Last week's Environmentalists for Obama open house brought together a group of Chicagoans passionate about protecting our natural world. Among the attendees was Keith, a local small business owner who brought his nephew along with him to the event. The pair came to the campaign's state headquarters at 218 S Wabash to learn more about both the President's record and future environmental protection plans.
Keith's work as a contract painter has made him acutely aware of some of the complexities in effectively implementing environmental standards. He believes that that complexity, though, is no excuse for inaction.
In their current form, he explains, some regulations give too much leeway to large corporations and disproportionately place the burden of environmental protection on small businesses. As an example, he says:
"If we wanted to remove a layer of lead paint from a room, a small business like mine has to clear the entire floor and block all the other rooms with plastic sheets. Some larger corporations, meanwhile, just have to spray the particulates with a hose to try to keep the lead chips out of the air. Just doing that, of course, is not as effective."
Keith envisions a future in which the government not only passes equitable regulations but also has the courage and wherewithal to effectively implement them. "President Obama is on track," he says. "I'm very optimistic."
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A version of this was posted July 25 on the Illinois state blog.