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.

Earth Day 20th Anniversary Approaching

Dear Friends of Earth Day,

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020 (April 22, 2020) comes at a time in history when we must confront complex and critical environmental challenges. Earth Day 2020 presents a unique opportunity to unite people across social, geographical, and political boundaries to catalyze a new era of social transformation. Earth Day Network (EDN) is reaching out to you and other leading organizations around the world to ask you to join us in making Earth Day 2020 a defining environmental moment.

In 1970, groups fighting against problems as diverse as air and water pollution or the loss of biodiversity and habitat realized they shared common values. The first Earth Day convinced the public that a healthy environment is vital to our well-being. It led to the immediate creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the rapid passage of landmark environmental legislation. It also inspired others around the world, and a global environmental movement was born.

Thanks to the tireless work and commitment of thousands of organizations like yours, incredible social and environmental advances have already been achieved.

Nevertheless, we all recognize the need to engage a much larger percentage of the world’s population if we are to elevate environmental issues to the top of the political, social, and economic agendas.
On Earth Day 2020, we can all act together and take bold steps to raise the sustainability bar for the planet and our communities.

For more information, go to earthday.org or email info@earthday.org or phone (202) 518-0044.
Earth Day Network, 1616 P St. NW Suite 340, Washington, DC 20036.

Travel Guide of Accessible Places via MyRide to Visit in New Haven available for download

PAR is pleased to let our readers know that Joseph Luciano, founder of Disability Rights Action Group of Connecticut, has created at travel guide that is especially useful for people who use wheelchairs, walkers, or MyRide transportation.

A PDF of the guide can be downloaded here. If you need the PDF sent directly to you, please e-mail Joe at DRAGconnecticut@yahoo.com. Or phone him at (203) 463-8323. Our thanks to Joe, for creating this resource!

REMINDER: Call for October Articles for PAR Newsletter. Deadline Sept. 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!

Please send articles about your group’s recent and current activities and upcoming actions and events to parnewhaven@hotmail.com.

***Help inspire others through your commitment! ***

The deadline for the October Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Tuesday, Sept. 18.

GUIDELINES FOR ARTICLES

We ask everyone to limit articles to 350 words.

Please include an enticing headline/title for your article so our readers will focus on your work right away.

Be sure to indicate your name and organization as they should appear in your byline.

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.

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.

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 PAR newsletter will come out approximately Wednesday, Oct. 1. 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.

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.

***

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.

We’re looking forward to your articles! Thank you for your help in creating this community newsletter.

– PAR Planning Committee

Gandhi Peace Award to Jackson Browne

by Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace Administrator

Promoting Enduring Peace is giving its Gandhi Peace Award this year to singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. He will receive the award on Friday, Sept. 14, at the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts at Southern Connecticut State University, 501 Crescent St., New Haven. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Starting the program will be two speakers: Frida Berrigan, who has worked for years warning of the dangers of nuclear weapons, and Chris George, Executive Director of IRIS — Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services. Singers Ben Grosscup and Luci Murphy will provide entertainment. Tickets can be reserved online for a donation. The Eventbrite link is https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gandhi-peace-award-2018-tickets-48315261247.

Jackson Browne is the first artist ever to receive the Gandhi Peace Award. The award recognizes Browne’s extraordinary contributions of time and talent to the inseparable causes of world peace, environmental harmony, and social justice. The award comes with a cash prize and a medallion forged from “peace bronze” composed of metals salvaged from the control systems of U.S. nuclear missiles. Consistent with tradition, Browne has been invited “to present a message of challenge and hope” to those present. A reception will follow.

The Gandhi Peace Award, named after Indian anti-imperialist and nonviolence advocate Mohandas Gandhi, derives its international renown from those who have accepted it over the years. Among the 54 awardees are Martin Luther King, Jr., Benjamin Spock, Dorothy Day, Daniel Ellsberg, César Chávez, Amy Goodman, Bill McKibben, Medea Benjamin, Tom Goldtooth, Omar Barghouti and Ralph Nader.

Browne has organized or participated in thousands of benefit performances to support the environment, social justice, and human rights as well as causes such as music and arts education in public schools and has worked with two former Gandhi Peace Award recipients, Amnesty International (1978) and the Children’s Defense Fund (1990). Browne has composed and performed songs widely regarded as among the most literate and moving songs in popular music, defining a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion, and personal politics. In 2004 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

 

Rise Up for Climate, Jobs and Justice, Sunday, Sept. 9

by Melinda Tuhus, New Haven Stands with Standing Rock

With the global impacts of the climate emergency all around us – forest fires, heat waves, droughts, floods and more – people around the world are rising for climate action in September.

In Connecticut, we will gather on the New Haven Green on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 1 p.m. and Rise Up for Climate, Jobs and Justice. Representatives of labor, environmental justice, the faith community and more will speak and singers and rappers will perform. After the rally we’ll march to sites of progress as well as struggle, like the Sanctuary church, Chase Bank (biggest US funder of both oil and gas pipelines and private prisons and immigrant detention centers), State Street train station (trains and bike share), Omni Hotel (with its organized workforce), the City Hall fuel cell, and a war memorial to make the connection between climate destruction and the military.

Be inspired by grassroots leaders and musicians to take the next step in protecting our only home and fighting for jobs and justice for all. Groups are welcome to come at noon and set up information tables or put your information on tables that will be set aside for multiple groups. For more information, visit our Facebook event at 350ct.org or www.facebook.com/events/1741045752677608.

Chris Schweitzer, Director, New Haven/León Sister City Project, adds that on the weekend of Sept. 8-9, global grassroots organizations 350.org and the Peoples Climate Movement are planning thousands of rallies in cities and towns around the world to build awareness and support for the Global Climate Action Summit to be held in San Francisco on Sept. 12-14. Delegates to the Summit will celebrate the best work being done at all levels and then ratchet up those efforts to achieve net decreases in yearly greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Center for Disability Rights’ Wheel-A-Thon a Success

by Joseph A. Luciano, Disability Rights Action Group of CT

The Center for Disability Rights of West Haven is celebra-ting another successful Wheel-A-Thon. Over 140 people took part in the Wheel-A-Thon held July 24 at Savin Rock.

Approximately $10,000 was raised for programs and/or services offered by the center. Programs include summer self-empowerment camps and scholarships for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities. Each of the 8 students who successfully completed the camps received $500 scholarships.

CDR is a membership organization of persons with disabilities that operates a Center for Independent Living (CIL). CDR advocates for people with disabilities and their issues on a local, state-wide, and national level. It also provides services to individuals and their families, as well as technical assistance and community education to businesses, government, and members of the community.

CDR offers limited services in the form of information & referral services, nursing facility transition services, augmented communication services, and the Helping Each Other Succeed (HEOS) cross-disability support group to persons living in West Haven, Milford, Orange, Wood-bridge, Madison, Clinton, and Westbrook.

For more information, visit www.wheel-a-thon.org. The Center for Disability Rights can be reached at cdr-ct.org or by phone at (203) 934-7077.

PCMH Plus and Changes to Husky Medical Care: What You Should Know

by Coalition for People

At the June meeting of the Coalition for People, Ellen Andrews of the CT Health Policy Project gave a presentation of some very important changes to HUSKY Health. She also introduced the work of the CT Health Policy Project, whose purpose is to ensure there is affordable healthcare for everyone in the state.

Since 2012 HMOs have not been involved in Connecticut’s Medicaid program. Primary care providers work directly with patients. It saves money and people get more care.

PCMH Plus is a new program; Person-Centered Medical Home Plus or PCMH+ provides person-centered, comprehensive and coordinated care to HUSKY Health members. Advocates are concerned it jeopardizes the progress made since 2012. It will allow medical practices to get back 50% of the money they save the Medicaid program. It incentivizes less care which can be achieved by eliminating duplicate tests and improving care to keep people out of the hospital. Savings can also be generated by denial of needed services, not following through and not referring people to specialists. These practices will save the state money and 50% of the savings will get kicked back to the medical practices. Patients can be “cherry-picked” and patients needing high-cost care can be dumped from their providers’ practice.

Patients have the choice to opt-out of PCMH+ and nothing will change with their current care. In fact, if people do not opt-out of PCMH+, they will lose access to Intensive Care Management, a program to help people with complex conditions. Many people who are covered by HUSKY Health don’t know about this program and what their options are. For more information, check the website at PCMHPlusFacts.org.

The next meeting of the Coalition for People is Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2 p.m. in the community room (lower level) of the Fair Haven LIbrary, 182 Grand Ave. All are welcome to attend.

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