Personally speaking with Margaret Human

Local environmental activist Margaret Human. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

Sixty-nine-year-old mother and grandmother and New Paltz resident and activist Margaret Human is certainly one who puts her money where her mouth is — or maybe, more appropriately, puts her feet to the ground, rather than a pedal to motorized metal.

After retiring and selling her home in Pine Plains, Human moved to New Paltz, where her daughter and grandchildren reside. New Paltz was more than a familial home, but a cultural home to Human, who had, over the years, attended many events, protests, lectures on various environmental and social justice issues at SUNY-New Paltz.

“Obviously, I wanted to take the opportunity to be closer to my daughter and grandchildren after retirement; but I also wanted to live somewhere that I could walk and not own a car and tread lightly,” said Human, who now serves on the New Paltz Planning Board, is a member of the New Paltz Green Party and the New Paltz Climate Action Coalition.

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You can always see Human walking to various businesses and venues throughout the town and village, a smile on her face, a warmth and optimism despite attempting to tackle big-ticket issues like global warming and climate change and “restoring democracy to our American government, which currently is completely undemocratic and is controlled by the super-rich and international corporations.”

To that end, Human is gearing up for a trip to Washington, DC on Oct. 5, armed with only a backpack and a tent and a will to make a difference on the issues that she cares about. “There are so many issues I’m passionate about,” she mused, “global warming, peace, unnecessary wars that are killing so many of our soldiers and innocent civilians, job losses, lack of national health care…but these issues, while in my mind are all connected, can tend to splinter activist groups.”

That’s why she has chosen to participate in “Stop the Machine: Create a New World,” a nonviolent protest movement being held in DC at the Federal Plaza beginning Oct. 6.

“It’s an umbrella organization, and I’ve been so inspired by the various protests taking place in Madison, Wisconsin, on Wall Street, that I thought I had to do what any citizen in a democracy could and should do to let their voice be heard. I’m not a leader, necessarily; I’m a soldier, and I will camp out at the Federal Plaza for as long as they allow me to, until our concerns are addressed. If we get arrested and put in jail, then so be it. It’s time for a change.”

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