Vote YES on the transportation BALLOT AMENDMENT

According to CT Roundtable on Climate, there will be a ballot initiative, to be voted on Nov. 6 to approve a constitutional amendment to use the special transportation fund only for transportation purposes.

It’s called the Transportation Revenue Lockbox Amendment. Since 2005 the legislature has moved more than $250 MILLION away from the Special Transportation Fund, including $50 million in 2016  alone.

The legislature has also put into the General Fund $155 million from the Clean Energy & Efficiency Fund collected by UI and Eversource from their customers, i.e. US, users. Were we consulted?

The cowardice of the legislature is unfathomable — they will do anything to prevent raising taxes on the rich, but it’s all right to take from programs that benefit the rest of us.

Download the flyer here.

‘Rachel’s Children’ speakers program in Madison to highlight Palestinian children Oct. 19

by Yann van Heurck, Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society

Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society of Madison, and Guilford Peace Alliance, together with Tree of Life, Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven, Middle East Crisis Committee, and other groups, are cosponsoring a speakers program in Madison to highlight the situation of Palestinian children. Rep. Betty McCollum, who is cosponsoring House Resolution 4391 “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children,” says the following about this situation:

“Children as young as 12 years old are taken from their beds at night by Israeli soldiers and police. They are bound, blindfolded, and taken to detention centers. Under Israeli military law they are denied access to lawyers during interrogation, and even the youngest children are regularly denied access to their parents during interrogations …. With 40 percent of the Palestinian population under age 14, peace between Israel and the Palestinians starts with promoting the dignity and the inherent human rights of Palestinian children.”

Defense for Children International/Palestine says that “Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes an estimated 500 to 700 children each year in military (not civilian) courts lacking fundamental fair trial rights.”

Tree of Life and its cosponsors are asking us all to respond to the sound of Rachel “weeping for her children” that can be heard in all Palestinian and Israeli mothers and fathers who yearn for a better future for their children. Speakers are Israeli Jew and former soldier Eran Efrati, an expert on US-Israeli military collaboration; Ruba Awadallah, a Palestinian-American researcher for Defense of Children International/Palestine; and Lara Kiswani, a Palestinian-American lecturer from San Francisco State who specializes in anti-racist campaigns.

We invite everyone to attend the program at Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society, 297 Boston Post Rd., Madison 06443, on Friday, Oct. 19, 6-9 p.m. There will be a Museum of Zionism exhibit, speakers program, buffet and Tree of Life products for sale. Admission is free, donations welcomed.
Info from tolef.org and from Yann at janinawoelfin@gmail.com.

Download the program flier here.

ConnectiCOSH 2018 Annual Health and Safety Convention

The convention on Friday, Oct. 19, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., will highlight “Stop the Plague on Workers’ Lives” and “Making Worker Safety a Priority in Tough Times.” It takes place at the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 777 Training Center, 450 Murdock Ave., Meriden.

The keynote speaker, Les Leopold, co-founder and current Executive Director of the Labor Institute, is the author of several books, including the award-winning The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor: The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi. His current book is Runaway Inequality: An Activist Guide to Economic Justice.

More than 4,000 workers do not return home to their families every year. Millions of workers return home injured or ill as well. The struggle to make sure that workers go home alive continues. Our annual health and safety convention offers a variety of thought-provoking workshops that better prepare participants for addressing hazards on the job.

ConnectiCOSH continues to:

  • Organize and educate injured workers to protect their legal rights
  • Be active members of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut fighting for chemical substitution and reducing exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Partner with UCONN and Yale Occupational Environ-mental Health Clinics
  • Train Hazardous Waste Site Workers and Emergency Responders as part of a joint effort with the other COSH groups in New England
  • Organize and participate in Worker Memorial Day events across the state.

    For more info, call (860) 953-2674.

Rally for Climate Change, Jobs Draws Crowd

by Melinda Tuhus, New Haven Stands with Standing Rock

This article was sent to PAR from the author Melinda Tuhus. It was originally published in the New Haven Independent on Sept. 10, 2018. The full article can be read at www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/climate_change_jobs_rally_draws_crowd.

A diverse crowd gathered on the (New Haven) Green Sunday afternoon, Sept. 9, for Connecticut’s own version of Rise Up for Climate, Jobs, and Justice.

It was one of 800 similar actions held around the world over the weekend ahead of a critical conference of provincial, state, municipal government and business leaders from around the globe convened this week by California Gov. Jerry Brown to push forward solutions to the climate crisis.

Traditional folk singers alternated with young rappers, Wes and Q, from Hartford in revving up the crowd, which also witnessed a “battle” between a 60-foot-long “fossil fuel dragon” and an “earth hero” armed with a sun shield and wind turbine sword, played to the hilt by young climate fighter Sam Rosenberg.

City Engineer Giovanni Zinn welcomed people to New Haven on behalf of Mayor Harp and urged everyone to check out the 97 elements of the City’s Sustainability Framework and sign up to help usher them into reality.

Jen Siskind with Food & Water Watch urged everyone to call their member of Congress to support the OFF Act (Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, H.R. 3671). Of Connecticut’s five reps, only Rosa DeLauro has signed on so far.

“Climate change is the most crucial issue facing all of us for the rest of our lives,” John Harrity, retired president of the State Council of Machinists and chair of the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, said. And it’s happening now. “We all know that the fossil fuel economy can’t be sustained, but fossil fuel workers need a just transition to green jobs and new employment.”

The inclusion of “justice” in the day figured into several short speeches. Connecticut Puerto Rican Agenda member Alex Rodriguez related two recent disasters that befell the island.

“My mom and grandmother were caught in the storm,” Rodriguez told the crowd. “For two weeks, my family was immensely frightened by the possibility that they may be dead. When we made contact, we had to pool all of our resources together to bring them home a month after the destruction took place. The CT Puerto Rican Agenda calls on the federal government to provide more housing vouchers to the many families barely surviving without a roof over their head. We also call for our debt to be eliminated, because the PROMESA bill signed into law in recent years makes it impossible to pay back debt owed to the United States and give government services such as healthcare and education back to our people.”

“We know that the struggle against climate change is ultimately a struggle against injustice, and we definitely have to stand together,” the Rev. Scott Marks of New Haven Rising said. “The people that experience the cost of climate change are poor people and people of color. If that is the case then poor people and people of color must take the front and help to lead this movement. So many things are coming together to have us be divided, but I’m telling you, the environment is a great thing to bring us all together.”

Lawsuit to Return the Clean Energy and Efficiency Funds

by Paula Panzarella, Fight the Hike

On Thursday, Sept. 13, I attended the hearing at the Federal Courthouse in New Haven regarding the legislature’s seizure last session of $155 million that was collected from United Illuminating and Eversource customers. The intention of the funds was to (as noted on the back of our electric bills) “promote energy conservation and efficiency” and to pay for programs that “promote the use of renewable (or environmentally friendly) fuel sources, such as solar power, wind, fuel cells, methane gas from landfills, biofuels, trash-to-energy, and water.”

The legislators voted to use these funds instead to put money into the State’s General Fund.

The Clean Energy funds must be returned. People depend on these funds for their jobs in the renewable energy sector. Consumers rely on the efficiency programs to save energy and money. These programs have helped people get low-interest financing for solar installations. Efficiency and clean energy save the state money, and people’s health is at stake because fossil fuels are increasing asthma rates and respiratory illnesses.

As of this printing, Judge Janet Hall has not yet made a decision on the legality of the legislators’ appropriation of the funds that were intended for clean energy and efficiency.

PACE to Host Forum on 100% Renewable Energy Nov. 8

by Mark Scully, President, PACE

On Nov. 8, People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) will host a forum on transitioning to 100% renewable energy with the foremost scientific expert in the country on the topic as well as a panel of local experts. Stanford University professor Mark Z. Jacobson has written extensively about transitioning society to 100% renewable energy from wind, water and solar. PACE will honor Prof. Jacobson with the Judi Friedman Lifetime Achievement Award for his ground-breaking research that shows the way to a clean energy future.

Following Mark Jacobson’s keynote address, the focus will turn to Connecticut with a panel of local experts including:

  • Claire Coleman of CT Fund for the Environment;
  • Katie Dykes, Chair of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA);
  • John Humphries, Founder of CT Roundtable for Climate and Jobs; and
  • Mary Sotos, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)

The meeting will take place on Thursday, Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 224 EcoSpace, 224 Farmington Ave. in Hartford. Reserve your ticket today online at www.pace-cleanenergy.org. Tickets: $25, students $10. Each ticket incudes a catered lunch and parking.

PACE is a public health and environmental organization formed in 1973 by a group of concerned Connecticut citizens to promote the development of alternative, renewable sources of energy, encourage the efficient use of energy, develop a spirit of conservation among Connecticut residents and challenge Connecticut’s commitment to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Through its 100PercentCT project, PACE works with towns across the state to develop plans to transition to 100% renewable energy. For further information on PACE, go to www.pace-cleanenergy.org.

Judi Friedman led PACE for forty-three years and was a passionate and tireless advocate for clean energy. This award is given in her memory.

Download the event flyer here.

Tribute to Mary Johnson Oct. 18

On Thursday, Oct. 18, there will be a dedication of the Mary Johnson memorial plaque in the building of the New Haven Federation of Teachers at 267 Chapel St. in New Haven. The gathering will be held there, from noon until 2 p.m. Please come and share one of your stories about her.

Mary, beloved New Haven teacher and peace, justice and union activist, was instrumental in many organizations in New Haven during her decades of activism. She was the coordinator of the Progressive Action Roundtable newsletter until her death on Aug. 13, 2017. Her presence is greatly missed by all who worked with her and loved her.

Please RSVP to Julia at (203) 503-0161 or Paula (203) 562-2798. Refreshments will be served.

Coalition for People Updates

The Coalition for People is a grassroots organizing group committed to organizing people who are normally kept out of the decision-making processes because of poverty, racism, sexism or lack of education. We declare our commitment to creative and constructive action designed to empower people now under-represented in the institutions that affect all our lives.

Our organization is in the process of renewal as some board members, including our founder, Mary Johnson, passed on. We need to hear from members and potential members what are the issues of concern for you, and how would you like to be involved in making changes.

The Coalition for People is planning its annual meeting in April 2019. The past few months our work has focused on affordable housing and issues around homelessness. We are considering the main topic of our annual meeting will be a presentation on housing issues.

Business at the annual meeting includes a presentation of our revised by-laws to be voted on, nominations for board members and election of officers. We hope PAR readers will consider being involved with the Coalition for People and joining our board. Board meetings are once a month, and they are open to all our members to attend.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 2-4 p.m. at the Fair Haven Library, 182 Grand Ave. in the community room in the lower level. We meet there the third Wednesday of each month. Please e-mail us if you need a different meeting time and tell us when you can meet. We are flexible and want to make meetings convenient for everyone who wants to join us. Contact coalitionforpeople@hotmail.com.

War Resisters League’s 95th Anniversary Oct. 11 NYC

War Resisters League’s 95th Anniversary October 11
Downtown Community Television Center
87 Lafayette St New York, NY 10013

Join us this Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. to commemorate our past and build for our futures while also honoring some of the folks that do the kind of liberatory and transformative justice work we need to create the world we want — one based on empathy, cooperation, and liberation.

Get your ticket today and join us in celebration!

For almost a century, WRL’s been building a mass movement against the war machine – from organizing one the first draft card burnings to centering war diaspora + frontline communities at the crux of our political programs and education, WRL and the antiwar left has grown, shrunk, and grown again, grappling with the realities of 21st Century militarism.

For our 95th birthday, we’ll be celebrating our ongoing collective struggle for a world free of militarism by honoring our past and lifting up the work of three amazing awardees. We’re pleased to announce we’ll be honoring and joined by sacral land rights activist Corrina Gould, movement artists The Peace Poets, and queer + racial justice activist Mandy Carter. Be prepared for food, fun, and a performance by Mahina Movement!

No one is turned away from celebrating our 95th Anniver-sary with us, and we would love to see you there whatever level of support you can give.

Ticket Options: STANDARD Ticket Price – $105.95

COMMUNITY Ticket Price – $60.95: Select this ticket option if you are a WRL member on fixed income.

DISCOUNT Ticket – $25.00: A limited number of these tickets are available for purchase.

Ecoworks — We can’t do this without you!

Ecoworks relies on an amazing team of committed volunteers to accomplish our mission. We are looking for motivated volunteers, who can commit their time for at least 3-hour shifts.

Why Volunteer?

Support Creativity and Reuse — Help us divert useful materials from the landfills

Meet People — Meet other creatively-minded people and connect with your community

Discount — 20% off all scrap and reuse materials when you volunteer

Immediate Volunteer Opportunities

We have moved into our new space at 89 State Street in North Haven, but we are not quite finished or ready to open. We are looking for volunteers to help set-up the new space.

Organizing — Organize boxes of stock either by moving them to areas in the store or in the warehouse space

Unpacking — Assist with unpacking stock and placing on shelving or display areas

Signage — Assist with writing up signage for prices and shelf labels

Core Volunteer Opportunities

No matter what your experience or skill level, there’s a role for you at EcoWorks. When we open we will regularly need volunteer help with:

  • Receiving and processing donations
  • Stocking and organizing
  • Assisting customers, including register sales
  • Supporting our team at community events and workshops
  • Teaching workshops
  • Administrative support
  • Social mediaWe appreciate your willingness to support our mission.
    If you would like to volunteer, please email our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@ecoworksct.org.
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