Posted on June 21, 2016
I have big news to share with you: ADAO received a last-minute invitation to represent the asbestos victim community at the Pen Signing Ceremony where President Barack Obama will sign into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which reforms our badly broken, 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Senator Barbara Boxer—who has been ADAO’s greatest Congressional champion through the TSCA reform process and beyond—got me on the guest list. Receiving this invitation is proof that the voices of asbestos victims were heard in the drafting of this momentous legislation, and it is my great honor to attend this momentous occasion on behalf of the ADAO community.
It is your hard work that made this happen, and I so wish I could bring each and every one of you with me to the White House. Regretfully, though, with more than 40 lawmakers collaborating on this bill, I was unable to secure invitations for the ADAO stakeholders who are such a big part of this legislation.
Trust me, this isn’t a photo op. It is our chance to thank our champions who are not running for re-election and strengthen our relationship with members who will serve in the 115th Congress.
When Doug Larkin and I co-founded ADAO 12 years ago, never in our wildest dreams did we imagine ADAO’s work would be given such esteemed recognition. To be clear, the bill being signed tomorrow isn’t perfect–I call it a compromise bill–but it removes some of the major obstacles that weakened the EPA’s power to ban asbestos. It is a step in the right direction, and ADAO will continue to be a stakeholder at the table pushing for an expedited full ban on asbestos.
For the moment, though, it’s time for us to celebrate. This victory truly belongs to all of us, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the hard work and dedication you showed in the process of bringing about this historic policy reform.
I honor of those who have been silenced by asbestos, please share your story throughout social media.
This is proof—together, we can make change happen.