Stakeholders

All Politics Is Local…And The Environment, Too

As part of my job at EPA, I meet with elected officials and stakeholders who visit the Agency to discuss their local environmental challenges and concerns. Whether they are concerned about local drinking water issues, air quality concerns, site cleanups, these stakeholders often come to meet with EPA officials to discuss the Agency’s regulations and economic opportunities. EPA’s actions in the Nation’s capital or at the regional level directly affect communities across the United States and its territories.

Increasingly, I see the relevance of the popular phrase attributed to the former Speaker of the House of Representatives Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neil, “all politics is local.” With time, I’ve been able to see how the phrase also applies to environmental decisions and actions, not only at EPA but for the general public as well. For example, the things we do at home, at school, at work, or in our community have a direct impact on our environment. Every day activities can harm our immediate surroundings and areas far away. What type of activities you might ask? Well, everyday decisions such as taking a bath vs. shower, driving vs. commuting, applying fertilizers and pesticides vs. greenscaping, all have different repercussions on the environment.

What can you do at home to reduce non point source pollution
and protect the environment? Need some tips for conserving water at home?  For more info on acting locally and thinking globally, please visit our Web site.  I’m sure many of you have many green experiences that you would like to share. We want to hear from you. Have a great day.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Taking EPA to the Community

Beyond Translation logo bannerFor nearly four years, EPA has undertaken a multilingual outreach effort entitled Beyond Translation. The first Beyond Translation Hispanic Stakeholders Forum saw the light in San Antonio, Texas in the fall of 2006 as a Hispanic outreach initiative designed to increase environmental awareness among Hispanic leaders. Thanks to hard-working EPA employees, this initiative has blossomed into an effort that truly engages EPA and with Hispanic stakeholders from community-based organizations, small businesses, academia, and government officials. As the title suggests, the main objective is to go beyond the traditional mechanisms of reaching out to Hispanics in the US. While necessary, translating brochures into Spanish only produces limited results in increasing the environmental awareness of Hispanic stakeholders. The purpose of these forums is to take EPA to the community where people live, work, learn and play in order to sustain a productive and ongoing dialogue on their environmental concerns and challenges. Through this important tool, the Agency can effectively promote environmentalism among Hispanic communities in a language they can understand so they can actively participate in EPA’s decision-making process.

This year, EPA is once again taking its message to the community in a series of Beyond Translation Forums. The first one will be in EPA Research Triangle Park, NC on October 7th. The theme for this year’s RTP forum is: “EPA and the Hispanic Community: Building Environmental Awareness in Rural Communities.” I urge you attend either in person or virtually (webcasts will be offered) Stay tuned for the next one in our series. Together we can make a difference in environmental protection.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.