Sedona AZ (July 5, 2012) - Folksville USA spokesman, Gary Chamberlain, is disgusted.
“Elected city and county government officials from Camp Verde, Sedona, Cottonwood, Prescott Valley and around the Verde received invitations to participate in anti litter efforts organized by a group of highly motivated constituents aggravated with the state agency tasked with cleaning up and ensuring the safety of its Arizona highways,” he said.
That taxpayer funded agency? None other than the Arizona Department of Transportation. The number of taxpayer paid city and county government officials that came to help?
“None,” says a disgusted Chamberlain.
Who did volunteer to help clean up that and other sections of Arizona highways?
On a February 2012 clean up day, over one hundred constituents of the no-show government officials, including 94-year-young resident John Cornelius and civic-minded Verde Valley School students and teachers, spent a wintry Saturday beautifying the Verde along State Route Highway 260 by picking up other people’s trash.
Organizers of that Folksville USA anti litter clean up day are still asking ADOT and the MIA elected and appointed officials “where were you“?
During the second 2012 scheduled anti litter clean up event, organizers once again invited Verde officials. Again, almost all were no-shows.
Chamberlain pulled a blue trash bag and pair of gloves out of his car, readying to pick up trash, a daily attempt by this citizen to keep Arizona highways clean for his neighborhood and its nearby areas.
“Let’s see who shows up for the August 2012 event,” he says, scooping up a plastic bottle and dropping it into his trash bag.
Chamberlain points to litter within sight of his car, easily a trash bag full.
“I know others that live here care as much as I do. You see that care during every Folksville USA anti-litter event. You see a John Cornelius, 94 years young war vet, and kids from Sedona’s Verde Valley School. You see volunteers from local organizations, businesses, and homes that love our beautiful desert and hills. I’m just the Vietnam veteran who gives voice to their frustration and who honors all that care as deeply as I do. We are a peoples anti-litter movement. Everyone is welcome to help.”
Folksville USA is a movement of dedicated volunteers who pick up litter alongside Arizona highways and byways to keep the state beautiful and its transportation routes safe for cyclists, pedestrians, and cars. The Folksville USA organization is the result of an effort of eight concerned Cornville and Sedona area citizens who felt that the Arizona Department of Transportation was not performing its anti-litter taxpayer mandate. The original eight Road Warriors have grown to a statewide and multi-state movement known as Folksville USA with hundreds of volunteers that show up during its anti-litter campaigns to pick up others trash.
In the words of Chamberlain, original Road Warrior member and now Folksville USA spokesman, ”It’s time that ADOT and the state and local governments of Arizona take responsibility for how its taxpayers money is spent on anti-litter efforts. It’s a matter of public health and safety, a matter of ecology and of cleanliness, and a matter of priorities. No one wants to visit a trashy town, drive along a trashed up scenic route, hike on trash strewn trails and paths, or relocate a business or build a home in areas that look like trash dumps! ADOT collects taxes to keep our highways and byways maintained safely. Litter is a paramount problem in this state, and elsewhere around the country. Arizona washes and drainage ditches are trashed up and the 2012 monsoon season is here. It’s time for ADOT and the state to become part of the solution and not perpetuate the trash problem with inefficiency and inaction. Folksville USA is proud of its volunteers that make a difference in the Verde, in Arizona, and in other states.”