I attended a candlelight vigil in front of Stericycle, which was organized by neighbors of the medical waste incinerator wishing to shut down the facility. On that cold evening, what began as a jovial gathering turned solemn as we lit candles, sang and listened to stories from the community about cancer, infertility, miscarriages, autism and anger at a state government that has largely abandoned this neighborhood to protect a company’s profits.
The families lobbying to shut down this facility are sometimes called “activists” or “anti-business.” But in that snowy evening, it was clear to me that these parents are motivated not by politics, but by their obligation to protect their children from harm.
All parents want their kids to grow up to have great jobs, but “business-friendly” at the expense of human health is short-sighted and ultimately immoral. So at that vigil I also sang and prayed silently for our state leaders who would leave these families to their fates as Stericycle exploits our state’s lax regulations and spotty enforcement. Somewhere in their consciences our leaders must surely know how far from the right they have strayed.
Salt Lake City