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Dear Member,

Last weeks newsletter, our first, was quite successful. We made members aware of the heavy handed tactics the CPSC is using to eliminate chemical sales in the United States, and many of you helped us by sending letters to Senator Allen, asking him to hold hearings on the CPSC issue. We are grateful to all of you that sent those letters, and if you missed our action alert, keep reading and we will tell you how you can help us with this important call to action.

Consumer Fireworks

This is the time of year that most Americans use fireworks to celebrate the nation's independence. While there are many States that have favorable laws regarding the sale and use of fireworks, several States have severe, draconian laws that are resulting in the arrest of American citizens. For example, the New York State Police this week is monitoring fireworks stands in Pennsylvania, and arresting citizens that attempt to drive back in to New York. The New York Post reported on June 19th that they are confiscating vehicles and placing people in jail! This seems unconscionable given the fact that a clear majority of Americans support the legal sales and use of fireworks.

With enough members, we think we can change the situation in New York, and all the other States that persecute Americans for celebrating with fireworks. After all, this is one of the main reasons the Fireworks Alliance was created. Imagine if two thousand people in a single State wrote their representatives and asked to have fireworks laws repealed -- that could have a substantial effect on that State. The key to that kind of success is through the growth of our membership. Please do what you can do to help us grow.

Recent News

  • The Washington Post published an article on June 19 stating that basketball results in the greatest number of injuries in the US, with over 500,000 emergency room visits per year. Contrast this against the number of injuries due to fireworks, which is 9,600, based on the most recently published (2004) statistics. You won't hear anyone calling for the abolishment of basketball based on its injury statistics. Keep this in mind the next time someone tells you fireworks are dangerous and should be banned.

  • The CPSC has announced public hearings to help set its 2008 agenda. The hearings will be held on Tuesday, June 11, in Washington, DC. You can read more about this on our website at:

    http://www.fireworksalliance.org/cgi-bin/viewpage.pl?p=news-2006062101

  • The New York State Pyrotechnic Association (NYSPA) had a call to action this week in order to get affirmative votes on bills A7539 and S4816. In short, the New York Department of Labor is attempting to enforce regulations that would severely curtail pyrotechnics in the State. The bills supported by the NYSPA would eliminate the unnecessary DOL oversight of BATFE-licensed entities. While this does not address the issue with consumer fireworks, it is a first step in an organized effort to eliminate anti-fireworks legislation in the State. Fortunately, the NYSPA bills have strong support in the New York legislature and are expected to pass by wide margins.
Current Action Alerts

Last week we asked our members to go to the Action Center on our website and click on the action alert to send a letter to Senator George Allen. Unfortunately, this caused a great deal of confusion, and many members were unable to complete the request. We have had some very valuable feedback, and we are working on modifications to the site to make this process much easier to understand in the coming weeks.

The action alert is still on the website and we still need our members to send this letter. Here is the catch -- the letter is something that you have to download to your computer in order to print it and send it to Senator Allen. We have written and addressed the letter for you -- all you need to do is click on the alert, scroll down and click the "Send Message" button, and then click the "Download" button to save the letter on your computer. Once the letter is saved, you can print it, sign it, and send it to Senator Allen.

If you have already clicked on the "Send Message" button, but did not download the letter, the system will lock you out (we do this so people do not take duplicate actions). However, many people fell into this situation. We have a work around for you -- you can download a generic copy of the letter, fill in your name and address at the bottom of the letter, and mail it via the Post Office. Here is the link to the generic letter:

http://www.fireworksalliance.org/resources/senator-allen-letter.rtf

While many people may not be directly affected by CPSC actions, the issue affects all Americans because it will eliminate your ability to obtain many common chemicals. Imagine if high school students could never build a model rocket, or science classes could not obtain chemicals for common experiments. We know Senator Allen can stop this from happening, and we need your voices to ask him to hold hearings on the matter. Thanks so much for helping us work to over turn the CPSC actions.

Volunteers Welcome

We received nearly a hundred letters from people that said they would volunteer to pass out leaflets at fireworks events that are happening all over the US this year. We still need many more people to step up and help hand out these leaflets. The Fireworks Alliance has prepared two types of leaflets that can be used to tell people about the Fireworks Alliance as they arrive at fireworks display events. If you think you can create a better leaflet, you are free to do so! We want people to know that fireworks are in serious jeopardy in the United States. If we do not stick together to fight the vocal minority, the NFPA and others will succeed in banning fireworks for all of us. Passing out leaflets will build our membership numbers, and a larger membership will help us to preserve this cherished American tradition.

We also had a few volunteers that stepped up and created banner ads for the Fireworks Alliance -- thank you Quinn and Nicholas! Placing a Fireworks Alliance banner ad on your website will allow other to know about the Fireworks Alliance. You can obtain a copy of these excellent banner ads from the Grassroots Advocacy section of our website at:

http://www.fireworksalliance.org/cgi-bin/viewpage.pl?p=grassroots

Member Counts

Last week we asked you to help us grow our membership, and you responded in a very big way. When we sent the newsletter out last week, we had 552 members in the database. This week we have 967 members -- a seventy-five percent growth rate in one week. Holy cow! Way to go folks! We still have a long way to go, but your efforts are giving us a great deal of momentum. Keep up the good work -- we are counting on you.

Quote of the Week

"In the grand scheme of things, fireworks are no great big deal. But what price do you put on joy and beauty and the mastering of an ancient and esoteric art? How much are we willing to pay to enjoy these simple things? What would our lives be like without them? What does it say of a society that outlaws such things?"
-- Tad K., June 14, 2006

 

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