“Solar for All” Campaign Comes to New Haven

by Paula Panzarella, New Haven Energy Task Force

Some of the roadblocks homeowners have encountered for getting solar power have been knocked down. Now low- and middle-income homeowners in New Haven can get solar panels, thanks to the partnership of the PosiGen company with the Connecticut Green Bank. No income requirements, no high credit scores, no security deposit or down payment are needed for resident homeowners to have leased solar panels installed on their roofs. What is needed is a south-facing roof in good condition that gets unobstructed sunshine a good part of the day.

If fifty or more people sign up before March 31, their monthly lease payments will be $20 for a year. After that, it will be $79.99 per month (this is in addition to UI’s basic charge, presently at $17.25).
The New Haven Energy Task Force is promoting this campaign so more people will have the opportunity to save money, create clean energy, receive energy audits and various energy efficiency services and reduce the need for dirty peak power energy plants to come on-line.

The New Haven Energy Task Force does not specifically endorse any one company’s services compared to the services of any other installer. Interested residents should get quotes from other installers to compare service and prices. Before you sign any contract, make sure the company answers your questions and explains the process so you know what to expect.

To find out more about “Solar for All,” contact PosiGen at (203) 416-6518. Please mention you were referred by the New Haven Energy Task Force. The Energy Task Force can be reached at newhavenenergytaskforce@gmail.com.

Job Openings for Project Labor Organizers

by Cara Jennings, NY Communities for Change

New York Communities for Change is hiring Project Labor Organizers to join the exciting Fight for $15 Campaign.  We are reaching out to activist groups to spread the word about these great jobs. Can you please share the below job postings with your network via e-mail and social media? We offer salaried positions plus benefits — paid work for a good cause. We encourage activists with organizing experience to apply. See the job listing below and apply today!  Please contact Cara Jennings if you have any questions – cararyanjennings@gmail.com.

Position: “Fight for 15” Project Labor Organizer with New York Communities for Change Location: New York City. Compensation: Competitive salary commensurate with experience, starting at $40,000/year. Individual health care and dental coverage is provided, as well as car allowance and paid time off.

Details: The New York City “Fight for 15” campaign is seeking candidates committed to the fight for economic and social justice and to raising work place standards for thousands of fast food and low wage workers in New York City. This is an exciting opportunity to work for an innovative and ground-breaking campaign that is bringing together fast food and low wage workers to hold corporations and employers accountable, to improve working conditions, and to fight for $15 an hour and a union. Project positions are available immediately. For job qualifications and online application, go to http://SEIU.org. Search for “Labor Organizer, New York City ‘Fight for $15’ campaign” for this position. Other SEIU jobs are also on this website.

The NYCC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Home Energy Programs to Help CT Residents

by Judi Friedman, PACE

Here are some of the many home energy resources, incentives, rebates and financial assistance programs available.

Energy Efficiency Programs 1-877-WISEUSE, http://www.energizect.com. CT Energy Efficiency Fund conservation programs are administered by the electric and gas utilities.

  1. Whole house energy conservation programs: Call 1-877-WISEUSE for info or click on the program name you are interested in at http://www.energizect.com/hes.
    1. Home Energy Solutions (HES) $99 for all homes (not for income-eligible customers—see B). Open to renters and owners. Services include air sealing, hot water and lighting improvements, and access to special rebates and financing.
      * Insulation rebate; $1/sq. ft. for attic/walls, $0.50/sq. ft. for basement.
      * Appliances: $25-$50 rebate for ENERGY STAR refrigerators/freezers, room air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers, dehumidifiers if recommended in a HES visit.
      B. HES Income-Eligible: free energy-saving service for households under 60% state median income.
      C. New construction program: call 1-877-WISEUSE for home energy rating and rebates.
      D. Multi Family Program: call 1-877-WISEUSE.
  2. Efficient Lighting now including LED, is discounted in participating retail stores and through the Smart Living Catalog: http://www.efi.org/smartliving or order at (800) 527-4448.
  3. Heating/Cooling Appliance Rebates or Discounts are available for ductless heat pumps, air-source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, high-efficiency gas furnaces, natural gas boilers with water heaters, oil furnaces, propane furnaces, central air conditioning. (Call 1-877-WISE-USE or http://energizect.com/residents/solutions/rebates. Automatic discounts at participating retailers & distributors) Solar Power Incentives (860) 563-0015 are administered by the Green Bank, a quasi-public state agency (formerly CEFIA)
    * Solar Electric incentives: for purchased and leased systems, go to http://www.energizect.com/smallsolar.
    Financinghttp://www.energizect.com/residents/solutions/financing.
    Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Program (HES)
    http://www.chif.org/page/borrower-information-and-application
    Loans available at 0% to 6.99% interest for energy improvements. Energy Conservation Loans – Income-restricted below market (0-6% interest) loans up to $25,000.
    http://www.chif.org/page/energy-conservation-loan-program.
    Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Financing (through Connecticut Green Bank)
    Smart-E – http://www.energizect.com/smarte Comprehensive way to finance many energy efficiency or renewable energy measures. Flexible terms and rates available.
    Federal Energy Tax Credits
    Renewable energy tax credits 30% through 2016, no cap on total dollar amount.
    Questions? Contact Guy West of Clean Water Action/ Clean
    Water Fund, email: guy_west@att.net.

What is New Haven Review?

by Bennett Graff, publisher, New Haven Review

It is the New Haven’s own literary journal, founded in August 2007 to draw attention to the writing scene in the greater New Haven area. In its role as the literary heart of the Elm City, New Haven Review publishes essays, fiction, and poetry in print and on the web. Individual issues feature work from both local and national writers, placing them in dialogue. It is a program of the Institute Library.

But New Haven Review is so much more!

Its editors and contributors regularly blog for its website about the arts and literature.

It features, hands down, the best theater reviewing in all of New Haven—covering nearly every play production from Long Wharf to Yale Rep to New Haven Theater Company to smaller independent productions.

It hosts author talks at The Institute Library by local writers.

It collaborates with New Haven Theater Company in the presentation of the Listen Here! Short Story Reading series.

It produced for Connecticut NPR the author interview radio show Paper Trails.

It commonly throws for its subscribers the best winter party in town at the Institute Library.
Want to know more?  Just find us at http://newhavenreview.com and subscribe!

Screening of Anne Braden: Southern Patriot 2 p.m. Saturday in Milford

New Haven-based Showing Up for Racial Justice is hosting a screening of a documentary about racial justice activist Anne Braden at the Milford Public Library (57 New Haven Ave., Milford, CT 06460) in the Program Room downstairs at 2 p.m. Saturday Jan. 23. There will be snacks and after the movie we will have a brief discussion of the movie.

From the website:

If it was Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King who convinced me to join the struggle, it was Anne Braden who showed me how to do it. — Bob Zellner, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) first white field secretary

 “This film is a must-see.”  — Tim Wise, anti-racism activist and author, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son

 Anne Braden: Southern Patriot is a documentary film exploring the extraordinary life and legacy of this American civil rights leader. After she was charged with sedition for attempting to desegregate a Louisville, Kentucky neighborhood in 1954, Braden used the attacks to turn herself “inside out” and embrace a lifetime of racial justice organizing matched by few whites in American history. Braden was hailed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail as a white southerner whose rejection of her segregationist upbringing was “eloquent and prophetic, ” and named as one of only five southern whites he could count as allies. Labeled a “traitor to her race” and ostracized as a “red” by segregationists and even many in the civil rights movement, she fought for an inclusive movement community and demonstrated that protecting civil liberties was essential to gaining civil rights.

Described as “one of the great figures of our time” by historian Jacquelyn Hall, Braden died in 2006 leaving a remarkable legacy as a grassroots organizer, committed journalist, movement strategist, social chronicler, teacher and mentor to three generations of social justice activists.

In the film Braden recalls 60 years of activism that intersected and linked issues of race with civil liberties, class, gender, sexuality, economic justice, environmentalism, and peace. She delivers a powerful message on the dangers of racism and white supremacy, why it poses such an obstacle to social change, and the necessity of whites organizing with people of color to eliminate it. Braden biographer Catherine Fosl, Angela Y. Davis, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Barbara Ransby, Rev. C.T. Vivian and Cornel West among others add their comments on the far-reaching implications of Braden’s life for activists, students, scholars and anyone interested in building a better world.

“This documentary, in short, is amazing. Aside from the technical success of the film is the fact that Braden herself was an extraordinary human being.” – Leigh Kolb, Bitch Flicks

“A gem of a film, accented with freedom fighters who speak firsthand about carving a path through a traumatized, violent, racist South, to make way for one of the largest and most effective nonviolent movements for social change the world has ever seen.” – folksinger and peace & justice activist Joan Baez

REMINDER: PAR Articles and Calendar Items Due Wednesday, January 20

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?

The deadline for the February Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Wednesday, January 20. 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.

We are asking everyone to limit her/his article to 350 words. Be sure to indicate your name and organization as they should appear in your byline. Read more

PAR Articles and Calendar Items Due Wednesday, Jan. 20

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?

The deadline for the February Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Wednesday, Jan. 20. 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.

We are asking everyone to limit her/his article to 350 words. Be sure to indicate your name and organization as they should appear in your byline.

Please keep in mind that as layout space permits, we will include photos.

IMPORTANT: Don’t neglect to add your organization’s contact information such as phone number, e-mail address or website, so our readers can get more information about what your group is doing.

If you haven’t written recent articles for PAR, please include information about your group’s purpose. Do not use different fonts or sizes in your article.

About calendar items:
If you mention an event in an article, please also send a SEPARATE calendar announcement.
Please give street addresses for any events or meetings, even for “well-known” public buildings.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please indicate whether your event location is wheelchair accessible.
You can 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 Monday, February 29. Please consider this when submitting calendar items.

Here are other suggestions about submitting copy to the PAR Newsletter:

1. If you ask or encourage new groups to submit articles or calendar items to PAR, please give them a copy of these tips.
2. Submit copy by e-mail, either as regular text or as an MS Word or attachment (.doc or .docx).
3. If you are a first-time author for the PAR Newsletter, thank you! We hope you will subscribe and encourage others in your organization to do so.
4. If you know of someone who wants to write an article but does not use e-mail, send an e-mail to us with that person’s name and phone number or call Paula at (203) 562-2798.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT INSERTS:
We prefer to carry articles and calendar listings rather than inserts. But if you have an insert to include in the Newsletter, we ask you to send the information contained in the flyer to this e-mail address as well so that it can be easily added to the PAR calendar.

Your organization must make and pay for the inserts. We will be able to handle only those inserts that are a full sheet (8.5 x 11) or half-sheet (8.5 x 5.5) of paper. We cannot accept postcards or cardstock flyers. There is a fee of $7 for inserts.

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!

Many thanks! We’re looking forward to your articles!

Thank you for your help in creating this community newsletter

– PAR Planning Committee

 

20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice Jan. 16 & 170

by Josue Irizarry, Events Coordinator

The Yale Peabody Museum will open its doors for a FREE, two-day festival in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his efforts to ensure environmental and social justice among all people. The Yale Peabody Museum, 170 Whitney Ave., will host its 20th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice on Sunday, Jan. 17, noon to 4 p.m., and Monday, Jan. 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In his tireless efforts to work toward equality for, and harmony between, all people, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. strove to raise awareness about public health concerns and urban environmental issues that disproportionately affect communities. In recognition of the progress that has been achieved in these areas, and with optimism for the future, we will celebrate with music, dance, children’s storytelling, teen summit, a community open mic and our annual poetry slams.

On Sunday, Jan. 17, from noon to 2:30 p.m., join us for our 7th annual Teen Summit event celebrating the legacy of Dr. King. In this interactive workshop, teens from all over Connecticut will come together to participate with the dynamic motivational speaker, Hashim Garrett of Breaking the Cycle of Violence Through Forgiveness in an effort to promote social and environmental justice.

On Sunday, Jan. 17, from 3 to 4 p.m., Mayor Toni Harp will address some of the challenges to our community on issues of education, racism, violence, gun control, and will share with us her vision for New Haven.

An important component of this celebration is our Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Community Open Mic and Poetry Slam, on Monday, Jan. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Community Open Mic is an exciting aspect of our festival that gives people a unique opportunity to honor the spoken word legacy of Dr. King by sharing original poetry. The Poetry Slam includes well-known poets from around the United States.

For more information visit http://www.peabody.yale.edu/events.

Unidad Latina en Acción Against Wage Theft

Joseph Foran, ULA

On Dec. 2, about 15 members of Unidad Latina en Acción and allies met with Mayor Harp and Police Chief Esserman.  We read to them a letter that documented the many specific cases of Goodfellas Restaurant failing to pay employees minimum wage. A wage theft victim from Thai Taste gave his personal testimony.

Mario Cerame, an attorney on 1st Amendment rights, sent a letter to Mayor Harp outlining the violations that the New Haven Police Department made when stopping a protest outside of Goodfellas on Nov. 20 and arresting John Lugo, charging him with disorderly conduct.

We will be meeting with Mayor Harp’s office to follow up on our policy recommendations. Mayor Harp and Chief Esserman must condemn the actions of the officers who violated our constitutional right to assemble without police intimidation and retaliation. Our members have the right to protest anonymously, and it is illegal and inappropriate to demand identification, especially when NHPD and Goodfellas have threatened to use IDs to create a blacklist. Officers must be educated that a civilian noise complaint alone is not grounds for arrest. We also assert our right to record any interactions our members have with police. Our families shall not be threatened, and officers shall not question our decision to bring children to peaceful protests. New Haven must immediately revoke the outdoor seating license of Goodfellas restaurant. It is unacceptable that our city is facilitating a criminal enterprise at Goodfellas, an enterprise that has been found guilty of wage theft on multiple occasions by multiple government agencies and is currently under investigation for forced labor, wage theft and other threats to the health and safety of New Haven residents. The City of New Haven gave Goodfellas the license, and the City of New Haven is the only entity that can revoke it.

Two members of ULA (Karim Calle and I) agreed to attend meetings of the Community Policing Task Force to address the issues we raised in our letter. We are also collaborating with Board of Alders on wage theft. Meanwhile, public actions against wage theft at Goodfellas, Thai Taste, and other establishments continue.

Amistad Awards Rally Calls for Justice for All

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

From Ariel Johnson’s beautiful rendition of Change is Gonna Come to the closing performance by Ice the Beef Stop the Violence Start the Peace, the 2015 People’s World Amistad Awards inspired young and old alike with its message of unity and struggle.

Themed “Justice for All – In Solidarity with Black and Latino Youth – Stop the Right-wing Attacks,” the event greeted actions by youth to end racism and achieve a future with hope and dignity.

“The 2016 elections are the battleground for every democratic right we’ve ever won,” declared Joelle Fishman in the Call to Action. “We can stop….candidates who want to bring us back 175 years. We will not go back! We must go forward!”

Awardees included Jill Marks, a leader of New Haven Rising and Alder-elect in Ward 28; Ciro Gutierrez, member-leader of SEIU 32 BJ building cleaners union in Hartford, and Cindy Harrity, Communication Workers of America Local 1298 organizer, retired.

Marks said she was moved to become a grassroots leader after knocking on thousands of doors and hearing the problems of ordinary families. She urged those present to join the fight for good jobs and attend a New Haven Rising rally Dec. 12.

Gutierrez, born in Peru, described how he became involved in the social movement during the right-wing coup in his country. When his family came to U.S. after losing their public sector jobs to privatization, he continued his commitment to workers’ rights through his union.

Harrity, unable to project her voice due to illness, prepared comments read by husband John Harrity. Cindy, well known for her successes as a union organizer, urged those present to “be unreasonable” when confronted with exploitation, unfairness or any injustice.

The awards were held on the 96th anniversary of the Communist Party USA. Edie Fishman, who joined the YCL at 14, now in her 80th year in the working-class movement, received flowers from the youth. She recounted experiences which won social security, unemployment compensation, health and safety on the job, and ending Jim Crow racial segregation. “When we stick together and fight together we can win,” she said.

Performances also included Capoeira by Raca em Moviemento Dance Studio and poetry by Gaylord Slaters and Aaron Jafferis.

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