Dear Friends,

As many of you know, the Eastern Queens Alliance lost the recent legal battle appealing the FAA approval of the 4L/22R Runway extension project at JFK. We called for a complete environmental impact study (EIS) to determine the full environmental effects of such a project on our health and overall quality of life. The FAA and the PANYNJ maintained that they were just following standards and regulations approved by the FAA and by Congress. By there denial of our appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ignored all of our arguments–the people’s arguments– and agreed. If we cannot get them to voluntarily consider the health and safety of our communities, we need to go over their heads and change the standards. Therefore, we are starting a “We The People” petition asking the Obama Administration to propose a revision of the FAA’s noise standards in light of recent scientific findings

By this petition, we are not asking for special treatment, or for the FAA to be held to unreasonable, unreachable standards. We are merely asking that Congress and the FAA revisit the FAA’s health and safety standards for noise exposure in light of more than thirty years of technological and scientific advancement and discovery. The communities of Eastern Queens and other airport-adjacent communities across the nation are overburdened and it isn’t fair. We deserve better! Our very health, safety and quality of life are at stake!

Please take this opportunity to show Congress that you care, and that you want them to care too. Please go to the following link to sign the We the People Petition! Please also pass the word along!

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Human Rights Day

Today, December 10th, 2014 is Human Rights Day.

It is a day that marks the 66th anniversary of the United Nations Charter on human rights.  It is a day celebrated in 192 United Nations member states throughout the world, in observance of a charter that provides for the support and protection of human rights.

Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the late president Franklin Roosevelt, in 1948 wrote the following in a special document which “declares” the rights that everyone in the entire world should have:

“In small places, close to home — so close that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.  Yet they are the world of the individual person;  the neighborhood he lives in;  the school or college he attends;  the factory, farm or office where he works.  Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.  Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.  Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world”

What is the declaration?

The Declaration is not in itself a legally binding document.  However, it contains a series of principles and rights that are based on human rights standards that are found in other international instruments that are legally binding.

Relevant excerpts in regards to the Airplane noise and pollution issue that we face on a daily basis;

  • Article 1 – All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
  • Article 12 – No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, or home.
  • Article 24 – Everyone has the right to rest and leisure.
  • Article 29 – Everyone has duties to the community and are encouraged to be defenders of human rights.

In 1997, Mary Robinson, second United Nations High Commission for Human Rights encouraged grass roots movements in communities to know, demand, and defend their rights.

“Human rights belong to people; human rights are about people on the ground and their rights.”

Challenges lie ahead.  Many in the international community believe that human rights, democracy, and development are intertwined.

This post is respectfully dedicated to the residents of Nassau, and Suffolk counties, and the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.