Former President of the Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition in Kauai

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Our former President (of the Sara Roosevelt Community Coalition) Anne Fredericks moved to Kauai a while back. Here is how she is keeping busy (among other things).

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She now heads this local environmental organization. Its Mission sounds familiar!

More and more environmental organizations  understand that we are all engaged in a complex and indivisible struggle for food, democracy, stewardship and economic justice.

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HAPA’s mission is to catalyze community empowerment and systemic change towards valuing ‘aina (environment) and people ahead of corporate profit.

HAPA advances the work of progressive movements across the islands by sharing resources, creating effective and consistent communication and advocacy, organizing, educating and framing local efforts so we can see their global connections, their root causes, and our linked struggles.

CURRENT CAMPAIGNS

Under HAPA’s 2015 Strategic Plan, the focus of HAPA’s work over the next one to three years is on the following four campaigns to support, promote, and foster local initiatives which advocate:

Fair and Sustainable Food Systems

Forwarding Hawaii’s transition from GMO+Pesticide “Ground Zero” to a more sustainable, fair and secure food system.

Reclaiming Democracy

Interrupting corporate influence on our government, restoring transparency and citizen-driven democracy.

Community Based Resource Stewardship

Supporting customary land-based Aha Moku organizing, and the protection and restoration of sacred sites and traditional food systems.

Economic Justice

Addressing the structural ways that economic inequality is perpetuated, towards a more level playing field for all.

Best of luck Anne!

Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can

From the Guardian:  by Jason Hickel

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“…. extreme events [are] becoming more commonplace, few deny climate change any longer. … a consensus is crystallising … fossil fuels are killing us. We need to switch to clean energy…fast.

… But … As important as clean energy might be, the science is clear: it won’t save us from climate change…

Why? Because the burning of fossil fuels only accounts for about 70% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The remaining 30% comes from….Deforestation …. industrial agriculture…. industrial livestock farming … Industrial production of cement, steel, and plastic forms …and … landfills…

… the problem is not just the type of energy … it’s what we’re doing with it. …[we] raze forests, build more meat farms, expand industrial agriculture, produce more cement, and fill more landfill sites…

We will do these things because our economic system demands endless compound growth…we have not thought to question this.

… the basic logic of our economic operating system…[is] … the broader imperative of GDP growth.…[it] demands ever-increasing levels of extraction, production and consumption.

Clean energy, important as it is, won’t save us from this nightmare ….rethinking our economic system might. GDP growth has been sold to us as the only way to create a better world.

But we now have robust evidence that it doesn’t make us any happier, it doesn’t reduce poverty, and its “externalities” produce all sorts of social ills: debt, overwork, inequality, and climate change.

We need to abandon GDP growth as our primary measure of progress, … immediately – as part and parcel of the climate agreement that will be ratified in Morocco later this year.

It’s time to pour our creative power into imagining a new global economy – one that maximises human wellbeing while actively shrinking our ecological footprint.

This is not an impossible task. A number of countries have already managed to achieve high levels of human development with very low levels of consumption…”

 

 

 

“This mayor has an incredibly simple idea to help the homeless. And it seems to be working.”

From the Washington Post:

 

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Mayor Richard Berry was driving around Albuquerque last year when he saw a man on a street corner holding a sign that read: “Want a Job. Anything Helps.”

….as part of a push to connect the homeless population to services, Berry had taken to driving through the city to talk to panhandlers about their lives. His city’s poorest residents told him they didn’t want to be on the streets begging for money, but they didn’t know where else to go….

Kellie Tillerson…at St. Martin’s Hospitality Center…said the way to dispel people of the negative associations with panhandlers is for them to do what the mayor did and engage on a human level.

“Genuinely ask why they are in the predicament they are…Many have medical conditions, they don’t have the proper identification — you can’t get a job without one. They don’t have a Social Security card. Those little things we take for granted prohibit people from getting a job. Don’t assume they are lazy.”

…a lot of the people who get picked up by the van were not aware of all the services available to them. One man who recently got out of prison returned to St. Martin’s the day after taking one of the city’s jobs. She said it enrolled him in the day-labor program….

“He now has a support system he…didn’t know existed…“It’s life-changing for them. He …said, ‘I would much rather earn my money than have someone hand it to me.’ ”

 

“In New York City’s Lower East Side, gardening is a political act of resistance”

From the Guardian 2015

In honor of the M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden, New Forsyth Conservancy and the Elizabeth Hubbard Memorial Gardens. Preserving life as we want to know it for our lives and future generations….

Garden activism includes planting a flower or a free library, collecting rainwater or signatures, creating and maintaining homes for insects or humans, …

We do a lot with a little.

On a hot summer’s day, the sun beats down through a canopy of fruit trees and the breeze carries the smell of roasting pork. Birdsong can be heard alongside salsa music. But this is no Caribbean island – this is downtown Manhattan.

“When you come here, you swear you are in Puerto Rico,” says Marta Montañez, who has lived in and around the Lower East Side for 62 years, after immigrating to the US when she was six.”

Parks Department cleans up a slave burial ground in Flushing

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Photo NYC Parks Department. The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground has residents worried that the cemetery is not being respectfully maintained.

The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground, located at 45-12 165th St., served as a burial site to more than 1,000 African-American slaves and Native Americans since the late 1800s. According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), death records from 1881 to 1898 reflect that 62 percent of the buried were African-American or Native American, 34 percent were unidentified and over half were children younger than age 5.”

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Getting New Yorkers Into the City’s Wilderness. All 10,000 Acres of It.

….Kelly Bamfo, 18, was helping lay another part of the trail. He said it was so quiet that he felt as if he was somewhere far away from the city. “When I come out here, I don’t hear the car honks and the trains and the people screaming and yelling,” he said.

If he was not working at the park, he said he would probably be playing video games with his friends… “I feel like I’m growing,” he said. “I realize now my world is not just about being inside, new apps and new games and things. There’s more to life than just technology.”

NYT Opinion Page Letter – From Neighbors to Save Rivington House

As longtime residents of the Lower East Side, we share your concern about the sale of Rivington House (“How Did a Nursing Home Become a Condo?,” editorial, Aug. 2). We, too, have been asking the mayor to explain how this vital neighborhood resource came to be sold to a luxury condo developer under his watch. Like the editorial board, we have yet to receive a satisfactory response.

If the Lower East Side keeps losing services and homes like Rivington House, the aging and the sick in our community will soon have no option but to leave the neighborhood entirely, and with it the network of trusted friends and neighbors, community gardens and parks that have been built over many decades.

This kind of rupture is a loss to all New Yorkers, rich and poor, young and old. We hope that the mayor will see this and choose to help saveRivington House rather than simply managing the controversy surrounding it.

K. WEBSTER

TESSA HUXLEY

New York

The writers are members of Neighbors to Save Rivington House.

Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem Celebrating newly renovated Park!

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NYT: Want to Relax in a New York City Park? Join the Crowd

Photo: Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

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“A stretch of Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The sprawling New York City public park system, which includes 2,000 parks, has never been busier, according to park officials, volunteers and conservancy groups. “

“Across New York City, outdoor time used to be the perfect antidote to the bustle and frustration of urban life.

Not anymore. Today, it can just add to the stress.” Read more article ….

Chinese Progressive Association Presents: Candidates Forum & Get Out the Vote

65th New York State Assembly district (includes parts of Chinatown, Lower East Side, Battery Park City, Soho, Financial District, Soho, Seaport, Little Italy) 

DATE/TIME: Sunday August 14, 2pm-4pm

Place: 62 Mott Street (CCBA auditorium)

(bet. Canal & Bayard St.)

 

This summer, join The Chinese Progressive Association to make sure that our voices from Chinatown and the Lower East Side are heard in September and November. 

  • Register new voters
  • Visit or make phone calls 
  • Chinese language skills welcome but not necessary.
  • Training provided. Learn about voting and community empowerment, how to have a conversation to help more people participate and vote!
  • Community service credits provided
  • Activities are non-partisan

Upcoming volunteer days:

Saturday, August 6

Tuesday, August 9

Wednesday, August 10

Thursday, August 11