Mitzi Epstein and the Girl Scouts Introduce Two Bills to Combat Pollution.

Image from LD 18 Twitter
Image from LD 18 Twitter Site

It all started with a letter to State Representative Mitzi Epstein from nine-year-old Amber Chen.

The letter asked Arizona Lawmakers to write legislation that would combat balloon and plastic pollution to help save animals.

Later in the legislative session, girl scouts helped write a bill as an educational exercise to address this issue.

Over the summer, Representative Epstein and other State Legislators formed the Arizona Bicameral Sustainability Workgroup, a group dedicated to finding solutions with the scientific-university community, community stakeholders, cities and businesses to combat pollution.

On January 22, 2020, Ms. Epstein, joined by Girl Scouts and experts in combatting pollution, held a gathering in the State Capital Rose Garden to introduce two bills (HB 2339 and HB 2338) to reduce pollution.

HB 2339 deals with decreasing balloon liter. If passed, this legislation would make it illegal to not clean up balloon garbage. Individuals that are cited for littering balloon debris would have to perform community-cleaning service.

HB 2338 is a more ambitious measure to fight pollution.

It calls for investing $400,000 for public schools to plant low Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds emitting trees. These funds would be supervised by the Arizona Department of Education.

The bill proponents feel that the $400,000 investment could result in a savings of five million dollars in electricity costs and the removal of 57,000 pounds of ground-level ozone and smog.

Commenting on HB 2338, Representative Epstein said:

“HB2338 is far more important than might be assumed because of its youthful advocates. It is about clean air, and Arizona needs to make improvements in air quality now…….. You cannot see ozone air pollution, but it’s like a sunburn on your lungs. Planting trees will make a difference.”

Balloon debris, especially latex ones, cause great harm to the animals that eat them. Smog incapacitates and reduces the life spans of human, animal, and plant life.

Representative Epstein, her colleagues on the Arizona Bicameral Sustainability Workgroup, the Girl Scouts, and their allies in the scientific, educational, and business community should be commended for taking these first common-sense steps in fighting pollution.

More needs to be done but this is a sound foundation to start from.


The writer is a PC of Arizona Legislative District 18.





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David Gordon
Living in Arizona since his family moved to Tempe from New York in 1982, David Gordon has three degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Phoenix in History, Political Science, and Secondary School Administration. A highly qualified Social Studies instructor and Certified School Principal, Mr. Gordon owned his own charter school, Grand Canyon College Preparatory Academy from 1997-2016. The school served students in grades 6-12 in the East Valley of Maricopa County. Many of the graduates of GCP earned college credit for free while still attending high school, some completing the first year of college before graduating. Among the speakers at the school's graduations were noted figures in Arizona Politics like Harry Mitchell, David Schweikert, Juan Mendes, Andrew Sherwood, and John Huppenthal. Mr. Gordon also participated in the revisions of the Arizona History and Social Studies standards. In January 2017, Mr. Gordon started the political blog Twenty-First Century Progressive Bull Moose. It has a global following and routinely comments on the political events of the day. Mr. Gordon also helps administer the Facebook page Living Blue in Arizona. He is also currently writing a series of Young Adult science fiction novels which incorporate the themes of time travel and its impact on history. Mr. Gordon is very happy to be asked to join the Blog for Arizona team and hopes to spread the progressive word to make Arizona a better place for everyone.


  1. While an admirable exercise in citizen involvement in the legislative process, the Girl Scouts might be better served by beginning in their own collective backyard, and fight pollution by removing the GMOs and other toxic ingredients from the gazillion Girl Scout cookies they sell every year.

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