Keynote: Meet the real Erin Brockovich

Video Transcription

Um It is really nice to be here today um with all of you and thank you so much. E I'm going to try to get as much out as I can in a short amount of time. I feel like Steven Soderbergh when I first met him.So he was the director of the film, Aaron Brockovich. He said the hardest thing I'm gonna do is take all this information and condensing it into two hours. So I have to take all of that that got condensed into two hours and condensed it into 50 minutes. It's not that easy, but um it's really good to be here this afternoon and I'm really excited to be a part of your event. Thank you for having me. So, uh thank you. So, like I said, for about the next 50 minutes or so, I hope to share with you. I am certainly not here to deliver a lecture. Uh That's one thing that scares me off because I generally will be the one in the back of the room just doing this. Can we stop already? So I'm here today to share a story or two, some thoughts, ideas that I hope can resonate with all of you. Um What I've learned in my journey of life and how I took my own struggles, my own insecurities and yes, I have them. I'm more comfortable being me than anything.

And so I know people think of me as a badass and I can get there, but I just don't like bust into a meeting and start dropping F bombs. It takes me a while for you to finally irritate me enough that I might go. Whoa, whoa, stop. So I want you to know that I'm also a person that has insecurities. I have vulnerabilities. I'm just like you. I found myself more uncomfortable when the film came out because I felt that it separated me somehow and I'm the one that wants to jump up on stage and start the Beatles song. I am you, you or me. We are all together. So I'm just gonna share those stories and hopefully we can have some fun. I'm not here to offer a bunch of scientific advice or facts, but rather a human insight on how we could overcome our obstacles. And I hope to pass on to you empowerment and the next generation of our leaders. I cannot think of a moment in time over the past 30 years where my environmental advocacy work has been more critical and how I need to reach more people to take action and get involved in supporting the environment in your community.

And most importantly, ourselves, we're always there for everyone else and I think we forget ourselves. I think we get disconnected from ourselves. And I know when I do, I can get lost during COVID, I released my book called Superman's Not coming. While it is about our water crisis, it can apply to a whole lot of things and everything. Frankly that we do in life. I did figure out prince Charming was not coming for me either. But here's the thing, there's things that you can do about it and you don't need that to get things done in your life. I know we've all heard lots and lots of talk but the time is truly upon us that we need to act, we need to be involved. I am excited because I truly believe citizen science is here. And what I mean by that is and I'm gonna get into a little bit of that. But citizen science, I respect science and we need science. But when I get in these communities and they've been drinking poisoned water for years and they understand the chemicals and they have sick Children, they're often not heard.

But the moment for citizen science, us, those that are living and breathing in that environment, know the science and we need people to listen to what has happened. I think that there is a real critical moment that's happening and citizen science will start to rise up. We need to listen more and we need to listen, not to reply but to understand someone else and our communities in ourselves. So I believe that we are in a very pivotal moment. I know we've all been through a lot with COVID, right? COVID, in hindsight will be our gift that we thought would be the worst thing to happen to us. The last thing that I said in February 2020 I did not predict COVID, but I've been a part of the world and we were getting out of control. We are spinning around, running around, go here, go there, less time, less energy, less motivation. And I said, if we're not careful and we don't take that time for ourselves a moment for self renewal, just stop and breathe, we're gonna get shut down, never thinking that it would be COVID. But I always visualize it like the great computer, most of you are in technology, right? So, you know, there's a lot of data comes into the computer and that blue dot That just spins around and around and around.

That was us just spinning around and around and around and around and at a point where enough and no data could come in, we went down and I think that gave us a time out whether we liked it or not to breathe, to reboot to look at what was going on around us. So I think this time we're in a great reset, a great reboot and just like a computer when it sorts it all out, it will fire back up. We are on the verge of firing back up. Not just where I'm from in the United States, but at a global level, I can feel it. I'm one of those people, I could go along with songs all the time. You know, Michael Jackson. Can you feel it? Can you feel it? I'm one of those people that feels things and senses things and I've been that way my whole life, you have that same power. And so part of what I want to share today with you is just that. But today we've been through a lot, but I am excited and I have a lot of hope for us that finally the great reset and the great reboot is here just like all of you. I had a lot of time on my hands during COVID to think and think and think and think I want you to know that's a very dangerous thing. It is. And I felt like I was doctor Googling myself to death.

I was checking every symptom this and that and I had every disease known to man, I think. And I was like, oh my gosh. And it reminded me of a song by the Congo's that goes like this. I think I've felt myself to death. That's where I've been too thinking and overthinking and in my brain, it just felt like it was gonna explode, trying to figure out and comprehend what the hell is happening and how do I continue? And I went through COVID mostly alone with my strength and my mental status intact. So it is during these times and what I think I like to share or maybe teach the most is when I feel lost and I am uncertain. I go to a place where I can disconnect from the chaos of my mind and retreat to the external and the great outdoors in nature, to water and to find myself being ill. This is so important in a crazy world. Find a space where you can be still. When's the last time you checked to see if your heart was even beating? I mean, we get to running around, but stillness isn't about necessarily being quiet. Stillness isn't about being silenced. Rather, it's you stopping and taking a moment to stand still and just be present in your life. Just be with you. It's good to stop and to gather your thoughts, breathe, recalibrate and be still long enough to hear yourself.

Think to hear what it is that you were saying to yourself. And I've learned that sometimes we are our own worst enemies. You're gonna hear me say that and we can stand in our own way. I was in Lululemon the other day and they had a great little thing up on the wall. It says, ignore the haters, including yourself. We can be the hardest on ourselves. And that made me really stop and think so when you take that time to reconnect, don't be so hard on yourself. Look, it's tough. We live, we used to live in a 24 hour news cycle. Now. It is a 24 2nd news cycle along with all the social media tweeting, tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, unlimited stories, unlimited paywalls. How do you get information? How do you know what is true? It's overwhelming. So I have invented when I get there, I'm like, oh the which means shut the fuck up. I hope I can say that in front of all of you. I will be lucky if I get out of here with one F bomb. And I know that like offends a lot of people. It's like my Children who are all adults now and I'm a grandmother of four. So you know how you're going to talk to your kids, stop it. They're in a fight or throwing things, whatever kids do.

Mine are adults now and they're like, ok that they're not listening to you, then they go and do it again. So then you come back in again. You're like, hey, I gassed, you guys knock it off, ok? They're like, look at you like a deer in the headlight. I don't know what you're talking about and enough finally after the fifth or sixth time, I'm like, what the fuck guys? And they're like, oh, she's serious? Wow. I gotta get to that point for you to stop. Ok. Oh, my gosh. Wow. Well, so here we are today and by the way, and sometimes I, I forget to do this. Hi, I'm Erin Brockovich. Not Julia Roberts. That's a, that's a strange thing. And that has been confusing to a whole lot of people for a really long time. You have to, what? Say that again. Hi, everyone. Let me introduce myself. I'm Erin Brockovich. Not Julia Roberts. Fy. I, so I, so it's confusing for you. How do you think? I feel that was the strangest thing I've ever done. I can talk so much about the movie, but I'll share a few things with you. One of the first things everybody always asked me of everything that got out of the film. Did you marry the biker dude? No, but let me say this had the real biker dude looked anything like the guy in that film? I would have never kicked him out. No way. Aaron Eckhart. Oh, what a handsome man. So it's been weird for me too. I did a little cameo in the film.

So I was a waitress. Do you, do you remember that part in the movie there in the restaurant? There's a waitress. Yeah. Kind of. No. Well, just fy, I, if you go watch it again, the waitress is me. Ok. And I'm waiting on myself because Julia's Aaron and my name tag was Julia. I like you are messing with me. Knock it off. So it's been really strange for me and, and as I get further into my talk, um, you'll understand I wasn't prepared for anything like this at all. Honestly, you say I grew up in the midwest. You think I grew up running around telling everyone somebody's gonna make a film about me because I uncovered a toxic Tort and Julia Roberts is gonna star in it. They would have had me committed. Probably. No, nobody would have believed it. So after it came out, it was, oh my gosh, it's been a wild ride. Um, it's taken me a long time to look back and figure things out. But I've had people come up to me and go oh my gosh. I love your thigh. Master. I use it all the time. Do you remember Suzanne Summers and the thigh Master? Sorry, you have the wrong person. I've had people. Now see, here's where I get to play with people back. Someone came up to me and said, did anyone ever tell you?

You look like Erin Brockovich? I'm like, hm, no, but I've been told I look like Julia Roberts. She's like, I don't get that. I'm like, ok, anyway, I could share so many fun things about the movie. So what I wanna do and the best way for me to do it is I have a lot that goes on in my mind all day long. And so when I'm talking, there's so much I wanna share. I've kind of done it in acts now like part one, part two, part three just to kind of keep my brain in order. So everyone ask or comes to hear me talk. How did this happen? I assure you I did not have some set plan for all of this to happen more often than not. I kind of fly by the seat of my pants on fire to get something done. I don't always, I plan, I plan way more than people know. But also I get into situations where I know it when I'm in it. I feel it something isn't right. Something is going on. I see your heads nodding because you know, but there will always be that person that wants to throw you off your game the minute you come up to me and wanna throw me off my game. It's all eyes on you. Why?

So I've taken a lot of time to go back and to help you understand how it is. I got here requires me to digress back to my childhood because something was preparing me for what I was about to embark upon. I just didn't know it then. So as a child, I connected to the environment, I loved it. There, I felt safe, I felt embraced, I felt accepted and I felt understood. I love the smell of fresh cut grass. I love to watch Wheatfield sway in unison, the harmony of nature. Each piece worked together. I was fascinated with fireflies and snowfall and running around like a kid to catch a snowflake on my tongue. All of it inspired me. I didn't realize till later. But I can tell you now, looking back that I am the environment and the environment was me. The environment became my best teacher. And what it was doing was peeling back the layers of who I was. So I could see beneath the surface. That's who I needed to connect with and who I was disconnected from you may be wondering why I was always out there because I didn't like school. I dreaded it because I have a learning disability known as dyslexia. So very early on, I was put in a box because I learned this way and it wasn't the normal way. I had to go over here. I had to be separated. I was different. I never understood that. I thought different was good. You tell me what normal is.

I was teased, I was told I was different. I was constantly laughed at because I had fs, I felt awful about myself. So I'd come home and I'd beat him and it was set and it was loving and I didn't feel alone. It was with all the critters and nature and the water and I was fascinated with it. So I had two mentors in my life that really helped me get through all of this. And one of them was my mom, oh, moms can be the greatest thing since ice cream. I just adore my mother. I've lost both my parents now, but I would come home all the time, feeling dejected and sad. And my mom would always tell me, oh, honey, Aaron, you don't get down, you know, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Right. I don't know. As a kid that didn't always go over well with me. But she said to me, you have to find your ST itiveness. I had no idea what. Stick to itiveness. See all of these words up here are things every day in my life that I wanna share and stick to itiveness is one of them. And I'm like, what the hell does that mean? Mom? Now my mom was a journalist and sociology major and an English teacher. She had terrific command of the English language. So she said, gotta have the dict of this. I'm like you made it up.

This is, you're not helping me. You've just made it up. I'm from the Midwest Lawrence, Kansas. We have lots of slang words. Katty Wampus launch wise, all kinds of stuff. So I thought it was a made up word. So mom left, came back with the Webster's dictionary and she read me the definition a propensity to follow through in a determined manner, dogged, persistence, born of obligation and stubbornness. Oh, ding, ding, ding, all you had to say is stubborn. Is my middle name. Now as a dyslexic, I visualize things. So I took the word stick to itiveness and I became the little engine that could, I think I can. I think I can. I know I can, I know I can. And my mom also taught me life will require you to have stick to it in this. And it's not necessarily something that you were born with. You have to develop the habit of persevering even when you don't want to. And it would be easier for you to give up. And that's exactly what I don't want anyone to ever do give up. So when you have that moment and you're feeling that push back or you think you can't or someone has said something to you, find your stick to itiveness. Remember you were dogged, you were determined, you can persevere even when you don't want to.

This is a moment where you can take a time out and a break, breathe reboot. But most importantly, get back out in the game. Don't let somebody else decide for you how you will or won't get involved or why you should or shouldn't be there. So my mom taught me the power of stick to it. My other savior really truly was my school teacher, Kathy Borsuk. She knew, I knew, I knew, I knew but she was confused why? When every time she gave me a test, I would fail. So one day leaving class, she stops me and she said, Erin, can I talk to you? And I'm like, sure I know what this is all about. There's gonna be another f, on that piece of paper. She said, you know, in class, but when you take a test you fail, she said is everything ok. I'm like, yeah, there's problems at home and I'm like, no. And she said, well, what's going on? I said, I, uh, something that's dyslexia. I really didn't pay any mind to it because I knew who I was and I learned the way I did. We all think differently. And she said dyslexia, hm. Never missed a beat. Never judged me. Never acted like I was abnormal or weird or different. She said, so if I give you the same test orally, will you pass it? I'm like, absolutely. She said, ok, let's do that. So she did. And I got an A plus.

She said, you know what I wanna do going forward any pop quiz, any final exam, any test, I'm gonna let you take it with your peers and afterwards you can come back and I'll give you the same test orally. How about that? I'm like, full score. Yeah, because I got an A plus on every test. What this one person did was unlock my self esteem. I knew I knew and I began to believe in myself again because she dared to be different because she dared to step out of the box and to see that there wasn't one way to learn. My mom would always get frustrated because back when she even felt an education is a good thing. But she said there's a standard of conformity to it. And this is coming from a school teacher because there are bright minds everywhere that can be the next world of leaders. But oftentimes think different, they process differently and they can slide through the cracks if we lose their self esteem. So that is the thing that is so key to everything that we do is keeping ourselves that self esteem, that belief system and who you are and all the other negativity off of you and keeping it intact. So those two women saved me.

So from there I went on, I graduated high school. That was a miracle. Mhm. And I went on to uh college and this is a different part of my journey that I wanna share with you and oh boy. So graduated high school, went on to college. I I the stick to it in this thing hadn't set in for me yet. So I was kind of running around doing my own thing just being cute and fun and found myself not doing well in college. So my dad said, yeah. Have you seen your GPA? I'm like, no, he goes, hm. I don't know. I think you're around a one. So maybe you need to come home and we, we need to rethink what you're doing. So I had to come home and that's where my dad really inspired me. So, yes, I had a great male mentor. He'd always ask me, Aaron, what is it you really like to do? He said, if you can find what you like to do, you will be successful. What is it like? I don't know, I'm kind of dramatic. So I thought maybe something in design, maybe acting classes. He said, no, we're not doing that. Uh So my dad is an engineer and I said, I like designing. I'm loving nature. Have you ever looked at nature? Perfect. Like what could I create? So dad said, how about we send you to a fashion design school? I said, oh, I would love that.

So he did and I got involved in something that I liked to do and became successful at it and graduated college and moved on to L A had a great job as an engineer, still not learning my lessons. And I share all of this with you because I'm with so many people who are like, how do I get to where you got be you be you. We always tried to be something else. I always tried to be something else too. I had to get comfortable with myself for everything to begin to work. So I found myself in a job and I was feeling uncomfortable again. So I ended up being the flirty one, the socializing one. Ha ha ha. Hello. Can you see me late from lunch all the time? And I ended up getting fired. I'm like, well, this is a shit show. What am I gonna do now? I'm not calling my dad. I'm telling you that. So I decided to do what all my friends were doing. I decided to do what I thought was expected of me and I got married. Let me tell you, I did learn three divorces later that I'm a better me than a we and marriage can be great. But it wasn't for me. I just chose poorly. That's on me. So I went on to get married and divorced and married and divorced.

And I bring this up because it's letting me share with you my vulnerabilities if I can't, I'm not me and I don't want anyone to think, you know, I had this perfectly set designed life of anything to become anything. I already was something we all are. But I was getting lost in so many places. So married, divorced, married, divorced three times, three Children, moved to Reno, Nevada had a great job, married and divorced. I've shared that story when I finally decided to go back to L A because I'd had a really bad car wreck. So here I was single mom, divorced, three kids, came down to L A and this is where I met the biker dude George in a bar of all things. And I was with some friends and he came up to me and he grabbed my beer and he said, can I buy you a beer? I'm like, thank you. I have one. He goes, you don't want this one a little tablet in it busy. He said I got you a beer. So this is how I met George and he went back to Reno and got the kids with me and helped me move down to L A and he is the one that introduced me to Ed Masry who's played by Albert Finney.

Oh, yeah. See, it was a long road getting to there and it wasn't an easy one, but in the back of my mind was the stick to itiveness. The back of my mind was I didn't want to be stuck in a box. So if a door closed, the window would open, if the window opened, I'm always searching and looking for the next way out. Never let yourself get boxed in or believe that you are boxed in because you're not. So I met Ed and his partner and they took me to Reno, Nevada on the big trial and guess what? We lost. And now this is kind of picks up where the movie starts. I really thought that this would help get me on a road to finding a place to live with my Children. And I really had a bad car wreck. I had ac five C six vasectomy. I was very injured and it just didn't turn out well in a jury trial, that's how things go. So I come back to L A and I went into Ed's office and I started saying you never call me back. I think you need an assist. And he goes, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, not you. No, no. And I'd come back and I finally talked and worked with Ed enough. I said, please, I need a job and I will do a good job. I felt like I was in school again.

I knew what I knew and I knew I could do it well, but I couldn't always express it. So I was trying to express to Ed, I know what I can do and I'm going to do a good job, I promise. So he hired me and what happened next was, well, not everybody in the office appreciated my style of dress. Let's say that and they certainly didn't appreciate my language. They didn't appreciate my way of doing things. So I'm like, ok, I've got this because going back, remember I told you I would go outdoors. I would reconnect myself. I wasn't always understood. I'm like, ok, so I'm back here a little bit so I can deal with this. And one day Ed brought into me a file to open, did I know what I was doing? No, I said I did. But when I opened the file. I read what was in it. I was curious and I wanted to do a good job. And sure enough sitting in there was a chart, a graft that was done of this family's health and their lymphocytes were off the chart. Their white count was off the chart. And these were Children. I'm like, that's weird. If my kids had blood tests like that, I'd want to know what was going on because I think they could be sick. So I asked if I could go out. He said you can. And that's when I went out and met Roberta Walker.

So Ed became a Kathy Borsa. He was willing to come outside of the box and it takes both parties to be able to do that. We get into push and pull. You. Remember the game of tug of war, you know, just tug and push and pull like that. So if you're on this side and you're just like pulling and then they start to pull you back. What happens when you let go? They get set down on their ass over there. So I found my space and my place in dealing with these issues where sometimes where we're just, all we're doing is this next to each other? Someone just go, I'm out, I'm out. But we don't wanna do that because the idea that I'm out that I'm gonna let go, that I'm gonna retreat is a sign that you are weak. Or someone can take advantage of you. The opposite is true. I will tell you the worst thing that can happen. And anybody that works with me will tell you this if Erin says she's out, oh, you are in trouble because I don't care if you think it's weak. I don't care if you think it's a failure. It's my strategy. It's my strength. We get all worked up. I'm out, I'm reconnecting, I'm back to my environment. I'm breathing, I'm rebooting. I'm resetting, I'm rest strategizing and I'm coming back. So, just because you walk away, that's their problem. If they think you're not coming back, you know exactly what you're gonna do.

So, here I was in Hinckley and we were going through all this and I took that moment where I'm like, I mm I'm out and here's what happened. I'm out there snooping around and people didn't like it. And I heard this all the time. What are you doing out here? Why are you here? You're not a doctor. You're not a lawyer. You're not a scientist. You're not a politician. Why should we hear anything from you? I was struck to the core. I'm like, are you kidding me? I don't have to be any of that to tell you that I am a human and I can feel things and I can see things and I can see the trees dying and I see people that are sick and I see animals covered with tumors and I see two headed frogs and green water and if you're going to try to convince me that's normal, here's what I'm gonna do.

I'm gonna tell you bullshit I wasn't about and this happens and I see it in communities all the time for all of us, somebody else will come along and give you this idea because you shouldn't be doing what you're doing. You're not qualified to be doing what you're doing and then you think you can't do it. So for me, when I hear that, that's where I'm like, oops, sorry, I'm out. They thought I left. No, I didn't. I went and did my research. I went and asked questions. I started talking to more people and I began to uncover that this was a huge contamination, a huge toxic cover up. And when I went to Hinckley, I can feel the perfect storm brewing. I'm like, oh my gosh, the environment's talking to me again. Oh my gosh, something is wrong. It was screaming at me, help me. So today I continue to do my environmental work. We got the lawsuit done. And I'm amazed after the film came out how many people had groundwater and pollution issues, not only in America but throughout the globe. Within the first month after the film, we had 100,000 emails from people around the globe suffering from groundwater contamination. So I continue my work today and one thing I do wanna show you and then I'm just gonna kind of go over my things that I have done that have helped me get actually up to the point where I have today.

And first of all, I just threw these words up here because they roll around in my life every single day and I just left them there for you about self limitations. We put them on ourselves. You know, I've said before, I'll say it again and you're gonna hear me say it over and over again. Nobody's coming to save us. You're your own hero. But sometimes you gotta get out of your own way. And I say that because I'm usually the one standing in my own way. And it's been 30 years of how I've learned to do that. So I just put these words up here for you to remember about community and don't get stuck in a box and respect, you know, yourself. Others have your stick of this. Believe that you can love your vulnerability, love your flaws. If I look back on my life, my weaknesses, my dyslexia became my strength and it was my gift and had I listened to what everybody else was telling me, it might not have turned out that way. But I remembered my mom, I had that stick to this. I didn't get stuck in the box. I believed that I could, like I said, the little engine that can. So I just threw those up there for you. But I want to show you that just kind of gives you an idea how I even got to the movie.

And beyond that, that's another entire hour conversation that how did I get through? It has been a deluge of environmental issues. It is so hard to just talk about the environment. It is going to be very daunting, it is going to be very overwhelming and there is not a government or a leader or a state that's gonna be able to come in and fix this. It will take every single one of us to do our part. We are in a true environmental crisis. All you have to do is take a look around and see for yourself that things are changing and I don't want to be stuck labeling climate change or anything else because see that's what gets us right here. You can see what's happening around you. The changes are here, whether it's too hot, too dry, too arid where it's supposed to be humid. Climate change will be water events too much, too little or none at all. And we are on that cusp. So for me, um and if I go to that you have the um powerpoint with you, I leave it with you. You remember the uh yeah, so I've created community health book and I just kind of wanna show you how each one person, individual, even just reporting and people often times don't wanna say anything because someone else is gonna tell them you're crazy, you're gonna damage our land values.

Um The difference it can make when people start self reporting. And so that was the map that I have created called Community Health book that I wanted to share with you. It's, you're all in tech. So I'm sure you're pretty savvy on this kind of stuff. Do you have like, uh you remember I sent it over. So what I learned and I'll, I'll, once it pops up, I'll go over to it in the field in my line of work. And I've shared with you, I, in a way was being prepared for it. I have four Ls that I work with in a community. First one's logic. Everyone else. What is logic that's normal. Anyway, you ever, like, really looked at some of our words and then read the definition. It's like, oh, we need to change that word. So what is logic anyway? For me, my logic is my common sense. That common sense set of skill. I'm sorry, green water and two headed frogs is strange going with that gut feeling. Women are very good at this and women are often told and I've seen all the time. You're crazy. You're feeling your emotions, you feel it. Oh Yeah, I do. Let me tell you where science backs me up your brain, your second brain is your gut. And when I feel it, I stay with it. That's my balance. That's my stick to itiveness. I am solid. I have never met a mother in all the communities I've been at that didn't go.

It's here in my gut and I stay with that and I've learned that when I do, I logically take the next steps to doing the next thing. Common sense is your logic. Stay with it. It's all I had. I didn't have anything to compare everything that I was going through. Other than how I grew up, I grew up in the Midwest where there's tornadoes. I'm sorry, when the tornado sirens went off, I didn't call the weather channel to ask if it was an F four or an F five. This told me right. And I did so follow that common sense. My second l is leverage another word that we think is bad or somebody's gonna leverage somebody so somebody is gonna get screwed over. No leverage is the community. Leverage is bringing one neighbor in one mother, one father, talking to the college students. I learned mathematically, y'all know you're in the IT world one plus one equals two. But in principle, one plus one equals 1000 or more when it was just me out there on a rant when it was another mom out there, I'm telling you this is something going on. I'm like, but when we, uh this is what I'm saying. Uh stop. OK. Fine. I'm out. We started getting strategic. We started leveraging each other. We became one and five and 10 and 50 100 and 506 100 on and on and on.

Wow, somebody was paying attention, logic, leverage, loyalty. That's your stick to itiveness. No, it's like the NFL Super Bowl. When you go into the game, when they go into the game, they know they could fall, they know they could get hit. They know it's gonna be rough when we get involved in these coming in. You can expect setbacks expect to get pushed around, expect to get knocked down. Can you imagine in the big NFL game, if you caught the ball and you drop it and you're like, OK, fine, throw it on the field. I'm walking off the whole stadium would be booing at you if you stumble if you fall. So what? Get back in the game, pick up the ball. You may have lost 60 yards, but you may rush 50 you may get knocked down and get pushed back 10. And the next time you may run 70. Boom. And you make that field goal logic, leverage, loyalty. Stick to it in this. Stay true to your cause you may not have and get where you want tomorrow, but you stick with it. You will be prepared to stay the long haul and the map not come up, it's coming. Ok? So last hour I'm gonna show you the map and then I'm gonna close out of here. You, you know what the last L is, right? People, logic, leverage, loyalty and love. What is our motivator and what is our, why?

I can't tell you how many times in my life and I can't tell you how many times coming home from Hinckley. I asked myself, why am I doing this? Everyone says I can't. Everyone says I shouldn't, I don't see my Children. I'm not at home but everything I just shared with you lived in my being and I had to stick with it and I had to stay at it. And I realized I'm doing this because love my environment. I love my kids. I love these people in Hinckley. Yes, I love to work. And it's ok for us to love to work, to love, to make money because we love to watch our kids graduate from college. You know what? I gotta tell you something 10 years ago, I was so exhausted. I thought I was done. I thought I was done until my first grandchild was born and I caught her love this. That is why I'm gonna fight another day for her for all of us for a better tomorrow. But when you get down and out and you ask yourself why just remember, you love your family, you love your job, you love your country, we love life. We want to watch all these things happen. And most importantly, we love ourselves. So here is my map. So after all of my work in 30 years, I don't want to date myself. I'm gonna be 62 in June and I began my work in Hinkley when I was 31.

I'm a little frustrated after 30 years in all of our environmental issues that we are in the trouble that we're in. We have aging infrastructure and it's not gonna stop there. And what we have to look at is we have aging business models, we have aging policies, we have aging laws, we have aging ideas and everything that we did back in those days to get us where we are today may have been all in good well intended, but it is not going to carry us into the future.

Every one of your minds here and through technology, we have to start cutting into the solutions. We can't afford to keep kicking the can down the line anymore. We can't afford to keep c it is time to take action and we have the ability to do that. So when I created community health book again about leverage the power of people and technology. So this is a self reporting registry database and it's called Community Health book. And so how it works if you go to the next slide. First of all, any of you live in the United States of America? Oh Lucky you. Water every single day of my life. Not one photo, 10 photos from all 50 states. Whether it's chemical, whether it's lead, whether it's trihalomethane and we could spend another hour on water. 101. I'm not gonna do that to you. But this is America's water. Ok. I'm sorry, I don't need to have a science degree to tell you that I'm not drinking this. How can you expect the other people to drink it? But they are and you'll even see the pictures some of the parents have taken there was a child right there in a bathtub. So this is my life now, you know why a ping pong ball goes on in my head all day long. So we go to the next slide. What I've done is I've started having a location where people can report to. Oh my gosh, I, I have spent 30 years of my life on the ground and in these communities, no one believes them.

Why would you not listen to the person where you've already clearly confirmed that they're drinking poison has issues. They know better than you do. They know the science of what they're drinking better than you do. So it's a real listening moment and all these little dots. These are live real reports of people with water issues in the United States. I'm like, oh, don't even, I can't, don't get me started. It's like, what, where are our leaders? What is going on? Why are you not speaking out? And this is a tool that helps give them that voice. So can you open that map a little or no? Yes. No. Like you know, no. Ok. Fine. We're going on. I can flip colors so I can get reports from military bases. I can get reports on air. You can keep going or water, you can keep going. This is a heat map. Can you go back to that one? I'm sorry, I presented this map in DC and at the time, Senator Boxer was in office and she looked at that and then she's like, why is nobody reporting this to me? OK. Uh They have, nobody is listening. So this is helping to empower people so they can see the information and now they know they're not alone. That's really important. I felt alone when I was in school and went outside. These communities, feel alone and they're not heard.

This gives them some empowerment so you can go to the next one and keep going. So here is where it gets really interesting. So what we're starting to recognize is patterns. One thing, science takes a long time. Chemicals like chrome, six latency periods are 20 years. Epa has to study them that can take 20 years. And in that time people move away, we don't always monitor people's migratory pathways so they can grow up in a location. Move to Florida, their latency period expires and come down with cancer that gets reported to the state in which they reside, not where they're from. As a dyslexic, I work backwards when I uncovered and figured Hinckley out was one document. In 1991. The monitoring wells and Hinckley were still five PPM. The document and the environment and ecology experts had said 90% of the chromate had already been removed via agricultural and domestic water use and the levels were still 5 p.m. in 91 I'm thinking, wait a minute, it's 91.

It's still 5 p.m. and 90% has been removed. That five P PM was a lower number of a higher number in time. So I started going back and that's where I found the original level of hexavalent chromium when it hit the aquifer of 58 parts per million. I need that number to establish a dose response ratio and what's happened to these people. And so here it's the same process. I start going back. I don't look at where you live today and the disease you have moving forward. I won't go back. Where are you from? So all of these reports you'll see up here in Quincy, Massachusetts 48. Um Otego Michigan. Now these people are moving 602 people reporting and they're not stopping. So now the state actually uses some of their statistics that they're self reporting. We're missing everything when we don't self report.

So for me, this has become the ways I'm, I can't find you and I can't help you if you don't go, hey, I'm over here. But what we're recognizing is patterns of people who've moved away. But placing them back to a similar location up here in Minnesota, we had a situation with T CE. We had them create their own community like community health book. 7000 people reported who'd moved away and 900 of them who grew up there had the same cancer. That's not a coincidence. And I'm not here to find this information so I can sue you. Forget that we might be able to start finding solutions. We might be able to know where these sites are. How can we begin clean up? Like I said, the old way might have been good then, but it's not taking us forward and this whole thing that goes on, push and shove my way or the highway, it isn't working either at some point. It's this and how can I begin to figure it out to begin to implement solutions? And we have to be realistic about our goals. I'm dealing with this at home right now. We have an infrastructure bill that's partially come through and we've been told lead free water tomorrow, that's not gonna happen. This is where we get into trouble. Be honest, we have 18 million miles of lead pipe.

It's not getting replaced in a year and this is where communities get mad and this is something that can empower them through self reporting. So that's community health book. All right. So look what I want to share with you in closing is it's been a really long journey for me. I'm not done yet. So, you know, but I get um tired and I have learned um I'm not perfect. Everybody wants to know how I figured it out. Um I figured it out by just being a human and that's the one thing I want you to remember. We're our own worst enemy. So my program and I do a lot of things that help me visualize. I think more of us are visual as you're nodding your head, you're in tech. So he would show up um than just hearing something sometimes and I visualize things. So to help me get through all this, I have really visualized myself as a ram. Yes. Aren't they amazing? Back to nature? We go their confidence, their courage as they come down in the steepest of slopes and rocks and they can because they know themselves, they know what they're capable of. They don't let fear seep in. They're not listening to what the other Ram has to say to them. They know who they are and I think that's the winning ticket. We always listen to what everybody else has to say about us and then that noise and their opinion becomes us.

So I have a visual with my Ram and I have a visual when people and all the negativity that they hurl at you. I want you to think of it as a post it note. And when one of those comes, it's an incoming and it will stick right there if you'll let it and you'll have incoming all day. And I have found myself at the end of the day standing there with 1000 stick of notes on me when I realized this is someone else's shit, not mine. I just start to rip it off. So my ram is all about realization, assessment and motivation, realize who you are and not just your strengths, embrace your vulnerabilities and your flaws, which you think may be your worst nightmare is probably in hindsight, going to be your greatest gift. Realize own, embrace love, forgive yourself.

None of us are perfect. If you knew how many mistakes I'd made, you probably would have never showed up today. Embrace you a stands for assessment and accountability. You know what we all make mistakes and that's the thing we're afraid to own them, own them. It feels great. I used to get in trouble with the lawyers all the time. Did you do that? And I'm like, yes I did and they were like, I see you. Ok, I'm finishing now um because I'm gonna have a plane to catch the minute somebody asked me, did you do that? And I'm like, yeah, I did. Is there a problem? They're like, what am I supposed to do with that? I'm like, what do you mean? What are you supposed to do with that. They're like the truth. I'm like, oh, so you're all set to get mad at me because you thought I was gonna lie. No, I made a mistake. Sorry, I'll do my best not to do that again. I didn't know. I didn't think that would upset you to own your own stuff. We're always so busy. Your fault is your fault. I just had this conversation with my adult son. Thank you very much. I'm like, oh my God, you wanna blame everybody else. Would you look at yourself in the mirror? Own it? It's ok. And I love accountability and assessments. Oh, come, if you're gonna beat yourself up, that's ok. I think of it like real estate. You want to do an appraisal on your house.

Somebody comes over, it comes in low. What do you do? Remodel the bathroom? Put in some new hardwood floors, take the carpet out. Give it a paint job. Guess what appraisal goes up? You could do the same thing with yourself. Flip it to positive. I may have this shortcoming but I can do this or I can go back to school or I can do something else. I could change my career. I've got the stick to this. I've got the ability. It is that determination. You can do it, realize, assess accountability last as motivation. And we've talked about that. It is so hard even today, maybe even more so than it was two or three years ago to find our motivation. But when you think you are lost, I encourage you to stop breathe, reboot and take the time to go somewhere in nature. You can say everything to you and so much can be said in silence. It's where you can hear yourself. Think it's where you can feel yourself breathe and you can have a fresh start in a reboot. Imagine that you are the water. We are water. Let's not forget. Look at the strength that it has in the fortitude. Forever moving forward to carve out hills and valleys of our landscape. That is us too. So when you are lost, please stop reboot. Reiner. Find your balance. Nature can give it to you. And when you do, I'm really gonna promise you, there's no obstacle. You cannot surmount.

There is no challenge you cannot meet and there is no fear. You cannot conquer. Thank you. Hi. Thank you so much. See, I stopped in time. I have a plane to, to catch. But if anybody has one or two questions, I'm happy to answer it real quick and then we'll go one or two. See, I ruined it for you. I told you I didn't marry the biker. Did it really?

So younger people. We've talked about them earlier. What is it that impresses you most in terms of what you're seeing with the youth and what they're doing today?

Um You know, so I have all millennial kids and uh the next generations, even behind them, a better sense of themselves. I see that happening, identifying who they are, being ok with who they are and being really strong within themselves. I think that's a big change and that's, you know why I talk so much about it clearly in my generation, I've seen it even happen with my own kids. Other people's ideas of what is normal. What is this, what is that get stuck on us? And I don't think we even realize that these next generations coming in seem to be really strong about not letting that happen and you'll be successful as long as you can unlock and be ok with yourself. And there's many different ways we can present it. We're all gonna have bosses and stuff that think that it's a different way, but it's a way to re approach, stay solid in what you believe and what you know, and at the first try, just don't give up and go away. And that's what I am seeing with these next leaders. They know it's time for a change. They can see it, they can feel it. I think we all can because something isn't working and they are prepared to stay true to that and go the long haul. That's what I'm saying. I'm the best cheerleader. I think we all can be. Last one. We're good. Thank you so much. You can have take it.

Um I didn't see a lot of Canada. So what can we do to help start to put some of that? So Canada

does report in. So that's just on the US side. So uh what I talked about in my book, Superman is not coming, get involved locally. Oh my gosh, I have seen the greatest things happen when you all start showing up to city council. Have you ever been to a city council meeting? No, because I assure you they're in there talking to themselves. How are they supposed to know what's going on if you don't show up? I have seen the biggest changes throughout communities in America because they showed up. So start at your own backyard and your own city council. Gosh, permits get happened right there for companies to come in. A lot of water issues happen right there. So I had a community in Tonganoxie, Kansas. So they had foster farms coming out and the moms weren't gonna have it because they're gonna pollute their fabulous water. They got to city council early and they stopped them from ever building. There is so much that can be done. So as I said, you know, I wrote Superman's Not coming and I have learned that Prince Charming wasn't coming. But what I have discovered that who I've been waiting for all along to come make it right for me and rescue me was me. So when you find yourself, you know, it's nice to have people in your life. I'm not saying that, but sometimes people want to knock you off your game for a whole host of reasons that have nothing to do with the right reason. Just be true to yourself.

You got your own back. Ok? Thank you. Thank you. Thanks guys. You're so nice. I hope I didn't talk too long. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.