This project's funding goal was not reached on June 27, 2012.
About this project
Who should fund this project?
Those who feel it's unfair to endanger the health of children, the elderly, families and individuals in certain neighborhoods for profit!
This documentary exposes the secret poisoning of poor and minority neighborhoods. It asserts the need for universal healthcare, for all poor and at-risk communities affected by this Jim Crow practice. The absolute minimum need to produce this important documentary is $175,000.
This project is to sound the alarm and raise the awareness all people, not just those directly affected. This deadly form of discrimination wasn't institutionalized from the federal government. It was hidden under the cloak of State's rights. Local governments targeting politically powerless communities for toxic industries, secretly! If the environment has been used as a weapon against the working poor and middle class then everybody's health is in danger and UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE IS A NECESSITY!
Secret Poison will be a full length documentary 90-120 minutes, we intend to submit to film festivals and other media venues.
In my own childhood, I remember the billowing chimney smoke from nearby plants, the creeks that glistened in the sun light from the rainbow film riding the surface, most of all I remember the rotten egg-ish, sour repugnant fragrance that hovered over our communities. As a military brat of an Air Force Private, I lived in poor and lower middle class neighborhoods from California to New York. As a child I was plagued with respiratory illnesses, like pneumonia. I can’t prove that backyard dumps and plants were the cause, but why were they there in the first place?
It isn't until that poison affects "average Americans" (the Fox news synonyms "Real Americans" or the "Great Americans") do we hear anything about these type of stories in the media. Example: The story reported when "Secret Poisoning" occurred at the military base, Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina and the secret poisoning of high school students in New York who developed abnormal behavior. The investigation is on going and extensive, both groups are receiving media coverage thus the best healthcare possible. However, the poor are left to show up at local county hospital to get treatment for the symptoms. Broward County has the second highest cancer rate in Florida, minorities makeup the highest rate in Broward. Cancer without healthcare is a death sentence.
An activist all my life, while in the Air Force, I broke the story of illegal dumping of old transformers containing PCB's near a military dormitory. I first became aware of Roosevelt Gardens and Lincoln Park, now called The Sistrunk corridor while, working with Fort Lauderdale Community Center (FLCC). An organization my wife and I founded for the benefit of at-risk youth and communities in vocational training in technology. FLCC, along with other organizations, was offering vocational training and other services. After several weeks of working in the neighborhood I noticed a huge field located right next to the community. After researching the property, I found out it was owned by the city and was a covered over toxic waste dump, the Wingate Road Municipal Incinerator. It it less than a mile north of Roosevelt Gardens, and less than a mile west of the biggest flea market in the world, facilitating thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Make no mistake, pollution is harming people all over the world and the rights of poor people in America aren't much different than the rights of the working poor person in China. Case in point, "The Warriors of Qiugang". A documentary about corporate pollution in China and its deadly affects on the residents in poor communities.
WARNING! “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” Or in other words, "ignorance is bliss," But deadly.
Knowledge of the Secret Poisoning of poor and minority communities will definitely increase your sorrow, If your a caring human being. In fact, it should downright piss you off. If this documentary is successful it should cause everyone to become suspicious of every smoke stack and lifeless creek or lake in their neighborhood and investigate it. The injustices created by the pursuit of profits is enough to make a person want to stand on the roof and scream.
However, you and I must channel this outrage into productive progress, progress that raises awareness, to those unaware and exposes those responsible. My heart aches when I realize that for years, calculated decisions were being made, usually on the local level, decisions that weighed lives against profits. Just as the car company that knew of a defect, which caused their cars to explode under just the right conditions, but the corporate bean counters calculated that it would be cheaper to pay settlements than to fix each and every car. The result; potential arrested, love ones die, but corporate profits remain intact.
The first series of this Michael Moore style documentary film will be shot in Broward County, Florida. In the communities of Roosevelt Gardens and Lincoln Park where we will interview both victims and current local government leaders. We'll look at practices that licensed toxic unsafe incinerators in these neighborhoods, fully understanding the danger to the health of the residents by spraying high levels of lead, arsenic, pesticides and a host of other toxins over the whole community for over 50 years, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
The EPA and other government agencies were set up to protect us, they should be proactive (safe regulations) but because of de-funding they are largely reactive, after the cancer is discovered, after the skin problems appear, after the respiratory problems develop and usually after someone has died. As in the case of Roosevelt Gardens and Lincoln Park Incinerators! In all fairness the EPA wasn't established until 1970 and Roosevelt Gardens, like Lincoln Park were poisoned long before that.
We've done about 1 year worth of research, once funded we would immediately start the 3 to 4 weeks of prep work necessary. We anticipate 40-45 days of shooting over a 16-18 week period including the wrap. I'll use my Mac Dual G5 with Final Cut Pro and also Pinnacle under the IBM platform for editing. I have several years of experience using them. I will hire talent for the narration. I plan to spend a good chunk of money on interviews, releases and footage licenses.
Broward County Florida- Fort Lauderdale was incorporated in 1910, Because of Jim Crow laws Fort Lauderdale created a negro district and Black residents were proscribed to areas west of the tracks. They were banned from Fort Lauderdale beach and had to use the negro beach in Dania no matter where they lived. A beach that had no access except via ferry, and there was no ferry provided for over 30 years. A community already marginalized was targeted for a toxic incinerator in the 1920's. Lincoln Park Incinerator operated from the mid-1920's until it was replaced in 1953 by the Wingate incinerator located in Roosevelt Gardens, again in the heart of a black community with in five mile radius of each other. The local officials licensed the operation of two toxic incinerator for over 50 years. The incinerator pumped toxic chemicals in the air over the land, water, and residents. After the damage was done, the EPA came and declared one site,Roosevelt Gardens, a super fund site which they promptly covered up, literally with dirt. Presently in Roosevelt Gardens there are two toxic lakes and 61 acres of polluted land. The Lincoln Park Complex is on the northern side of Sistrunk Boulevard between NW 18th Avenue and Interstate 95 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Thousands drive pass this toxic community daily on their way to and from Miami. The complex includes three properties: the adjacent former municipal incinerator, the Lincoln Park properties along Sistrunk Avenue, and the former Lincoln Park Elementary School property directly north of the park. The 9-acre former municipal incinerator property has chain-link fencing on all sides.The only access is through a lockable gate on Sistrunk Boulevard. Currently the City of Fort Lauderdale uses the western two-thirds of the property as a recyclable residential waste separation and transfer station. Trash transfer began in the mid-1990s. The eastern third of this property is a grassy field that was the site of a municipal incinerator (late 1920s to mid-1950s) and later a municipal wastewater treatment plant (1969 to mid-1990s). These facilities were built on a cover over toxic waste dump. Less than half the population even knows the history.
The predominant contaminants identified by the EPA in the onsite "Surface Soil" and ash residue tests were
Lead / Arsenic / Benzo(a)pyrene / Beryllium / Dioxin
After the sites were abandoned the leftover toxic waste continued to seep deep into the soil and ground water. The neighborhood was completely unaware of the danger until Leola McCoy,("the hero of Roosevelt Gardens") the northwest Fort Lauderdale environmental activist who ran five times for City Commission, noticed high rates of cancer and other illness in the neighborhood. Wingate and Lincoln Park was McCoy's fight. It was a fight to her death. The day McCoy died, the headline in the newspaper said: Health Questions Linger After State Study on Fort Lauderdale Trash Incinerator. McCoy helped get the site capped and contained, but she wanted studies to prove that the neighbors to the site, herself included, suffered physically because of the toxins. She wanted long term health monitoring and health care. She called it "environmental racism." In an interview in 2002, she talked about her activism, and about Wingate. Some of the comments were great but never were published. "I have no license or credentials to be an expert on anything. Sometimes you have activists such as me who want my community to become whole, who are ignored because they say, 'Well, she’s just yelling and screaming.' But I’ll tell you this, everything I’ve said has been absolutely on the mark.'* excerpts from By Brittany Wallman August 21, 2008 interview. Mrs. McCoy lost her zeal when her husband died of cancer. Although Leola McCoy was just a high school graduate, she was awarded an Honorary Degree at Nova University for her research and activism concerning the Wingate and Lincoln Park facility before her death in 2008. Her daughter has taken up the fight.
Updates available at the web page Secret Poison
What other case needs to be made for universal health care and for restored funding to the EPA? In response to public concerns, the United States Environmental Protection Agency created the Office of Environmental Justice in 1992. Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Who would want to get rid of this? You have one guess!
If over funded, we will do independent soil and air testing in the affected neighborhoods. . I've budgeted for "The Talent" to do the narration. I plan several talking head interviews, mainly centered around the hero's of the community awareness, like Leola McCoy the hero of Roosevelt Gardens and some Michael Moore style ambushes . Footage releases and licenses, even stock footage is very expensive, so I plan to shoot as much original footage as possible. FLCC is donating the office personnel, equipment, and software like Quickbooks and laptops that are capable of handling the daily video data dumps. A complete budget can be found on my website at SECRET POISON
My wife and I have had 16 years in film and Television production. We have 4 volunteers, that will help with shooting, prep and planning.
Why Kickstarters? Two words "Project Financing". Some topics are hard to fund through conventional means. Nobody wants to offend the "Job Creators". Kickstarters makes it possible for independent, up and coming filmmakers to get financing. Kickstarter, as the name implies was created to give talented, lesser known, a kick start! As I look at other important projects along the same lines like My Reincarnation and Second Class Citizens . I believe the Secret Poisoning of our communities is just as equally as important, so go ahead, kick start me, please!
Do a neighborhood check, do you see any smoke stacks? Smell any thing funny? Even if you don't it doesn't mean your completely safe. If you do see a smoke stack or smell something funny outside, or if you observe any industrial pollution near or close to any neighborhood. First support this project, then Click here, register and tell your story! Updates available at my web page at Secret Poison
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (45 days)