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Stuart Clarke and Steve Lafferty Join Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ Board

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2020

Contact:
Dannielle Lipinski, dlipinski@mdlcv.org, 443-617-7257

Stuart Clarke and Steve Lafferty Join Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ Board

Annapolis, MD – Maryland League of Conservation Voters has announced that University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives’ Stuart Clarke and Baltimore County’s Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Lafferty have joined its board of directors.

“We are thrilled to welcome these two long-time environmental champions onto our board,” said Ed Hatcher, chair of Maryland LCV’s board. “Maryland LCV is working to make Maryland a national leader in demonstrating what can be done at the state level to combat climate change. Stuart and Steve will be important players in our efforts.”

Before joining UMCES, Clarke served as the executive director of the Town Creek Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation dedicated to a sustainable environment. His previous philanthropic experience includes assignments as a program officer with the Turner Foundation managing a grant-making portfolio including national water quality and environmental protection and as development director of the Southern Partners Fund supporting social justice organizing in the South. He has also served as co-chair of the Maryland Climate Commission, which provides governance for State initiatives to address climate change, and as a trustee for Greenpeace USA.

“I am pleased and grateful to have been invited to join the Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ board. Maryland LCV’s role in advancing environmental protections and expanding civic space is as important today as it has ever been. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to help keep Maryland at the forefront of environmental and democratic progress,” said Clarke.

Steve Lafferty served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2007 to 2019, where he was a leader on issues related to the environment and land use. He now serves as the sustainability officer of Baltimore County. He served as chair of the Baltimore County House Delegation, and chair of the Subcommittee on Land Use and Ethics and the Subcommittee on the Environment. A longtime resident of the Towson area, he has previously served as the Howard County deputy director of planning and zoning and as director of special projects for the Howard County Executive. Lafferty earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland, a master of arts from Bowling Green State University, and a J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

“It is a thrill to be asked to join the Board of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters,” said Lafferty. “I have had the opportunity to work with the staff and board members for nearly 15 years on major environmental issues in Maryland. They recognize that strong and thoughtful elected leaders will make the difference in setting policies for our state. I look forward to joining them in their advocacy for a better environment.”

Maryland League of Conservation Voters is the 501c4 organization that serves as the political voice for the environment. Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund serves as the 501c3 organization and helps to educate and engage citizens and elected officials on key environmental issues.

Maryland League of Conservation Voters Board of Directors:

Ed Hatcher, Chair
Maris St Cyr, Vice Chair
Mike Davis
Hon. Virginia Clagett
Stuart Clarke
Candace Dodson Reed
Verna Harrison
Melanie Hartwig-Davis
Lynn Heller
Bonnie Norman
Kitty Thomas
Stuart Clarke
Hon. Steve Lafferty

Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund Board of Directors:

Chuck Porcari, Chair
Joy Blackwood
Beth Blauer
Lance Davis
Larissa Johnson

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.

By |2020-03-10T10:49:31-04:00March 10th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Press|Tags: , |0 Comments

Catholics to Rally and Lobby in Support of Key Environmental Legislation in Maryland

SILVER SPRING, Md., February 28, 2020 – Catholics from around the State of Maryland will gather in Annapolis on Monday, March 2, for a Teach-In and Lobby Night in support of key environmental legislation advancing in the Maryland General Assembly. The event will be organized by Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home (MCCH), a lay-led group of concerned Catholics from parishes in both the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

Working in cooperation with Chispa Maryland, the Latino outreach program of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, MCCH members will meet with their legislators to express their support for five bills that they believe exemplify key principles of Catholic Social Teaching:
• SB926 / HB 1425: Climate Solutions Act of 2020 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act
• SB 887 / HB 1545: Electric Generation Transition from Fossil Fuels – Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rate and Transition Account (Coal Transition)
• HB 368 / SB 424: Transit Safety and Investment Act
• HB 438 / SB 560: Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Eligible Sources
• SB 313 / HB 209: Plastics and Packaging Reduction Act

In addition to their personal advocacy, MCCH members will be bringing a statement of support for these five bills signed by hundreds of Catholics from across Maryland.

“I am eager to participate in lobby night in Annapolis as part of Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home,” stated Sandra Perez, a parishioner and staff member at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. “As an immigrant from Central America, I am well aware of the connection between climate and migration crises. As both a Catholic and U.S. citizen, I have a moral obligation to speak up and support policies that help to clean up our environment and promote environmental justice at home and abroad.”

“Catholic teaching connects the principle of care for creation with giving priority to the needs of the poor and concern for and solidarity with workers, and we think these bills reflect that comprehensive vision,” stated Bob Simon, a MCCH member and organizer for this event. “These five bills align Maryland’s climate goals with current science and international agreements supported by Pope Francis, heed his call to move from polluting sources of energy to renewables ‘without delay,’ address shortfalls in public transportation that disproportionately affect low-income communities, and address the blight of plastics pollution that is a consequence of what Pope Francis has described as our ‘throwaway culture.’ We hope the General Assembly enacts all five bills, as well as other legislation that would protect the environment of our common home.”

The MCCH event on Monday, March 2, will begin with a teach-in and prayer service at 4:30 P.M. at the historic Carroll House on the campus of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 107 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis. After the conclusion of the prayer service, participants will walk to the Maryland House of Delegates building to convene and then to fan out to appointments with Members and staff of the General Assembly from their districts.

Last year, MCCH focused its advocacy on the passage of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act, as part of the broad coalition that sucessfully moved that bill to enactment.

Contact: Bob Simon
Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home
301-887-7458
robertmsimon@gmail.com

By |2020-02-28T14:02:12-05:00February 28th, 2020|Categories: Press|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Statement on Frederick County’s Introduction of a Strong Forest Bill

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 14, 2020

Contact:

Dannielle Lipinski, dlipinski@mdlcv.org, 443-617-7257

TOP STATEWIDE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP APPLAUDS FREDERICK COUNTY FOR INTRODUCING STRONG FOREST PROTECTION BILL

Frederick, MD – Maryland League of Conservation Voters joins environmental partners Preservation Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Sierra Club, Clean Water Action,  Frederick County Councilmember Kai Hagen and Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner for introducing the Frederick County Forest Resource Ordinance (FRO). This bill will protect forests in Frederick County by creating a true no net loss program in Frederick County.

“We are grateful to County Executive Gardner and Councilmember Hagen for introducing a bill, if passed, will create the strongest County level forest conservation program in the state.” said Kim Coble, Executive Director at Maryland LCV.

“Years ago, Frederick County had a strong Forest Resource Ordinance that was repealed. We now see forests being lost to rampant overdevelopment that can be successfully curtailed with this bill,” said Ben Alexandro, Water Policy Director at the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. 

The benefits of forests are immeasurable. They filter our waters, increase property values, reduce energy costs, provide clean air and wildlife habitat, improve public health, and are a critical solution in the fight against the climate crisis. 

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.  

30 West Street Suite C Annapolis, MD 21401 410-280-9855

www.mdlcv.org 

By |2020-02-14T12:16:12-05:00February 14th, 2020|Categories: Press|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Statement from Kim Coble, Executive Director Maryland LCV

January 9, 2020
Immediate Release

Press Contact: Dannielle Lipinski, Maryland LCV
dlipinski@mdlcv.org, 443-617-7257

Statement from Kim Coble, Executive Director Maryland League of Conservation Voters in Response to:
Governor Hogan’s intentions to take legal action against EPA and Pennsylvania regarding the Chesapeake Bay Clean Up Plan.

The Maryland League of Conservation Voters applauds Governor Hogan and Attorney General Frosh for prioritizing the clean-up of the Chesapeake Bay. Their pursuit of legal actions is crucial to ensure that the Chesapeake Bay Clean Up Plan is implemented and a clean Chesapeake Bay is achieved. If EPA continues to abdicate its responsibility to restore the Chesapeake, Marylanders need to know that our elected leaders will respond appropriately.

Additionally, we urge the Hogan Administration to prioritize clean water by fully funding state agencies that work to implement the plan, taking meaningful action to protect the oyster population, and implementing aggressive greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.

Maryland LCV holds elected officials, including the Governor, accountable to ensure they reflect the strong conservation values of Maryland citizens.

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Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) is a state-wide nonpartisan organization that uses political action and education to protect our air, land, public health, and water. Maryland LCV endorses and elects pro-conservation candidates and holds elected officials accountable through legislative scorecards. A leading legislative watchdog in Annapolis, we have advocated for smart environmental policies for 40 years, working to make Maryland a healthy and prosperous place for families and communities. Maryland LCV protects public health by fighting for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and local waters, preserving green spaces, promoting smarter growth and increasing Maryland’s investment in clean energy.

By |2020-01-13T23:35:39-05:00January 9th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Press|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Statement from Kim Coble, Executive Director, Maryland LCV

January 3, 2020

Immediate Release

Press Contact: Dannielle Lipinski, dlipinski@mdlcv.org, 443-617-7257

Statement from Kim Coble, Executive Director, Maryland League of Conservation Voters in response to:

Environmental Protection Agency’s comment at today’s Chesapeake Bay Commission meeting that the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (the Bay clean up plan) is an “aspirational document” not a regulatory document. 

“This is a profoundly sad and disappointing moment in Bay history. After decades of leadership on Bay clean up efforts, we are watching the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) turn its back and walk away from the Chesapeake Bay. EPA is abdicating its role and responsibility by treating the Bay clean up plan as an ‘aspirational document’ and not as the effective model it has been recognized as and proved to be. Maryland LCV is calling on Governor Hogan, as the Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, to coordinate an immediate and robust response to EPA’s abdication of its responsibility.”

Under the current clean up plan, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania must develop and fully implement their pollution reduction plans by 2025. This would ensure the ultimate removal of the Chesapeake Bay from the list of dirty waters (the 303d list) https://www.epa.gov/tmdl/overview-listing-impaired-waters-under-cwa-section-303d. The state clean up plans, collectively known as the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, have been touted as the most effective and successful environmental clean up effort in the country.

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Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) is a state-wide nonpartisan organization that uses political action and education to protect our air, land, public health, and water. Maryland LCV endorses and elects pro-conservation candidates and holds elected officials accountable through legislative scorecards. A leading legislative watchdog in Annapolis, we have advocated for smart environmental policies for 40 years, working to make Maryland a healthy and prosperous place for families and communities. Maryland LCV protects public health by fighting for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and local waters, preserving green spaces, promoting smarter growth and increasing Maryland’s investment in clean energy.

 

www.mdlcv.org

By |2020-01-14T00:11:28-05:00January 3rd, 2020|Categories: Blog, Press|0 Comments

Chispa Maryland Welcomes the Announcement of Funding for Electric School Buses in Maryland

Contact: Ramón Palencia-Calvo rpcalvo@mdlcv.org Cell: (202) 531-5091

September 27, 2019

Annapolis, MD- On September 27th, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) announced funding for electric school buses as part of pilot programs to improve air quality and provide immediate health benefits to children through reduced vehicle emissions for four school districts in Maryland.

“Chispa Maryland celebrates this critical milestone in cleaning up our school fleets. We will continue working with Governor Hogan, MDE, and local school districts to phase out dirty diesel school buses in Maryland to protect the health of children and advance our Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign,” said Ramón Palencia-Calvo, Deputy Executive Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) and Director of Chispa Maryland, community organizing program of Maryland LCV.

Volkswagen cheated federal emissions tests and polluted the air with toxins that increase respiratory illnesses and further the effects of climate change. In 2017, Chispa Maryland launched the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign. The campaign, supported by thousands of parents, students, and advocates called for using the money that Maryland received from the Volkswagen Mitigation Fund to transition diesel public school buses to zero emissions electric school buses to protect the health of students and communities, especially these in communities most affected by poor air quality.

Palencia-Calvo added, “we congratulate all the youth and allies that are working tirelessly to accelerate this transition to clean electric buses and are encouraged to see the commitment of the Hogan Administration to zero emission vehicles by financing all the electric school bus projects submitted as part of this settlement. However, at a time when every dollar in Maryland’s education system is critical, we are perplexed by the fact that school districts left $2.1million unclaimed.”

After this first round of funding, about $2.1 million remains available for school bus projects. MDE intends to open this funding for new proposals in spring 2020. Chispa Maryland will continue advocating to use these funds for zero emissions school buses.

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Chispa, meaning “spark” in Spanish, is a program of Maryland League of Conservation Voters launched in 2014. Chispa Maryland has been working to ensure that Maryland Latino families and community leaders are a powerful voice for protecting the environment, our health, and our future. Chispa works with Latino families, community groups, faith-based organizations, and legislators to identify and address unique environmental issues facing Latino communities in Maryland.

www.marylandconservation.org

By |2019-12-07T13:47:03-05:00September 27th, 2019|Categories: Press|0 Comments

Maryland’s Premier Environmental Organization Announces New Executive Director

September 19, 2019

Contact: Chuck Porcari, 240-286-7566

Maryland’s Premier Environmental Organization Announces New Executive Director

Annapolis, MD—Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) and Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (Maryland LCV Ed Fund) is pleased to announce that Kim Coble will serve as Executive Director of Maryland’s premier non-partisan environmental organization.

A long-time recognized leader in Maryland’s environmental community, Kim comes to Maryland LCV from US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment as their Chief Operating Officer. She worked for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) for over twenty years, eight of which she served as the Maryland Executive Director and lead the organization’s policy and restoration efforts in Maryland. Kim served as Vice President of Environmental Protection and Restoration for CBF and oversaw the organization’s policy, outreach and restoration work across the entire Chesapeake Watershed.

“Kim brings the breadth of experience, significant management skills, and an inspiring vision for the organization,” said Maryland LCV Board Chair Ed Hatcher. “We are thrilled to have her lead Maryland LCV as we seek to build on recent legislative triumphs and elevate Maryland to being a top-tier state in the effort to combat the climate crisis.”

“It’s a challenging yet momentous time for bold ideas and having one of Maryland’s well-respected leaders assume the helm of our organization at this time is ideal,” said Maryland LCV Education Fund Board Secretary, Joy Blackwood. “Kim’s insightfulness and astute instincts will enable us continue the fight to solve the climate crisis, strengthen existing relationships, and cultivate new partnerships within diverse areas, while ensuring we remain the leading environmental voice within state.”

Kim has also served on the Maryland Ethics Commission, acted as Environmental Advisor to the Bishop for the Maryland Episcopal Diocese, and was selected as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. Kim comes to Maryland LCV with extensive legislative and policy experience as well as visionary leadership.

Coble will be formally introduced at the organization’s 2019 Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner, celebrating Maryland LCV’s 40th Anniversary on October 24, 2019, in Annapolis at the Westin Hotel. Secure your tickets today here.

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.  Maryland LCV’s Political Action Committee (Maryland LCV PAC) helps to elect current and up and coming environmental leaders.  Maryland LCV Ed Fund informs and educates all of Marylanders on vital environmental issues through various programs, including its groundbreaking CHISPA Maryland program which trains the Latinx population on civics and community advocacy and helps develop grassroots leaders in local communities across the state.

30 West Street Suite C Annapolis, MD 21401 410-280-9855

www.mdlcv.org  . www.marylandconservation.org  .   www.marylandlcvpac.org

By |2019-12-07T13:48:13-05:00September 19th, 2019|Categories: Press|0 Comments

MARYLAND LCV UNVEILS NEW AWARD FOR “GREEN CHAMPIONS” AFTER BANNER YEAR FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

For more information contact:

Karla Raettig, Executive Director

202-674-3174 (c), kraettig@mdlcv.org

MARYLAND LCV UNVEILS NEW AWARD FOR “GREEN CHAMPIONS” AFTER BANNER YEAR FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

The Environmental Organization Also Releases 2017 General Assembly Scorecard

Annapolis, MD – Today the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) unveiled its first group of “Green Champions,” an exceptional group of legislators whose superlative leadership on environmental legislation includes lifetime scores above 95 percents and primary sponsorship of priority environmental legislation during the previous three years. The ten legislators honored this year are Senators Cheryl Kagan, Paul Pinsky, and Victor Ramirez, along with Delegates David Fraser-Hidalgo, Bill Frick, Tawanna Gaines, Steve Lafferty, Clarence Lam, Brooke Lierman, and Shane Robinson.

The organization also released their 2017 “Environmental Scorecard,” which highlights the environmental voting record of all 188 legislators and describes the General Assembly’s overall record on those issues each year.

“Given the stunning attacks on the environment we are seeing nationally, it is more important than ever than Maryland’s elected leaders work hard to protect our air, land, water, and people; this year’s legislative session showed that Maryland will not back down protecting our natural resources. We’re also thrilled this year to recognize our Green Champions, who have led the way on environmental progress in Maryland and represent the future of political leadership in this state,” said Ed Hatcher, Maryland LCV Board Chair.

“Thanks to the Green Champions in the General Assembly, Maryland made tremendous progress during the 2017 legislative session, including overriding a veto of Clean Energy Jobs Act and banning the dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing. We will build on our progress in the 2018 Legislative Session as we continue to make Maryland a leader on climate change,” said Karla Raettig, Maryland LCV Executive Director.

Maryland LCV’s 2017 scorecard shows that, in an increasingly divided political climate, leadership in environmental stewardship can and must be a point of common ground. Maryland passed legislation that makes the state a leader in protecting our land, air, and water from the hazards of drilling, pesticides, and unnecessary antibiotics — all with strong bipartisan support.

“I am tremendously proud to work alongside of Maryland LCV and represent the great community of District 15 in Montgomery County. They are an essential resource for all legislators who want to be environmental leaders, and I am honored to be one of the Green Champions of 2017,” said Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo of the Maryland General Assembly.

The scorecard is available online and includes records of votes cast on the floor of the House and Senate and in committees, along with past voting records.  Go to http://scorecard.mdlcv.org to see the scorecard and follow #MDLCVScore on social media. Maryland LCV has created an interactive map with legislative voting information, which provides Marylanders with contact information for their legislators.

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 Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) is a state-wide nonpartisan organization that uses political action and education to protect our air, land, public health, and water. Maryland LCV endorses and elects pro-conservation candidates and holds elected officials accountable through legislative scorecards. A leading legislative watchdog in Annapolis, we have advocated for smart environmental policies for almost 40 years, working to make Maryland a healthy and prosperous place for families and communities. Maryland LCV protects public health by fighting for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and local waters, preserving green spaces, promoting smarter growth and increasing Maryland’s investment in clean energy.

By |2019-12-07T13:56:44-05:00September 15th, 2019|Categories: Press|0 Comments

Bob Gallagher, 2019 Kabler Award winner

The Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is pleased to announce that Robert P. Gallagher is this year’s John V. Kabler Memorial Award winner. Bob is an outstanding advocate on environmental issues in Maryland and Anne Arundel County, and co-founder of the Anne Arundel Chapter of Maryland LCV.

The John V. Kabler Memorial Award is presented by Maryland LCV each year to recognize an outstanding environmental leader or organization. Other 2019 awardees include Climate Champion Senator Brian Feldman and Legislators of the year, Senator Cheryl Kagan and Delegate Brooke Lierman.

Bob developed his life-long passion for clean water at an early age while exploring the area in boats. He has sailed all over the Chesapeake as well as across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. When he retired from a legal career 15 years ago, he founded West/Rhode Riverkeeper and went on to leadership roles in a long list of other local and statewide environmental groups including Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Scenic Rivers Land Trust, Annapolis Green, Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition, Delmarva Land and Litter Challenge, and served from 2009 until 2018 on the board of Maryland League of Conservation Voters.  

In 2009, with the late Kincey Potter, Bob co-founded the Anne Arundel Chapter of Maryland LCV to bring the same accountability to elected county officials that Maryland LCV has brought to Maryland state elected officials. By every measure that effort proved successful. 

“Bob’s devotion to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, its watershed and its residents began in his youth in the waters off St. Mary’s County and continues today on both the Western and Eastern Shores of our beloved estuary,” remarked Charles Porcari, Interim Director of Maryland League of Conservation Voters. 

“His countless hours of service to a remarkable array of environmental organizations offer irrefutable testimony to this lawyers’ volunteer efforts.”

Following the 2018 elections, LCV endorsed candidates who now occupy the office of the County Executive and five of the seven seats on the County Council. The group’s work also sparked Maryland LCV’s work in other strategically selected local elections. In the spirit of John Kabler, Bob has demonstrated that you don’t need to be a lobbyist, CEO, or politician to affect environmental policy. Bob and his wife Cate reside in Annapolis. 

The Kabler Award will be officially presented to Mr. Gallagher during the annual Maryland LCV Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 24 at the Westin Annapolis, beginning at 6:00 in the evening. The public is invited to attend and may register online via the Maryland LCV website. 

Celebrating its 40th year, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters is the political voice for the environment advocating for sound conservation policies, promoting pro-environment candidates, and holding elected officials and appointed leaders accountable for protecting and restring the environment. 

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By |2019-12-07T13:57:31-05:00August 30th, 2019|Categories: Press|0 Comments

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By |2019-12-07T14:15:16-05:00April 9th, 2019|Categories: Press|0 Comments
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