Last December, the case for making our neighborhoods quieter and cleaner got a real power boost – a national voice and platform. Thanks to James Fallows. The Atlantic magazine correspondent, former speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and U.S. News & World Report editor, took on the leaf blower menace. And engaged in his own brand of civic action…
The result? Action. District Council member, Mary M. Cheh, introduced legislation that would prohibit the sale and use of gas-powered leaf blowers in the city by 2022.
Fallows leveraged a wealth of research and data that documents the public health hazards of leaf blowers. He also highlighted electric alternatives that are both effective and practical.
He elevated the argument against leaf blowers. Shifting it from noisy inconvenience to very real, needless health threat. Effectively changing the “same old, same old” conversation that typically takes place in towns across the country. And bogs down action.
It’s a powerful message. And resounding proof that communities can indeed get traction. The leaf blower roar can be silenced.