New York City residences had to bid farewell to one of their most influential bug policy advocates, Renee Corea, after achieving her goal of creating a legislative bed bug task force for the Big Apple.
Armed with a simple Wordpress blog and a whole lot of persistence, Corea and her small group of New Yorker bed bug suffers formed the bed bug advocacy and policy website with a single goal:
“We had a simple goal: we wanted our city to achieve control of the spread of bed bug infestations.”
Excerpts@ New York vs. Bed Bugs
Their campaign launched in March 2008 and by February 2009 they developed a bill with New York City Council members to create a bed bug taskforce (see original bill) now known as the Bed Bug Advisory Board (BBAB). The board’s purpose is to assess the bed bug situation in New York City and report back to New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, with specific recommendations for prevention:
“The creation of the Bed Bug Advisory Board, comprised of experts in the pest management, entomology, and public health fields […] will examine the bed bug problem in further detail, systematically evaluate, study, identify and develop appropriate strategies to control and eradicate the bed bug problem in the City. The Advisory Board will report back their findings to the Mayor and the Speaker within nine months (April 2010) of their appointment.” –Michael Bloomberg
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge Renee Corea and New York vs. Bed Bugs’ story for what it is, classic David and Goliath. What you effectively have is a small group of bed bug inflicted citizens appealing to the massive city of New York for help. On the outside looking in, their task looks tough, even insurmountable. But fortunately, this Goliath was responsive to its public and made all the right moves to be helpful.
Corea’s courageous efforts are a perfect case study for what citizens of other towns and cities can do to help improve their situation. Having achieved her goal, Corea has stepped down from New York vs. Bed Bugs as of early March. No doubt the NYC public is grateful of all of Corea’s hard work on their behalf and if they aren’t, they should be.