29 Jan

Urgent Action Needed on NY’s Child Safe Products Act

The Child Safe Products Act (CSPA) is sitting on Governor Cuomo’s desk and we need your help to get it signed into law. The Governor has between now and February 7th to decide whether to sign or veto this bill, which has been a decade in the making.

This monumental bill, which passed the NYS Senate and Assembly with bipartisan support, lays out an intelligent framework for identifying and requiring disclosure of harmful chemicals in children’s products, and also bans the most harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, arsenic, and asbestos. Innovations in the chemical industry have far outpaced effective regulation of new chemicals and continue to negatively impact our most vulnerable, our future workforce, our economy, and the ability of responsible businesses to compete in a poorly regulated space.

This bill can break that cycle… IF it gets signed in the next week. You can help make that happen. As a responsible business owner, you offer a critical voice on this issue. Governor Cuomo has just a few days left to make a decision on this bill, and he is certainly under large corporate pressure to veto or dilute the bill. It is critical that his office also hears from business leaders like you.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. To better understand the business and economic benefits of the Child Safe Products Act, we invite you to review NYSBC’s one-page memo of support.
  2. If helpful for you: There are 6 bulleted points in that memo, some apply to specific sectors (eg, retail, manufacturing, green chemistry) and some apply to all of us. Identify the points that you can speak to from your own business experience and values.
  3. Call the Governor’s office at 518-474-8390, introduce yourself and your business, urge him to sign the Child Safe Products Act into law, and offer the reasons you’ve outlined above. If helpful, see sample script below.
  4. Then, please let us know that you took action. Contact us by email or comment on our facebook post and tag friends or share the post. Your action will inspire others!
  5. Are you on Twitter?  Here’s a sample tweet.  Add to it or modify as you see fit.
    Our company works to ensure products are safe, and customers deserve to know when harmful chemicals are in products for kids. That's why we stand with @NewYorkSBC & @ASBCouncil and urge @NYGovCuomo to sign the #ChildSafeProductsAct. #nontoxicny

Note: When calling the Governor’s office, know that there are thousands of parents and environmentalists calling for this bill and large corporations fighting it. That makes it appear to our lawmakers that this issue is parents/environmentalists vs business/economy. It’s not. By focusing on your business perspective, you have the power to dismantle that false narrative.

Do you have a business testimonial to share with us? Please email us. Your testimonials are gold!

Here’s a testimonial from a New York State skateboard manufacturer with a global market.

“It is entirely possible to build products—even durable products that require strong adhesives—without using formaldehyde. Since 1997, Comet Skateboards has been building skateboards to withstand constant thrashing from people of all ages and sizes. We do so using industry standard formaldehyde-free adhesives like Franklin Multibond 4000 FF. Avoiding the use of formaldehyde is not a barrier. It’s a decision. The more companies make this simple decision, the more options will arise from green tech innovators.”
— Jason Salfi, President of Comet Skateboards

Sample Business Script   (Add to it or modify with your reasoning from step #2 above.)

Hi, I am XXXX from XXXXX company, and we support the Child Safe Products Act. I’m calling to urge the Governor to sign the bill — because it will help create a level playing field for responsible businesses including the many companies that manufacture or carry sustainable products. We believe customers deserve to know when harmful chemicals are in products for kids.

It’s important to us that this bill achieve the following:

  • Require product makers to tell us if harmful chemicals are in what they sell.
  • Require manufacturers to phase out the most toxic chemicals—like formaldehyde, arsenic, and asbestos—in children’s products.
  • Create a way to report and restrict additional dangerous chemicals in children’s products in an ongoing process that solves this problem once and for all.
21 Nov

Making the Business Case for Health Reform

An evening with Wendell Potter
Monday, November 25, 2019
Good Work Greenhouse
65 St. James St, Kingston
Out of control health care costs are hurting our business community. Companies large and small can no longer afford the annual double-digit cost increases. Each year, our businesses and our employees pay more for less care. The employer-based health insurance system is unsustainable and it’s holding back a whole new generation of entrepreneurs.

[ Business for Medicare for All ]This event is hosted by Business for Medicare for All, a new independent and non-partisan business organization making the economic case for reforming our broken health care system. The organization is growing fast and now has nearly 3,000 members across the country.Join Wendell Potter, a former Cigna insurance executive turned health care reform whistleblower, to hear more about the organization and how you can harness your voice as a business leader, CEO, entrepreneur, or sole proprietor in support of creating a health care system that works for businesses and employees. 

Potter, the president of Business for Medicare for All, will also reveal the propaganda techniques and talking points that the insurance and pharmaceutical companies will deploy to stop proposals like Medicare for All. After the presentation, Potter will engage in a Q&A and discussion on how to mobilize other businesses in your community.  

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

About Wendell Potter
Wendell Potter - Montrose Street - cropped.jpgPotter has been called the “Daniel Ellsberg of corporate America” by Michael Moore and “a straight shooter” by Bill Moyers. After resigning from his job as the vice-president of corporate communications at Cigna in 2008, Potter became a single-payer advocate and activist. He testified before the U.S. Congress in 2009 on tactics used by the health insurance industry to advocate against healthcare reform. He’s the author of several books, including 2009’s “Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.” He lives in Philadelphia.About Business for Medicare for All
Business for Medicare for All is a national 501c3 non-profit organization that is educating and organizing the business community in support of fixing our broken health care system. Founded in 2019 by Richard Master, the CEO of MCS Industries in Easton, PA, and Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive turned whistleblower, the organization now represents nearly 3,000  business leaders in 49 states. Learn more: www.businessformedicareforall.org
23 May

Energy Democracy Advocacy Day

[ New York Energy Democracy Alliance ]On Wednesday, May 29th, NYSBC and other members of the Energy Democracy Alliance (EDA) will be hosting a gathering in Albany, NY to advocate for a resilient, localized, and democratically controlled clean energy economy in New York State—the unifying purpose of the 25 member organizations of the EDA. We see tremendous potential this year, so we are pooling our efforts around this one powerful day in Albany.  We hope you can join us!
  • 10am — Orientation
    • Energy Efficiency policy overview
    • Renewable Energy policy overview
    • How to advocate
    • Developing your personal story for Energy Democracy
  • 12pm — Lunch Break
    • Healthy food provided by the EDA
    • Small group discussions
  • 1pm — Legislative Meetings
    • Facilitated meetings with legislative offices
  • 3pm — Report Backs & Debrief
Your voice is critical. As outlined above, we will learn about relevant policies and hone our personal stories before meeting with legislative offices to present our case. Each of us brings an important story to these meetings, and this will be your opportunity to convey your story to the very people who make the laws in New York State.

We are finalizing a shortlist of bills that have the best chance to further our goals for energy democracy.  In the energy efficiency arena, we are working on a bill that would codify the state’s energy efficiency standard with a focus on environmental health and would mandate equitable building energy efficiency work and jobs training.  On the renewable energy front, we are evaluating several bills that aim to increase solar energy and make solar energy more equitable.  To address the broader and more long term impacts, we will be advocating for the Climate & Community Protection Act (CCPA), which would rapidly transition the state’s economy off of fossil fuels, invest 40% of the state’s climate fund into low-income communities and communities of color, and set high wage standards to make green jobs good jobs. 

Do these issues resonate with you?  If so, we hope you can join us in this important fight.  Please RSVP and we will hold a seat at the table for you.

As many of you know from our previous email, we will be in Albany Tuesday through Thursday of next week.  If you wish to lend your support on any or all of those days, please follow the links below for details, RSVP, and share with others.

Your business voice is critical to this advocacy work.  Together, we bring a much needed counter narrative to debates dominated by the largest profit-driven corporations that claim to represent businesses—including yours.  NYSBC can help you explore how you and your business relate to the above issues and hone your story to have the deepest impact. 
17 May

3 Days Of Advocacy

If you have joined NYSBC for our annual Sustainable Business Summit before, you will remember a full day of education and advocacy on a gambit of important subjects that impact your business, your community, and your environment.  We’ve learned that many of you wish to focus more deeply on one subject area.  To that end, we now invite you to select from 3 separate days of advocacy:
  • Tuesday 5/28: Healthcare — Show your support by attending the first ever joint Senate-Assembly hearing on the NY Health Act, which would create a statewide universal healthcare system.  You will also have the option to share testimony of your personal struggle to access healthcare, provide healthcare for your employees, etc.
  • Wednesday 5/29: Energy Democracy — Join the first ever Energy Democracy Lobby Day and advocate for energy efficiency and renewable energy policies that would create a more resilient, localized, and democratically controlled clean energy economy in New York State.
  • Thursday 5/30: Environmental Health & Justice — Advocate for policies that would ensure transparency of chemicals in common products, eliminate harmful chemicals in children’s products, require government action on known toxics, and provide green procurement incentives to make safer products more available and affordable.

Each event above is separate.  Each is a full day—roughly 10am to 4pm—and attending a portion of a day may be possible.  Expect more details including formal RSVPs to roll out next week.  You may use this form to share your interest in the above events or for general feedback to NYSBC.

In the spirit of our Earth Day email, we are inviting you to engage around the issue(s) that you are most passionate about.  The better connected your heart is with your advocacy, the more fulfilling and long-lasting your impact will be.  NYSBC will continue to build allies and curate policies that reflect triple bottom line principles and the feedback of sustainable business leaders like you.

Your business voice is critical to this advocacy work.  Together, we bring a much needed counter narrative to debates dominated by the largest profit-driven corporations that claim to represent businesses—including yours.  NYSBC can help you explore how you and your business relate to the above issues and hone your story to have the deepest impact. 

21 Oct

NYSSBC Update: October

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October 2014
“If passionate, sustainably minded business leaders are not at the table, only the voices of legacy, profit-at all costs business lobbies will be heard.”
– David Levine, CEO and co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council (http://asbcouncil.org/)

Our legislators in Albany hear regularly from industry lobbyists who falsely pit jobs versus the environment and profitability versus valuing people. Now is the time for business leaders who believe in the triple bottom line – people, planet, prosperity – to take their leadership to the next level and organize. We hope you’ll consider becoming a member (http://nyssbc.org/join-us/) of our statewide alliance of business organizations and individual businesses.

NYSSBC’s leadership team (http://nyssbc.org/about/leadership-team/) is excited to unveil the new NYSSBC website and newsletter! Since our Southern Tier Regional Congress in June (http://nyssbc.org/notes-from-the-southern-tier-regional-congress/) we have been busy working behind the scenes. On the site (http://nyssbc.org/) you can now learn more about NYSSBC and its members, download our membership application and join, stay updated on our current and past priority issues, and navigate other resources for business leaders interested in sustainability.

Each month you can expect to find in this newsletter updates on NYS policy, opportunities for business activism, announcements of
NYSSBC activities, messages from our local, regional and national partners on relevant topics, and highlights of the amazing work of trailblazing entrepreneurs from around the state.

Stay tuned! And if you’d like to get involved or have any suggestions or questions, contact
Laura Ornstein (mailto:laura@nyssbc.org) (nee Niederhofer).

Hudson Valley Regional Congress (http://nyssbc.org/events/regional-congress-series/)
Thursday, November 6 6-9pm
BEAHIVE (http://beahivebzzz.com/) in Beacon

NYSSBC and Re>Think Local (http://www.rethinklocal.org/) want you to join us to discuss what issues you care about, hear stories of successful policy changes that have paved the way for sustainable business, help strengthen our statewide coalition, and influence the priority issues NYSSBC focuses on in 2015.

Confirmed speakers include Hudson Valley visionaries, Ajax Greene of On Belay Business Advisors (http://www.youronbelay.com/wordpress/) and Re>Think Local, as well as Ralph Erenzo, co-founder of Tuthilltown Spirits (http://www.tuthilltown.com/) . Join us afterward for a special tasting provided by Tuthilltown Spirits. Dinner will be available for purchas.
Learn more about Nov. 6 and the NYSSBC Regional Congress series here. (http://nyssbc.org/events/regional-congress-series/)
Send RSVP to laura@nyssbc.org (mailto:laura@nyssbc.org)

Help us grow!

If you have a friend or colleague who would be interested in our work or are part of an organization that relates to our mission, make sure they know about us!

We need your help in raising the voice of business leaders who want responsible change: forward this newsletter and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share our content to get the word out. Use the buttons below.

Member’s Corner

A very warm welcome to our new member, the Sustainable Enterprise & Entrepreneur Network (http://creating.theseen.org/) , based in Ithaca!

The SEEN is a growing community of local and regional businesses, organizations, and individuals who recognize that a strong economy depends on the health of our people and environment. It is a program of the
Green Resource Hub of the Finger Lakes (http://www.greenresourcehub.org/) .

If you are in the Ithaca area, check out their event “Take a Stand” (http://creating.theseen.org/2014/10/october-23rd-take-a-stand/) on Thursday, October 23 from 5:30-8pm!

Partner’s Corner

ASBC’s 3rd Annual
White House Summit
November 12-14, 2014
Washington, DC

Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with like-minded business leaders from around the country, have your voice heard by government leaders on key issues, and better understand the policy process. Applications for scholarships accepted.
Click to learn more! (http://asbcouncil.org/join-asbcs-2014-white-house-summit#.VD68V4eYbIU)

Take the Proud to be an American Business pledge (http://asbcouncil.org/action-center/campaigns/proud-be-american-business-pledge#.VEZ9LIeYbIW) ! By paying your fair share of taxes you strengthen our economy and support America. Pledge not to abandon your community and your country by moving your business registration offshore to reduce your tax bill.

The New York State Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC) is an alliance of business organizations and businesses committed to advancing a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy in the state. The organization will promote strategies and policies designed to build strong local economies, prioritize investment and innovation in clean technologies from green chemistry to renewable energy sources, and advance the development of sustainable communities in New York State.

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