Office of Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland
Date: Thursday, June 20, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact: Aigner Cleveland
Chester City Mayor Issues Statement Regarding
Shades of America Episode Featuring Chester
(CHESTER, PA) – As the mayor of the city of Chester, I would have hoped CNN producers would have afforded a city official from Chester the opportunity to speak on the issues raised in Kamau Bell’s docuseries Shades of America season 4 episode 8, entitled, “Toxic America”.
However, we were not contacted before, during or after this episode aired. As a result, I am issuing this statement in response.
I have fought AGAINST environmental injustices for years. When I served as the State Representative for the 159th Legislative District, I sponsored bills and worked with my fellow colleagues near and far to try and protect the residents in Chester and surrounding areas.
I was literally on the front lines of protesting against certain companies from taking residence in the city of Chester in 1995. Myself, along with the Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL) and other concerned residents protested on front and Highland Street as trucks filled with medical waste tried to enter the facilities. These accounts are documented in both print and video footage.
Now in my position as mayor, this administration is more than committed to protecting the quality of life for our residents. We are committed to creating partnerships and opportunities that help us serve our community. As we work with local companies in Chester, we are also ensuring that we can create, and facilitate programming that meets the needs of our constituency like cleanup initiatives, health programs and more.
This administration has turned companies such as Covanta into our partners instead of our adversaries. We work together to bring about a healthier Chester.
In closing, if you take a closer look, you will see that the person standing behind Ms. Zulene Mayfield in the black collarless shirt is me. I chose to stay and fight. That’s what real leaders do.