Parent's Know Your Rights Training

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Our friends with Washington County United are hosting a training for parents to know what your rights are with your children that are in school on Thursday, December 7th from 6 PM to 8 PM at the LeMoyne Community Center (200 N Forrest Ave, Washington, PA 15301). This training will help you learn what rights you have as a parent, what rights your child has, and how you can use these legal protections to help make sure your child has the resources they need to succeed.

Do you know what to do if:
…Your child has an IEP?
…Your child is repeatedly suspended?
…Your child is criminally charged for a school infraction?
…You’re constantly called for behavioral issues in the classroom?
…You want the policy changed in your child’s school?

Come learn from experts who will help you learn what your rights are and how you can use them to help your child.

Food and childcare are available! We'll be meeting at the LeMoyne Community Center, which is wheelchair accessible. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any accommodations for the training.

RSVP Here

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Washington County United is a community organization coming together to fight for quality schools and an economy that works for all of us. We are part of the growing One Pennsylvania statewide network of community organizations working to tackle the roots of inequality in our communities.

CCJ Ugly Sweater Holiday Party

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Join CCJ on Tuesday, December 19th from 6 PM to 8 PM at our office for an evening of fun as we celebrate the end of a successful year! CCJ will provide the refreshments (snacks and drinks), you bring yourself, maybe a friend, and your holiday spirit. 

Wear your ugliest and tackies sweater to our Holiday Party and people will vote on the ugliest sweater. The winner will receive a gift card. 

RSVP here

Please call 724-229-3550 or email smartik@coalfieldjustice.org with questions!

5 Reasons to Give to CCJ #GivingTuesday

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Now that we’ve indulged in some turkey, shopping, and much-deserved time watching parades and sports, we can’t forget all the things we’re thankful for. CCJ is thankful to our members and supporters who allow us to do the work we do. On this Giving Tuesday, we ask that you consider making a donation to CCJ to ensure that we are able to continue working for you and for our communities through the end of this year and for years to come.

Your contribution will support our efforts to protect people and the environment from coal mining, shale gas development, and other extractive activities. It will help our efforts to build more powerful rural communities defending their rights to clean water, clean air, and thriving economies.

Donate Now

Why CCJ Participated in Action at Southpointe to Hold Fossil Fuel Companies Accountable

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This past weekend, some CCJ staff, board members, and regular volunteers participated in the People Vs. Oil and Gas Summit as well as at an action in Southpointe. We want to take the time to share a little of what we learned and to explain our participation in the action.  

The Summit itself was an inclusive space where people from various backgrounds from across the country - and even Canada and the United Kingdom - joined in on an educational and collaborative weekend discussing our experiences with the fossil fuel industry and planning next steps to better work together to combat threats to our communities.  One way that CCJ hopes to become more involved in some of the bigger threats to our region is to begin working with groups in the area to stop the Royal Dutch Shell Ethane Cracker Plant in Beaver Co. While this may not directly affect us in Greene and Washington Counties, the increase in fracking in our communities will affect all of us. We also plan to share a wider variety of stories with you, our members and supporters, to help you be more aware of the scope of the environmental justice struggle in our country. We are working on building on the connections we’ve made to bring more solutions to the problems we face in Greene and Washington Counties.

The most newsworthy part of this past weekend was the action at Southpointe. The action, which was separate from the Summit, had two parts: a pre-approved march throughout Southpointe, which organizer Sarah participated in, and a blockade of a major road within Southpointe. In our communities fossil fuel extraction disrupts our lives every day. The noise produced from fracking can be stressful to the point of being unbearable, and no one likes being hounded by persistent and aggressive landmen to sign leases. When we’ve stood up for our rights in the past, we’ve done so where we live, and in many of those cases we were ignored because the people in the industry who make the calls that affect us so drastically do not live in our communities. The goal of this action was to show those in the fossil fuel industry what it’s like to spend your daily life in a place with constant disturbance. The march lasted for about two hours, and the road blockade was held for four hours before two activists were arrested - which was intended. On this one Monday morning the people working for these energy companies felt the same traffic impacts those of us on the frontlines of fracking and mining feel everyday.  

The rhetoric from the industry, of our being radicals and not basing our claims on facts or science, surrounding the action at Southpointe is not unexpected. But clearly it is not a “radical” concept that property owners should be able to make choices about their own land. It is not “inflammatory” to point out that our water has been taken away and polluted because of fossil fuel extraction. There are no “facts” or “science” to support the need to further develop fossil fuels; in fact, facts, science, and math would indicate that a transition to a renewable energy economy would be the best possible option for our country. As for Pennsylvania values, we suggest that the industry take a look at Article 1, Section 27 of our PA constitution.

We thank you for the support you’ve all given us in the past which allowed us to take on such visible roles in the Summit and the action. We hope you know that CCJ will always take on the fights that matter so much to our communities.

-Veronica and Sarah

P.S. Support our two friends who got arrested defending our rights by donating to their legal fund.

Bailey Mine Permitting Update

On Friday, November 3, 2017, the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) issued Permit Revision No. 209 to Coal Mining Activity Permit 30841316. Permit Revision No. 209 authorizes Consol to conduct longwall mining in the 6L – 8L panels of the Bailey Mine.  

There has been some confusion about whether Permit Revision No. 209 authorizes longwall mining beneath Polen Run in the 4L and 5L panels of the Bailey Mine. It does not. Instead, it authorizes longwall mining in three panels (6L-8L) that are located in an area south-east of Ryerson Station State Park.   

Consol is currently longwall mining in the 5L panel of the Bailey Mine. In January we successfully petitioned for a supersedeas that prohibited Consol from conducting longwall mining beneath Kent Run in the 3L panel, located within the park, while the appeal is pending. Then, in August, CCJ and Sierra Club received a favorable decision in their consolidated appeal of Permit Revision Nos. 180 and 189.

Due to this decision, Consol had to amend their pending permit for authorization to mine under Polen run, which is within the state park, for the 4L and 5L panels. This permit is still pending and we are prepared to take any action to protect the stream.

Win a football signed by Andy Russell!

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Andy Russell was a Pittsburgh Steelers MVP in 1971 as a linebacker for the original Steel Curtain defense. He played in seven Pro Bowls and has two Super Bowl rings. You could try to outbid other collectors and fans for signed merchandise on eBay, or.... you can try to win a signed football from CCJ!

Each ticket costs $10 and has 4 chances to win. The winning number will be based on the 1st 3-digit number drawn on the 7pm PA Pick 3 Lottery on Sunday, December 10, 2017.

To purchase tickets, you can call or stop by the office, OR you can purchase online. When the drawing is completed, we will deliver the football to you either in person or via mail. For any questions or concerns, please contact Sarah Martik at smartik@coalfieldjustice.org or 724-229-3550x1.

FOR TICKETS PURCHASED ONLINE: CCJ will fill in a ticket stub for you and send you pictures of your stub(s) via email or text.

Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser

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Everyone knows the real reason you go to Texas Roadhouse: the bread and butter! You eat so much bread before dinner that you're no longer hungry when your entree arrives because you know you can't take the bread home with you - until now. Protectors of Mingo are selling dozens of either frozen or baked Texas Roadhouse rolls, butter, and Texas Roadhouse giftcards. Bring some tasty to your holidays this year while helping POM raise funds to continue to fight RAMACO's proposed Ram. 1 Mine.

Rolls - $5/dozen, either frozen or baked

Butter - $4/pint

Gift cards - $10 increment only

HOW TO ORDER: 1) See a POM member to place your order in person and arrange pickup; 2) Order online, pick up your order at the CCJ Holiday Party on December 19 (6:00-8:00pm)

ORDER PICKUP: CCJ Office - 184 S. Main Street, Washington PA 15301

*POM and CCJ will do our best to make arrangements for people who cannot get to the office to pick up orders on December 19. You must call the office if you need alternative arrangements. ALL ORDERS MUSTbe picked up before Friday, December 22 when CCJ's office is closed for the holidays.*

**POM and CCJ will not be able to deliver all orders placed online. If you place an order online, you will be responsible for picking up your bread and butter unless other arrangements have been made.**

Please call or email Sarah Martik at 724-229-3550x1 or smartik@coalfieldjustice.org for more information or with questions.

 

The Protectors of Mingo is a grassroots citizens group working to preserve the safety of our children and standard of life in our quiet communities, securing a healthy environment for our families.

Four years ago, we learned that Ram Mining LLC (RAMACO) is hoping to open a new mine in Nottingham and Peters Townships in Washington Co. that will extract about 7.8 million tons of coal. The permit for this mine is under review in the Department of Environmental Protection, and we have been working to prevent the permit from being issued since its application due to our concerns for public safety, public health, and residents' constitutional rights to a peaceful, clean environment.

RAMACO is expecting a decision on this permit by the end of 2017, and we need to be prepared to intervene in whatever way possible to ensure that our community is protected and preserved. Help us by attending our monthly meetings, putting a sign in your yard, or donating

The People vs. Oil and Natural Gas Summit - Registration is open!

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Join CCJ at the The People vs. Oil and Natural Gas Summit from Friday, November 17 - Monday, November 20 at the Omni William Penn in Pittsburgh.  This Summit is an opportunity for communities who are fighting back against fossil fuels to gather to share stories, strategies, and skills, as well as to collaborate with other communities who are doing the same kinds of work across the country. Most exciting, on Monday we will taking action at energy companies’ headquarters to make it clear we will not stop fighting for our homes, water, and air.

Participants are able to choose from a variety of presentations and panels throughout the weekend so that they are able to tailor their participation to address the needs of their communities.  Overall, the training tracks will be split into four informative and fun tracks: Advocacy and technical legal skills; political campaigning; action/arts workshopping; and organizing/recruitment training.

If you are a frontline or grassroots activist and you are ready to do more, this summit is designed for you. There are generous scholarships available that include registration, meals, travel, and lodging - no one will be turned away from this summit based on ability to pay.

Click here to register!

Emerging leaders in the fight against the climate crisis

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Fourteen hundred concerned community members came to Pittsburgh from October 17-19 for the Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps training at the David L Lawrence Convention Center. Throughout the three days, participants heard from scientists and other experts about the current science on climate change and the crisis that will happen if we don’t act now. CCJ staff members Veronica Coptis and Sarah Martik and board member Lois Bower-Bjornson joined hundreds of others specifically from the Pittsburgh region to learn more about the reality of our environment and ways to create progress.

In the grand debate on climate change, it can be easy to think of the problem as a massive global one, and not to see how it will affect our communities in a very real way. In terms of weather and the environment, Greene and Washington Counties are at a higher risk for flooding and stronger heat waves. In terms of public health, rising temperatures mean that ticks are becoming a greater issue, and the risk of contracting Lyme disease is greater.  The worsening flooding would put more stress on our sewage and water systems.  Our communities’ local economies are also directly impacted by the global shift to address the climate crisis and shift to cleaner energy sources. We collectively need to decide to enact policies that would prevent these kinds of problems from worsening and to diversify our economy. We also need to plan to deal with the consequences of inaction; however, during our current political times we cannot rely on our government.

One of the most important takeaways from the conference is that, while it is a global issue, climate change can be tackled at the local level, and doing so will not only prevent some of those drastic consequences but also help improve communities. It’s easy to think that jobs in manufacturing and maintaining solar panels or wind turbines would be the only source of new jobs in a renewable energy economy, but one of the strongest sectors for job growth will be in retrofitting existing buildings to meet higher standards for energy use and efficiency. These are jobs that will pay for themselves because of the savings on energy expenses over time, but they also are impossible to outsource. In the fossil fuel extraction legacy areas throughout our entire region, there is also the opportunity to create jobs by reclaiming sites that continue to harm our health and environment.

We face real problems, as was thoroughly discussed at the Climate Reality Project training, but we also have real solutions that would both protect the environment and boost the economy. It is up to us to shift the political will in the United States because a world where people have jobs and clean air/water is the best-case scenario for our community, country, and world.

A great party in the park!

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We’d like to extend a sincere THANK YOU to everyone who attended our 3rd Annual Fall Fundraiser: A Party in the Park. This party was an unprecedented success, with 100 people in attendance (and one case of wine depleted within the first half of the night).  Everyone enjoyed a pasta bar and cookie table, apple cider mocktails and adult beverages, and live music and dancing in front of two warm fires. Because of your attendance and support at our silent auction and 50/50 raffle, we were able to meet our fundraising goal for the evening, which will help us as we continue to grow our organization to take on the various challenges facing our communities. We’ve had tremendous successes in the recent past, and we are determined to continue on this path towards a healthy environment and economy for future generations.

We would be remiss not to mention the efforts of our volunteers who strung lights; who assisted with setup, registration, and cleanup; who ran the bar all night and made additional trips to the store for more supplies (really, wine - we’ll remember next year that CCJ supporters like their wine). There is no possible way we could have done this without you.

From Veronica and the Sarahs at CCJ, we hope you had a great time, we thank you for your support, and we hope to see you next year!

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