"Hi, I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you're doing to the environment and our country."
Teacher Kristin Mink didn't hold back when confronting Scott Pruitt, the controversial head of the Environmental Protection Agency. When she saw him eating lunch at a Washington, D.C., restaurant, she knew she had to say something. She just didn't know what.
Then it hit her: "His actions are the source of so much of my despair for my child's future and frankly the future of humanity," Mink wrote to Splinter afterward. She decided to make it personal.
Mink walked up to Pruitt and introduced her toddler son — just so Pruitt would know whose future he was affecting.
"This is my son. He loves animals. He loves clean air. He loves clean water. Meanwhile, you're slashing strong fuel standards for cars and trucks for the benefit of big corporations," Mink said as Pruitt's face dropped into a deep and nervous frown.
"We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children," Mink continued.
And then she repeated her first request: "So, I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out."
That's when, according to Mink, Pruitt rushed from the restaurant, his security detail in tow.
EPA head Scott Pruitt was 3 tables away as I ate lunch with my child. I had to say something. This man is directly and significantly harming my child’s — and every child’s — health and future with decisions to roll back environmental regulations for the benefit of big corporations, while he uses taxpayer money to fund a lavish lifestyle. He’s corrupt, he’s a liar, he’s a climate change denier, and as a public servant, he should not be able to go out in public without hearing from the citizens he’s hurting. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency U.S. EPA Administrator Scott PruittETA: You don’t have to wait til your next Pruitt sighting to take action! Click here to help Boot Pruitt! https://www.addup.org/campaigns/boot-pruittPosted by Kristin Mink on Monday, July 2, 2018
Protecting our environmental future is more important than ever.
Pruitt, a Donald Trump appointee, has been courting controversy since he arrived at the EPA. While only there a short time, he's already begun to undo over 20 Obama-era regulations. He has made himself the final authority on The Clean Water Act, is rolling back emissions regulations for cars and trucks, and is revising fuel efficiency standards, taking away incentives for cleaner cars with a lower carbon footprint.
That's nothing to say of Pruitt's questionable conduct: Since being in the role, he's refused to let his schedule be known to the public, demanded a 24-hour-security detail (a cost of $3 million a year), and built a soundproof phone booth (which cost upward of $43,000). Other ethical concerns include that Pruitt hired his own banker to run the Superfund program and is allowing EPA employees to moonlight as political consultants.
We should be worried. And, like Mink, we should speak out whenever and wherever we can.
It's easy to forget that public servants don't work for themselves: They work for the public. It's incumbent on us to push back and speak out when their policies and actions are corrupt.
"Our children's future is at stake," the end of Mink's video states. "As citizens, it is our responsibility to confront corrupt, unethical, and immoral government officials whenever and wherever we see them."
She's using her voice. We should all raise our own. Elections are coming. Are you registered to vote?