After our activists helped to defeat Michael Baroody as the once-dangerous nominee for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), we put out another call asking for letters-to-the-editor on the urgent need to have the agency represent consumers, not manufacturers. One of our more moving and inspiring responses came from Lisa Lipin, a mother and consumer advocate from Skokie, Illinois.
Lisa has since been published in the Chicago Sun Times (“Bush should put people before profit”):
I am a Chicago mother who became a consumer advocate in June 2003 after my son was nearly strangled by a dangerous toy that already had been recalled in countries around the world.
I have been urging the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban the Yo-Yo Water Ball for years. I successfully lobbied Illinois lawmakers to ban this toy effective Jan. 1, 2006, with Senate Bill 1960. I gained the support of U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama — all of whom sent letters to the CPSC urging that the agency ban the toy. Unfortunately, the CPSC refuses to take action and sits idle on the issue.
I was so relieved to hear that Michael Baroody, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, had withdrawn his nomination to head the Consumer Product Safety Commission under immense public pressure. Baroody was clearly the wrong person for this position, given his background as an industry shill who spent the last 13 years of his career trying to disable the CPSC.
However, we must not forget that Baroody represents a regular practice by the Bush administration of promoting unqualified cronies and anti-government hacks to public office.
It is imperative that President Bush nominate a real advocate for consumers, rather than a spokesperson for big-business interests.
It is high time that the administration put people before profit!
The Chicago Parent also picked up a piece by Lisa, in which she challenges: "Who does the Consumer Product Safety Commission protect?"
We congratulate Lisa on reaching thousands of readers! We also thank her for being a relentless advocate for the safety of our children and all consumers.