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You Can Do It!


Even after a year of sending countless emails, arranging meetings with city staff, Councilmembers, environmental activists, educating the community through in-person events, door-to-door canvassing and social media, encouraging postcard writing and collecting online petition signatures and then a 4 – 1 City Council vote to continue spraying “safer” synthetic pesticides in our parks, in front of 100+ concerned residents,

“I never gave up hope. I didn’t feel I had the choice, really”. 

-Julie M. Royes

My children deserved to play in a pesticide-free park and so did the rest of the kids in my community. If I gave up, who would fight for that right? 

So, after many, many, many tears, a roller coaster of big emotions and several long family discussions, I got back to work.

I continued to research and educate myself, to collaborate with other passionate climate activists, to email city staff and to share those findings with the public, mostly through social media. 

I passionately invested and ultimately believed in my community — that change was necessary — and that we would come together to provide the safe public spaces our families deserved. 

My voice grew louder and louder as the second year progressed until one person from within the city finally and truly listened, finally believed in the dangers of pesticide use and probably more importantly, in the future success of alternative weed abatement methods. 

With just enough collaborative, science-based pressure and persistent yet heart-filled communication, city staff agreed to update its integrated pest management program to exclude the use of all synthetic pesticides in parks. 

This action came after a Council direction to only eliminate glyphosate-based weedkillers the year prior. 

Never give up hope!

One person truly CAN make a difference as long as you keep true to your heart and remember your “why”. It also helps to pull a few weeds along the way!

Next up — I’m going to help my city transition away from using all synthetic pesticides in all public spaces.  If I can do it, just an ordinary Mom on a mission with little prior political experience, SO CAN YOU!

Sonoma SASS is here to help. Volunteer to take the lead or a supporting role of ridding toxic pesticides in your community or school district today.

Let’s celebrate your success, together!