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Congressional Candidate Wants More “Evidence-Based” Policy Making

Almost every day we can read about another unqualified crony being appointed to run any number of federal agencies. The Trump administration has made a joke out of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by appointing Scott Pruitt to lead the organization. As the Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, Pruitt fought the EPA’s regulations and continually denied the science on climate change.

Another example is the nomination of Sam Clovis to be the top scientist at the US Food and Drug Administration despite the fact he is not a scientist. Clovis, a former radio talk show host, economics professor, and Trump campaign aide, openly admitted to having no degrees in agricultural or natural sciences and called climate change “junk science”.

Clovis has since withdrawn his consideration for the under-secretary position but clearly shows the Trump administration’s pattern of nominating anti-climate change, anti-science, political cronies to lead federal agencies.

With the heads of major natural science agencies being run by anti-science ideologues, it would then fall on Congress to address some of the environmental issues facing the country.

That is just one of the reasons Rye State Rep, Mindi Messmer, has decided to run for Congress. As an environmental scientist, she brings nearly 30 years of experience working to clean up the environment and protecting communities from the harmful toxins that lay dormant underground.

“I am running for Congress to ensure clean drinking water for all Americans, to take precautions to mitigate the environmental causes of cancer, and to stand up to industry-backed attacks on science federal agencies like the EPA by Scott Pruitt and others,” said Messmer. “At a time when the EPA is being dismantled, and environmental policy and regulations are being decimated, I vow to fiercely advocate for evidence-based policy if elected to Congress.”

“It​ ​is​ ​encouraging​ ​to​ ​see​ ​candidates​ ​like​ ​Mindi,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​proven​ ​track​ ​record​ ​of standing​ ​up​ ​for​ ​science​ ​science,​ ​stepping​ ​up​ ​to​ ​the​ ​plate​ ​to​ ​run​ ​for​ ​office,” said Joshua​ ​Morrow,​​Executive​ ​Director​ ​of​ ​314​ ​Action after hearing of Messmer’s decision to run.​ ​”In​ ​an era​ ​where​ ​alternative​ ​facts​ ​and​ ​attacks​ ​on​ ​science​ ​are​ ​the​ ​norm​ ​at​ ​the​ ​hands​ ​of the​ ​Trump​ ​Administration,​ ​Congress​ ​needs​ ​the​ ​perspective​ ​of​ ​scientists​ ​who​ ​will base​ ​policy​ ​on​ ​evidence​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​intuition.”

For 28 years, Messmer has run Terra Nova Environmental, a consulting firm that focuses on the “evaluation, design, development, and implementation of conventional and innovative in-situ and on-site technologies for remediation of contaminated sites.”

Most notably she was the first to identify and report a “pediatric cancer cluster” in five Seacoast NH towns. Her work prompted then Governor, Maggie Hassan to create a task force to investigate the “rhabdomyosarcoma and pleuropulmonary blastoma double pediatric cancer cluster.”

As head of the task force subcommittee, Messmer coordinated with the EPA and the NH Department of Environmental Services to investigate the Coakley Landfill Superfund Site, as the possible cause of the cancer cluster.

Messmer has also been leading the charge on the contaminated ground water in Merrimack, Bedford, and Litchfield linked to the Saint Gobain factory as well as groundwater contaminations linked to the Pease Air Force Base.

As a consultant, Messmer could only do so much. But as a state legislator she could write her own legislation to get the state to address these water issues. And that is exactly what she did.

Messmer was elected to the NH House of Representatives in 2016 and has already submitted a number of bills, three of which have already become law. Messmer’s bills created commissions to further study the cancer cluster and water contamination on the Seacoast as well as a commission to study “environmentally triggered illnesses” in New Hampshire.

In a brief conversation with Messmer after her announcement to run for Congress she talked about how there are more than 150 “superfund sites” similar to those at Pease AFB all across the country that need to be investigated.

Messmer is a longtime resident of Rye, NH where she lives with her husband and two teenage sons.


You can read her full campaign announcement here. Be sure to subscribe to the NH Labor News to get more news on the Congressional races in NH.

Rep Mindi Messmer Announces A Run For Congress In NH’s First District

Environmental Scientist and Public Health Whistleblower Mindi Messmer to Run for Congress in New Hampshire’s First District
Messmer is a Scientist, Small Business Owner and NH State Representative With a Proven Track Record of Defending Science and Standing Up for Public Health

(Portsmouth, NH) – Today, environmental scientist Mindi Messmer announced she will continue Rep. Carol Shea-Porter’s progressive legacy in Congress by running to succeed her in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional district. Mindi was elected to lead the 24th District of the NH House of Representatives in 2016 and has owned an environmental science consulting company, Terra Nova Environmental, since 1999. She also worked to elect Bernie Sanders and served on Senator Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Campaign’s New Hampshire steering committee in 2017.

Mindi’s work as a scientist made headlines in 2016 when she blew the whistle about what was later designated the Seacoast Cancer Cluster. In 2014 she discovered that an abnormally high number of children in New Hampshire’s Seacoast were getting cancer—an issue that the state initially sought to brush aside. She was appointed to the Governor Hassan’s Task Force in 2016 to take a leading role on the issue, and elected to the State Legislature later that year.

As a freshman state representative, Mindi has already been successful in having several pieces of sponsored legislation related to the public health and environmental issues pass into law. She has made clean drinking water, adequate environmental regulation standards and increased scrutiny for public health issues that are triggered by environmental conditions legislative priorities in office.

“I am running for Congress to ensure clean drinking water for all Americans, to take precautions to mitigate the environmental causes of cancer, and to stand up to industry-backed attacks on science federal agencies like the EPA by Scott Pruitt and others,” said Mindi. “At a time when the EPA is being dismantled, and environmental policy and regulations are being decimated, I vow to fiercely advocate for evidence-based policy if elected to Congress.”

A third-generation labor union member, Mindi grew up hearing about her mother’s fights for nurses’ rights as vice president of SEIU 1199 NY in New York City, and her grandfather’s action that formed a labor union to protect worker safety at Rheingold Brewery in the Bronx after his coworker and friend died on the job.

“Fighting for workers’ rights and constituents is engrained in my fiber. Our families are overworked, under-employed and one debilitating family illness away from bankruptcy,” said Mindi. “We need to support and re-vitalize labor and implement a $15 minimum wage. We have to provide students with an affordable public education, and make sure they can get a commensurate job when they get out of school and are not saddled with student loan debt. We must ensure that like every other major developed country, every American has access to affordable, high quality medical care regardless of household income. I am not a lifelong politician, but there are plenty of politicians, lawyers, and big business owners in D.C. who don’t work for 99% of us. It’s time for fresh faces who will work for the people, not special interests and are not afraid to take bold steps.”

Mindi graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Earth Science and studied Geology and Hydrogeology at the University of New Hampshire. She is currently pursuing her M.S. in Clinical and Translational Science at Georgetown University and expects to receive her degree in the summer of 2018. Mindi is a married mother of two teenage sons and lives in Rye, NH.

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