Action at the Local Level, D.C. Edition

Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 11.16.57 AM.png

This article was originally written by James Fallows for The Atlantic on November 25, 2016.

Below are Atlantic notes by James Fallows and others about local-level civic activism in the center of a large-scale political action, Washington D.C.

As I mentioned yesterday in another note on Erie, Pennsylvania, I’ll try to send out some reports on still-functional local-level activities around the country. This one is an update on the D.C.-area campaign to hasten the (inevitable) shift from grossly polluting, and nuisance-generating, old-tech leaf blowers and other lawn equipment, to the dramatically cleaner and quieter electric alternatives coming onto the market. We’ve been doing a lot, with a minimum of public notice, in the past few months. These updates:

  • In the days just before the national election, Councilmember Mary Cheh, who has been leading these efforts in D.C., held a committee hearing on accelerating the shift. Courtesy of the D.C. government, here is the video, which begins with an intro by me.
  • In our Atlantic-family publication CityLab, David Dudley has a very good piece on the damage done by ambient noise, and why various aspects of “convenient” technology have gotten out of control and what could be done about it.
  • Adrian Higgins of The Washington Post also has a very good piece about the underappreciated effects of omnipresent urban noise. Eg: “There is a weird human phenomenon at work here: Sound is far less irritating to its creator than to its recipient. Erica Walker, a doctoral student at Harvard University’s Chan School of Public Health, seems to have hit on one reason for this: “Recipients of nuisance noise have no power over it.”