Kaye Fissinger is the President of Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont and an enthusiastic Food & Water Watch Supporter.
In 2011, my neighbors and I in Longmont, Colorado learned that an oil and gas operator intended to frack multiple wells next to our public reservoir (used for recreation and irrigation), a middle school and our homes.
We knew that we could not allow this dangerous, industrial activity in our community, so we formed the organization Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont and we partnered with Food & Water Watch to fight back against this impending fracking threat. Together, we launched a historic ballot measure to keep fracking out of Longmont and away from our homes and schools.
People expected us to lose. The oil and gas industry spent nearly half-a-million dollars to defeat the measure; our pro-fracking governor opposed our campaign; and every major newspaper in the state editorialized against us. Even the Longmont city council opposed us. But we were committed and determined to prevail.
And we won! We won on election night in a landslide, with nearly 60% of voters saying NO to fracking, and we became the first town in Colorado to ban fracking.
How did we win? With help from Food & Water Watch, we ran a grassroots campaign to teach people about the harms of fracking and get out the vote:
- We knocked on thousands of doors.
- We called tens of thousands of our neighbors.
- And we rallied the community — we had business owners, teachers, nurses, parents and grandparents leading this effort to protect our health, safety, well-being and property values from fracking.
Food & Water Watch also assisted Our Longmont with materials, partnered with us on media outreach and provided legal support.
This monumental victory sparked more organizing and more victories across the state: The following year, four other communities in Colorado followed our model to stop fracking near their homes and schools. This collective wave of energy has caught the attention of our governor and the oil and gas industry. We have put them on the defensive and we've inspired more Coloradans to join our movement.
Our fight isn't over. The industry sued Longmont to overturn the ballot measure so they can move forward with their plan to frack (a tactic they've been using in other states to scare communities from taking local action). The case has moved all the way up to the Colorado Supreme Court, which will now rule on the right of Coloradans to ban fracking to protect their communities.
And even after the court makes a decision, the work won't really be done until fracking is banned everywhere. Colorado is home to 53,000 active fracking wells that poison our air, water and health, and too many people across the country are in the same situation.
But we know that by working together, the power of the people can win against the dirty, dangerous and bullying fossil fuel industry.
Food & Water Watch has been instrumental in the success of local fights to ban fracking. They stood by our grassroots effort from the first fracking threat in Longmont, and now they are working with us to uphold our inalienable rights to ban fracking at the Colorado Supreme Court.
I hope you’ll support Food & Water Watch to help even more communities keep fracking away from homes, schools, parks and wherever people's health and safety are threatened. We want more communities to be able to say "We banned fracking!"