In this Edition of "What the HEC is Happening in the Statehouse?"

1. Oppose bills that would harm protections from factory farms & harm solar energy.

2. Urge the Veterans Admin. to halt plans to cut trees in Crown Hill North Woods.

3. Attend HEC presentations as well as town hall meetings with your lawmakers.

4. Stand up for clean water by participating in Aveda salon activities that benefit HEC.
 
5. Support Hoosier businesses that are seriously committed to green practices.
1a.) Help Stop a Factory Farm Bill, Building on Progress You Have Made
 
Your calls, your emails, and your sharing your stories about factory farm pollution are making an impact on  HB 1494, the highly controversial bill that would diminish Indiana's already weak policies from factory farm pollution. 

First, Senate President Pro Tempore David Long assigned the bill to the Senate Rules Committee rather than the Committee it ordinarily should have gone to.  Senator Long explained to the  press this week that, "It's where I parked it for now. It may stay there. I think it's just bad legislation."

Second, in an important OpEd by the Journal Gazette, the author of HB 1494, Rep. David Wolkins concedes that  "environmentalists were shut out of the process that created HB 1494," and that even though "he's 'basically been supportive of CAFOs...he doesn't disagree [that] more could be done to regulate CAFO pollution." In that regard, Rep. Wolkins opened the door to working with groups like HEC stating, "If they want to do a bill to address this . . . such a bill would get a hearing next year."
 
While the enduring struggle to protect rural Hoosiers from factory farm pollution is not over for the current legislative session, these two developments are steps in the right direction by legislators who hold important influence over which environmental bills see the light of day at the Indiana General Assembly.

TAKE ACTION:
  1. Contact Senator Long and thank him for assigning HB 1494 to the Rules Committee and urge him to keep it there.
  2. Contact Rep. Wolkins and please write a message that tries to weave in a.) how much you appreciate his acknowledgment that more can be done to protect people from CAFO pollution, b.) your urging him to hold off advancing HB 1494 this session, and c.) that your looking forward to him working with all stakeholders next session to pass legislation that would better protect people from CAFO pollution.
  3. Contact your own Senator with your concerns about HB 1494 and urge him or her to tell Senator Long to keep the bill in the Rules Committee.
1b.) Help Safeguard Solar Energy in Indiana: Contact Your State Representative to Say "No" to SB 309
 

Customer-owned solar energy could power tens of thousands of homes, businesses, and places of worship in our state, helping to reduce our electricity sector's enormous carbon and environmental footprints.

Vibrant investment in customer-owned solar energy could, in turn, make Indiana a jobs magnet for solar energy panel installation, maintenance, and manufacturing -- tapping into the national momentum for solar (where solar energy jobs are growing at 12 times the rate as the overall private sector)!

But Indiana's monopoly utilities are pushing hard for State Senate Bill 309, which would have the practical effect of making it much less attractive for someone who has, or would want to have, solar panels.   Current Indiana solar energy policy is solid and it should be built upon, not undermined.

TAKE ACTION: 

Learn more about SB 309 here and then p lease contact your state representative  today to urge him/her to tell House Utilities Chairman Ober to not put SB 309 to a vote !
2.) Email the Veterans Administration about Crown Hill North Woods Before Tree Cutting Begins on Monday
 
Development has already begun
(Photo from 3/10/17 from 42nd St.)
Crown Hill North Woods, located on the northside of Indianapolis, is one of the few remaining old growth forests in Central Indiana, and the largest in Indianapolis.   And there is an imminent threat of tree cutting there beginning on Monday, March 13th.

BACKGROUND 

The Veterans Administration (VA) bought the North Woods from Crown Hill Cemetery to develop it into a columbarium.  VA's development plans stand in sharp contrast to long-running efforts to try to permanently protect these Woods, including efforts by the Indy Parks Foundation and the Indiana State Government to buy Crown Hill North Woods last decade. 

The tragedy of moving forward with the VA project is that there are safe and dignified alternative locations to the VA's chosen location -- alternative locations that would be very convenient for veterans and their families and cause no harm to the enviroment.

TAKE ACTION:

Urge the VA to pursue a "no harm alternative" and work with the Laura Hare Charitable Trust to forever protect these Woods. While Mayor Hogsett, Congressman Carson & Senator Donnelly have--after months of efforts by concerned veterans, neighbors, students, and environmental-minded Hoosiers--finally issued statements to express alarm about the Woods, it may be too late. But please do your part.  

Contact jessica.schiefer@va.gov, glenn.powers@va.gov, & david.shulkin@va.gov to express your opposition to the VA's proposed project as soon as possible!
3.) Get More Involved by Attending Upcoming Events
And Consider Joining Our Volunteer Program!

A. ATTEND A COMMUNITY FORUM WITH HEC

Learn about the most urgent environmental issues moving through the Statehouse and advocate for a cleaner and healthier Indiana by attending the following upcoming events:


Saturday, March 18th:  Greening Your Community - Fishers


B. ATTEND A TOWN HALL MEETING

Talk with your legislators by attending town hall meetings (called "Third House" events); these are happening across Indiana in the coming days! 

Monday, March 13th:

Friday, March 17th:

Saturday, March 18th:

C. LEARN MORE 

If you would like to learn more about the bills moving through the legislature and talking points for conversing with your representative and senator, please visit our  Bill Watch 2017 page .
4.) Show Some Love During Earth Month

Earth Month is fast approaching and HEC is gearing up for our very special partnership with Aveda. Salons throughout the state will be raising awareness and funds for HEC's clean water initiatives. Please check out our Aveda Earth Month web page and support an event or salon near you!

Mark Your Calendars!
  • Guys & Gals Quarters (Batesville) and Sundance SalonSpa (Zionsville) are holding shoe drives through the end of April. Take your gently used and new shoes to either salon to be donated to micro-enterprise vendors in developing nations. HEC will receive a donation based on the amount of shoes collected.
  • Wednesday, March 29: Yappy Hour at Bambu Salon (Broad Ripple) is a happy hour for dogs! $5 to attend, all proceeds benefit HEC. 
  • Saturday, April 1: Visit the Plainfield Chipotle between noon and 4pm and tell the cashier that you are supporting the Pure Concepts Eat for Change cause. 50% of proceeds will be donated to HEC.
  • Saturday, April 8: Aqua & Pearl Gala Benefit Concert, hosted by Mane Attractions (Madison), will feature the Doctors Band. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased from the salon.
  • Friday, April 21: Aveda Frederic's Institute will host Appointments for Water. 100% of ALL services will be donated to HEC. Make your appointments early!
  • Sunday, April 30: InTouch SalonSpa's Running Water 5K - join us in some exercise for a cause!
5.) Support Our HEC Green Businesses

We want to give a big shout-out to our new and renewing HEC Green Businesses listed below! Pay them a visit and thank them for supporting our work!

The Sky is the Limit
Silver in the City - Indianapolis and Carmel

Sowing the Seeds
Smoking Goose - Indianapolis 
Bicycle Garage Indy - Indianapolis and Greenwood 
Gotta Go Dumpster Service - Charlestown 

Keeping Afloat
Greenstreet LTD - Indianapolis 
IndyLiving PopUp - Indianapolis 

Affiliate
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
See what's happening on our social sites: