Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-NY-3. This brings total cosponsors of HR 1673, the Water Affordability , Transparency, Equity and Reliability Act of 2017, to 36. You can read more about the bill here.
Organizing for a city-level public bank in Washington DC has taken a big step forward, thanks to advocacy by the DC Public Banking Center, as the city’s 2018 budget authorizes $200,000 for a feasibility study.
The city council's action was partly spurred by problems with Wells Fargo, including the bank's admission of illegally opening bank accounts for customers without their knowledge, and failing marks for its activities under the Community Reinvestment Act. Washington DC, a Wells Fargo customer, considered a review of its banking practices, and as part of the review, to study a public banking system.
The DC Public Banking Center is a sponsored project of Alliance for Democracy, and one of three public bank campaigns involving Alliance members or supporters, including Hub Public Banking in Boston, which is currently advocating for a state public bank there, and the Portland Public Banking Alliance, in Portland OR, which is looking to bring public banking to their city.
DC Public Banking Center will continue to advocate for as complete and comprehensive a feasibility study as possible, one that looks at the potential positive impacts of banking on small business, affordable housing, and job creation. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter and visit their website here.
This July 4th, celebrate how inspired, focused, town-by-town organizing led to statewide victory.
The Alliance has long supported local food activists in Maine through the “Local Food RULES!” campaign, which works at the city or town level to pass Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinances (LFCSGOs). You can read the basic ordinance text here and here. These ordinances protect the rights of farmers and small producers to sell directly to their neighbors, preserving traditional foodways and expanding the availability of local food.
After passing 20 town-level ordinances in Maine, the campaign won an even more important victory—passage of a state-level bill guaranteeing that Maine will not interfere with town- or city-level food safety regulation. This bill, LD725, An Act To Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems, was signed into law by Gov. Paul LePage this month and will take effect at the end of the current legislative session.
Organizers thanked the Alliance for Democracy for the local food issue of Justice Rising, calling it “our most helpful organizing tool.” Read it online here, or contact the office to see about ordering printed copies. They also praised the bill’s legislative champions, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and the countless people who passed LFCSGOs locally and wrote their legislators in its support: “Grassroots democracy at its best!"
You can read more about the bill on our blog, and in this article in the Bangor Daily News.
Is President Trump’s new Election Integrity Commission a fix or a fraud? That was the topic on this week's edition of "Corporations and Democracy," a twice-monthly radio show hosted by Alliance secretary Steve Scalmanini and Annie Esposito. Their guest was election integrity and voting rights activist Jan Ben-Dor, a founding member of the Michigan Election Reform Alliance, and a member of the board of directors of the National Election Defense Coalition, as well as a former election official.
You can listen or download a podcast of the show here.
Want democracy? Come to Minneapolis this August for the Democracy Convention (and our Earth Democracy Conference!)
If July 4th left you hankering after some real democracy, come make the connections, hear the ideas, and share the skills that will invigorate your movement-building at the Democracy Convention III, August 2 – 6, at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis.
The Alliance for Democracy will be there, organizing the Earth Rights and Global Democracy Conference linking global work to defend Mother Earth and the rights of communities and ecosystems to thrive and survive to the issues important to us in the US, such as: fair trade, water, food and agriculture, climate.
Read the Earth Rights and Global Democracy statement here. AfD’s Co-chair, Nancy Price is organizing a series of panels. Here’s a partial list of Convention presenters; the full program will be posted soon.
Here’s just a taste of the Earth Rights & Global Democracy panels: the Renegotiating NAFTA panel will add a gender and racial justice analysis; and panels on the false solutions to global warming of cap and trade and carbon tax, stopping GE Eucalyptus forests slated for our southeastern states responsible for the terrible fires in Chile and Portugal, on bottled water, frac-sand mining and more.
Ronnie Cummins, International Director of the Organic Consumers Association, will speak on “Connecting the Dots: Bringing the Food, Climate, Natural Health and Democracy Movements Together in a Powerful Force for Revolution.” The great line-up of Convention Plenary speakers will be posted soon.
Earth Rights and Global Democracy is one of eight distinct, yet interrelated conferences at this third Democracy Convention. You can also connect with Representative Democracy, Racial Justice for Democracy, Peace and Democracy, Media Democracy, Education United for Democracy, Democracy and the Constitution, and Community and Economic Democracy. In addition, two tracks, on Overcoming Oppression, Building an Inclusive Movement, and Skills and Arts provide a toolkit for activists seeking to broaden their allies and impact.
Register Now: The Democracy Convention website has all the information you need on registration, lodging and meals (including affordable options on campus), and getting to and from Minneapolis. You can also donate or sponsor the convention.
As conference organizers at the 2013 and 2015 conventions, we are excited to be working again with so many sharp and committed people. Previous conventions were a tremendous coming-together of activists across the issues and the miles.
We look forward to seeing you again – this time in Minneapolis, August 2 – 6. Look for our table!