Our group has gotten to know each other through the happenstances of living. No one was hired, we just came together around a shared commitment to social justice and the environment. Grandfather's history played a strong part in this.
Dave and I met at a dinner given by Helen and Joe Garland at their home in Gloucester, MA in 1999. Talk over the meal included Dave's work on keep Big Oil out of the Georges Bank. Big Oil was already there, exploring for oil using a seismic gun. Dave demonstrated the impact of the gun during the hearing as he pointed out the sensitivity of fish and aquatic mammals to sound. The effect was stunning. Further exploration was banned and remains so today.
Giving people the facts in ways which are memorable works. This was true for Georges Bank in 1999 and it is true today. EcoAlert was started to provide the facts to people so they can know when they are at risk from pollution and take action. Action includes building an effective body of evidence for litigation.
Dave was 14 when he was recruited by Texaco's PR department. The company was getting bad press so targeted the Explorer Group in Southern California to which Dave belonged. He soon found himself doing radio shows for the company, then facing the outrage over the 1969 Santa Barbara Spill.
Dave graduated from USC with a degree in Geology and began a career in the oil industry which included working for all the major oil companies on every continent. It was lucrative and interesting but he finally realized he could not change their irresponsible behavior from within. He left in 1996 and started working for Greenpeace.
Joseph E. Garland was a former newspaperman who wrote extensively on social, maritime and medical history, including thirteen books about Gloucester and Boston's North Shore and some 350 columns in the "Gloucester Daily Times." Helen, who served in the JFK White House and was an early organizer for volunteers at the United Nations, is the CEO for the Earth Society, the organization responsible for the original founding of Earth Day, which has been celebrated at the United Nations since 1970 on the spring equinox.
Joe's last book was Unknown Soldiers, a memoir of his life during his military service in World War II. It was not until shortly before his death, after the book was written, we all realized he had returned home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
That dinner was the first and only time Dave and I met in person. But we have been working together ever since. Joe died in 2011. Helen is still on our Board.
It was years before our cooperative efforts had any name whatsoever but over time the impact has been felt.
Steve Tvedten was on a radio show I was hosting in 2006. We just kept talking.
In the late 70s Steve owned an extermination business in Michigan. He discovered how toxic petroleum poisons can be when his uncle and baby son died. His physician told him he did not have long to live. But Steve is now one to accept anything until he has done the research himself. He found a physician in San Francisco who was using chelation therapy and sauna to detoxify his patients. It took a month but when Steve returned home he was a well man. He gave away the business and set himself to find alternatives to petroleum used in insecticides and other products. Over the years he produced many of these. He also does consulting work on organic growing. His product site is Safe Solutions.
Jerry Day is an Emmy winning producer and director. We met in 2007 when he did a video, which sent viral, on the lack of coverage being received by Ron Paul, who was then running for president.
Corporate corruption, stolen elections, governmental intrusions, ending war, mortgage fraud, passage of the ERA, individual rights, health alternatives, domestic violence, child abuse, surviving psychopaths, you name it, we have been involved.
We also noticed how much money was spent by organizations which accomplished nothing of substance but did manage to pay large salaries to many employees. The bottom line, what works and how, became issues we studied with a fair amount of intensity. The devil is in the details, as they say. If you want change you have to be committed for the long haul and be willing to accept the facts, even when this is painful.
More people started working with us. Frank Pugh shares with us a desire to see things change. He is from Alameda and provides us with information on sustainable technologies.
Almost forgot. I was an early Libertarian, served as the first Los Angeles County Chairman for the LPC and as Southern California Vice Chairman for six terms. I also ran for office and managed campaigns. It was really the Kochs and the aftermath of their attempted take over which persuaded me to leave in 1988.
After my father's death in 1991 I started the Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation. This lead me to an understanding of how long and deep the problem of corporate corruption really goes. Now, after twenty years of research I am writing Grandfather's biography.
The Forum provides a focus from which action can begin. This is who we are.
Margaret Meade was Helen's best friend. They worked together for over 30 years and Helen introduced Margaret to environmentalism.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”