Take a deep breath: It’s been a hell of a year, and our reality-TV President can be overwhelming. Many of us have seen friends and family hurt by bad policy and catastrophic climate-change induced disasters. But by keeping our guard up through these times, and continuously building each other up as we go, we’ve also made so much progress.
It can be easy to forget, but together, we have a lot to be proud of.
10 Incredible Progressive Victories from 2017
1. We Banned Fracking in Maryland — With a Republican Governor
An incredible victory — that shows that hard work and dedication can really pay off. Food & Water Watch/Action and the Don’t Frack Maryland Coalition worked on this ban for over five years, pushing for what we knew was necessary to protect people’s water.
The key to this victory was building power at the local level. Together with our partners, we passed bans in county after county, and by the time it got to the state level, our Maryland anti-fracking family numbered in the thousands from across the state. This was truly a collective victory that shows the power of the people. And it’s no secret: Florida, New Jersey and Illinois are up next.
2. We Kept Water Public in Atlantic City
Can communities beat big corporations and corrupt politicians?
The tenacity of these New Jersey residents proves that yes, they can. Food & Water Watch/Action members and partners in Atlantic City faced off against Chris Christie in an epic battle to keep their water public — and they won.
In 2015, we published groundbreaking research that shows that privatizing public utilities like water can be a huge scam, interfering with the human right to clean, safe and affordable water. This year, we were proud to stand with Atlantic City and other communities who refuse to be duped, fighting tooth and nail to keep their water public. If you want to know what’s next, keep an eye on Baltimore, where our organizers and friends are increasing the public pressure for affordable water for all.
3. We Stopped the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Years of relentless work from a mighty coalition of environmental, labor, health and community organizations led to a win against big corporate money and their Democratic and Republican supporters.
Thank you to everyone for making calls, talking to your neighbors, signing petitions, turning out to events, making donations and supporting the grassroots movement to stop this massive corporate sell-out! We won against titans of the industry — and that’s why we’ll stop NAFTA 2.0, too.
4. We Beat Nestlé... Again
Nestlé has spent years trying to exploit water resources in the northwest — but over the course of eight years, community after community relentlessly stuck to their guns and, in 2017, finally stopped them in their tracks.
This year, officials in Goldendale, Washington made the decision to tell Nestlé that it wasn’t welcome — thanks to tenacious, quick organizing from the town.
And to make the win even sweeter, this October, Oregon Governor Kate Brown made moves that will make it nearly impossible for Nestlé to bottle in the Columbia River Gorge.
5. We Took Donald Trump to Court
We’re using every tool in the box to hold this corrupt administration accountable — and that includes taking legal action. Our team filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop Trump’s massive infrastructure scam, which would mean water rate increases, job losses and lack of accountability.
6. We Went Beyond Banning Fracking in New York By Stopping Fossil Fuel Infrastructure, Too
The euphoria of banning fracking in New York will never be forgotten — but our #banfracking crew knew it wasn’t enough. In our efforts to continuously hold elected officials accountable, our New York team is working to keep out fracking infrastructure, too. This year, we stopped the Northern Access Pipeline, which would have threatened nearly 100 miles of streams and wetlands.
And a second congratulations goes to everyone who helped pass a bill with stronger regulations on transporting fracked oil on the Hudson River!
7. We Took Down Dirty Energy in California
The California team has been working really hard — from holding our ground on the need to shut down Aliso Canyon Gas Facility to demanding the end of oil wastewater irrigation on our crops, we’re challenging dirty energy at every turn.
This year, with our friends, we blocked dirty power plants in California, beating back a proposed power plant in Oxnard and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s plans to build and refurbish new gas-fired power plants.
8. We Made Real Progress in the Fight Against Factory Farms
Factory farms make us sick. They place public health and our food supply at risk, pollute the environment and our drinking water, and wreck rural communities — all while increasing corporate control over our food system.
We're working to force the government and the EPA to protect our water and air from factory farms, as they are mandated to do. And thanks to your donations, we’re continuing to ramp up our factory farm campaign work across the country.
9. We Stopped the First Fracking Well in Illinois
With our friends in Illinois, we’ve been fighting to keep the fracking industry at bay in order to protect Illinois communities for nearly five years. This year, the fracking industry targeted a particularly vulnerable area of the state with plans to build Illinois' first fracking well. But in early November, the fracking company withdrew its proposal. It was a huge win for the 5,000 people who submitted public comments opposing the permit and who stayed vigilant throughout the process. Next step: a full ban on fracking in Illinois!
10. Introduced the Strongest Climate Justice Bill EVER
Here’s why Representative Barbara Lee called the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (the OFF Act) “the best bill ever”: because it’s a comprehensive roadmap to ethically getting us to 100% renewable energy by 2035.
Introduced by Representative Tulsi Gabbard, this bill brings together so many of the dreams of Food & Water Watch supporters: a just transition to renewable energy, an end to fossil fuels without risking job loss, and a plan to make sure racial and economic justice is are a priority throughout the entire process. THANK YOU to everyone working so hard to get this incredible legislation passed!
It's All Thanks to YOU.
Whew. That’s a long list, and it doesn’t even cover everything.
- Amazing volunteer Jennifer Siskind deserves a shout-out on her own, for helping ban fracking waste all over Connecticut, town by town.
- Off Fossil Fuel teams have hosted over a hundred kick-ass events.
- Students are leading the way to Take Back the Tap by banning bottled water on campuses across the nation.
- Our Justice team took over 30 legal actions to protect communities from massive corporations.
- We made huge steps to fight fracking in Florida.
Together, we gave the Trump administration hell for each evil, regressive and offensive move they've made — from reporting on industry ties in his administration to hosting The Resistance Address with our friends at MoveOn in front of the White House, we support your goals and refuse to give up.
And these victories are not possible without YOU. Every step of the way, Food & Water Watch members have been ready to jump into action: signing petitions, making calls, knocking on doors, donating to campaigns, joining rapid response teams and showing the world that together, we’re an unstoppable force for good.