I never expected to become a politician but, now that I see how I can help and use my particular set of skills to improve and save lives, I will continue the push forward towards representing New Hampshire in the United States House of Representatives.
In 2014, I became aware that children were getting rare cancers in the New Hampshire Seacoast area in 2014, my instincts as a mom and an environmental scientist of nearly 30 years kicked in. Two years after I reported it, the State of New Hampshire determined that there was, in fact, a double pediatric cancer cluster in a five-town area of the seacoast.
Kids were sick and some had already died but the state would follow none of my recommendations to test the water or soil at their homes or try to find common links, basic actions I knew must be taken to save the lives of children.
I was horrified. I am a trained scientist and felt that it had to be further investigated.
I notified the press. Initial public meetings were held and the public was understandably upset and worried. Then-Governor Hassan created a Task Force and I was asked to serve.
I knew there was more that I had to do. There are few scientists in government and my unique perspective could help shape policy-making to improve the lives of the citizens of New Hampshire. I was elected as a State Representative in 2016 and already have a proven track record of putting people above party and politics.
Now our federal government needs a strong voice from the science community to warn fellow legislators about the dangers of weakening the EPA and decimating environmental policy and regulations. I will persist using my expertise to make this country safer for everyone.
And as a third-generation union member, I want to fight for worker’s rights and keep working people safe on the job. I grew up in a household where both of my parents were union members. My mother retired a few years ago as Vice President of SEIU1199NY. I grew up hearing about picket lines and creating coalitions to fight for worker's rights. This has become part of my fiber and I used it to organize legislative support for the Local 651 employees locked out of their jobs at Westinghouse. I also use it to form coalitions to support legislation and advocacy to fight for everyone's access to clean, safe drinking water and cancer prevention regardless of how much money they make.
Our families are overworked, under-employed, and one debilitating family illness away from bankruptcy. They and everyone else deserve to receive the same health care that members of Congress receive which is why I will fight for Medicare for All. And the hard-working folks across the country deserves a $15 minimum wage.
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Education and Career
I have lived in the New Hampshire Seacoast region since 1985 after receiving a B.S. degree in Geology from Syracuse University. I attended graduate school for earth sciences at the University of New Hampshire. I am currently an M.S. candidate at Georgetown University in clinical and translational research, hoping to combine my expertise in environmental contaminants with an understanding of the health effects associated with these toxins.
My professional work as an environmental consultant has focused on the evaluation, design, development, and implementation of conventional and innovative in-situ and on-site technologies for remediation of contaminated sites. I have consulted businesses, banks, and the U.S. government on the presence of environmental contaminants.
I have conducted and managed projects ranging in scale from small hazardous waste site assessments and remediation design, to large remedial investigations and remedial action under a variety of regulatory programs including RCRA, CERCLA, and State Superfund.
I was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 2016. I am known for blowing the whistle on a Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-defined double cancer cluster in a 5-town area of the New Hampshire seacoast and my advocacy for drinking water protection, chronic disease and cancer prevention. Three bills that I sponsored in my freshman year as a legislator were passed and signed into law. I continue to advocate for legislation to protect drinking water, prevent chronic disease, worker and firefighter safety and protection, and union worker protections.
I am a founding member of New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance,a national organization to educate and advocate for environmental protection.
Awards and Publications
Mindi was awarded the Less Cancer Leadership Award for her work associated with Governor Hassan's Pediatric Cancer Task Force.
Mindi is the author of several publications including:
Messmer, M., et al. "I-SPY 2 Breast Cancer Trial Model as Innovation for Alzheimer's Disease Therapies". JAMA Neurology (2017); 74(9):1027-1028
Fam, S., Messmer, M., Lunt, A., Marcott, K., "Biological Reactive Wall/Enhancement of Intrinsic Conditions", In-Situ and On-Site Bioremediation, New Orleans (1997)
Fam, S., Messmer, M., Nautiyal, D., Hansen, M., "Not As Simple As It Seems", Water Environment Federation, Industrial Wastewater. 7:29 (1996)
Fam, S., Messmer, M., Nautiyal, D., Hansen, M., "Critical State of the Art Review of Vapor Extraction", Proc. Purdue Ind. Waste Conf. 50:137 (1995).
Fam, S., Pirelli, T., Sullivan, T., Findlay, M., Fogel, S., and Messmer, M., "Anaerobic Bioremediation of Chlorinated VOCs in Conjunction with Dual Extraction", In-Situ and On-Site Bioremediation, Monterey, (1998).
Mindi is a blogger at Medium.com, and writes for the Less Cancer Journal. She is a member of the National Writers Union and is the author of several academic publications.