Center for Health, Environment & Justice has been working with the group Just Mom’s STL and needs your help to get Bill Gates to take action. In fact, Lois Gibbs was in St. Louis just a few weeks ago to work with the grassroots group. Please sign the petition and join us in increasing the public pressure on Bill Gates. Thank you!
To: Bill & Melinda Gates, majority shareholders of Republic Services
Families in this community cannot open their windows – not Gates’ software program – but their actual windows because of the odors and toxic air pollution.
Why is this important?
Why are we asking for Bill and Melinda Gates to act?
Because they have the power to make Republic take action and protect the children. No other child should be made sick and die.
A fire is moving toward from one Republic Services dumpsite to an adjacent dumpsite which contains radioactive wastes. No one knows what will happen when the fire reaches the radioactive wastes and no one knows how to put the fire out.
12 years old child died of brain cancer and now her sisters are sick. Republic Services earned $8.4 billion in revenues and $589 million in profits and is the second largest trash collection and disposal company in North America. They can afford to move families and fully clean up the burning, polluting dumpsites. But they refuse.
Bill and Melinda Gates can use their influence to protect the children who live in surrounding communities, like Spanish Village which is closest to the burning dump. Gates’ owns 27% of the company’s share through his investment company, Cascade Investment (worth about $3.7 billion). Additionally, Michael Larson, chief investment officer at Cascade Investment, sits on Republic Services Board of Directors since 2009.
Bill and Melinda have the power, we are asking them to use it. Yes, the stock value may temporarily go down but Gates’ doesn’t live from pay check to pay check, his net worth is about $72 billion, he can take the loss.
Not far from the burning dumpsite and radioactive wastes is a family with four little girls. The youngest is in first grade today and the oldest is no longer with us. She was her mama’s little angel, her first born child and they so many dreams about her future, dancing at her wedding holding their first grandchild someday. But that was not meant to be. She was not feeling well and behaving strangely. Her mother took her to the doctors to see what was wrong. She was eight years old and cute as a button. After a series of test her parents were told that their little girl had a rare type of brain cancer—a tumor. Horrified that they were likely to lose their daughter, they search for answers. Why our baby? It’s not fair . . . we did everything right. What could possibly have cause this tumor to grow? Angel’s parents did everything medically possible to save their child but in the end, four years after she was diagnosed, she died.
Her parents never stopped looking for the cause of the cancer and realized one day when mom opened the window to let in the fresh air that the air reeked with odors so offensive that she immediately slammed the window closed. It was Republic Services’ burning dumpsite that cause the nasty smelling air. As she investigated what was in the air, she believed she found reason for her daughter’s cancer and death. Not only was the air smelly but it contain cancer causing chemicals like benzene and likely radioactive dust.
Today, she’s very frightened for the health of her other three girls. Not only from living in the area but the grade school the girls attend is even closer to the burning landfill than their home. How can she protect her other children? Her three girls frequently suffer unexplained nose bleeds, sore throats, nausea, and other symptoms. She’s trapped in the home she can’t sell and the girls trapped in a school that is likely not safe.
Bill and Melinda can help protect this family and others living in the community by getting Republic to evacuate the families that need to move and clean up the dumpsites. The death of a little girl should not have been for nothing – she was the canary in the mine—she made the ultimate sacrifice, sounded the warning to move the other neighborhood children. The hope is that Bill and Melinda Gates, parents themselves, can hear the warning from one brave little girl and help move Republic Services to move families and fully clean up the dumps. The Gates’ Foundation website says:
The problem is clear, the solution simply move the families and clean up the dumps, so families are asking the Gates’ family to deliver – impact Republic Services to act today. Protect the children.