We Have a Climate Emergency!

by Wendy Hamilton, New Haven Mayoral Candidate

This is part of a letter I sent in reply to a form letter from the New Haven Climate Movement.

We have already gone over that cliff called climate change.  It has changed, and many will die from it.

Oil, gas, coal, timber, and cattle corporations currently run the world their own way and humans continue to breed in overwhelming numbers despite climate change, bad politics, dire poverty, and growing pollution.  Try telling your fellow humans to stop reproducing or to just cut back.  I wouldn’t try either.

Essentially, we are doomed as a species to suffer massive losses and very soon. Disease, coastal flooding, mass extinction, loss of diversity, dangerous weather threaten us. I have read many books about these global problems. Also, this country, the most violent and the most weaponized, continues to arm psychopaths and sociopaths of which there is a multitude. As poverty grows, so will crime.

But you ask what I will do as mayor in the here and now —

  • I will fight the utility companies and promote solar power.
  • I will support Planned Parenthood and parenting education.
  • I will encourage mass transit and bicycles.
  • I will work with the state to improve bus routes and schedules.
  • I will demand more jobs and service from YNHH.
  • I will publicize our disastrous air pollution.
  • I will create more parks and gardens.
  • I will take over blighted lots and buildings for the city.
  • I will increase home inspections by LCI.
  • I will increase hazardous waste removal and recycling service and improve the city dump.
  • I will demand more $$ from Yale Corp. as well as more academic participation in trying to save NH
  • I will improve city schools as education is key.

Sanctuary Order Issued; New Law Sought

A month after immigration activists heckled her at a rally, Mayor Toni Harp surprised them Wednesday night by announcing a new sanctuary-style executive order to protect the legal rights of the undocumented.

Activists praised the move — and called on the Board of Alders to take the next step by passing a law to make official New Haven’s status as a “sanctuary city.”

Harp announced the executive order on City Hall’s steps Wednesday evening, in front of nearly 150 sign-carrying protestors who’d turned out for a rally organized by Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA) and New Haven Rising to call on the Board of Alders to pass the proposal to formally define New Haven as a “sanctuary city.”

Under the proposed legislation that alders are expected to take up soon, New Haven’s approach would be “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Arrest.”

Policies already require cops and teachers to follow most of those rules. Harp’s new executive order extends them to the rest of city government.

(Click here to download a copy of Harp’s executive order.)

Source: Sanctuary Order Issued; New Law Sought | New Haven Independent

Join the statewide Rapid Response Network in Connecticut

With the government threatening deportation raids, Unidad Latina en Acción is operating a 24-hour hotline and coordinating with groups across Connecticut to mobilize in the event of raids and deportations. Please indicate your town or city so that we can connect you to the Rapid Response Network in your region. Rapid Response means that you are ready to rally immediately during and after immigration raids and possibly take on volunteer roles. We also seek volunteers now to accompany immigrants during their court hearings. For accompaniment, you must be available some weekdays between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Training will be provided. Go to www.ulanewhaven.org/volunteer.

“Sober” Houses Need to Be Regulated and Held Accountable

Holly Hackett, Community Advocate, Member of Coalition for People

My life has been impacted immensely by substance use disorder. Has yours? The statistics say yes, that 1 in 3 people know someone with substance use disorder, a chronic and debilitating brain condition. There are approximately 2.1 million people (and growing) in the U.S. suffering from this condition but only 1 in 9 seek treatment, usually due to the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction. These untreated traumas or mental health issues that lead to the person self-medicating can also lead to other health issues, criminal activity and unfortunately, deaths of despair. Every 11 minutes someone dies from an overdose and half are in private homes. In doing my research, I’ve concluded that a lot of these deaths at private homes have occurred in so-called “sober” houses.

My love Tom passed away just 20 days shy of his 39th birthday of liver failure after being in a “sober” house for about 3-4 months. I’m trying to bring awareness to these illegitimate, unsafe, fly-by-night houses that anyone can start, where MANY people across the country struggling with substance use disorder have died.

The cost to live in these houses can range from $700 to $10,000 a month and may not include food, cable TV or linens. In Connecticut there is Public Act No 18-171, but by using simple verbiage these houses are absolved and no one seems to want to enforce said act.

I’m also discouraged that these managers and/or owners of these “sober” houses aren’t held criminally liable if someone dies of an overdose at the house or perhaps drinks and drives and gets into an accident. I’d like to gather everyone together who has been affected by this disorder to stand together, work together, and find a way to let our local, state and federal legislators know these houses are UNACCEPTABLE and MORE needs to be done. We need to protect the vulnerable communities of people with mental health and substance use disorders. The process of Tom dying was long, and at times extremely physically and emotionally painful for him, but his parents suffered through emotional turmoil that cannot even be put into words!

I am hoping PAR readers will want to join me in working on this. Please contact me via email at hollyh1133@gmail.com.

Coalition for People Updates and Plans for a Medicare for All Workshop

Many PAR readers who were at Coalition for People events through the years have come to know Geraldine Poole. She always greeted everyone and made them feel at home within the group. Geraldine was on the Board of Directors of Coalition for People for many years and passed away on June 19. We miss her smile, encouragement, and enthusiasm for working with as many people as possible for a world of justice and peace. CFP made two donations in Geraldine’s memory: one to the building fund of the new Stetson Library on Dixwell Avenue and the other to the African-American Historical and Cultural Society of the Ethnic Heritage Center. She was a gentle, loving, determined woman who was a true inspiration to all who knew her and worked with her.

At our August board meeting, we discussed having workshops on universal, single-payer, comprehensive healthcare followed by a conference. We recently learned of the group Medicare for All CT and some CFP members attended its conference the previous week. We are looking forward to continuing our networking with them to organize for an effective healthcare policy for everybody: universal, single-payer, comprehensive healthcare. Our next board meeting is on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 3-5 p.m. on the lower level of the Fair Haven Library, 182 Grand Ave. All are welcome to attend.

Annual membership dues for Coalition for People are $5. We not only would like more people to become members but would like members to consider joining our board. For more information, please call (203) 468-2541 or e-mail coalitionforpeople@hotmail.com.

PAR News

PAR PARty Was Great! On July 27, PAR held a party for our subscribers and readers and we had a wonderful time! It is all too rare that activists and organizers have the luxury to socialize with each other and hang out without an agenda and list of demands! Many thanks to all who brought delicious food and to our musicians Francis Braunlich, Frank Panzarella and Chris Zurcher. We are grateful to our readers and article-writers, and hope to have more gatherings

Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers Opens Mae’s Closet

from IVCG Summer 2019 Newsletter

The culmination of several years of hard work and planning occurred on June 1 when Mae’s Closet, the durable medical equipment lending bank, officially opened its doors. The closet is located at the U-Haul facility at 1685 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden. Contact them by calling (475) 414-8333 from 9 a.m. to noon during the week or by emailing maescloset@gmail.com. You can request equipment at our website, www.carenewhaven.org. All lending and donation is by appointment.

Mae’s Closet acknowledges the generous contributions of the Hamden Rotary Club and the Town of Hamden in help-ing get the “seed money” needed for the closet to open. Mae’s Closet accepts donations and lends out “hard” durable medical equipment including mobility devices such as walkers, canes and wheelchairs, bathroom equipment such as shower chairs, and miscellaneous assistive or safety devices like grabbers and bed rails. At this time, we are neither accepting nor lending “soft” equipment such as pads, shoes, braces or diapers. (Please call Charlie’s Closet in Guilford at (203) 453-8359 if you want to acquire or donate these items.) We are asking for a donation of $1 per item or more, if you wish.

While U-Haul has worked with us to help us obtain the maximum space at the minimum price, we are actively seeking a community space that might be willing to permit us to run the closet for no charge. We have insurance and would be a good neighbor! Call us at the above number if you have any ideas or leads, and thanks so much!

Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers of Greater New Haven (IVCG) matches volunteers with elders in their towns, to help them age at home with dignity, support, and friends. www.carenewhaven.org.

Anti-Nuclear Vigils Commemorate Hiroshima and Nagasaki

A few days ago President Trumpy abrogated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement with Russia. The amount of time European and Russian nuclear forces have to make a decision about launch on warning drops dramatically to a handful of minutes. The nuclear weapons industry is licking its lips at the expected contracts and profits to be made on rebuilding the US nuclear arsenal at a cost of nearly $2 trillion, all approved by Congress. Grave danger.

A year ago Trumpy shredded the multinational nuclear deal with Iran and has since turned the economic screws on that country in order to get it to surrender its sovereignty to the billionaires and oil giants, or suffer another US-initiated war of aggression in the Middle East. Grave danger.

In 2002, George W. Bush killed the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty with Russia. The US has since installed first-strike nuclear missiles in Poland and Rumania and moved US/NATO forces up to the Russian border. Grave danger.

These treaties the US has so readily scrapped were designed to help safeguard us from nuclear war, nuclear annihilation.

If climate scorching is slowly suffocating us, a nuclear exchange will vaporize billions of us in an instant. Any survivors will likely either die of radiation poisoning or starve during a prolonged nuclear winter.

Our commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this year is also a call for the US to stop the nuclear madness. The US is leading the world into catastrophe and those of us who understand this have to lead in the other direction.

Tuesday, 8:00 AM (church bells @ 8:15). New Haven Green.
Friday, 10:45 AM (church bells @ 11:00). Amistad Statue adjacent to New Haven City Hall, 165 Church St.

74th Commemoration Hiroshima Nagasaki 2019 flyer.

Building a coalition around a climate action 1-3 p.m. Sunday June 30

At a recent day of discussion for 350 CT, we decided to make an effort to build a wide-ranging coalition around a climate action on Sept. 20 in support of the global climate strike led by the millions of school strikers around the world.

There will be a meeting on June 30 from 1-3 pm at the Unitarian Society of Hartford (50 Bloomfield Avenue) to make a plan. I hope that some PAR subscribers can attend. Thank you!

Anger Over Coast Guard Academy’s Choice of John Bolton as Featured Speaker

Many CT organizations condemned the choice of John R. Bolton, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, as the featured Coast Guard Academy, commencement speaker on May 22. Bolton is notorious for demanding military solutions to international disputes.  He ruined the Korea talks by advising the president to take an all-or-noth-ing approach.  He stoked interference in Venezuelan affairs and helped incite the attempted coup. In 2015 he wrote the infamous New York Times op-ed entitled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”  His militarism would plunge this coun-try into useless and unjust wars and would endanger the lives of millions of people in the world including U.S. soldiers and Coast Guard officers.

Among the groups that spoke out against Bolton’s appearance are the Greater New Haven Peace Council, Central CT Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Promoting Enduring Peace, Middle East Crisis Committee, Tree of Life Education Fund (CT), We Refuse to Be Enemies (CT), ANSWER Coalition (CT), Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), CT Peace and Solidarity Coalition and the War Resisters League.

Note To the Environmental Community | Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate

[Reprinted from CounterPunch, May 6, 2019: www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/06/note-to-the-environmental-community]

In 2003, political strategist Frank Luntz wrote a confidential Republican Party memo on what he called “the environmental communications battle.” In that memo, Luntz advised Republicans to change the words they used to meet their ends. “The scientific debate is closing but not yet closed,” he wrote. “There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science,” Luntz proposed using the phrase “climate change” instead of “global warming.” His reasoning: “[W]hile global warming has catastrophic communications attached to it, climate change sounds a more controllable and less emotional challenge.”

Like it or not, Frank Luntz had a point. When I was growing up in New England, “climate change” meant the changing of the seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Today, in the midst of increasingly alarming scientific studies and giant storms, the necessary response has been diminished by this widely-accepted softening of the words we use to describe the dangerous reality that stands before us. Language matters!

I recently reached out to two leading and widely respected ecologists, Paul Hawken and Bill McKibben, to get their input on the mainstream usage of the benign phrase “climate change.” McKibben now uses the far more potent phrase “climate chaos.” Hawken believes the proper term is “climate volatility.”

One thing is abundantly clear―it’s time to change the words to meet the peril! As Confucius said: “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.”

Would you join us in replacing the use of the all-together benign phrase “climate change” with variations of more grave language? Consider the following alternatives: climate crisis, climate catastrophe, climate disruption, climate upheaval, or even global warming. Whatever choice of words, we should stop using “climate change.”

Sincerely, Ralph Nader

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