Thanks to a tireless, months-long effort made by Food & Water Watch organizers, coalition partners and a grassroots effort composed of hundreds of volunteers from across Colorado, the state came one, huge step closer to restoring its right to protect its homes, families, and health from fracking. On Monday they, delivered over 100,000 signatures to the Secretary of State to qualify two measures for the statewide November ballot that would restore local rights to say no to fracking.
Gathering enough signatures for the measures was a monumental feat in its own right. But the fracking industry, desperate to stop locals from keeping fracking out of their towns, launched a serious counter-campaign. They raised over $13 million dollars and spent it on nonstop tv and radio ads, as well as billboards in an effort to convince people to “decline to sign.” The industry even paid protestors to hold signs and harass petitioners in an attempt to scare petition circulators, and anyone who wanted to sign, into silence. But the petitioners, determined to stand up to the industry, were not intimidated.
Food & Water Watch organizers, along with coalition partners and volunteers from across the state, spent more than 14 hours a day collecting signatures across Colorado the weekend before delivering the petitions on Monday—and even hit the streets at 6 am Monday morning to use every minute they could to continue to collect signatures. Hours later, they carried hundreds of boxes filled with petitions past oil and gas industry cronies sweating through their shirts at the Secretary of State’s office—only moments before the 3 pm deadline.
Food & Water Watch was proud to work with a grassroots coalition on this unforgettable achievement. And the dedication of the staff was evident: 10 of the top 20 signature gatherers for the entire state were Food & Water Watch staff. Even more impressively, Food & Water Watch staff made up three of the top five signature gatherers in the entire state as well! Food & Water Watch staff alone generated over 13,000 signatures on each initiative, showing how much power our movement has even in the face of intense industry opposition.
Working with a huge collection of local groups and volunteers, Food & Water Watch and the people of Colorado showed the fracking industry that people, not corporate money, have the power in a democracy. We still have work to do to keep fracking away from our families and homes for good—but the display of solidarity over these past few months sent a strong message: when we come together, we can win.