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NEIS Resignation from Chicago Earth Month board

NEIS (Nuclear Energy Information Service) Resigns from Chicago Earth Month board in reaction to co-optation of corporate influence
NEIS (Nuclear Energy Information Service) Resigns from Chicago Earth Month board

Dear Environmental Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you that, at today's Chicago Earth Month planning meeting, I announced my resignation as Board member of the incorporated entity; and NEIS' withdrawal from what is now being called the "Organizing Stewards" group for the project event and the Coalition.

My personal decision and that of the NEIS Board is in response to the announcement today that ComEd has been included not only as a "Corporate Steward," of which others are planned, but as an Organizing Steward as well, the only private corporation enjoying such status. In addition Project Director Betsy Altman announced today that she has invited ComEd to take on the duties of all public relations for the event, under supervision of the Organizing Stewards.

We believe that such corporate inclusion, and at this level of prominence within the working and governing group for Chicago Earth Month, took place without our adequate informed discussion, consent or approval; and is incompatible with the philosophical discussions that took place throughout last year's event about the appropriateness of such involvement from corporations. We also do not believe that adequate efforts or discussion took place to seek alternative solutions to the fiscal and operational "problems" ComEd has been invited in to "solve." Our Board was also quick to point out the great irony that ComEd -- among all the PR possibilities existing in the Chicago area -- was invited to conduct the entire PR campaign for the second "Clean Energy -- NOW!" Earth Day being promoted by the national Earth Day organization.. These perceptions, and other observations and recommendations, have been communicated to the other governing Board members.

It was reported that ComEd may well be contributing a sizable donation to the event -- as much as $20,000 -- in addition to the value of the PR work they have been invited to perform. This may well be what it takes nowadays to run an event.

NEIS did not organize and work on Earth Day the past two years simply to conduct an "event," but to build an environmental coalition. We do not see that this is possible under the currently existing circumstances. An event will occur; an environmental coalition is not possible.

The nature of our participation -- if any -- in the planned April 21st event in Chicago is being discussed by the Board.

We offer this as our explanation for this decision, and wish all our colleagues well who will continue the good faith effort to make Earth Day an effective vehicle to promote the environmental movement and lifestyle, whether with Chicago Earth Month, or through other entities and involvements.

Stay well, do great things,

Dave Kraft
Director, NEIS



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