RIP Monsanto Protection Act

It’s dead. Thanks to you. And hundreds of thousands of people like you who signed petitions, and called their representatives and senators, the Monsanto Protection Act has, officially, expired.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) pushed hard to kill the Monsanto Protection act, a biotech industry-friendly rider attached to the government funding bill that expired on September 30. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) made sure the rider was stripped from the Senate version of the new bill to fund the government. Of course, as we all know by now, there currently is no new bill to fund the government, thanks in large part to the antics of Republican Tea Partiers. But at least we know the Monsanto Protection Act won’t be in the next funding bill. Assuming Congress ever gets around to passing one.

So score one for the anti-Monsanto, anti-GMO movement. With the Monsanto Protection Act dead, Monsanto no longer gets immunity from prosecution for illegally growing GMO crops.

Sometimes we wonder if those petitions and phone calls really matter. But remember. No matter which senator pounded the final nail into the Monsanto Protection Act’s coffin, you provided the hammer. This is our victory!

A Big Thank-You!

8.24.13 DC Carrying Banner

On Saturday, August 24, two big bus-loads of people traveled from Ithaca to the 50th Anniversary Realize the Dream march and rally in Washington, DC. We were among the thousands and thousands of positive, truly kind and powerful people there, and it renews our faith in who the American people really are to connect with so many kindred spirits speaking out for Jobs, Freedom and Justice and the civil and human rights of all people.

The organizers of the trip were Elizabeth Field, Laura Branca, Kirby Edmonds, Audrey Cooper from the Multicultural Resource Center, Marcia Fort, Director of GIAC and Lana Milton from GIAC.We were able to cover 53  free tickets to many of our riders through the generous donations of the following organizations and individuals, to whom we offer our heartfelt thanks:
Greater Ithaca Activities Center
Building Bridges
An anonymous donor (who attended the 1963 March donated 10 seats so that young people could go.)
Moosewood Restaurant
Social Ventures
Center for Transformative Action
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Multicultural Resource Center
Congregation Tikkun V’Or
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton
Lynne Jackier
Ann Martin
Beverly Baker
Joan Swenson
Sue Kittel
Dick Franke and Barbara Chasin
John Suter
Sandy Pollack
Karen Friedeborn

Thank you to all who made this happen!

REAL MONEY, REAL POWER

Please share …. Hope to see some of you there….

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REAL MONEY, REAL POWER

You’re invited to a free event on Thursday, August 8 to learn about participatory budgeting (PB), a new approach to democracy in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. PB gives ordinary people real decision-making power over real money. Come hear from people who are using PB in their own cities to fund the projects needed most in their communities.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
GREATER ITHACA ACTIVITIES CENTER
301 WEST COURT ST. ITHACA, NY 14850

Admission is free, but please RSVP.
Bring your family & friends!

Watch a short video about participatory budgeting: http://vimeo.com/65169312

Check out the Participatory Budgeting Project: http://www.participatorybudgeting.org/

Stay connected on Facebook for updates on PB events in Tompkins County!

This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of The Natural Leaders Initiative, The Workers’ Center for Tompkins County, The Community Foundation of Tompkins County, GIAC, the Alternatives Federal Credit Union, and the Public Service Center at Cornell University

GreenStar Community Projects: Feeding Our Future

Hello esteemed community-colleagues. We very much hope you will be able to join the next “Feeding Our Future” conversation on August 15 at GIAC. We’ll hear from leaders of several important food justice initiatives in the community, and share insights, innovations, information and ideas for building a food system that serves EVERYBODY in our community. Please do share this message with others in your organization and neighborhood. Thank you so much!
Joanna G

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Black Farmers and Urban Growers

Please check out Black Farmers and Urban Growers and like them on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/BlackUrbanGrowers . They have one of the greatest logos ever for their conference.

 About

Our mission is to engage people of African descent in critical food and farm-related issues that directly impact our health, communities, and economic security.
Mission

Our mission is to build networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, we nurture collective black leadership to ensure we have a seat at the table. Find our more today at http://www.blackfarmersconf.org/ 

Company Overview
The Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference is presented by Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, we nurture collective black leadership to ensure we have a seat at the table.
Based in the New York City Metropolitan area, Black Urban Growers’ founding members include representatives from the following grassroots groups, non-profit organizations as well as individuals from our communities:
Grassroots Groups
Brooklyn Rescue Mission – Brooklyn, NY
Community Vision Council – Brooklyn, NY
Garden of Happiness – Bronx, NY
La Familia Verde – Bronx, NY
La Finca Del Sur – Bronx, NY
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, New York Chapter
Taqwa Community Farm – Bronx, NYNon-Profit OrganizationsCitizens Committee for New York City – Manhattan, NY
Green City Force – Brooklyn, NY
GreenThumb – Manhattan, NY
Heritage Radio – Online Radio Network
Isles, Inc. – Trenton, NJ
Just Food – Manhattan, NY
NYFood Museum – Manhattan, NY
Weeksville Heritage Center – Brooklyn, NY
West Harlem Initiative Neighborhood Garden Sustainability (WHINGS) – Manhattan, NY
WhyHunger – Manhattan, NY

Description
In November of 2009, Black Urban Growers began organizing and hosting a series of community events with the purpose of starting a conversation around food: Where does it come from? Who is providing it? Why don’t we see more black farmers at the farmers markets? What is the relationship between our individual health and the health of our communities, and why does it matter?Beginning with a fundraiser event in February of 2010, followed by a Community Forum that April, we’ve been inviting more and more people from our communities to engage in the conversation and together connect the dots between the health of our farmers and our collective health as a community.At the first annual Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference in November 2010, more than 500 attendees began building a national network that includes producers, consumers, and everyone in between in creating sustainable solutions. This vital project continued at the second annual conference in October 2011.

Reclaim the Dream March on Washington, August 24, 2013

Greetings!

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the famous March on Washington.

On Saturday, August 24, 2013 another historic rally will take place on the National Mall, led by the National Action Network, fifty years after MLK delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. GIAC, Southside Community Center, the Multicultural Resource Center and the Dorothy Cotton Institute are co-organizing a bus so people from our community can attend the march. The bus will leave GIAC at 4:00am sharp. We will spend the day on the National Mall and return that night to GIAC around 1 or 2:00am. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and tickets are $60 per seat. Priority will be given to GIAC and Southside youth and their chaperones, and if there is enough interest we will book two buses. Participants should plan on bringing breakfast and lunch, and dinner will be on your own in DC. More details about the day’s events and what to bring will follow. Please reserve your seat by August 12, 2013. If you need financial assistance, please talk with one of the organizing agencies. To reserve a seat contact Liz Field at 607-280-1960 or lizlovesmusic@gmail.com.

The rally is not just to commemorate the March on Washington, but to give us a chance to address compelling issues of the day, such as the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, and to stand against discriminatory practices such as “Stop and Frisk” in NYC and dangerous laws like the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in Florida and 31 other states that allow murderers like George Zimmerman to walk away free. This March is about Reclaiming the Dream. Read the full press release here: http://nationalactionnetwork.net/press/rev-al-sharpton-martin-luther-king-iii-along-with-labor-leaders-clergy-elected-officials-and-activists-to-march-on-washington-saturday-august-24-2013-for-the-national-action-to-reclaim-the-d/

Among the groups and individuals joining with Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King, III are: The King Center, A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), NAACP, NAACP LDF, National Council of Negro Women, National Urban League (NUL), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Communities Without Boundaries International, Inc., Service Employees International Union (SEIU), 1199 SEIU, United Federation of Teachers (UFT), United Here, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, American Federation of Government Employees, AFGE, Military Families Speak Out, Fair Vote, United for Peace & Justice, Veterans for Peace, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Congress of Black Women (NCBW), , National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. (NCBW), Black Women’s Health Imperative, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), National Black Justice Coalition, Family Equality Council, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), The Hip Hop Caucus, Operation Hope, Impact Black Youth Vote, Our Time.org.

Read here about additional events planned, some happening on Aug. 28, the actual anniversary of Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech.

http://www.nationalmall.org/news/washington-marks-50th-anniversary-martin-luther-kings-iconic-i-have-dream-speech

Cornell Civic Leader Fellowship Program is seeking for applications!

DEADLINE — July 5, 2013

Looking for funding and support  your program or project to the next level?

The Cornell Civic Leader Fellowship Program is designed to support your Community Based Initiative!

Apply today! Whether it’s a new initiative, or you are seeking to boost an ongoing project, the program provides funding and support in a collaborative and socially responsible atmosphere. Two community leaders involved in economic and community development efforts will be chosen as Civic Leader Fellows. Fellows will be awarded $5,000 for their project and invited to join the Cornell community as both learners and teachers for an academic year.

The Cornell Civic Leaders Fellowship Program is sponsored by the Cornell Public Service Center,  Engaged Learning + Research, and Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI).

For complete detail of the guidelines, application requirement and list of past Fellows, please visit our website: http://www.psc.cornell.edu/civic-fellows-leadership-program-1091.php