The Silver Valley Community Resource Center is a nonprofit grassroots group. We have been in existence since 1986. We work closely with churches, unions, social service agencies, the elderly and people with low-income. We work with local, regional and national groups with similar interests.
Our primary focus has been:
Some of our successes include:
~Working with the EPA in area lead clean-up
~Addressing welfare reform legislation
~Raising Minimum Wage Refocusing expenditure of monies from studies to clean-up of the Bunker Hill Superfund Site
~Supporting legislation to remove taxes on donated food items to county food banks
SVCRC is pleased to announce that it has been selected to be a member of the WATERKEEPER ALLIANCE. Read Kevin Taylor's article from The Inlander
Activist wins gold for getting lead out
By Cynthia Taggert
A controversial public activist in Kellogg has won a top award and $130,000 from the Ford Foundation for her continuing efforts to rid Shoshone County of toxic lead residue.
Barbara Miller, leader of the People's Action Coalition, is one of 20 social activists nationwide to receive the award. The Ford Foundation is a grant-making organization that honors people who have improved life for others.
"All the winners are tackling very tough social-justice issues and have committed their lives to it. It's not a part-time thing," says Laura Chambers, program director for Leadership for a Changing World in Washington, D.C. Her organization is a Ford Foundation partner in the community leadership project.
Miller has run the nonprofit coalition for 15 years. It fights for economic development, housing, health care and environmental justice.
Most mines shut down 20 years ago, leaving Shoshone County economically depressed and contaminated. Still, many residents defend the mining industry that once bathed the area in wealth, even though one of its legacies is a Superfund site.
"I don't think we'll have a parade," Kellogg Mayor Roger Mangum said after hearing about Miller's award. "It's a slap in the face. Talk to 1,000 normal people and they'd be surprised she was even considered for it."
Miller and the coalition have brought national lead experts to Shoshone County, questioned the EPA's cleanup quality and worked toward establishing a free health clinic for all lead-contaminated people.
"I think this award is absolutely wonderful because the community lead health project where a lot of this money will be directed is very much needed in this community," said Jeanie Smith, a longtime area resident and coalition member. "When the project opens, there will be a flood of people."
The Ford Foundation received a flurry of letters opposed to Miller's nomination after an August editorial in the Shoshone News Press urged people to protest.
But the letters arrived after dozens of social justice experts studied the 3,000 nominations, selected 36 finalists, visited the site of each finalist's work and chose 20 winners. Kathleen Sheekey, co-director of the Advocacy Institute working with the foundation, said she was satisfied with the selection process.
The foundation received no opposition to other nominees.
Mangum said his community is filled with "leaders doing things to better the community, but they didn't apply for the grant." Winners were nominated and didn't apply.
"Because of her (Miller's) small following, I'm not sure she's considered a community leader," he said.
The town will not react happily to the foundation's award, he admitted.
But, "I'll just remind people, especially after last week, that we have freedoms in America," he said. "Don't tread on others. Let's not do anything."
Miller said some of the $130,000 will go toward education and outreach.
"We haven't had the ability to educate the community on the cleanup, human health and those things that adhere to our mission," she said. "There's definitely a need to have people told the full extent of what's happening with some serious issues here."
from the Spokane Spokesman Review, Thursday, September 20, 2001
SVCRC Director, Barbara Miller, Regonized Nationally for Leadership
W. F. Kellogg Foundation
Wagner Research Center for Leadership in Action at New York University
For more than twenty years The Silver Valley Community Resource Center has been an advocate for the residents of the area and the environment. This has often been an uphill battle, and we continue to face difficulties from those whose interest lie elsewhere.
Over this time we have advocated for and achieved a positive impact on the health and economic status of the Silver Valley communities.
~Executive Director Barbara Miller has been recognized as a Ford Foundation Scholar for her work in community activism.
~SVCRC has implepemented clean up efforts and served as a conduit for providing information to the community about cleaning up mining waste.
~SVCRC has collected over 700 signatures to halt the Mission Repository because of its effort to educate and inform people about the impact of placing a toxic waste repository in areas subject to flooding and leading to more toxicity travelling to Coeur d'Alene Lake and the Spokane River.
~SVCRC has brought about awareness of lead toxicity and the need to adequately test for lead in children. Even though this was through court action, Idaho, especially North Idaho, continues to fail to adhere to government guidelines for lead testing in children, especially those who live in low income families.
~SVCRC has advocated for economic delveopment and jobs in the community allowing residents to gain employment in the clean up activities.
~SVCRC is the only community organization in the Silver Valley that works for the benefit of all residents in its mission to serve community needs while protecting the environment and public health.