The Strategy Center Blog

Please read and share our latest thoughts on safer chemicals policy, products, health and disease prevention, biobased manufacturing and the green economy, environmental health and justice, and much more. 

11.06.2017
Grassroots Leadership Awards Linda Baker of Topsham is a former Republican state senator and public schoolteacher. Linda is the widow of Skip Baker, a career firefighter—with experience as a volunteer and then later as a professional firefighter—and former fire chief in Topsham, who died 16 years ago. His death was caused by what’s considered the number one cause of line-of-duty deaths among professional firefighters: cancer. Linda has two sons currently in the fire service, and she continually...+ Read more
11.06.2017
Grassroots Leadership Awards Wendy Brennan is a mom of two daughters in Mt. Vernon, Maine. After discovering that her well water contained arsenic at three times the EPA safety limit, Wendy became a safe water champion, speaking out and raising awareness about this silent epidemic in Maine. “A lot of rural families in Maine are struggling paycheck to paycheck, and they can’t afford the hundreds or thousands of dollars it can cost to install a filtration system,” Wendy said after LD 1263 passed...+ Read more
11.06.2017
The Bettie Kettell Outstanding Health Professional Award Dr. Sydney Sewall , MD, MPH, member of our Science Advisory Council, has been a pediatrician in Maine since 1982. Currently teaching pediatrics at the Maine-Dartmouth Family residency, Dr. Sewall was a past president of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. A member of the Maine chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dr. Sewall has worked throughout his career to advance public health initiatives and...+ Read more
11.06.2017
Science Champion Award Gail Carlson , PhD, assistant professor, Environmental Studies, Colby College. The chair of our Science Advisory Council and a former executive board member at the Strategy Center, Dr. Carlson exemplifies putting science into action. She brought her expertise ​to key committee hearings of the Maine Legislature several times this session. Her testimony was foundational for both campaigns, explaining the science basis of why flame retardants are unnecessary and harmful, and...+ Read more
11.06.2017
Legislative Leadership Award Sen. Joyce A. Maker , R-Washington, represents Senate District 6. A retired College Administrator and Financial Aid Director at Washington County Community College, Sen. Maker served on the Board of Directors for the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) for two terms, including two years as Chairman of the Board. Prior to her position in the Maine Senate, Sen. Maker represented House District 140 and has also served three terms on the Calais City Council. Senator Maker...+ Read more
11.06.2017
Legislative Leadership Awards Rep. Walter A. Kumiega III, D-Deer Isle, represents District 134 and led the charge to protect firefighters from harmful chemicals as the sponsor of our law to phase out flame retardants. A self-employed carpenter, Rep. Kumiega has served as chair of the Maine Legislature's Marine Resources Committee for the past five years. He previously served on the Deer Isle-Stonington School Committee for nine years, and currently serves on the board of Downeast Community...+ Read more
10.20.2017
What’s spookier than ghosts, witches, ghouls, and goblins on Halloween night? Toxic chemicals. Toxic flame retardants, phthalates, and lead may be lurking in some store-bought kids’ costumes, face paints, and decorations. So what’s a parent to do on Halloween? While we fight for stronger chemical safety regulations to make sure all kids are better protected from toxic chemicals, there are steps parents can take in the meantime to help protect their families— so that Halloween night is a lot...+ Read more
10.12.2017
A few months ago, the news that we discovered toxic chemical phthalates (THAL-eights) in all of the macaroni and cheese powders we tested made headlines across the country. People were outraged: toxic chemicals don’t belong in kids’ food. So tens of thousands of people worldwide have signed our petition calling on Kraft to lead industry-wide change by eliminating any and all sources of phthalates in food. Here are a few of the reasons people gave for signing our petition: “Food needs to be safe...+ Read more
09.22.2017
“As Maine goes, so goes the nation”: this 19th-century saying (originally about presidential elections —William Henry Harrison, anyone?) has been making a comeback around here, as we’ve been excited to see our state’s forward-thinking chemical safety legislation open the gate to similar progress across the country. We were reminded of the phrase again on Wednesday, as we celebrated the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s long-awaited decision to finally issue a warning against a class of toxic...+ Read more
09.22.2017
What's quintessential about fall in Maine? For us, the season brings to mind crisp mornings, gorgeous foliage, and... the Common Ground Country Fair! Will we see you this weekend at the fair? Please join us! September 22, 23, 24 Gates open at 9am Unity, Maine Stop by our booth in the Social & Political Action tent ( map ) to learn more about our work to protect kids and families from toxic chemicals—and also about the work of our business-led partner, Biobased Maine, and our collective...+ Read more

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