Mike Capuano that one of his constituents has a few things on her mind. Here's my letter. Who else needs an excuse to stop chopping celery and get a few things off their chest before loading their belly with Thanksgiving grub?

November 24, 2005

Office of Congressman Michael E. Capuano
1530 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515


Office of Congressman Michael E. Capuano
110 First Street
Cambridge, MA 02141

Dear Representative Capuano:

I read with interest your op-ed piece in the Boston Herald on October 21, 2005. Thank you for continuing to oppose the unjust and unwise war in Iraq that is costing the United States its reputation for dignity and the financial security it needs in order to protect its citizens at home and respond compassionately to global need. But the cost is so much higher than reputation, or the vast sums of taxpayer dollars that are literally going up in smoke. The irreversible cost of this war is the many thousands of American and Iraqi lives lost or shattered. I look forward to learning your thoughts on policy going forward after the December election. I support drawing down our presence as soon as we can.

I am also writing to tell you about some issues that are on my mind as a constituent of the 8th district of Massachusetts.

1. The Health Care Accountability Act. I recently learned that half of all Wal-Mart employees are not covered by the company's health plan. This fact is appalling since we frequently hear that Wal-Mart’s profits and size are growing. The more surprising fact is that the uninsured employees of this profitable corporation are compelled to receive healthcare through the federal government. Every United States taxpayer, whether they support Wal-Mart’s policies or not, subsidizes Wal-Mart’s shortchanging of its workers and its failure to provide health care that is a real option for people struggling to get by on the low-wages paid by this company.

I urge you to co-sponsor and support the Health Care Accountability Act, introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rep. Anthony Weiner. As you know, this bill will require profitable companies like Wal-Mart to take responsibility for their employees' health care. It will prevent them from holding the American taxpayer accountable for their irresponsible treatment of employees.

2. Safe Breastmilk. I am impressed by your refusal to support legislation that weakens longstanding environmental protections, evidenced most recently by your rejection of Rep. Richard Pombo’s attempt to gut the Endangered Species Act. In an e-mail letter I received from your office on November 18, 2005, you expressed your outrage at Rep. Pombo’s attempt to diminish this critical piece of environmental legislation. You also said, “We owe it to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of the environment.” I wholeheartedly agree. Yet, our lack of environmental stewardship allows for breastfeeding babies to ingest toxic chemicals through their mother’s milk – the very substance that provides nourishment and sustenance – every day. We do not yet fully understand how these chemicals interact in the complex human body, especially in small infants. But the United States does not currently have a program to test breastmilk in order to determine what substances are in it, or what dangers they may pose.

We need government funds to research and monitor the environmental toxins that accumulate in breastmilk. We need hearings on this issue. We need to get serious about protecting the health of the youngest and most vulnerable among us.

I would be happy to discuss these issues with you or a member of your staff. I can be reached at the address, e-mail address, and phone number listed above.




  • At 9:13 PM, Blogger Andrea Rusin said…

    Wow! Aren't you good! I only got two letters written before I got busted and had to deal with a Thanksgiving crisis. But the other letter got written today, so I'm all set.


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