An outgrowth of the Our Housing is Our Health Campaign, WE ACT’s Northern Manhattan Garbage, Pests and Pesticides Campaign is using collaborative problem solving techniques to address the problems of inappropriate garbage disposal and rampant rodent and roach infestation in Northern Manhattan, and working to bring about a transition from current pesticide use to safer alternatives in order to reduce negative health impacts from pests and pesticide application in this community. The campaign has 3 specific goals:
To build a collaborative of Northern Manhattan residents and stakeholders who will both determine and ultimately implement the work that is to be done.
To collaboratively identify and more fully define the specific problems related to garbage disposal, pests, rodents and pesticide use in Northern Manhattan.
To empower the Northern Manhattan community through education, training, and outreach to both work towards the full identification of the problems related to garbage and pesticides in this community, and act as key players in the implementation of solutions.
WE ACT’s approach to meeting these goals is guided by our “people’s first” philosophy: those that are most impacted by a particular problem are in the best position to develop solutions and take a front-line stance on implementing identified strategies. We are working collaboratively with residents to create a participatory process that involves and engages residents from problem solving to implementation. Residents play an important role in identifying other community leaders, who then become part of the movement, focused on educating and holding key decision-makers responsible for making change possible.