On October 27, two North Carolina business owners, Renea Reed, owner of Snow Toys Ski and Snowboard Shop in Banner Elk, and Amy Vermillion, owner of the Dripolator Coffeehouse in Black Mountain, spoke to Senator Dole’s staff on behalf of the 350 North Carolina members of the Appalachian Voices Business League.
They were asking the Senator to vote to strengthen, rather than weaken the Clean Air Act, and they were also asking the Senator to agree to a meeting with members of the business league at the Senator’s office in Hickory, North Carolina, this winter.
“Our representatives need to hear from ordinary citizens,” said Vermillion, who found it an “excellent experience” to be involved in the policy making process. “It feels good to be doing something rather than sitting at home complaining about dirty air,” added Vermillion. Renea Reed agrees with Vermillion: “Just before I was contacted about doing this, I was thinking about how I could do something for the environment,” said Reed. “I thought about it, prayed about it, and two days later, this opportunity arose. You have to be careful what you pray for, I guess.”
Appalachian Voices Executive Director, Matt Wasson, who accompanied Reed and Vermillion, intends for this to be the first in a series of such efforts. “We have 750 dues-paying members of the Appalachian Voices Business League,” said Wasson, “and our members support us precisely so that we can send this kind of powerful message to our representatives in Washington.”
“There is no question that [Reed and Vermillion] made a big impression,” added Wasson.
For more information on the Appalachian Voices Business League, visit www.appvoices.org, or contact the Appalachian Voices office at 1-877-APP-VOICE.