PAR Articles and Calendar Items Due Thursday, Jan. 18

Dear PAR Contributors-

Readers want to know: What is the purpose of your organization? How are you building your group? What campaigns are you organizing? What events are you planning?

We want to publicize the work groups have done and what they’re planning to do. We want to spread the word to others who will be inspired to join you, support your activism and build the struggles. Send us articles (even a paragraph or two) about what your group wants to do and any ideas for organizing!

The deadline for the February Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Thursday, January 18. Please send in to this e-mail address – parnewhaven@hotmail.com – articles about your group’s recent and current activities and upcoming actions and events.

Please limit your article to 350 words; include an enticing headline/title for your article; indicate your name and organization as they should appear in your byline. Please keep in mind that as layout space permits, we can include photos. Include your organization’s phone number, e-mail address and website.

Please include information about your group’s purpose. Do not use different fonts or sizes in your article.

Please send separate calendar announcements. Provide street addresses for any events or meetings, even for “well-known” public buildings and indicate whether your event location is wheelchair accessible. You may also send us SAVE THE DATE items about future events, even if you do not yet have all the details in place.

The newsletter will come out approximately Wednesday, Jan. 31. Please consider this when submitting calendar items.

Please call Paula at (203) 562-2798 if you want an insert in the next newsletter.

E-mail us if you’d to join our monthly planning meetings or help with the mailings. We always welcome more helpers and new ideas!

Thank you for your help in creating this community newsletter

– PAR Planning Committee

Scores Rally in Bridgeport for Jerusalem

Stanley Heller, MECC

Despite near-freezing weather, 50 to 100 people rallied in McLevy Square in downtown Bridgeport Dec. 17, 2017, to stand with Palestinians who have denounced Trump’s public announcement that he’ll move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

The rally was organized by CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and the Bridgeport Islamic Community Center. Jerusalem was seized by Israeli forces in 1967, but no country in the world has its embassy there. One reason is that almost 40 percent of the city’s inhabitants do not have Israeli citizenship since they are Palestinians who have only been given residency status. Israeli soldiers have killed a number of people in the protests including a legless man named Ibrahim Abu Thuraya who was in his wheelchair behind the wall between Gaza and the rest of Palestine.

Sign Petition: New York Times: Suspend Thomas Friedman

Yale may have had New York Times columnist impart his “wisdom” to students in December, but the Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance wants the NYT to suspend him.  Friedman wrote a long piece of flattery about the Crown Prince (and effective ruler) of Saudi Arabia, claiming he was bringing an “Arab Spring” to the country his family owns.  Abandoning journalistic and moral criteria, Friedman ignored the Saudi war on Yemen that has been so horrific. To sign the petition go online at http://www.SaudiUS.org.

MECC to Hold Fundraising Party

In February, the Middle East Crisis Committee (35 years old in 2017) will hold a fundraising party to keep its projects going in the new year. MECC produces “The Struggle” which is shown weekly on over 30 TV stations in the northeast and in South Bend, IN.

There will be food and music and auctions of items like autographed books by Wendy Pearlman and Timothy Snyder, and the graphic novel Palestine by Joe Sacco.  Date and location of the event has not been determined, probably in the afternoon in New Haven.

Details will be in the next PAR newsletter and posted on the website http://www.thestruggle.org, or call (203) 934-2761.

Urban Life Experience Book Discussion Series

Marian Huggins, New Haven Free Public Library

From November 2015 to the present, the Urban Life Experience Book Discussion Group is still going strong. We meet at the Wilson Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library. Sometimes there are twelve of us, sometimes four. Regardless of the number of attendees, we always have a lively discussion. The next meeting is Jan. 6, 2018 at noon, when we’ll be discussing Wesley Lowery’s book, They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement.

The Urban Life Experience Book Discussion Series is not necessarily about urban themes or urban people (although often this is the case) but the Wilson Library is an urban library, and many of us live in urban locations. For clarity, the books we read are not urban literature or “street lit.” Most of the books we choose are non-fiction, although we have read two novels: Ben Winter’s Underground Airlines and Paul Beatty’s The Sellout. We normally choose books that have to do with African American history and social justice issues. Many of our sons, grandsons, nephews, and friends have fallen through the cracks of the education system or have had experiences with over-zealous police officers. Many of us have friends or family members who have had experiences in the criminal justice system. All of us, as citizens, have a stake in the political atmosphere in our country.

The overriding reason we’re in this book discussion group is that we love to read. In the past, most of us have gobbled up any book on the bestsellers lists, whether it had any bearing on our lives or not (and to be honest, I still sneak in some bestselling fiction in between and am sure that the rest of the group does as well). In addition to being book-lovers, most of us are seeking a way to make a meaningful contribution to our communities. Meeting every six weeks or so to discuss a thought-provoking book is the beginning of community building.

Wilson Branch, New Haven Free Public Library, 303 Washington Ave., (203) 946-2228.

Major Conference on Closing U.S. Foreign Military Bases

Henry Lowendorf, U.S. Peace Council

A broad coalition of U.S. peace organizations has created a major conference in Baltimore, Jan. 12 to 14 — to launch an international campaign to close U.S. foreign military bases.

Major speakers at the Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases include Ajamu Baraka, 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate; Col. Ann Wright, former diplomat, leader of CodePink and Veterans for Peace; David Vine, Associate Professor, American University, author of Base Nation. For a complete list of speakers, visit this link.

This coalition came together to unify the U.S. peace move-ment around a common goal. There is still time to register for this important initiative: http://noforeignbases.org.

Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, Unity Statement (partial)

While we may have our differences on other issues, we all agree that U.S. foreign military bases are the principal in-struments of imperial global domination and environmental damage through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of U.S. foreign military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Our belief in the urgency of this necessary step is based on the following facts:

  1. While we are opposed to all foreign military bases, we do recognize that the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). Presently, there are U.S. military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran.
  2. In addition, the United States has 19 naval air carriers (and 15 more planned), each as part of a Carrier Strike Group, composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft — each of which can be considered a floating military base.
  3. These bases are centers of aggressive military actions, threats of political and economic expansion, sabotage and espionage, and crimes against local populations. In addition, these military bases are the largest users of fossil fuel in the world, heavily contributing to environmental degradation.
  4. The annual cost of these bases to the American taxpayers is approximately $156 billion. The support of U.S. foreign military bases drains funds that can be used to fund human needs and enable our cities and states to provide necessary services for the people.

This has made the U.S. a more militarized society and has led to increased tensions between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Stationed throughout the world, almost 1000 in number, U.S. foreign military bases are symbols of the ability of the United States to intrude in the lives of sovereign nations and peoples.

Help Puerto Rico Recover with Solar Power!

Arnaaz Khwaja, New Haven/León Sister City Project

The Elm Energy Efficiency Project and New Haven/León Sister City Project are launching a new project called the Solar Solidarity Project. Its aim is to raise money to build and install solar panels in Puerto Rico using home energy savings from the New Haven area. We would like people to lower their energy usage and redirect their energy bill savings to help give Puerto Rico clean, renewable energy.

This project also addresses the ever pressing issue of climate change and helps Puerto Rico become less dependent on a power grid, in prepar-ation for future natural disasters.

You can learn more about the project, how to get involved, and how to donate at our website: http://www.elmenergyproject.org/solidarity-solar-project. If you are a teacher or student interested in having your school involved in this project, please email us at solarsolidarityproject@gmail.com.

Thank you!

 

Use Your Creativity to Change the World (and this Newsletter)!

PAR Planning Committee

The Progressive Action Roundtable Planning Committee is happy to announce our first-ever contest for a bumpersticker and/or logo for our newsletter. What phrase or design would you want to see on the cars in front of you? What logo for our newsletter would really speak to your sentiments of a better world?

Depending on the number of entries, we estimate we will be able to announce a winner by June. We are offering a $100 prize for the winning entry. All entries must be in black and white, and be mailed to PAR, P.O. Box 995, New Haven, CT 06504.

Please include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address with your design. You do not need to be a subscriber to participate.

Thank you!

Take Action—Stop Cuts to MEDICAID

PAR urges people to call their legislators to demand NO cuts to the Medicaid program.

The budget that Gov. Malloy signed gives people only until March 1 to remain on their programs. It is estimated that 113,000 low-income seniors and people with disabilities will be affected.

There will be a special session in the beginning of January to rework the budget.

Tell your legislators money should NOT be taken from any other social service or health program. It’s time to raise the taxes on the millionaires and billionaires of this state.

Senate President Martin Looney needs to hear from us now! You can call toll-free, (800) 842-1420. More information can be found online at https://tinyurl.com/ycclewgs.

Student Needs First—School Board Watch Initiative

CT Parents Union (CTPU) has launched a School Board Watch Initiative to ensure individuals we elected or were appointed to Connecticut local and state boards of education are putting the needs of students first over education partisan politics. Parent and community volunteers will evaluate BOE meetings in five governance areas:

  1. Focus and Mission: The Board is “focused” on achieving fiscal and personnel responsible goals that are in the best interest of ALL students regardless of race, disability or income level.
  2. Transparency: Board processes are accessible to the public and public treated with respect and dignity;
  3. Conduct: Conflicts/disagreements are managed respectfully – ALL school boards must lead by example;
  4. Role Clarity: The Board provides effective leadership and oversight through student-centered planning and strategy processes; and
  5. Competency: Ensure board members are informed and culturally responsive.

Bottom line: Every Board of Education decision MUST BE in the best interest of the student with fiscal and personnel accountability paramount!

NHPS Parents Group–Fátima Rojas, (203) 747-4309; Sarah Miller, (203) 675-9516, newhavenpublicschoolparents@gmail.com.

The Coalition for People Wants to Know What Issues Are Important to You

Dorothy Johnson and Paula Panzarella, Coalition for People

The Greater New Haven Coalition for People is an organization with over thirty years of grassroots organizing among low- and middle-income residents. Many PAR readers have supported its work and attended its annual meetings, as well as joined in its struggle for keeping the bus stops around the New Haven Green (which was successful!), and for universal comprehensive single-payer healthcare.
Coalition for People is looking for more active members to continue its work and needs to know:

  • What issues are important to you?
  • Are you able to come to meetings (once a month)?
  • Do you have other suggestions?

CFP members will be called in the beginning of January for their answers to the above “questionnaire.”

We invite PAR members to offer their suggestions and participate in enlarging the organization as well.

Contact Coalition for People, P.O. Box 8868, New Haven, CT 06532.

Green Fund Now Accepting Applications for 2018 Funding

The Greater New Haven Green Fund solicits small and large grant applications once a year.

An electronic version of the cover letter, application, budget, and attachments should be sent to grants@gnhgreenfund.org.

You may download the request for applications (RFA) for the Green Fund or the Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc (PSEG) by going to http://www.gnhgreenfund.org. Deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 12, 2018.

They’ve changed the RFA this year so be sure to review the initial pages, especially if you have applied for grants in previous years.

The PSEG RFA is separate from the regular grants because the money came from a Community Benefit Agreement between the City of New Haven and PSEG, Inc. to provide small grants to help educate citizens about air pollution. You may apply for the 2018 RFA or the 2018 PSEG RFA but not both. Go to http://www.gnhgreenfund.org to download the RFA.

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