The smartest thing my mother ever did for our family was getting us out of cancer alley. I began my childhood in a humble home, down the street from my mom's high school and right by the majestic Mississippi River. However, just a little further down the road lies a corridor of petrochemical factories and industries that we aptly refer to as "cancer alley."
This region is responsible for producing a staggering 25% of the nation's petrochemical production, making it a critical hub for our country's industrial activities. However, there's a dark side to this story. Cancer alley is plagued by some of the highest cancer rates in the nation, and the toll it takes on its residents is immeasurable.
My grandfather, a hardworking man who dedicated his life to providing for his family, worked in those very plants. He, like countless others in the area, was exposed to hazardous chemicals day in and day out, unknowingly jeopardizing his health for the sake of a paycheck. He was a victim of a system that prioritized profit over people, and it's a system that we must change.
I'm writing to you today because the politicians in Louisiana have sold us all down the river.
While these plants provide jobs, they also result in millions of Louisianans losing countless years off of their lives. Our politicians ignore the consequence of these economic policies and beg for more dirty industries to come down here. The irony of it all is that the most poisonous parishes (what we call counties here) in Louisiana allow these massive corporations to pay close to nothing in property taxes.
It is cheap to give people cancer in Louisiana and the Republicans in Louisiana state politics will happily roll out the red carpet for another cancer alley and leave us to suffer the consequences.
There are cleaner Industries that could be providing jobs for Louisianans. The plants that operate could pay their fair share in taxes to help cover the medical expenses for the people sick and dying in Louisiana from exposure.
This October when Louisianans head to the polls we have an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of those living in cancer alley and countless others facing environmental injustices across our nation. Can I count on you to chip in with $10 or whatever you can spare to help elect a fearless advocate for the hundreds of thousands who are forced to live in cancer alley?
Louisiana’s legislature needs to be filled with environmental stewards who will champion the cause of clean air, clean water, and a healthier future for all. Your support bring us one step closer to this.
Democrat for Louisiana's 12th Senate District