“Neither Left nor Right, but straight ahead”

by Downwinders on February 23, 2012

That’s an old grassroots slogan and it’s one of Downwinders guideposts as a grassroots group. Since the moment we were founded, our board has included a wide spectrum of ideological points of view. When your property, family and community are under assault, you’re not really that interested in the politics of the person working beside you other than the common goal of ending the threat. Urgency trumps ideology. And so it is in Frisco these days. When Downwinders was invited to come to Frisco and help citizens defend themselves against and unresponsive government and corporation, there were those knee-jerk thinkers who condemned us as a manifestation of the vast left-wing, tree-hugging conspiracy. We knew better, and so did the citizens who established Frisco Unleaded, our sponsored local group, last summer. Now comes the announcement of a new city-wide group in Frisco organizing under the name “We are Frisco” who proudly proclaim that they are “Your Conservative Vision For Frisco.” Originally a Frisco residents group who wanted access to Frisco ISD facilities, the organization is spreading its wings and endorsing a broad platform of local issues, including, er, the Exide lead smelter controversy. Now if you’re a knee-jerk thinker yourself, you’re already imagining a diatribe on how the city’s efforts to relocate Exide are a prime example of unjust “takings” and how those lefty enviros have ganged-up on this poor company that was here in 1964 and deserves to stay no matter how many schools are near-buy. And you’d be just as wrong as your counterparts who stereotype Downwinders. Here’s what the Conservative Vision for Frisco has to say about the lead smelter: “Lights Out At Exide! No amount of lead contamination is acceptable. Exide executives and many civic leaders have claimed for years the battery recycling plant in Frisco is “a good corporate partner”. If true, why have they not been cleaning up their own mess without being forced to do so? The Exide lead contamination problem first became a major issue after the discovery they were in violation of pollution laws. The company worked with elected officials to craft new, more stringent pollution guidelines. Exide’s absurd “good faith” move in respect to adhering to the new agreement was to attempt to revert to building codes from 1964 to begin construction on modifications. If Exide has already been violating existing pollution guidelines, how can we trust them not to violate new ones? However, the question is moot as new rules will not fix the problem. There is no acceptable amount of lead contamination we can expose the area businesses and children to. Additionally, economic development is hampered by the location of the facility. Would you locate a business in old downtown Frisco knowing it was close to a lead contamination threat? Exide employs 135 people.  The loss of jobs by moving the plant is very concerning. More concerning, however, are the hundreds of jobs that will never be without removal of the facility from Frisco. The city has outgrown Exide.  It’s time for them to go.  Period.”  Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Welcome to the fight WAF.


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