Alexandra Allred was named Athlete of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee for her sport ... but that was just the beginning. After making the first ever women's US Bobsled team, Allred turned to adventure writing and never looked back ... until she discovered fiction! *Be careful ... if you say it, she'll write it down*
Alexandra's work with Earthjustice, Asthma&Allergy Foundation of America, American Thoracic Society, American Lung Association, testifying before the EPA, etc earned her a nomination for WHITE HOUSE CHAMPION OF CHANGE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH in 2014!
What is "clicktivism?"
You know that great feeling you get when you click on a "like" button to lend support to a cause or you sign a petition? This is good. It is a great start to sincere activism but it is not enough.
While attending the Sydney Writer's Festival in Sydney, Australia, Alexandra had the tremendous honor of meeting former Australian Senator Bob Brown (see www.bobbrownfoundation.org) and Sen. Christine Milne to discuss global responsibility for clean air/clean water. While talking to Sen. Milne, Alexandra learned the expression of "clicktivism." And like Alexandra, Sen. Milne insists that simply clicking a button is not enough to change the world.
When Everything Clicked for Alexandra:
Alexandra Allred, her husband Robb, and three children (Kerri, Katie, and Tommy) moved to Midlothian, Texas, in July of 2001. They hoped to get land to keep their horses and goats, and have a place where their kids could play outside. Allred asked about the cement plants a few miles away from their property, but was told that it was “just steam coming out” and that there was nothing to worry about.
A few months later, Tommy, then 2, became sick with one respiratory problem after another – pneumonia, double pneumonia, bronchitis, fever, coughs, and unexplained shortness of breath. Tommy was hospitalized six times in two months and things only worsened. After research, they learned that
the steam coming out of the cement plants near her home wasn’t just steam – it was filled with hundreds of thousands of pounds of mercury, lead, and other toxic chemicals. In 2008, Tommy’s elementary school was named in a USA Today Special Report to be one of the most toxic elementary schools in the nation. By 2004, Allred began speaking out regularly.
In 2004, Allred joined the Downwinders At Risk organization, petitioned in Dallas, appeared in the Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram and reached out to local and state politicians. She traveled to the EPA headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. and Washington D.C.
In 2005, Allred continued to testify before the EPA, TCEQ (Texas Commission of Environmental Quality) and state representatives. She joined forces with Earthjustice and interviewed with local and national media outlets. Allred arranged to have Erin Brokovich come to her town for a Town Hall meeting and became “the client” for Brokovich’s law firm. She appeared in the Chicago Tribune and again, traveled to Washington D.C.
2006 – 2010, Allred testified before the EPA, lobbied on Capital Hill with Earthjustice, made a commercial with the League of Women Voters (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUSYf7PuMTM), a video with Earthjustice (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga4LanhTS4o ) and was named as an Air Ambassador to testify before US Senators and the EPA. See Allred on the www.earthjustice.org site (http://earthjustice.org/50states/alexandra-allred) where she and her son, Tommy, also posted a blog on the White House website.
In 2012, after too many frustrating deadends with politicians and an increased attack against the EPA to deregulate, Allred penned a fictionalized account of live under the cement stacks. The book, DAMAGED GOODS, getting excellent reviews, is being endorsed by Erin Brokovich and actress-turned-activist Daryl Hannah.
So What Can You Do?
Alexandra has been passionate about environmental issues, women's issues, and political problems... so she writes about them.
You can make a difference, too. Whatever you are passionate about, you can make a difference in but it has to start with more than just a click!