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Protecting our Environmental Resources
Updated: 13 hours 23 min ago

SAVE THE DATE: February 16th, WWW annual Sonoma County Meeting on Land Use Policy

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:35
We invite the community to an open, fact filled discussion on land use policies. Sonoma County planners are rewriting the General Plan for 2020, still tweaking cannabis regulations, winery event regulations (postponed) and the Local Coastal Plan due this spring. These policies will affect the county for generations to come. Speakers include Laura Waldbaum, Ernie Carpenter, Rue Furch, Tom Conlon and more. These speakers have decades of experience in our county on land use policies. The event is free.

We’ll cover how to get involved now for optimum input and what we need to watch for. What’s that old expression, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”? Equality and many voices will make our county great.  Hope to see you there.

Graton Community Club

8996 Graton Rd Graton, CA.

1pm-3pm

For more info please leave comment on website or Facebook

ERNIE CARPENTER BIO: Fiscal conservative and social liberal.

Ernie Carpenter received his BA from San Francisco State and Master of Social Work at Berkeley in 1969. Ernie has lived in Sonoma County since 1969. He is a psychiatric social worker and an original Social Advocates for Youth staff. Ernie served on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors 1981-1997 representing the West Sonoma County. He is a former Coastal Commissioner, Planning Commissioner, Supervisor and current muckraker. He has an ongoing interest in progressive drug policies and government and currently works as a consultant on environment and government.

RUE FURCH BIO: Rue has worked for years with local farm groups, seeking to protect family farms. She was Project Manager for the Sonoma County Farmlands Group and has worked with the California Association of Family Farmers. She was a leader of the Santa Rosa and Sebastopol Urban Growth Boundary campaigns, which fought to protect agricultural land from city sprawl.Her belief in neighborhood-friendly planning led to involvement in Courtside Village, the first Santa Rosa mixed use development to create a complete community of homes, shops, and parks. She also worked with the Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition, Concerned Citizens for Santa Rosa and the Sonoma County Community Foundation Advisory Committee. She was a moderator of the Marin-Sonoma County Transportation Committee and a member of the Hwy. 101 Corridor Advisory Committee.

Rue has served as a county planning commission for 16 years and has a reputation for doing her homework and asking tough questions. She was appointed by two West County supervisors, and has twice been the Commission’s chairperson. She recently chaired a statewide conference on responsible water use and succeeded in prioritizing water resources in the county’s new general plan. Among her many awards,

Rue was named California Woman of the Year by the state Assembly, 2006 Upstream Swimmer Award by Sonoma County Conservation Action, Environmentalist of the Year by the Sonoma County Conservation Council, County Planning Commissioner of the Year by the California County Planning Commissioners’ Association and received the Agent of Change Award from Concerned Citizens for Santa Rosa.

 

LAURA WALDBAUM BIO:Laura Waldbaum in an environmental activist. For the past 20 years she has been working to implement changes to County policies and influence land use decisions to protect fish habitat in the Mark West Creek Watershed. She has been involved with litigation opposing several County land use decisions, has served on the County’s “working group” to modify the Vineyard & Orchard Site Development Ordinance and is currently a member of Sonoma County’s Cannabis Advisory Group representing the environment. 

Tom Conlon (Sonoma Valley) is an applied anthropologist and an expert in energy-efficiency social marketing. His clients have included Southern Edison, the California Energy Commission, the Electric Power Research Institute, and The World Bank (Jamaica). He is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz and Sonoma State University, and has founded several ‘green’ businesses, including one acquired by Autodesk in 2008. A Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Tom represented District 1 on the Sonoma County Climate Action 2020 Stakeholder Advisory Group, and he has served on the boards of other local organizations including the Economic Development Board’s Business Environmental Alliance, the Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley, and Transition Sonoma Valley. In the late 1980’s he helped initiate the Organic Market News and Information Service and early drafts of the California Organic Foods Act (1990). Tom provides strategic, technical, and website support to Wine and Water Watch.

 

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

OPINION Thomm Hartmann: It is time to bring back the corporate death penalty — here’s why

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:34
How corporations gained more rights than citizens…. It is time to bring back the corporate death penalty — here’s why

– COMMENTARY
07 Jan 2019 at 16:35 ET

The prevalence of the corporation in America has led men of this generation to act, at times, as if the privilege of doing business in corporate form were inherent in the citizen, and has led them to accept the evils attendant upon the free and unrestricted use of the corporate mechanism as if these evils were the inescapable price of civilized life, and, hence to be borne with resignation.

“Throughout the greater part of our history, a different view prevailed.

Although the value of this instrumentality in commerce and industry was fully recognized, incorporation for business was commonly denied long after it had been freely granted for religious, educational, and charitable purposes.

“It was denied because of fear. Fear of encroachment upon the liberties and opportunities of the individual. Fear of the subjection of labor to capital. Fear of monopoly. Fear that the absorption of capital by corporations, and their perpetual life, might bring evils similar to those which attended mortmain [immortality]. There was a sense of some insidious menace inherent in large aggregations of capital, particularly when held by corporations.”

—U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1933 dissent in Liggett v. Lee

The good citizens of California have been wondering out loud who killed 86 of their citizens in the Camp Fire, along with dozens of other Californians over the years in other fires. Now both federal and state prosecutors are focusing on a likely suspect: Pacific Gas and Electric.

California’s largest private, for-profit corporate utility appears to have killed a number of people over the years, in many cases because of negligence apparently prompted by a desire to jack up corporate profits.

As a corporation, they play by different rules than you or I.

Imagine you got a holiday package delivery gig, and decided to make more money by increasing the number of packages you can deliver in a day. The easiest way to accomplish this is by ignoring state and local regulations (speed limits) and drive like a maniac.

But what happens if, in your haste, you hit and kill a bunch of schoolkids in a crosswalk?

Particularly if you’d already been busted multiple times for felony reckless driving and had already killed other entire families driving badly on public streets…several different times in several different cities. And, on top of that, if you had lied to the police and the courts, saying that you’d been driving very, very carefully—all while you tried to hide or destroy the evidence.

You’d spend many years in prison for those deaths and the cover-ups; in some states you may even face the death penalty.

Now consider what happens when a corporation behaves like that.

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has already been nailed for “speeding”—ignoring laws that require them to operate in a way that’s safe—and people have already died, on multiple occasions.

PG&E was found guilty for the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion that injured more than 50 people and killed eight. They were fined $1.6 billion and are on probation now.

Two years ago, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California noted in a public statement that the company had continued to break that same law. “The jury found PG&E guilty of six felony counts—five willful violations of the Pipeline Safety Act and one count of corruptly obstructing the federal investigation…” As an additional penalty, they were ordered to perform 10,000 hours of community service, pay a $3 million fine, and another five years was added to their “probation.”

In 2017 alone, PG&E’s failure to properly maintain and operate their equipment and rights-of-way caused 17 fires in California; while investigators referred 11 of those cases to prosecutors for code violations, so far there have been no new indictments.

In December of 2018, PG&E was again busted by the California Public Utilities Commission for not only refusing to mark and warn people of the locations of their gas pipelines in a timely fashion, but, as CNN noted, they “[P]ressured workers to falsify data…”

And the crimes of PG&E pale in comparison to those of the tobacco industry, the asbestos industry, and companies like ExxonMobil that promoted lies about global warming while continuing to profitably and massively pollute.

The Corporate Death Penalty Is Not New

While the human death penalty has largely disappeared in the world and is fading in the U.S. (a good thing), the corporate death penalty needs a revival.

The corporate death penalty, widespread in the 19th century, is a political and economic Darwinian process that weeds bad actors out of the business ecosystem to make room for good players.

The process of revoking corporate charters goes back to the very first years of the United States. After all, the only reasons states allow (“charter”) corporations (normal business corporations can only be chartered by a state, not the federal government) is to serve the public interest.

As the Wyoming Constitution of 1889 laid out:

“All powers and franchises of corporations are derived from the people and are granted by their agent, the government, for the public good and general welfare, and the right and duty of the state to control and regulate them for these purposes is hereby declared. The power, rights and privileges of any and all corporations may be forfeited by willful neglect or abuse thereof. The police power of the state is supreme over all corporations as well as individuals.”

When a corporation does business ethically and legally, it serves its local community, its employees, its customers, and its shareholders. For over a century, American corporations were held to this very reasonable standard.

Beginning in 1784, Pennsylvania demanded that corporations include a revocation clause in corporate charters that automatically dissolved them after a few decades so they couldn’t grow so large or so rich as to become a public menace. It also authorized the state to dissolve any corporation that harmed the state or its citizens, including customers and employees.

It was pretty explicit:

“Nor shall any charter for the purposes aforesaid be granted for a longer time than twenty years; and every such charter shall contain a clause reserving to the legislature the power to alter, revoke, or annul the same, whenever in their opinion it may be injurious to the citizens of the commonwealth…” (Article I, Section 25)

As the United States grew, the federal government passed laws requiring corporate-death-penalty revocation clauses in the state corporate charters of insurance companies, in 1809, and banks in 1814. By the late 1880s, every state required them for all business corporations.

From the founding of America to today, governments routinely revoked corporate charters, forcing liquidation and sale of assets, although it’s been over a century since such efforts have focused on corporations large enough to have amassed financial and, thus, political power.

In the 19th century, banks were shut down for behaving in a “financially unsound” way in Ohio, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania. And when corporations that ran turnpikes in New York and Massachusetts didn’t keep their roads in repair, those states gave the corporations the death sentence.

In 1825, Pennsylvania passed laws making it even easier for that state to “revoke, alter, or annul” corporate charters “whenever in their opinion [the operation of the corporation] may be injurious to citizens of the community,” and by the 1870s, 19 states had gone through the long and tedious process of amending their state constitutions expressly to give legislators the power to terminate the existence of corporations that originated in those states.

Presidents have even run for public office and won on platforms including the revocation of corporate charters. One of the largest issues of the election of 1832 was Andrew Jackson’s demand that the corporate charter of the Second Bank of the United States not be renewed.

Following that lead, states all over the nation began examining their banks and other corporations, and in just the year 1832, the state of Pennsylvania pulled the corporate charters of 10 corporations, sentencing them to corporate death “for operating contrary to the public interest.”

Oil corporations, match manufacturers, whiskey trusts, and sugar corporations all received the corporate death penalty in the late 1800s in Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, and New York, among others.

President Grover Cleveland invoked the mood of the times in his 1888 State of the Union address, when he said:

“As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters.”

The Oligarchs Rise Up

When, in the 1880s, the State of Ohio began threatening Standard Oil Trust of Ohio with the corporate death penalty, John D. Rockefeller and his oligarchic buddies publicly called for states to change their corporate governance laws to get around all of the restrictions that Ohio and most other states had placed on them.

New Jersey heard the call, and thus became the first state to engage in what was then called “charter-mongering”—changing its corporate charter rules to satisfy the desires of the nation’s largest businesses. In 1875, its legislature abolished maximum capitalization (size) limits.

In 1888, the New Jersey legislature took another huge and dramatic step to help out Rockefeller by authorizing—for the first time in the history of the United States—New Jersey-chartered companies to hold stock in other companies. The Standard Oil Trust was legally still in business (Ohio outlawed trusts in 1892, but by then Rockefeller had moved his corporate governance to New Jersey), renamed “Standard Oil Company of New Jersey.” (It’s now ExxonMobil, the company that has funded lies about climate change for decades.)

As New Jersey and then Delaware threw out old restrictions on corporate behavior, allowing corporations to have interlocking boards, to live forever, to define themselves for “any legal purpose,” to own stock in other corporations, and so on, corporations began to move both their corporate charters and, in some cases, their headquarters to the charter-mongering states.

By 1900, trusts for everything from ribbons to bread to cement to alcohol had moved to Delaware or New Jersey, leaving 26 corporate trusts controlling, from those states, more than 80 percent of production in their markets.

There was pushback in New York, though. In 1894 the Central Labor Union of New York City campaigned for the New York State Supreme Court to revoke the charter of Standard Oil Trust of New York for “a pattern of abuses,” and the court agreed and dissolved the company.

In 1912, New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson was alarmed by the behavior of corporations in his state, and “pressed through changes [that took effect in 1913] intended to make New Jersey’s corporations less favorable to concentrated financial power.”

But as New Jersey began to pull back from charter-mongering, Delaware stepped into the fray, passing in 1915 laws similar to but even easier on corporations than New Jersey’s.

Delaware, over the next few decades, continued to strip away their corporate accountability rules so that, as the state’s website said in 2002, “More than 308,000 companies are incorporated in Delaware including 60 percent of the Fortune 500 and 50 percent of the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange.” (The site today merely has “corporate-friendly” gibberish.)

Progressives Fight Back

In reaction to public disgust with the predatory and monopolistic behavior of these corporate giants, the “Progressive Era” of Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency (1901-1909) saw numerous laws passed designed to restrain bad corporate behavior. The most well-known was the 1907 Tillman Act, which made it a felony for a corporation to give money to federal politicians’ campaigns.

The Tillman Act was based, in part, on numerous state laws, like this one that Wisconsin passed in 1905 (and was taken off the books in 1954):

“Political contributions by corporations. No corporation doing business in this state shall pay or contribute, or offer consent or agree to pay or contribute, directly or indirectly, any money, property, free service of its officers or employees or thing of value to any political party, organization, committee or individual for any political purpose whatsoever, or for the purpose of influencing legislation of any kind, or to promote or defeat the candidacy of any person for nomination, appointment or election to any political office. [Wis. Laws, Section 4479a (Sec. I, ch. 492, 1905)]” (emphasis added)

The penalty for an individual (even a lawyer or lobbyist representing a corporation) breaking this law on behalf of a corporation was not just a large fine but a two-year prison term, and if the corporation itself was found to be violating the law, it faced the corporate death penalty: “dissolution of the corporation and sale of its assets.”

But 1921 saw the end of all that, when Republican Warren G. Harding successfully ran for president on a platform of tax cuts, deregulation and privatization. His twin slogans were, “More business in government [privatize], less government in business [deregulate],” and “Return to normalcy” (take taxes back down to where they were before World War I).

When elected, he lowered the top tax rate from 91 percent to 25 percent, producing a huge “sugar high” for the economy. It kicked off the Roaring ’20s and led straight to the Great Crash of 1929, which was made much worse by Harding’s successful deregulation of the banks and brokerage houses.

Between the 1920s and the 1980s all U.S. states amended their constitutions or changed their laws to make it easier for large corporations to do business without having to answer to the citizens of the state, without size limits, and with infinite lifespans.

Today, every state still has laws that allow it to impose the corporate death penalty; it’s just been decades since they’ve been used against a large corporation. (Small companies are routinely shut down by Secretaries of State, sometimes for malfeasance but mostly just because they’ve become inactive or failed to pay their taxes.)

Corporations have successfully argued before the Supreme Court that they should have First Amendment rights of free speech, Fourth Amendment rights of privacy, Fifth Amendment protections against takings, and Fourteenth Amendment rights as “persons” to “equal protection [with you and me] under the law,” among other “rights of personhood.”

It’s long past the time that these “persons,” when they become egregious and recidivist criminals (and particularly when they repeatedly kill people), be treated the same as human criminals: remove them from society permanently.

New, smaller, more innovative companies can fill the spaces now occupied by bloated corporate criminals. The result will be (as it was after AT&T was broken up in the 1970s for violating anti-monopoly laws) an explosion of innovation, competition, and opportunity.

If enough corporate criminals are targeted, the American business renaissance could spread across industries including media, pharmaceuticals, airlines, tech, banking, insurance, food, chemicals, oil and beyond.

It would be a real stimulus, meaningful and long-lasting, as opposed to Trump’s tax-cut heroin.

It’s time for our states to start enforcing the corporate death penalty.

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Action Alert: USDA Makes GMO’s Disappear

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 09:46
“The symbol the USDA chose says “bioengineered” rather than GMO and depicts a field and a sun, which is intentionally deceptive. These are natural images used to communicate the presence of decidedly un-natural ingredients in a food. It’s as if the PR department at Bayer/Monsanto came up with it themselves!” ANHUSA: The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

Stay informed about what is hot in Washington and the states about natural health

USDA Makes GMOs Disappear

25 By on January 10, 2019 GMO News

It’s official: the “mandatory” GMO labeling rule will obscure more than it makes transparent. Action Alert!

The USDA has released its final GMO labeling rule, and it’s not good. As we feared when the agency released its proposal earlier this year, the so-called GMO labeling law will apply only to a narrow set of foods. Congress and the USDA have offered a number of loopholes and exemptions to food companies, undermining any semblance of a consumer’s right to know. It’s as if the USDA asked the food industry to write the rule themselves.

The problems start right at the foundation. The agency has decided to use the term “bioengineered”—a term many Americans may not be familiar with—rather than GMO. When the proposal was released, we pointed out that this is straight out of an Orwellian playbook. Many Americans know the term “GMO” and can connect it to the labeling debate—so the government decides to use a different term that sounds more innocuous. If the government was actually concerned with communicating information clearly to consumers, they would simply use the term “GMO” and not other terminology with which Americans may not be familiar.

The problems continue with the definition of “bioengineered.” The final rule defines bioengineered as a food that 1) contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques and 2) for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature”—essentially, combining DNA from two different sources, usually two different organisms.

This definition is preposterous and entirely inadequate to capture all the different techniques for genetically modifying food that are currently being used or are in development. Gene-editing using CRISPR is one example, where scientists manipulate an organism’s own DNA to silence certain genes or express otherwise silent genes. This technology does not look like it will be covered under the final rule because the USDA argues that gene editing produces results that could have been obtained through conventional breeding. For example, the USDA recently decided that a CRISPR-created non-browning mushroom did not have to be regulated, and following the USDA’s logic, the GMO labeling rule will not apply. That’s right: a genetically modified mushroom will not have to be labeled as GMO because the USDA thinks that the genetic change could be accomplished through normal means. A similar determination could be made regarding the Arctic Apple, a non-browning apple made through a technology called RNA interference (RNAi), a gene editing technique for blocking the expression of certain genes. There are other techniques, including TALENs and ZFNs, the products of which will likely not have to be labeled.

The issue is that these technologies are the future of agriculture, with some observers noting that “with new gene editing techniques, [GMOs] will no longer be necessary.” The USDA, taking cues from Congress, has written a labeling rule that applies exclusively to obsolete technology. The USDA’s definition of a GMO completely misses the point. Even if a particular change could have been brought about through traditional breeding, the fact that it was brought about through genetic modification in a laboratory means that consumers have a right to know, end of story.

It seems likely that this was the endgame all along. Remember that the food industry supported the legislation that underpins this rule. It isn’t hard to imagine that they were given assurances that the rule would do nothing to disrupt business as usual.

The problems don’t stop there. The rule establishes a threshold for the “inadvertent or technically unavoidable” presence of GMO material of up to five percent; foods that meet this criteria will not have to be labeled as bioengineered. What is galling here is that the USDA was considering three alternatives for this threshold, one of them being 0.9%, but chose the option most generous to industry. So, an ingredient in a food can have up to 5% of its weight be GMO if it is “unavoidable” or “inadvertent” and not have to identify that there is GMO material in the food.  (Note: food containing any amount of a bioengineered substance that is not inadvertent or unintentional must be labeled.) The plain fact, once again, is that even if the presence of a small number of GMOs is “inadvertent or unavoidable,” consumers still have a right to know.

There is another way that the USDA has narrowed the foods that will have to carry GMO labeling. So-called “highly-refined foods” made from GMO crops—such as sugar from GMO sugarbeets or high fructose corn syrup from GMO corn—will not require a label. The USDA argues that the presence of GMOs cannot be detected in refined products. Once again, consumers have been sold out. Just because current testing techniques cannot detect GMO material in a finished product does not mean there is no modified genetic material in the food. The whole point of a GMO labeling law is to provide consumers with information, so those who wish to avoid GMO foods can easily do so. If refined foods made from GMO ingredients are exempted, the spirit of the law is undermined.

Finally, the USDA has altered the symbol that may be used by companies to communicate the presence of GMOs. Some early proposals looked like a smiling face. The symbol the USDA chose says “bioengineered” rather than GMO and depicts a field and a sun, which is intentionally deceptive. These are natural images used to communicate the presence of decidedly un-natural ingredients in a food. It’s as if the PR department at Bayer/Monsanto came up with it themselves!

If you think that your state can pass a stronger labeling law, think again. The law passed by Congress prevents states from instituting labeling laws that differ with the federal law.

This process has been a complete sham since the beginning, starting with the fact that food companies can label their food with scannable codes rather than plain language on the package. That’s right: a company can avoid putting a plain language GMO label on their food altogether and instead slap a scannable code which they know most people won’t scan anyway, and which requires the customer to have a smart phone handy. The rule to implement the law favors the food industry at every conceivable turn. This is the definition of cronyism: the US government catering to special interests rather than citizens.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and the USDA, telling them that this rule is an outrage and must be changed to better represent a consumer’s right to know. Please send your message immediately.

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

Join Sierra Club at your local Women’s March January 19th

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 11:14
Sierra Club is encouraging its members to join the many Women’s Marches on Saturday, Jan. 19 all over the country. Our Redwood Chapter region will be host to marches in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Vallejo and Ukiah. 

Stand up for equal rights.
Stand up for the environment.

Sierra Club is encouraging its members to join the many Women’s Marches on Saturday, Jan. 19 all over the country. Our Redwood Chapter region will be host to marches in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Vallejo and Ukiah. 

Redwood Chapter leaders are hoping you will join a local march, and we are looking for a point-person for each location to stage a meeting ground for other Sierra Clubbers to gather and stand together.

Here are details for each march. Please e-mail us if you are interested in being the point-person for a specific location.

Santa Rosa: Marchers will gather downtown in Courthouse Square from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event will feature a march, rally, guest speakers, community groups tabling, music and more. Facebook page.

Sonoma Valley: Meet at 10 a.m. at Sonoma Plaza for speakers and a march around the Plaza. Facebook Page.

Napa: Marchers, dancers, chanters and drummers will gather beginning at 9:00am in front of Napa City Hall, 955 School St., at 9:30 we march to the stage, 1125 Third St., for the 10:00am program, to include dancing, music, speakers and a “best sign” contest. More than 40 nonprofit organizations will be represented at tables set up in the Sullivan Parking Lot. Free and open to all. womensmarchnapavalley.org

Vallejo: Marchers will meet at Vallejo’s Ferry Plaza at 10 am and come together briefly at City Hall, then march down Georgia Street to Decades, 350 Georgia St. for The ‘Women Building Vallejo’ Summit featuring spoken word artists, keynote speakers, and local resource tables with info about Youth, the Arts, Seniors, Immigration Reform, Housing, Homelessness, Health, Mental Health, and our Environment. Bag lunches will be provided. Children and family friendly. Please note, for those who cannot march, Decades will open at 10 a.m. Facebook page.

Ukiah: Marchers will gather at Alex Thomas Plaza, 310 State St., in Ukiah at 11 a.m. Facebook page.

The Women’s March will occur Jan. 19 across the country.
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Trump administration orders wildlife refuges employees back to work so hunters can hunt

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 11:01
Trump administration orders wildlife refuges employees back to work so hunters can hunt

Kerry Eleveld

Daily Kos Staff As furloughed federal workers are being forced to choose between paying for cancer medications or food, the Trump administration is ordering staffers at dozens of wildlife refuges to return to work so that hunting season isn’t disrupted. 

Trump sons on safari in Africa. Trump administration tried to allow trophy hunting of threatened species early in term. Public outcry stopped the executive order taking effect.

Margaret Everson, principal deputy director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, sent a letter obtained by the Associated Press to 38 wildlife refuges directing them to utilize carryover funds to ensure that “opportunities, including hunting” aren’t lost during the shutdown.

As backlash over Trump’s unpopular and indefensible government shutdown grows, his administration has been trying to mitigate the blowback by making an ad hoc group of government services available, such as tax refunds and now, access to hunting. Turns out, those actions are also likely illegal. But legality has never been a chief concern for Trump—or really any concern at all.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Here’s the one industry Trump is keeping afloat during the shutdown — and it may be illegal: report

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 10:49
“Can you imagine a fire department in a local community running out of money and then deciding it is only going to serve wealthy houses because it doesn’t have money to cover everybody?”  Lee-Ashley, who now works as a senior strategist at the Center for American Progress, told Bloomberg. “That’s kind of what’s going on here. The oil industry is still able to get the services they want from the federal government, but nobody else does.” Here’s the one industry Trump is keeping afloat during the shutdown — and it may be illegal: report

Noor Al-Sibi

Donald Trump’s administration has taken pains to keep the oil drilling industry afloat during the government shutdown over the Mexican border wall — and some analysts say they’re flouting federal law to do so.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, former Interior Department official Matt Lee-Ashley said the administration’s commitment to making sure oil drilling continues during the shutdown is both unfair and possibly illegal.

“The oil industry is still getting business as usual and everybody else is getting shut out,” the former deputy chief of staff at Interior said, “so it’s fundamentally not fair and it may be illegal too.”

Bloomberg noted that while some energy projects have been halted during the two-week-plus shutdown, Interior “is still issuing permits for oil companies to drill wells on federal land and in the Gulf of Mexico” and holding public meetings about potential pipelines in Alaska that threatens endangered wildlife.

Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has used its “oil and gas management appropriations” from 2018 to keep working during the shutdown and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement “is keeping staff on the job to process new permits to drill in coastal waters,” the report noted.

“Can you imagine a fire department in a local community running out of money and then deciding it is only going to serve wealthy houses because it doesn’t have money to cover everybody?”  Lee-Ashley, who now works as a senior strategist at the Center for American Progress, told Bloomberg. “That’s kind of what’s going on here. The oil industry is still able to get the services they want from the federal government, but nobody else does.” Read the entire report via Bloomberg.
Categories: G2. Local Greens

SURFRIDER: What the Government Shutdown Means for our Coasts and Ocean

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 10:42
Temper Tantrums have consequences real time…. What the Government Shutdown Means for our Coasts and Ocean

by Pete Stauffer

The partial shutdown of the federal government reached its 16th day on Monday with no immediate resolution in sight. With border security politics dominating the headlines, Republican and Democrat lawmakers remained locked in a stalemate while President Trump signaled a willingness to keep the government shutdown for months or even years. The upshot is that dozens of federal agencies remain closed or operating at minimum capacity until the gridlock in D.C. is resolved.

Among the government agencies impacted are those responsible for managing our nation’s coastal and ocean resources. These include the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Parks Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others. But what do these government closures really mean for our coasts and ocean, and the millions of people who use these resources? Here’s a list of some of the impacts:

1) Clean Water Programs

Numerous EPA programs that protect clean water and public health are currently suspended. The shutdown is disrupting everything from wastewater permitting to enforcement actions against polluters. The result is that the Clean Water Act – the landmark law that protects our nation’s rivers, lakes, and ocean – is severely handicapped while the federal government is closed. Also affected is the BEACH grants program that monitors water quality at thousands of U.S. beaches and remains unfunded for 2019. Finally, only a single NOAA staff person is monitoring Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) like the Red Tide and Toxic Blue-Green Algae that have devastated marine life and coastal communities in Florida.

Assateague National Seashore is one of many national parks affected 

2) National Parks & Marine Sanctuaries  

At least 70 national parks have closed across the country while others are understaffed and plagued with overflowing trash and toilets. Among the coastal parks impacted by the shutdown are Point Reyes (CA), Olympic (WA), Gulf Islands Seashore (FL), Assateague Island (MD), Acadia (ME) and many others. As National Geographic recently noted, damage is likely to extend well after the shutdown is resolved. On the ocean side, NOAA’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries, which manages 14 marine protected areas encompassing more than 783,000 square miles, is closed and unable to complete its mandate of protecting our nation’s most outstanding ocean ecosystems.

3) Coastal Management

States and communities depend on federal support to manage coastlines and keep these vital resources open for public use. Because of the shutdown, NOAA has suspended its national estuaries, coastal resilience, marine debris, and Sea Grant programs. These programs not only protect beaches, rocky shores and wildlife, they also help communities plan for sea level rise and extreme weather events. In addition, NOAA’s Coastal Zone Management (CZM) program, which provides grants to 34 state coastal programs, remains unfunded for 2019. Lack of federal funding would be disasterous for many state programs and coastal communities that rely on this support.

4) Scientific Research

Agencies like NOAA, EPA and the National Science Foundation conduct research that’s critical to the sound management of coastal ecosystems. Many federal scientists have been forced to stop their work during the shutdown, causing delays and disruptions to ongoing research. Projects impacted range from coral reef studies in the Pacific to fisheries surveys in the Gulf of Mexico to sea ice monitoring in the Arctic. The shutdown has also suspended important climate change research programs. In response, the American Association for the Advancement of Science has issued a statement urging for a swift resolution to the federal budget.

Making Our Voice Heard

It’s notable (but not surprising) that impacts to the coast and ocean have received scant attention during the media’s breathless coverage of the government shutdown. That’s why Surfrider is working to elevate the voice of people who love the coast through our United States & Oceans of America campaign, cleanup and federal advocacy efforts.

This winter, Surfrider and our partners will travel to Washington D.C. for Coastal Recreation Hill Day to meet with congressional offices and federal agencies in support of coastal and ocean conservation. You can make your voice heard by contacting your representatives. Find your member’s phone numbers here: House and Senate and urge them to support laws and funding to protect our coasts and ocean! You can also send an email direct to their inbox

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Twitter Meltdown: Trump Orders FEMA To Cut Off Aid For California Wildfire Recovery

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 10:44
“Disasters and recovery are no time for politics,” wrote Newsom, who on Tuesday announced an interstate partnership and a pair of executive orders to combat the wildfire problem.  Trump Orders FEMA To Cut Off Aid For California Wildfire Recovery | HuffPost The president said the fire-ravaged state will receive no more money until “they get their act together.” By Chris D’Angelo

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cut off wildfire relief aid for fire-scorched California until state officials “get their act together” and do a better job of managing forests.

The bizarre proclamation furthers the administration’s attempt to pin the devastation on environmentalists while ignoring the clear impact climate change is having on extreme fires out west. “Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest (sic) fires that, with proper Forrest (sic) Management, would never happen,” he wrote in a since-deleted post to Twitter. “Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!”

There was no further information on the veracity of Trump’s Twitter claim. The White House and FEMA did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday. FEMA is also impacted by the ongoing partial government shutdown and, as Washington Post reporter Damian Paletta highlighted, doesn’t have money to send to the state.

The announcement comes as California reels from one of its worst wildfire seasons on record. The Mendocino Complex fire, the largest wildfire in the state’s recorded history, burned more than 450,000 acres north of Santa Rosa in July. November’s Camp fire ― the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history — engulfed more than 153,000 acres, destroyed nearly 19,000 structures and killed at least 86 people.

Trump has blamed the state’s devastating infernos on everything from a lack of raking to a nonexistent water shortage resulting from “bad environmental laws.” And the administration has used the disasters to push partisan policy, connecting the blazes to a longstanding fight between farmers and environmentalists over water resources.

Many of the state’s worst fires have burned primarily federal lands.

But the reality is that the federal government manages more land in California than the state. And many of the state’s worst fires have burned primarily federal lands, as the Redding Record Searchlight reported.

FULLSTORY & COMMENTS
Categories: G2. Local Greens

SAVE THE DATE: Next Cannabis Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting February 27th

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 10:23
SAVE THE DATE: Next Cannabis Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting February 27th Details to follow. This meeting will be addressing CANNABIS TOURISM regulations. Added tourism will cost you:

Groundwater depletion

Tourism=death of local servicing business

Loss of Mom and Pop stores to tourism based business

Low wage industries, need 2 and 3 jobs to stay financially afloat

Sonoma Plaza. City Council has restricted tasting rooms due to over concentration, binge tourism.

Hollowing out of neighborhoods

Communities fragmented by event centers, tasting rooms, vacation rentals in all zoning

Housing becomes an investment instead of a home

Unaffordable, high rents and lack of housing

Children and grandchildren move for lack of affordable housing

Safety: more rural roads used through neighborhoods used due to traffic congestion on regular routes

Roads and infrastructure crumbling, taxpayers pick up the tab

High rate of police calls from tourists, taxpayers pick up the tab

Paralyzing traffic and carbon pollution throughout county

8 to 10,000 acres paved over for industrial ag production in So CO.

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

President Trump’s Retreat on the Environment Is Affecting Communities Across America – The New York Times

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 10:09
President Trump’s Retreat on the Environment Is Affecting Communities Across America – The New York Times ‘This is our reality now.’

In just two years, President Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback, lobbied for and cheered on by industry, with little parallel in the past half-century. Mr. Trump enthusiastically promotes the changes as creating jobs, freeing business from the shackles of government and helping the economy grow.

The trade-offs, while often out of public view, are real — frighteningly so, for some people — imperiling progress in

Oil soaked sea bird from spill.

cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink, and in some cases upending the very relationship with the environment around us. Since Mr. Trump took office, his approach on the environment has been to neutralize the most rigorous Obama-era restrictions, nearly 80 of which have been blocked, delayed or targeted for repeal, according to an analysis of data by The New York Times.

With this running start, Mr. Trump is already on track to leave an indelible mark on the American landscape, even with a decline in some major pollutants from the ever-shrinking coal industry. While Washington has been consumed by scandals surrounding the president’s top officials on environmental policy — both the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior secretary have been driven from his cabinet — Mr. Trump’s vision is taking root in places as diverse as rural California, urban Texas, West Virginian coal country and North Dakota’s energy corridor.

While the Obama administration sought to tackle pollution problems in all four states and nationally, Mr. Trump’s regulatory ambitions extend beyond Republican distaste for what they considered unilateral overreach by his Democratic predecessor; pursuing them in full force, Mr. Trump would shift the debate about the environment sharply in the direction of industry interests, further unraveling what had been, before the Obama administration, a loose bipartisan consensus dating in part to the Nixon administration.

In the words of Walter DeVille, who lives on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, “This is our reality now.”

The ContributorsEric Lipton, a Pulitzer Prize recipient, has been at The New York Times since 1999. He covers Trump regulatory changes.

Steve Eder, a reporter who shared in the Pulitzer Prize this year, has worked at The Times since 2012. He writes about the federal government.

John Branch, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, has been at The Times since 2005. He is based in California.

Gabriella Demczuk is a photographer and regular contributor to The Times, covering Washington politics and national policy.

 

FULL STORY & COMMENTS
Categories: G2. Local Greens

SAVE THE DATE: February 16th, WWW annual Sonoma County Meeting on Land Use Policy

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:46
We invite the community to an open, fact filled discussion on land use policies. Sonoma County planners are rewriting the General Plan for 2020, still tweaking cannabis regulations, winery event regulations (postponed) and the Local Coastal Plan due this spring. These policies will affect the county for generations to come. Speakers include Laura Waldbaum, Ernie Carpenter, Rue Furch, Tom Conlon and more. These speakers have decades of experience in our county on land use policies. The event is free.

 

We’ll cover how to get involved now for optimum input and what we need to watch for. What’s that old expression, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”? Equality and many voices will make our county great.  Hope to see you there.

 

Graton Community Center

8996 Graton Rd Graton, CA.

1pm-3pm

For more info please leave comment on website.

ERNIE CARPENTER BIO: Fiscal conservative and social liberal.

Ernie Carpenter received his BA from San Francisco State and Master of Social Work at Berkeley in 1969. Ernie has lived in Sonoma County since 1969. He is a psychiatric social worker and an original Social Advocates for Youth staff. Ernie served on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors 1981-1997 representing the West Sonoma County. He is a former Coastal Commissioner, Planning Commissioner, Supervisor and current muckraker. He has an ongoing interest in progressive drug policies and government and currently works as a consultant on environment and government.

RUE FURCH BIO: Rue has worked for years with local farm groups, seeking to protect family farms. She was Project Manager for the Sonoma County Farmlands Group and has worked with the California Association of Family Farmers. She was a leader of the Santa Rosa and Sebastopol Urban Growth Boundary campaigns, which fought to protect agricultural land from city sprawl.Her belief in neighborhood-friendly planning led to involvement in Courtside Village, the first Santa Rosa mixed use development to create a complete community of homes, shops, and parks. She also worked with the Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition, Concerned Citizens for Santa Rosa and the Sonoma County Community Foundation Advisory Committee. She was a moderator of the Marin-Sonoma County Transportation Committee and a member of the Hwy. 101 Corridor Advisory Committee.

Rue has served as a county planning commission for 16 years and has a reputation for doing her homework and asking tough questions. She was appointed by two West County supervisors, and has twice been the Commission’s chairperson. She recently chaired a statewide conference on responsible water use and succeeded in prioritizing water resources in the county’s new general plan.

Among her many awards, Rue was named California Woman of the Year by the state Assembly, 2006 Upstream Swimmer Award by Sonoma County Conservation Action, Environmentalist of the Year by the Sonoma County Conservation Council, County Planning Commissioner of the Year by the California County Planning Commissioners’ Association and received the Agent of Change Award from Concerned Citizens for Santa Rosa.

 

LAURA WALDBAUM BIO:Laura Waldbaum in an environmental activist. For the past 20 years she has been working to implement changes to County policies and influence land use decisions to protect fish habitat in the Mark West Creek Watershed. She has been involved with litigation opposing several County land use decisions, has served on the County’s “working group” to modify the Vineyard & Orchard Site Development Ordinance and is currently a member of Sonoma County’s Cannabis Advisory Group representing the environment. 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Slow Food Russian River screening: “Of the Sea”, a film about California Fishermen

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:44
Seafood Screenings, Panel Discussion and Reception

Come learn about local, sustainable fisheries and
how you can help protect and strengthen them!

This Wednesday, January 9th, from 6-9 pm

Arlene Francis Center for Spirit, Art, and Politics
99 6th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

RSVP Please RSVP for the free event. The welcome reception is sponsored by Fort Point Beer Company & Poseidon Vineyard.

A trailer will be screened from “Ghost Fleet“, a recently completed film about slavery on Thai fishing boats,
and a feature documentary by TrimTab Media, “Of the Sea” about California commercial fisheries.

Following the film will be a panel discussion about local seafood with:

– Liza Hinman, Chef/Owner of Spinster Sisters
– Mischa Hedges, Filmmaker
Ivy Fredrickson, Attorney with Ocean Conservancy, and
Anna Barr Larsen, founder of Boat Direct Consulting and Siren SeaSA. Save the date!

Our 2019 Annual Meeting is around the corner!

January 27
11am – 2pm
Sebastopol Subud Hall

RSVP for free on Eventbrite today!

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Sonoma County Coalition for Grassroots Policy to hold vote January 26th

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:16
Please note: The voting is on Saturday, January 26 (not Sunday).

 

In the ongoing aftermath of the November 2016 election, the Democratic Party lingers at a crossroads. Will it be a party of the elite, or will it become the party of the people?

You have an opportunity to help California Democrats chart a new course for the next two years. On January 26th, Assembly District 10 will elect seven men and seven women as delegates to the California Democratic Central Committee, and if you live in AD 10 (if Marc Levine is your member of the Assembly) you can vote for our slate of grassroots candidates with strong progressive principles that reflect the values of “we the people.”

Our slate of candidates is a unique combination of experienced delegates and candidates who haven’t served before, bringing new energy and progressive perspectives to the Democratic Party.

Please come out to vote on Saturday, January 26, for the Progressive Slate.

To work effectively and have a strong voice with the California Democratic Party, it’s important that the slate be elected together.

When:  Saturday, January 26, between 10:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
Candidate speeches
begin at 10:15 a.m.
Registration and voting
take place between 10:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
You may register, vote, and leave; staying though the speeches is not required.
You must be in line no later than 12:45 p.m. to be able to vote.

Where:
UA Local 38 Plumbers and Pipefitters Building
(MAP)
3473 Santa Rosa Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA. 95407

Your vote for the entire Progressive Slate, listed below, will help advance our progressive principles in the California Democratic Party. We need your help to make this effort successful.

Here is our slate of progressive candidates:

Women:

  • Caroline Banuelos
  • Lisa Bennett
  • Ruth Carter
  • Alice Chan
  • Donna Norton
  • Debra Taube
  • Carey Caccavo Wheaton

Men:

  • Bob Harmon
  • Perry Lloyd
  • Ralph Miller (also our candidate for Executive Board)
  • Oliver Snow
  • Norman Solomon
  • Jim Wheaton
Any registered Democrat who lives in Assembly District 10 is eligible to vote in this election. If you’re not currently a registered Democrat, you may register at the meeting and vote. AD 10 includes all of Marin County and much of Sonoma County.  If you live in Sonoma County but are unsure which assembly district you’re in, you can check the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters website to find your district.

Here’s what some of our candidates have to say:

Progressive values should not be considered divisive or radical; they are values that are rooted in unity, respect, dignity, and justice. As a Progressive I believe that healthcare is a human right, that climate solutions can be enacted and should be enacted to consider those most impacted, that poverty is not a crime, that access to education, housing, and employment should be available to everyone, and that, ultimately, solutions that lift and liberate the oppressed will lift and liberate us all.” ~ Lisa Bennett “I firmly believe that global climate change is the greatest threat facing the next generation, and as someone whose future will be decided by how today’s leaders react to climate change, I want to do everything in my power to ensure California and the California Democratic Party take the lead on this critical issue.” ~ Oliver Snow “My top priority is combatting the climate crisis. The impact on current and future generations worldwide is profound — and irreversible. We must rapidly pursue clean energy technology and demand, while applying pressure on investment lending banks, and pension investment funds, to end funding for dirty energy development. Another top priority for me is accomplishing implementation of Single-Payer Healthcare in this state. Our current healthcare system is one of the greatest injustices in this country.” ~ Donna Norton “My policy priorities are ENVIRONMENTAL: to continue the progress California has made of reducing greenhouse gases, mandating full renewable energy with short-term goals, banning fracking and offshore oil drilling, and support of a New Green Deal program; HEALTHCARE: work on Medicare-for-all, and/or CA single-payer; VOTING INTEGRITY: repeal of Citizen’s United, banning dark money in politics; IMMIGRATION REFORM and a restoration of humane treatment of refugees seeking our help. ~ Jim Wheaton

Below are just a few of the issues progressive delegates will fight for:

  • Single-Payer Health Care
  • Real climate change actions and an immediate ban on fracking
  • Restoration of the Voting Rights Act, and campaign finance reform
  • Immigration reform: protection and expansion of rights of undocumented residents
  • Criminal justice reform

These are all things we can accomplish by working together in California. We can influence the party platform, have a voice in the endorsement process, and hold Democratic elected officials and candidates accountable.

Please come out and vote for the Progressive Slate on January 26 to strengthen the progressive voice in the California Democratic Party.

The Coalition for Grassroots Progress is an independent community-based political action committee for progressive change.  This work is only possible with your financial support. The best way you can help is to become a recurring, monthly donor. Our dedicated team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way; please consider a donation of any amount to CGP today.

Thank you for your activism and your support,

The Team at Coalition for Grassroots Progress

——————————–

Coalition for Grassroots Progress
GrassrootsProgress.org ——————————– Paid for by the Coalition for Grassroots Progress
PO Box 6653, San Rafael, CA 94903
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.
Categories: G2. Local Greens

The Women’s Agenda: Women’s March January 19th

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:06

January 19, we’re taking to the streets again for the third annual Women’s March on Washington. You already know we’re planning to flood the streets in cities across the globe. But I want to tell you about what the #WomensWave is carrying with us: The Women’s Agenda, a national policy platform and roadmap for our movement.

The Women’s March is YOUR march. This is YOUR agenda. YOU are the wave. Make sure your voice is heard on 01.19.19 by signing up to join a Women’s March near you.

This movement belongs to all of us. That’s why we’ve convened over 50 movement leaders and policy experts — all women, of course — from a wide range of backgrounds to collectively develop an agenda that represents ALL of us. We’re so proud to be working with leaders from Planned Parenthood, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, the ACLU, the Indigenous Environmental Network, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Council on American-Islamic Relations, UndocuBlack, American Federation of Teachers, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Pueblo Action Alliance, Girls for Gender Equity, and dozens of other organizations.

Urgent policy priorities will be identified by each of the following committees:

  • Ending Violence Against Women & Femmes
  • Ending State Violence
  • Reproductive Rights & Justice
  • Racial Justice
  • LGBTQIA+ Rights
  • Immigrant Rights
  • Economic Justice & Worker’s Rights
  • Civil Rights & Liberties
  • Disability Rights
Women’s March on Washington Start: January 19, 2019 • 10:00 AM Washington D.C.• Washington D.C., Washington D.C., DC 20001 +

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1/19/19: The #WomensWave is coming.

It’s time to march again.

The 2017 Women’s March inspired hundreds of women to run, millions more to vote, and dozens to win elected office. The 2019 Women’s March marks two years of resistance to the Trump presidency, two years of training new activists, and two years of building power. And this time, we’re coming back with an agenda.

On January 19, 2019, we’re going to flood the streets of Washington, D.C., and cities across the globe. The #WomensWave is coming, and we’re sweeping the world forward with us.

Event Information:

Important Locations

Please note: a site map will be released once it is approved by the National Park Service. This map will have locations of medic stations, water stations, heating tents, and porta-potties.

  • Gathering Location: We will be gathering on the National Mall between 12th and 3rd Street
  • Rally Location: The Rally will take place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
  • Main Support Station: Constitution Gardens located just north of the reflecting pool at 21st and Constitution Ave NW. The area will have porta-potties, water stations, heating tents, medic stations, and a lost person tent.

Important Times:

Public Gathering Time: 10:00am

March Steps Off: 11:00am

Rally Starts: 1:30pm

Rally Ends: 4:00pm

Volunteers

We’re searching for volunteers from the D.C. area to be a part of our March Team! Are you interested? Please sign up here.

Buses

The Women’s March has partnerships with Bus.Com, Skedaddle, and Rally. All three bus companies are donating portions of the proceeds directly to the Women’s March.

Here are steps to take to get your buses organized:

  1. Check out the Women’s March exclusive landing pages with Bus.Com and Skedaddle, or Rally.
  2. Thoroughly review the guidelines for bus booking with both companies.
  3. Book a bus – remember that you should have a bus lead/captain for your group to manage all the pieces and send reminders out to participant.
  4. RSVP here so we can make sure that you receive information on pick up and drop-offs.

Please contact buses@womensmarch.com with any questions.

Sister Marches

Our chapters around the country have begun planning their sister marches. Check out the map to find mobilizations around the country that you can join. If you’re interested in planning your own sister march, please register with the “Click To Host” button on the map. A representative from our field team will contact you within 72 hours with more information on how to get started. You will receive weekly updates, an invite to our Slack channel for Sister Marches and information about planning calls.

Looking for a #WomensWave event outside the United States? Head over to Women’s March Global to find an event on the Global Map or create one of your own!

Partnerships

If your organization or business is interested in partnering with the Women’s March, please first review our Unity Principles. If you would like to partner with us, please email partnerships@womensmarch.com.

Youth

Women’s March Youth Empower chapters all over the country are partnering with their local state chapters to head to D.C. and to plan local marches. If you are a youth activist between the ages of 15-25 and you would like to be involved with the Women’s March in D.C. or at a sister march, please contact youth@womensmarch.com.

FAQs

What should I bring?

  • Small backpacks and bags are allowed. We recommend you fill them with water and snacks for the day You can store larger bags at Union Station.
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Layers (the weather in D.C. can be pretty unpredictable so it’s good to be prepared for anything!)
  • A reusable water bottle – we will have water towers available

What should I NOT bring?

  • Any weapons, or anything that can be construed as a weapon, including pocket knives, multi-tools, mace, scissors, etc.
  • Any illegal drugs (while marijuana is legal in D.C., the march will be on federal property and national park land, where marijuana is still illegal)

What about banners, flags, signs, etc?

You may absolutely bring your own banners, flags, signs, and other visuals. There are no limitations in National Parks or on District of Columbia Property on size of banners, flags, signs, and other visuals, except for a height limit of the 12 feet.

Will there be Spanish translation?

Spanish translation will be available on all jumbotrons north of the reflecting pool.

Is this March accessible?

Our organizing team is working hard to make sure that this march is inclusive of people with disabilities. Please email accessibility@womensmarch.com if you have a specific request not addressed in the information below, and we will work to make sure that it is fulfilled.

  • An ADA section will be located directly in front of the stage and will be open to those who require it.
  • All volunteers will be trained to provide general support for folks with disabilities. We will also have a specific volunteer crew to support participants with disabilities and give directional information.
  • American Sign Language interpretation will be provided on the stage, and picture-in-picture and CART in English will be available on the jumbotrons South of the reflecting pool.
  • An ADA tent will have smell sensitivity masks, a generator dedicated to recharging chairs, audio description headsets, water, snacks, and other support items available.
  • ADA Vans will be available to transfer folks from the gathering location to the rally area. These vans will pick up passengers on the corner of 12th and Jefferson Drive SW, and drop off passengers at the ADA section.
  • Every area where porta-potties are located will also have ADA accessible porta-potties.
  • Additional accessible porta-potties will be provided in the ADA section

How do I get to the gathering location?

You can use any of the following metros to enter the gathering location:

  • Metro Center (Red/Blue/Orange/Silver): From Metro center – Take any exit and head south on any numbered street
  • Penn Quarter/Navy Memorial: Head South on 7th street
  • L’Enfant Plaza:  Head North on any numbered street
  • Smithsonian Metro: You are at the gathering space

What Metros should I use to leave after the rally?

  • Smithsonian Metro: East of the Rally Space on 12th and the National Mall
  • Farragut North:  17th and K street NW
  • Farragut West: 18th and I street NW

How do I use the metro?

The Metro system in D.C. is relatively easy to use, and connects to various regional transit systems. We recommend buying a D.C. Metro card in advance.  Many people purchasing cards at once at the Metro machines can lead to long lines and delays. You can buy cards in advance here: https://smartrip.wmata.com/storefront.

Pro Tip: Bring good walking shoes and lots of patience. You can find more information about the DC area bus and metro options at https://www.wmata.com/

What about parking?

Out-of-town cars should consider parking at Metro Stations outside the city and taking the metro into downtown (map here). Downtown parking is tight, even on the weekends, and parking lots are expensive but Metro offers free parking on the weekends!

What about trains and other forms of transport?

Amtrak has good service into D.C., and in fact, they offer group sales with discounted group rates. If you have 75 people you can sometimes reserve an entire car (bonus: use it as an organizing space too!) You can find our more about that on Amtrak’s website: https://www.amtrak.com/group-travel-requests.

There are also many services that offer regional bus transit – you can buy individual seats, or also sometimes group rates. Costs can be very reasonable, especially if you buy early. A few options to consider are:

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

Just Say NO: All Major Networks To Air Trump’s Address On The Border Wall | HuffPost

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:58
Fact free publicity stunt aired tonight by the media,  there is no national emergency….real statistics here.  Media contact info here  NBC/MSNBC contact: 212-664-4444 MoveOn Petitions – Networks: Don’t give Trump’s hateful lies … Petition by Justin Krebs. Sign this petition … A joint website of MoveOn.org Civic Action and MoveOn.org Political Action. MoveOn.org Civic Action is a 501(c)(4 … https://www.petitions.moveon.org/sign/networks-dont-give-trumps All Major Networks To Air Trump’s Address On The Border Wall | HuffPost

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC all confirmed Monday they would carry the president’s speech at 9 p.m. Eastern time after Trump said he planned to address the country “on the humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border.” Some cable networks, including CNN and MSNBC, which cater to smaller audiences, said they plan to air the speech as well.

Shortly after the network confirmations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a joint statement calling for Democrats to be given “equal airtime” to address the country.

“Now that the television networks have decided to air the President’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime,” the pair said.

FULL STORY

FLASH BACK: Why major US TV networks didn’t show Obama’s immigration address
  • CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox stick with hit primetime shows
  • Spanish-language channel Univision did carry the addressOn Thursday evening, President Obama took to the airwaves to present his plan for immigration reform to the American people. Unfortunately, many of the American people were not able to find him.At 8pm, instead of seeing the president outlining his long-awaited overhaul of one of the country’s most hotly debated issues, ABC viewers were treated to an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Those tuning in to CBS were presented with an episode of The Big Bang Theory; Fox network viewers saw Bones; and viewers tuning to NBC were be able to enjoy The Biggest Loser: Glory Days.
MORE READING: Donald trump rode $5 billion in free media to the white Donald Trump Rode $5 Billion in Free Media to the White House Donald Trump didn’t spend nearly as much on advertising as typical presidential candidates, and he didn’t have to — he relied on … https://www.thestreet.com/story/13896916/1/donald-trump-rode-5-billion-in-free-media-to-the- These TV networks will let Trump use prime time to talk about … And the network channels — ABC, CBS, and NBC — are planning to air footage of it in prim. Politics. … If the media allows Trump a free platform to lie with no consequences, the downward … https://www.alternet.org/2019/01/tv-networks-will-let-trump-use-prime-time-to-talk-about-immigration
Categories: G2. Local Greens

HR 2064: Sewage Sludge in Food Production Consumer Notification Act

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 09:15

Organic Consumer Association:

Sewage sludge: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) euphemistically calls it “biosolids.”

But what is it really? And why should you care?

Ask your Member of Congress to cosponsor the Sewage Sludge in Food Production Consumer Notification Act.

TAKE ACTION

As this article explains, sewage sludge is:

. . . whatever goes into the sewer system and emerges as solids from municipal wastewater treatment plants. Sludge can be (its exact composition varies and is not knowable) any of the 80,000 synthetic chemicals used by industry; new chemicals created from combining two or more of those 80,000; bacteria and viruses; hospital waste; runoff from roads; pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter drugs; detergents and chemicals that are put down drains in residences; and, of course, urine and feces flushed down toilets. This toxic stew is sold to farmers who use it to fertilize food crops—a fact most consumers don’t know, because food producers and retailers aren’t required to tell you.

Congressman Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) wants to change that. That’s why he’s introduced a bill (H.R. 2064) that would require the food industry to label products that have been grown in farmlands that use sewage sludge as fertilizer.

Please tell your member of Congress to co-sponsor the Sewage Sludge in Food Production Consumer Notification Act!

 

TAKE ACTION

Thank you!

Katherine, for the OCA team

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Trump’s EPA Is Undermining New Law to Regulate Chemicals

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 09:07
“Nevertheless, the rules outlining these prioritization and risk evaluation processes have been “significantly narrowed” under the Trump administration, excluding important “pathways of exposure” that leave vulnerable populations like pregnant women and children especially susceptible to harm, according to Eve Gartner, a litigator in the Healthy Communities Program at Earthjustice, an environmental organization currently litigating the TSCA roll-backs.” SWAMP WATCH: Profits over people…..

 

Trump’s EPA Is Undermining New Law to Regulate Chemicals

Daniel Ross,Truthout

FULL STORY

More Truthout:

Politics & Elections

House Democrats Release Sweeping Legislation to Drain the Swamp

Environment & Health

The EPA Has Backed Off Enforcement Under Trump. Here Are the Numbers.

 

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

There’s a Toxic Weed Killer on the Menu in K-12 Schools Across the US

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 08:56
There’s a Toxic Weed Killer on the Menu in K-12 Schools Across the US

ByCaroline Cox,Truthout

FULL STORY
Categories: G2. Local Greens

SAVE THE DATE: February 16th, WWW annual Sonoma County Meeting on Land Use Policy

Sun, 01/06/2019 - 12:45
We invite the community to an open, fact filled discussion on land use policies. Sonoma County planners are rewriting the General Plan for 2020, still tweaking cannabis regulations, winery event regulations (postponed) and the Local Coastal Plan due this spring. These policies will affect the county for generations to come. Speakers include Laura Waldbaum, Ernie Carpenter, Rue Furch, Tom Conlon on climate change element. These speakers have decades of experience in our county on land use policies. The event is free.

 

We’ll cover how to get involved now for optimum input and what we need to watch for. What’s that old expression, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”? Equality and many voices will make our county great.  Hope to see you there.

 

Graton Community Center

8996 Graton Rd Graton, CA.

1pm-3pm

For more info please leave comment on website.

ERNIE CARPENTER BIO: Fiscal conservative and social liberal.

Ernie Carpenter received his BA from San Francisco State and Master of Social Work at Berkeley in 1969. Ernie has lived in Sonoma County since 1969. He is a psychiatric social worker and an original Social Advocates for Youth staff. Ernie served on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors 1981-1997 representing the West Sonoma County. He is a former Coastal Commissioner, Planning Commissioner, Supervisor and current muckraker. He has an ongoing interest in progressive drug policies and government and currently works as a consultant on environment and government.

RUE FURCH BIO: Rue has worked for years with local farm groups, seeking to protect family farms. She was Project Manager for the Sonoma County Farmlands Group and has worked with the California Association of Family Farmers. She was a leader of the Santa Rosa and Sebastopol Urban Growth Boundary campaigns, which fought to protect agricultural land from city sprawl.Her belief in neighborhood-friendly planning led to involvement in Courtside Village, the first Santa Rosa mixed use development to create a complete community of homes, shops, and parks. She also worked with the Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition, Concerned Citizens for Santa Rosa and the Sonoma County Community Foundation Advisory Committee. She was a moderator of the Marin-Sonoma County Transportation Committee and a member of the Hwy. 101 Corridor Advisory Committee.

Rue has served as a county planning commission for 16 years and has a reputation for doing her homework and asking tough questions. She was appointed by two West County supervisors, and has twice been the Commission’s chairperson. She recently chaired a statewide conference on responsible water use and succeeded in prioritizing water resources in the county’s new general plan.

Among her many awards, Rue was named California Woman of the Year by the state Assembly, 2006 Upstream Swimmer Award by Sonoma County Conservation Action, Environmentalist of the Year by the Sonoma County Conservation Council, County Planning Commissioner of the Year by the California County Planning Commissioners’ Association and received the Agent of Change Award from Concerned Citizens for Santa Rosa.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Electric cars may already be making gas cars as obsolete as ‘flip phones’, experts say

Sun, 01/06/2019 - 11:53
 But it’s also the result of the price and performance of EVs improving so rapidly that many major countries — like China, India, the UK, and France — are planning to ban or phase out gas-burning cars in the coming years.Electric cars may already be making gas cars as obsolete as ‘flip phones’, experts say Buying a gas car today would leave you with a financial “albatross” that has little resale value, warns Wall Street Journal. Joe Romm Jan 2, 2019, 2:20 pm

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Within a few years, electric vehicles (EVs) will be superior to gasoline powered cars in every respect.In fact, leading experts now predict that EVs will soon have a lower upfront cost to go with their many superior attributes, which include a much lower operating cost and much faster acceleration. But that means if you buy a new gas-powered car, SUV, or truck in the near future, you may find it increasingly obsolete and difficult to resell.

 

Just last week, Wall Street Journal auto columnist Dan Neil discussed why buying a new internal-combustion (IC) engine car would be a big mistake — the equivalent of buying a flip phone in a world of smart phones.

 

“This is above all a pocketbook issue for me,” Neil writes. “A gas-powered vehicle would be too expensive.”

 

Why electric cars will soon be superior to gasoline cars in every respect

This financial calculus is based not just on the fact that electric vehicles (EVs) have become technologically superior in every respect and have a vastly lower operating cost. But it’s also the result of the price and performance of EVs improving so rapidly that many major countries — like China, India, the UK, and France — are planning to ban or phase out gas-burning cars in the coming years.

FULL STORY & COMMENTS

Categories: G2. Local Greens

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