Climate Change and the Urgency to Act

by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven Climate Movement

New Haven Climate Movement has launched a campaign to have the City of New Haven pass The Emergency Resolution to Restore a Safe Climate. The Resolution states, “New Haven declares that we face an existential climate emergency that threatens our city, region, state, nation, civilization, the natural world, and humanity.” The Resolution also states that: “New Haven officially commits to leading an emergency mobilization effort that, with appropriate financial and regulatory assistance from state and federal authorities, ends community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by or before Dec. 31, 2030, and immediately initiates an effort to safely draw down carbon from the atmosphere.” Please sign the petition at newhavenclimatemovement.org.

This Resolution is part of a growing national movement declaring that we are in a climate emergency and commit-ting cities to addressing it in time to avoid the worst outcomes. Local governments have become leaders of the climate emergency movement and are inspiring others to do the same. Los Angeles, Berkeley, Richmond, CA, and Hoboken, NJ, have passed emergency resolutions organized by the national organization The Climate Mobilization.  New Haven passed a Climate Framework in 2018 so it has a guide to follow. Beyond this, there are significant jobs and public health benefits of taking action now.

From The Climate Mobilization A Call for Safe Climate: To protect humanity, we need a massive transformation of our economy and society in a matter of years, not decades. We must rapidly direct our resources toward a singular national purpose: restoring a safe climate for our world.

From the Connecticut Governor’s Council on Climate Change: “With over 600 miles of coastline and 2.2 million people living in shoreline communities in Connecticut, the state’s residents and communities are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of weather and climate events. Connecticut residents are already beginning to experience such effects as climate change ramps up. For instance, in Connecticut alone, Hurricane Irene (2011) caused power outages affecting 754,000 customers and over $1 billion in damage, and Hurricane Sandy (2012) caused power outages affecting more than 600,000 customers and inflicted almost $2 billion in statewide damages. The latter forced thousands of Connecticut residents to evacuate, saw thousands apply for FEMA assistance, damaged roads and infrastructure, and took nine days for utilities to restore power. Many of Connecticut’s coastal communities and assets face an escalating risk of storm events exacerbated by climate change.”

For more information on the Resolution, or to get involved, contact Chris at nh@newhavenleon.org or call (203) 562-1607.

Plowshare Activist, Amistad Catholic Worker, Mark Colville Returns to Jail

On the night of April 4, 2018, New Haven resident and Amistad Catholic Worker, Mark Colville was arrested with 6 others at a non-violent Plowshares action at Kings Bay Naval Base, the largest nuclear submarine base in the world. The naval base has six ballistic missile submarines and two guided missile submarines.

“Nuclear weapons kill every day through our mining, production, testing, storage and dumping, primarily on Indigenous Native land. This weapons system is a cocked gun being held to the head of the planet” (from the statement of the seven arrested Plowshares activists).

Mark Colville was granted bail for skin cancer treatment that was successfully treated.

The following excerpts are from Mark before he and his wife Luz returned to Georgia, where, on Dec. 11, he self-surrendered to Georgia authorities.

Greetings in the peace that the world cannot give…

 

From the beginning, my participation in the Kings Bay Plowshares action was first of all an act of contrition for complicity in the sins of nuclearism and empire, and I’ve regarded any incarceration as penance for those sins.  But the jail has also been for me a place of ministry, personal faith-development and formation of conscience. …

With this in mind, there are no misgivings or mixed feelings about going back to Glynn County Detention Center, but rather a sense of rejoicing that, as Dan Berrigan liked to say, one has the freedom to go to jail.

A week ago, judge Cheesbro accepted a motion to return the bail money that was posted on my behalf and put me back in the jail on December 11.

This Tuesday, Luz and I will show up at the Glynn County Detention Center and part ways again, for another undetermined length of time. We will do this mindfully, reaching hands of solidarity toward our extended global family members who are now at this country’s border facing atrocities and uncertainties far beyond whatever hardships we might be obliged to bear.

…I’ll look forward to your postcards, and delight in all news of your ongoing efforts to bring about the nonviolent collapse of the U.S. empire, in defense of all creation…

Love and Prayers, Mark

[For the regulations on how to send letters to Mark, please see www.kingsbayplowshares7.org/jail-addresses]

Coalition for People Needs You on Its Board

This year the Coalition for People has taken on the issues of New Haven’s lack of affordable housing, the “hospital-dumping” of homeless who are discharged to the street, instances of injustice and other concerns.

We will hold our annual meeting on Wednesday, April 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the main New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St. We need people on our board to help prioritize the many issues in our area so we can mobilize and act effectively. Please mark our meeting on your calendar. We hope PAR members will consider joining the board, which meets once a month.

All are invited to attend the annual meeting. Membership dues are $5 annually (due at the annual meeting). Pizza will be served. In March send us your RSVP if you will attend and if you want to be elected to the board.

Our next board meeting is Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2-4 p.m. at the Fair Haven Library, 182 Grand Ave. in the community room, lower level. All are welcome to attend. For more information, email coalitionforpeople@hotmail.com.

Arts of the Syrian Revolt

by Stan Heller, Middle East Crisis Committee

There’s no way to pretty-up the immense suffering in Syria, but at our program at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, we used photos, photos of artwork and music as a way to keep spirits up. The audience of mostly Syrians was very appreciative.

Featured was a world class professional photographer whose work has appeared in many news sites and newspapers. Dylan Connor, a teacher, professional singer and member of the Syrian-American Congress spoke and sang. He visited the Jordanian “Free Zone” right next to Syria this year and distributed aid to Syrian refugees and recorded their stories.  We showed Connor’s music video “Idlib” and he sang songs including “Man of Peace” which was part of Little Gandhi, the first Syrian film considered for an Academy Award. In addition to viewing the art we discussed the remaining liberated zones in Syria, Idlib in the northwest, Rukban in the south and the third of the country controlled by Kurdish forces. In Connor’s music video we saw large crowds waving the original flags and chanting the same slogans that appeared in 2011.

The event was sponsored by Promoting Enduring Peace, the Middle East Crisis Committee and cosponsored by nearly ten other groups.

Interestingly enough the New Haven-based Syrian artist Mohammed Hafez has an exhibit in the city of Fairfield at a different university. It’s called “Collateral Damage” and it will run until Dec. 15. It’s at the Fairfield University Museum in the Walsh Gallery, Quick Center for the Arts. Hafez’s works, which highlight the trauma of refugees and the destruction inside Syria, have gotten enormous attention.

Two News Reports on Disability Access

by Joseph A. Luciano, disability rights activist

1) Seymour shows hostility against downtown senior-disabled residents

All 38 residents of Seymour’s downtown Columbus Street may have gasped in dismay when they realized their street had been re-paved and white-striped—but without the handicapped parking spaces that had been there when they moved in. Instead, a glut of new signs warns of no parking on their side of the street and two-hour parking on the other.

One Columbus Street resident, Amanda (not her real name) goes for dialysis three times a week. Exhausted afterwards, she just wants again to park close to her apartment and go in for a nap to recover. Now that there are no handicapped spaces on Columbus—where 37 other senior-disabled per-sons live—she drives around looking for a parking space. Most always there is none: customers of the growing antiques and gift shop businesses in downtown have taken all of them.

So, Amanda resorts to parking in the municipal parking lot, which is on the other side of the block she lives on. Town Hall know-it-alls blithely think that lot is convenient for her. But they aren’t pushing a walker over pot holes, cracked pavement, and then over fake-brick bumps as they trudge around Tony’s Diner to get home. For her, it’s a long, laborious walk. It’s a hardship.

There is no justifiable reason for having a fire lane nearly the entire length of Columbus Street instead of parking spaces. There is also no reason for not having handicapped parking in the downtown district. The selectmen, P&Z, economic development and engineering have simply adopted a generally hostile attitude towards seniors and senior housing downtown. It may be that town leaders feel Amanda has little to offer the community when, in fact, over 18% of the population (50 million Americans) have disabilities and are living more independently and participating more actively in their communities. Each is a potential customer.

2) Want to be marooned somewhere? Try “Cross Service Area Transit”!

This writer, an ADA certified passenger, warns about using wheelchair bus transport called “Cross Service Area Transit” (CSAT). For it to work without being marooned depends on precise timing and coordination worthy of a circus trapeze act. Recently I was marooned if not abandoned at the transfer station established by Connecticut ADA service providers.

A year ago without public or rider input—and without safeguards—CONNDOT invented CSAT. In theory, the first bus company takes you to a transfer station, where a different bus company takes you to the next transfer station. Coordination between bus companies is poor to nonexistent. There is no real-time shared information about locations of buses of different companies that are meeting up at transfer points.

I have just updated the Underground Travel Guide of “Accessible” Places to Visit in New Haven County. Readers will notice that venues and visitor attractions outside of New Haven County will not be reviewed for ADA compliance and accessibility. Because of my location, trips out of New Haven County require CSAT, which I refuse to try again. Readers are welcome to submit their reviews (for ADA compliance/accessibility) of venues and visitor attractions outside of New Haven County. Please send text and photos to DRAGconnecticut@yahoo.com. 250-300 word limit. (203) 463-8323.

Get Involved with the Greater New Haven Peace Council

by Mary Compton, co-chair, GNHPC

The Greater New Haven Peace Council is a local peace activist group founded in the 70s. We work for peace, universal disarmament, economic and social justice, and international solidarity with the peoples of the world. We recognize that the struggle for peace is indivisibly connected with the rights and needs of working people.

We are currently organizing on a resolution that calls for public hearings on moving funds from the 717 billion dollar military budget to fund human needs. The resolution asks members of Congress to report on their efforts to create a strategy to reduce military spending to fund human needs. The central question we ask is, what could cities and towns do with money redirected from a military budget that takes up 61% of the federal budget.

We are a coordinating member of the Global Coalition Against US/NATO Foreign Military Bases, which took place on Nov. 16-19 in Dublin, Ireland. It calls for the closure of all foreign US/NATO bases. The conference was successful with many groups participating who had not worked together in the past. We are looking forward to our members’ return for reports from other countries and to discuss future actions. The basis for this success was a Unity Statement signed by all coordinators of the Conference. Visit nousbases.org for video coverage.

We meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the People’s Center, 37 Howe St., New Haven. Our weekly vigils take place on Fridays in front of City Hall at noon. Our fliers address current issues of war and peace. Find us on Facebook: @newhavenpeace Website: uspeacecouncil.org. Email: grnhpeacecouncil@gmail.com.

Is the Green Fund the right fit to fund your project?

Need Funding for Your Environmental Project? The Greater New Haven Green Fund May Be Able to Help!

Request for applications (RFA) is now open for the Greater New Haven Green Fund’s 2019 grants cycle. Funding up to $10,000 is available. Visit the website and download the application.
Deadline for submitting your application is Jan. 11, 2019, 5 p.m. Contact us with questions at info@gnhgreenfund.org. http://www.gnhgreenfund.org.

Two Ballot Initiatives for the Nov. 6 Election

When you go to the voting polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6, there will be two ballot initiatives that you can vote on.

  1. Connecticut “Transportation Revenue Lockbox” Constitutional Amendment

    Overview: The measure would require that all revenue placed in the state’s Special Transportation Fund (STF) be used for transportation purposes, including the payment of transportation-related debts. The state legislature would be prohibited from spending the fund on non-transportation purposes. The STF is funded by the motor fuels tax, motor carrier road tax, petroleum products gross earnings tax, certain motor vehicle receipts and fees, motor vehicle-related fines, and a portion of state sales tax.

    A “yes” vote supports this amendment to prohibit lawmakers from using the state transportation fund for anything other than transportation purposes.

    A “no” vote opposes this amendment to prohibit lawmakers from using the state transportation fund for anything other than transportation purposes.

  2. Connecticut Legislative Requirements to Transfer State Properties Constitutional Amendment

    Overview: The Connecticut General Assembly has the power to pass land conveyance legislation, which allows the state to transfer or sell specified parcels of public land to other entities, such as local governments for projects or private developers. The ballot measure would require a public hearing on conveyance bills, no matter which state department would make the land transfer. The measure would require a two-thirds vote of each chamber of the state legislature to authorize the transfer, sale, or disposal of land under the control of the state agriculture or environmental protection departments.

    A “yes” vote supports this amendment to (1) require a public hearing on bills to authorize the transfer, sale or disposal of state-owned properties, such as state parks, forests, and con-served lands, to non-state entities and (2) require a two-thirds vote of the Connecticut General Assembly to author-ize the transfer, sale, or disposal of land under the control of the state agriculture or environmental protection departments.

    A “no” vote opposes this amendment to (1) require a public hearing on bills to authorize the transfer, sale, or disposal of state-owned properties and (2) a two-thirds vote of the Connecticut General Assembly to authorize the transfer, sale, or disposal of land under the control of the state agriculture or environmental protection departments.

People’s World Amistad Awards Dec. 8

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

This year’s People’s World Amistad Awards will take place on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m. at the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church, 425 College St, New Haven. We come together “United in Struggle for a Better World – Unidos en La Lucha por un Mundo Mejor.”

We are excited to announce this year’s awardees, Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, Shellye Davis and Louise Simmons, three women on the front lines resisting the policies of white supremacy, hate, division and fear that threaten democracy and our future. Three fierce warriors in the forefront demanding workers’ and immigrant rights, social justice, peace and equality for a better and sustainable world.
A solidarity tribute will be made to Nelson Pinos and his family in sanctuary at the church since last November. Special recognition will be given to Chaz Carmon, director of Ice the Beef Youth, for his extraordinary talent and dedication to provide opportunities for young people in the performing arts. A reception will follow.

PAR readers may remember that the late Mary Johnson, our newsletter coordinator, received the People’s World Amistad Award in 2007.

We invite you to place an ad in the greeting book and take a bloc of tickets to honor the awardees and the occasion. The ad deadline is Nov. 20, 2018.

Tickets: $10 each or $25 each for solidarity tickets (includes name in book). To place an ad in the greeting book or to ask questions, please contact People’s World Amistad Awards at ct-pww@pobox.com, (203) 624-4254.

Christian Community Action continues to serve the community after 50 years

Christian Community Action has been serving the community for over half a century. The support of friends and neighbors like you is what makes this work possible. CCA is able to provide help, housing, and hope to families that are homeless in New Haven because of the various individuals, businesses, houses of worship, civic groups, schools and foundations that have committed themselves to reaching those in need. Read more about us at ccahelping.org.

CCA Thanksgiving Basket Drive:
Donations of Turkeys, Canned Goods, and Pastas are in high demand
Please refrain from donating glass items
Drop off donations at:
168 Davenport Ave. New Haven, CT 06519
By: 11/14/2018 at 5:00 P.M.

‘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.

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