Correction to “District 62B endorsement struggle”


The original May 7 article stated, “Nazir Khan of the Zero Burn Coalition, who is likely the author of this anonymous letter from a mass organization (of one?), this EJ Caucus, wants the incinerator to close in 2025 and opposed the resolution Fernando authored and passed. This is a perfect illustration of Voltaire’s observation: ‘The best can sometimes become the enemy of the good.’ Not settling for anything less than perfection can often doom the possibility of achieving something good.
Khan’s proposal to close the burner in 2025 relies on sending the garbage to landfills that don’t exist yet, and both the state and federal Environmental Protection Agencies currently prioritize incineration over landfilling. The county plan, while achingly slow for many of us, is at least workable.”

Stygian depths of the HERC incinerator

The facts: The Zero Burn Coalition consists of over 30 organizations and hundreds of individuals. The Zero Burn Coalition actually supported the resolution Fernando authored and passed and does not support building new landfills (see The People’s HERC Transition Plan developed in partnership with Zero Waste USA at Nazir is one of several organizers leading the campaign to shut down HERC. He did not author the EJ Caucus letter. The EJ Caucus is a separate group consisting of dozens of environmental justice advocates focused on a variety of different issues, including restoring Bde Psin/Lake Hiawatha, removing polluting foundries in East Phillips and St. Paul from frontline communities, shutting down the HERC trash burner, as well as mitigating  lead contamination, mining, etc. The EJ caucus is seeking to raise the issue of environmental justice for candidates seeking election so that they will work with and for frontline communities.

Editor’s Comment:  The HERC garbage burner was built in 1989. We began publishing Southside Pride in 1991. Our Earthwatch editor, Leo Cashman, immediately began a campaign to “Starve the Burner,” encouraging recycling to stop burning harmful pollutants. That has been our position for 33 years. We vigorously supported the candidacy of Carol Hogard who ran for County Commissioner against the author of HERC on the grounds that he was poisoning our inner-city communities.
Our “District 62B endorsement struggle” from our May issue was critical of the last-minute, anonymous smear email sent to delegates that didn’t genuinely allow for constructive debate on phasing out the garbage burner or removing the dams and barriers to the waters leaving Lake Hiawatha. We welcome serious discussion of these issues.

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