|MoCo students advocate for a styrofoam ban at a recent youth town hall meeting.|
MOCO STUDENTS GET POLITICAL OVER THE ENVIRONMENT: Maryland Juice picked up a number of pieces of literature at a Montgomery County Board of Education debate last night. But the most interesting flyer I grabbed was a "Young Apple Ballot" endorsement card produced by a group called "The Young Activist Club." The student-led movement has been trying for years to persuade Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to eliminate environmentally unfriendly styrofoam trays from use in school cafeterias. Specifically, they have been trying to get permission to launch a pilot program at Piney Branch Elementary School (which happens to be about four blocks from my house). After their efforts were rejected the last few years, the young activists-in-training are now getting political. Below you can read a scan of their new endorsement card, along with some background information from their website (excerpt below):
YOUNG ACTIVIST CLUB: We want to replace the wasteful and toxic polystyrene lunch trays at Piney Branch Elementary School with 350 durable lunch trays and a tray washer (also called a ware washer). Once the ware washer is installed, we want to track the costs and benefits of moving away from disposables and toward reusables. We want this project to be a test or pilot for the county school district and then, if successful, a model for other schools anywhere in the country.
Money Raised to Date: We have raised $10,115 to pay for a rebuilt dish washer and durable reusable trays to replace the disposable polystyrene lunch trays.
Status: Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) administrators have denied our request to proceed with a pilot project. In a December 23rd, 2010 memo to the MCPS Board of Education, then School Superintendent Jerry Weast cited cost reasons for his opposition to the project. His staff continue to insist we need a $27,000 new ware washer, that installation costs are a whopping $12,000 (not true), and that two staff are needed to operate a ware washer in Maryland (also not true).... We will continue to appeal the decision and to present evidence justifying the merits of our pilot project which will save MCPS money during its operation, not cost money. We are now asking new Superintendent Joshua Staff to meet with us so we can discuss the benefits of our project and seek his support to move forward.
Their website also contains a voter guide for this year's Board of Education races:
Board of Ed Candidates Who Support Healthy Schools and Our Dishwasher Project:
Annita Seckinger - District 4
Fred Evans - District 2
Rebecca Smondrowski - District 2
Morris Panner - At Large
Current Board of Ed Members Seeking Re-Election Who DO NOT Support Our Project:
Christopher Barclay - District 4
Philip Kauffman - At Large
Don't Forget to Vote!
Below you can see the literature they were handing out at the school board debate:
BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATE LITERATURE: Maryland Juice also picked up a few pieces of literature that the school board candidates were handing out. Unfortunately, I did not see pieces from all of the candidates. Note that all Montgomery County voters will get to vote for candidates in all three school board races:
- DISTRICT 2: Fred Evans vs. Rebecca Smondrowski
- DISTRICT 4: Chris Barclay vs. Annita Seckinger
- AT-LARGE: Phil Kauffman vs. Morris Panner
Rebecca Smondrowski Board of Education Literature
Annita Seckinger Board of Education Literature
Phil Kaufman Board of Education Literature