BY DONNA WESTFALL
My husband, Doug, walked me into the Measure A Victory Party hosted by Eileen Cooper to a round of applause. Champagne was enjoyed by all the adults and Hansen’s root beer soda by the children in a toast to successfully shutting down 44 years of water fluoridation in Crescent City. This was truly a grassroots effort at its best.
Unbelievable. Losing by 137 votes in the 2010 election was behind us. The crowd couldn’t keep from smiling and hugging and feeling a deep sense of accomplishment.
Unbelievable. Winning by 122 votes this time signifies that forces of evil can be stopped. 67 years of flawed and fraudulent scientific studies started a scam tantamount to the tobacco industry adding nicotine to their product. The biggest difference there is that people could chose to smoke versus people paying for city water had no choice. Forced to purchase bottled water or reverse osmosis filters added to their financial burden in attempts to stay healthy.
Katherine Kelly, author of the Measure A initiative both times, can finally enjoy a hot bath without feeling like she would be compromising her immune system since HFSA/fluoride is absorbed through the skin. She can finally clean out her computer and throw away paperwork from years of research and start to enjoy a normal life.
Eileen Cooper can plant her seeds and eat the food she’s grown in her garden without worrying about the fluoride uptake that was used to water her plants.
Jesse Salisbury, who brought the problems of fluoride to the city council many years ago and was ignored until he came to me, can now stop wondering why we were throwing so much money away. 99+% of the money spent was literally going down the drain. In a scheme that defies common sense, only 1% of the fluoride was ingested. His new concern is wondering what the city will do with the money saved.
Janice Wilson, who lives in the county and on well water didn’t have to worry about bathing or ingesting fluoridated water. But she has a huge heart and her concern for the children of our community that were being harmed got her involved. Because of her involvement, we discovered her talent with photography.
Connie Morrison’s persistent attendance at council meetings pounding the subject home time, after time, after time. Like others before her and after her, their 3 minutes of public comment fell on mostly deaf ears. After four years, Connie’s persistence paid off. While the council ignored her, the voters didn’t. Her letters to the editor joining with dozens of over people, some known to me and other’s still strangers made a profound difference in the public’s attitude.
The music blared. Food consumed. Kids played with guitars and drew pictures. And then Rachel Towe and others asked, “What’s next?”
Should we purchase a banner to be put across Hwy 101 announcing we’re PROUD TO BE FLUORIDE FREE?
Should we get geared up for another initiative like Portland, Oregon? Unlike Portland’s recent successful fluoridation referendum, which will only give voters the right to reject their City Council’s approval of fluoridation, they also put together an initiative to keep chemicals out of the water permanently. Will Crescent City be ready for a “Clean Drinking Water Initiative” that would change the’ City Charter to permanently prohibit the City from adding any “chemical” from “any industrial or manufacturing process to the City’s drinking water?
All good questions, but questions to be discussed and answered another time. The night was for celebrating.
Absent from the festivities but not forgotten, Harvey Melby, Walter Morse, and Ken Towe, all avid anti-fluoridationists who passed away. Vici Dickey was out of town celebrating her Aunt’s 90th birthday. Roger and Angie Gitlin. It was Roger’s surprise announcement at the Triplicate’s supervisorial candidates forum wherein he did his homework and changed his stance from opposing Measure A to endorsing Measure A. Dale and Marla Bohling who almost made it. Many of the people who took part in rally’s, attending city council meetings, attending Del Norte County School Board meetings, handing out flyers, letter writing, and wearing t-shirts declaring “Fluoride is a Poison” who couldn’t make the celebration were missed.
Republican’s, Democrats, Independents. Party lines were blurred in a common sense approach to voting out an absurd and dangerous policy. Whoever thinks that medication can be added to the water supply without affecting the people’s health is just plain dumb .
The coming together of strangers now friends and neighbors, city and county folks in a common goal. From the ages of 6 to 94. A celebration for a victory long overdue. It was time to celebrate. And we did.