Thank you to all of you who have taken action on this year’s Think Before You Pink® campaign, “It’s an Epidemic, Stupid!” This year’s campaign calls for our government to step up to its unique role and essential responsibility to help address and end the breast cancer epidemic.
Grounded in our strong and shared belief that we need to move breast cancer beyond “awareness” and pink ribbons toward meaningful government action, our campaign directly calls for our elected officials to do more than light the White House pink or don pink ribbon lapel pins.
We’re demanding they step up to help address and end the breast cancer epidemic, and fulfill the role that only our government can. The campaign name, “It’s an Epidemic, Stupid!” pays homage to the much repeated “It’s the Economy, Stupid!”— President Bill Clinton’s mantra of the 1990’s that he used to keep his message and the focus of his administration on track. The benefit of this simple stark reminder to himself and his staff resulted in the 1990’s being a time of immense economic stability and growth.
Over the past several weeks, thousands of our members — activists from all 50 states (including DC and Puerto Rico!)–contacted congressional representatives and President Obama and urged them to support the 2012 Breast Cancer Action Mandate for Government Action. This is no small achievement for an organization that boasts fewer than 10 staff, a handful of dedicated volunteers, and about a dozen board members. However, when you look at the sheer force of will and sense of purpose of our members (people like you!), it makes absolute sense and, once again, validates a belief we hold dear and true: collective action is the most powerful avenue for change.
With this campaign, we have an opportunity to urge our legislators to take bold action on breast cancer, by initiating and supporting independent research and strong regulation to turn the tide on this epidemic.
It is our government’s responsibility to monitor and regulate industry —chemical, pharma, biotech — in order to protect public health. Pushing the burden of responsibility onto the shoulders of individuals is an unacceptable response to a public health crisis. We cannot shop our way out of this public health crisis. As long as corporations dump pollutants into the air, the water, and the products they sell, and pharmaceutical and biotech firms prioritize profits over patients, we need government action.
We also need our government to invest in independent research to complement and supplement gaps left by industry-funded research, research that will never be profitable for Big Pharma—and therefore will never see the light of day.
There are no quick fixes to the breast cancer epidemic and quick fix solutions like “get screened” and “buy pink” do a disservice to women’s health and therefore to all of us. The breast cancer epidemic is a public health crisis requiring complex, system-wide solutions. Our government has a central role to play in this public health crisis. We know government alone cannot address and end the breast cancer epidemic, but our elected leaders have a role to play that no individual or organization can. Together we’re demanding our government step up to that role in all its complexity.
If you haven’t taken action yet, there is still time to join us and demand your elected leaders stop political pinkwashing, uphold their unique and essential role, and endorse the 2012 Breast Cancer Action Mandate for Government Action.
Breast cancer requires more than awareness, and pink ribbons, and screening. Join us. Tell elected officials across this nation to take meaningful action to address and end this epidemic. Join us by visiting our campaign webpage to learn more, and to take action!