Ellie Goldberg is a Massachusetts advisory board member of Clean Water Action.
My path to advocacy started in the early 1950s when my family vacationed on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie. I was given the chore of burying the heaps of dead fish that washed up on the beach in front of our cottage. Even as a young child, I sensed something was seriously wrong.
Later, in the early 1960s, I read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Her book informed the world of the cancers and other damage caused by the unbridled use of toxic chemicals and that our health is intimately connected to the quality of our environment. Silent Spring was a wake-up call for common sense, public integrity, health security and human rights at a time when there were no legal safeguards in place.
Clean Water Action responds to that wake-up call. I give to Clean Water Action because, for more than 50 years, the organization has been a leading champion and defender of families and communities against the pollution that contaminates our water, air and food. From the 1970s, when Clean Water Action helped to pass the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, it has engaged citizens and policy makers in correcting the flaws in our laws that allow manufacturers and marketers to pollute our bodies and communities with untested and unlabeled chemicals that make us sick.
In the early 1980s, when I was a mother of young children and a professional educator, I felt a heightened urgency to advocate for public health, especially on behalf of children. Clean Water was a perfect match as I worked as an environmental health advocate for children's health and safety in education and health systems at the local, state and national level.
I give to Clean Water Action because I am grateful for its long and effective leadership dedicated to safeguarding the public health and to enriching the quality and sustainability of our communities. I hope you'll join me in supporting Clean Water this season.