Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, a pediatric physician, started off the discussion Wednesday morning with a chilling statistic – there have been 860 deaths so far this year due to opioid overdoses. Virginia is on par to reach 1000 deaths by year end he said.
Dr. Northam, met with leaders at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital to discuss the opioid public health emergency and to highlight policy solutions he will push for in the 2017 General Assembly session and beyond.
Nancy Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic
Steve Arner, President/CEO, Carilion Medical Center, Nancy Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic, Dr. Willia
In September 2006 the “Clean and Green” campaign was launched by Councilwoman and now Democratic candidate for the 17th District Gwen Mason. The business leaders jumped on board and under the leadership of Stan Breakell twelve of the largest employers in the city of Roanoke voluntarily joined the campaign.
Stan Breakell of Breakell, Inc. said that the business coalition only represents 14% of Roanoke City’s carbon footprint. “So we understand we cannot do this alone,” said Breakell. The group agreed to reduce their carbon emissions by .5% each year. They will also recruit 1000 employees to take the “Clean and Green” pledge and encourage at least one vendor to become green certified by year-end.
Governor Tim Kaine stood in front of the LEED certified State & City building and acknowledged that Roanoke is unique in its “Clean and Green” initiative especially with having the buy-in of the business community. By shining a light on Roanoke Kaine hopes to get other Virginia communities on board the Renew Virginia initive. Congratulations went out to the twelve businesses and Kaine wagered when he returned there would be three times as many businesses that would join in the campaign.
Kaine realized that efforts now to preserve open space and quality of life for future generations is paramount.
When Kaine ran for governor four years ago he quipped that he only got one sustainability question during his whole campaign. That question was about gas prices after hurricane Katrina. “Today wherever I go these issues just four years later are at the top of the pile,” said Kaine.
It is not only about passion for the outdoors but it is about the economy and scarce resources. Sustainable energy practices will hold the line on energy costs through conservation and efficiency.
“There is a strong case to be made that our nation will be stronger from a security standpoint,” said Kaine. Discretionary dollars of countries that use it for ill purposes will shrink as the United States uses less oil.
Kaine reminded all that as an individual, family, local government, church, school, or business – everybody can do things to reduce their carbon footprint and minimize use of resources by recycling. This is something each of us can do individually.