A Checklist for Grassroots Activist Success

Grassroots activist Sandra Steingraber and a local citizens’ group, Peoria Families Against Toxic Waste, teamed up with the local Sierra Club chapter and Peoria’s medical community to block expansion of a hazardous waste dump that sits on the border of their Illinois town of Peoria. In the end, the landfill expansion was denied. Here’s their formula for success with grassroots activism.

| October/November 2007

  • Read about this successful checklist for grassroots activist success.
    Read about this successful checklist for grassroots activist success.
    Photo by Fotolia/Deyan Georgiev

  • Read about this successful checklist for grassroots activist success.

Technology, networking and old-fashioned foot work are just a few tools for successful grassroots activist success.

A Checklist for Grassroots Activist Success

When Sandra Steingraber received a call for help from an organization attempting to block expansion of a hazardous waste dump that sits on the border of their Illinois town of Peoria, she rolled up her shirt sleeves.

The author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment, Steingraber was no stranger to the devastating effects of toxic chemicals. “I had my own experience with cancer living in this very place, quite possibly from carcinogens in the water,” she says. The landfill (one of only a handful in the country that accept some of the most dangerous chemicals known to exist) threatens an aquifer that provides water to both central and northwest Illinois.

Steingraber and the citizens’ group, Peoria Families Against Toxic Waste (PFATW), teamed up with the local Sierra Club chapter and Peoria’s medical community to educate themselves and the public. In the end, thanks to countless hours of testimony and thousands of pages of evidence, the landfill expansion was denied.



So how do you take on Goliath and win? PFATW leader Kim Converse shares their formula for success with grass-roots activism:

Find diversity. “The great strength of our group is that we each had different talents and interests: finance, science, outreach, politics, fundraising, research, writing, media exposure, etc.”



Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters


click me