October 31, 2012
Anti-fluoride Activists in Portland gained a serious victory this month to force a public vote on the city’s unpopular decision to add fluoride to the drinking water.
On Sept. 12, the council voted unanimously 5-0 to move forward with their plans to add the deadly toxin into the water beginning in 2014. The Oregonian also reported on the ‘secret meetings’ between the city council and the fluoride lobbyists. Lobbyists reported meeting with Commissioners Randy Leonard on July 26, Dan Saltzman and Nick Fish on Aug. 2, Amanda Fritz on Aug. 6 and Mayor Adams on Aug. 27 to push for fluoride in public drinking water. The city of Portland only documented one of these meetings.
Clean Water Portland (the group behind the effort to force a public vote on the Portland City Council’s decision) responded by submitting 43,236 signatures on Oct. 11. That was more than twice the required number and a day before the 30-day deadline to challenge the City Council’s Sept. 12 ordinance. This clears a major obstacle on its path to a May 20, 2014 referendum.
The Portland Auditor’s Office has since forwarded the 42,743 anti-fluoride signatures to the Multnomah County Elections Division for further review. Portland officials rejected only 3 percent of the fluoride signatures. The Multnomah County Elections Division is now confirming the signatures using vote registration databases.
The measure only needs 19,858 valid signatures to qualify.
If successful, the citizens of Portland will have the right to vote on what goes in their water and in their bodies. Clean Water Portland plans to work to educate the people of Portland in the meantime (leading up to the 2014 referendum) on the dangers that fluoride poses to the body. Many Portlanders have expressed their concerns with the dangers that fluoride poses at city council over the past several months.
In the following video, Fern Capella speaks before the city council on Sept. 26 about their decision to fluoridate the water.