Dozens Protest Israel’s New Massacre

by LouAnn Villani, Middle East Crisis Committee

Sixty or more people held signs and banners in Middletown on August 17 in outrage over Israel’s new massacre in Gaza. Many held the pictures and names of Palestinians killed in Israel’s brutal early August “Op.” One person held a picture of a Palestinian girl who lost two legs and an arm in the assault.

The cosponsors of the event were the Middle East Crisis Committee, the Bristol Anti-Racism Brigade (BARB), Bristol Advocates for Marginalized Families (BAMF), Workers’ Voice CT, the Tree of Life Education Fund, Promoting Enduring Peace, and Jewish Voice for Peace (New Haven). Most of the turnout came from local Islamic centers.

Besides expressing horror and anger, protesters expressed disgust at Connecticut members of Congress who vote immense amounts of money to Israel each year without question. This year it was $1 billion on top of $3.8 billion in regular money approved during the Obama presidency.

Favorite chants were “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry, Palestine will never die”; “Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes”; and “Free Palestine.” Ghoufran Allababidi from Tree of Life Education Fund, Dan from Workers’ Voice and Phil Brewer from Jewish Voice for Peace spoke to the crowd.

People were especially encouraged by the many honks from cars and trucks passing by.

To see video of the protest, go to thestrugglevideo.org. For more info on how to be involved, email mail@thestruggle.org or call 203-444-3578.

May Day Celebration on the New Haven Green

by Melinda Tuhus, CT Climate Crisis Mobilization

This year’s May Day on the Green in New Haven marked International Workers Day with a new generation of activists. That was the view of Paula and Frank Panzarella, who initiated and organized May Days in New Haven for 25 years.

“It was nice to see others pick up the banner,” said Frank, complimenting the work done by Unidad Latina en Acción. “I was glad to see the Latino community come out, and it was great to see new young political activists with a variety of leftist parties. I think John Lugo and Megan Fountain did a really good job of putting it together. It’s hard to do on such a short time frame.”

Frank’s band, the Eclektics, played a long set geared more to the older crowd, joined for some songs by vocalist Renee Luna. A rock band of young musicians expressed their own political views in song. Several Latino bands played on the Green and during the march.

There was a table with literature highlighting the history of May Day, when workers in the U.S. – mostly immigrants – fought to establish the 8-hour workday in 1886. Violence erupted at the Chicago protest and police arrested the organizers; several were hanged. Those workers’ struggles for decent wages, working conditions, and dignity sparked the workers’ movement celebrated around the world on May Day.

“There was a reason why May 1 was picked to be the day to push for immigrant rights starting in 2006,” said Paula.

Speakers mentioned current fights for workers’ rights; the need for socialism; the connection between immigration and the climate crisis and why groups espousing immigrant rights and action on climate must work together to achieve their goals; and the fight for universal health care, among other issues. A member of ULA demanded “hero pay” for essential workers who risked their lives during the pandemic. Rep. Robyn Porter, co-chair of the state legislature’s Labor Committee, said the General Assembly has expanded health care for undocumented children to 12 and under from 8 and under, but she is fighting to extend it to age 18. She added that those under 12 who sign up will be covered until age 18.

The Haven free clinic offered free COVID test kits and masks, and Griffin Hospital had a tent nearby offering COVID vaccines.

Young children ran around the Green sporting creative face paint. “It was perfect weather to be out and about, joining in a community event, meeting old friends and new people, a relaxed atmosphere for sharing ideas and philosophy, and enjoying fun performances,” Paula said.

“We need to keep the ‘social’ in socialism to work together to figure things out,” Frank added. “I think it’s getting stronger. I’m glad they did the march because the issues for immigrants are still out there.”

After the four-hour celebration on the Green, complete with an endless supply of pizza (“the workers’ food,” John quipped), young and older set off on a march around downtown, stopping at points of protest or celebration – like recent moves to unionize at the College Street Music Hall and at a hotel on Chapel Street. The march ended on the campus of Yale University, where marchers demanded that Yale – with an endowment that ballooned to $42.3 billion during the pandemic – contribute more to its impoverished host city, especially when low-income residents are being pushed out due to rapidly rising rents.

Reminder: March 19 deadline for articles for Progressive Action Roundtable newsletter

We look forward to getting your articles and event notices for our April issue. We thank you for your readership and support of PAR.

Please send us reports about your organization’s activities and upcoming plans. Readers want to know:

  • What is the purpose of your organization?
  • How are you building your group?
  • What campaigns are you organizing?
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We want to publicize the work that 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 (or a paragraph or two) up to 350 words about what your group wants to do and any ideas for organizing!

Please send to parnewhaven@hotmail.com.

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The deadline for the April Progressive Action Roundtable newsletter is Saturday, March 19.

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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.

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To provide a forum for the many progressive groups in the greater New Haven area where actions and ideas may be publicized so that peace, health, justice, energy, environmental and other issues are made known to a broad audience for mutual support and the common good.

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CitySeed Is Hiring!

Development Associate (Part-Time): CitySeed is seeking a detail-oriented, creative, and personable Development Associate to join our team (cityseed.org/who-we-are-2/employment). This role will best suit someone who is highly detailed, enjoys connecting with people, is a strong writer and storyteller, and is inspired by CitySeed’s mission. This role reports to the Executive Director and plays a critical role in ensuring that CitySeed’s supporters have a positive experience and feel connected with our organization’s mission.

This is a part-time position to start, with the goal of growing into a full-time role. New Haven residents and applicants with strong ties to New Haven are strongly encouraged to apply. Remote candidates will also be considered.

Sanctuary Kitchen is seeking interns for the spring 2022 and summer 2022 semesters. Interns are a valuable part of the Sanctuary Kitchen team and play a critical role in helping us achieve our mission.

Available internships include culinary operations intern, marketing intern, operations intern, sales and outreach intern. Sanctuary Kitchen is happy to work with your college or course instructors to fulfill credits or requirements.

CitySeed Farmers Market Intern: Seeking applicants who are enthusiastic about sustainable agriculture and food justice in New Haven, and want to learn while working at Farmers Markets. The position includes setting up and breaking down tables and tents, selling bread and tokens, handling money and credit/debit/SNAP cards and promoting market programs. To learn more about this opportunity or apply, please email erin.carey@cityseed.org with your resume attached.

Volunteers are also always welcome and needed. Feel free visit our volunteer section and fill out an application at cityseed.org.

Employment Opportunity: Part-time Director of Development, Flexible Hours

by Susan Bramhall, NHLSCP

The New Haven / Leon Sister City Project is seeking a part-time Director of Development to join our team as employee or self-employed. We are passionate about our work to connect and support the people of New Haven and Nicaragua. We are looking for a mission-driven, well-organized person who seeks to use great communications skills to connect the people of New Haven to the people of Nicaragua.

The primary work of the NH/LSCP in León, Nicaragua is to support community-based initiatives in the rural communities of Goyena and Troilo and to facilitate programs and projects that improve public health and community-based education, support women’s rights, and address root causes of poverty. In New Haven we work to build new projects and coalitions to confront the climate change crisis. In both communities we work to build local leadership and capacity and address causes of poverty and injustice.
Patty Nuelsen, our long-time Director of Development, will be retiring in the coming months. We believe that we have the opportunity to increase our use of social media and technology, along with person-to-person contact, to carry our work and message of connection to a new generation. The position can be largely remote and the hours can be flexible. This is not a traditional siloed non-profit development position – our Director of Development will be connected to the work we do and the people who are doing that work. We think this opportunity is ideal for someone skilled at organizing projects, who wants to work with a wonderful team delivering important change in the world. Our Director of Development will use communication and networking skills to connect current and future supporters to our values and mission.

Please don’t be shy! We are very interested to hear from you if you are interested in this position. Please see newhavenleon.org/nhlscp-job-opening-pt-director-of-development for the full job announcement.

NHFPL Hosts Holiday Bazaar

by Gina Bingham, NHFPL

The New Haven Free Public Library invites all residents to support small businesses and entrepreneurs this holiday season and is excited to host a holiday bazaar featuring participants in the library’s Ives Squared Make to Sell program.  The Make to Sell Holiday Bazaar will be Saturday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Main Ives Library, 133 Elm Street. Products featured include bath and body luxuries, candles, baked goods, leather accessories, face masks, and more. Please note that some vendors may only accept cash.

Vendors who will be present at the bazaar include:

  • Dimitri Cotman of Z.Nith Point LLC
  • Shelara Pullen of Glam-TShields
  • Zara Salmon of CRAVEinfused
  • Jordan Taylor of LegallyBlack
  • Donna Berlanda of Sustainable Accessories and Fiber Art
  • Michael Ziff Leather Goods
  • April Snell of Cake Confessions

The Make to Sell program is a new endeavor by NHFPL’s Ives Squared team in conjunction with CT Next and the New Haven Innovation Collaborative to help provide underserved, early-stage entrepreneurs with concrete tools to build and launch online sales businesses. Fifteen individuals were selected for the first Make to Sell cohort and have worked diligently to launch their small businesses by taking classes taught by local small business experts, meeting with library staff mentors, and consulting with an onsite Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Creative-in-Residence.

Ives Squared inspires and augments the vibrant civic and entrepreneurial culture of New Haven by offering open access to a free business coworking co-op and makerspace.

For more information, please contact Gina Bingham: (203) 946-8835; gbingham@nhfpl.org.

Community Mobile Crisis Response Team Is Hiring

by Annie Harper, PhD, Program for Recovery and Community Health

JOB ALERT!! People from New Haven – come work for the new Crisis Response team. CommuniCare is hiring for multiple positions for a Community Crisis Response Team being developed with the City of New Haven, CMHC, Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health, and The Consultation Center.

Jobs include Community Crisis Coordinator LCSW (FT), Community Crisis LMSW (FT/PT), Community Crisis Peer Supporter (RSS or Recovery Coach) (FT/PT).

Info: communicare-ct.org – look for the jobs titled ‘Community Crisis…….’

DesegregateCT Looks to Year Two!

Lindsay Mathews, DesegregateCT

Sixty years ago, when I was growing up in a small town in central Connecticut, I hardly saw a single Black child in our schools, parks, or places of worship.

Today, nothing has changed.

That our state is still segregated is no accident. In part, our state is deeply segregated because many Connecticut communities have adopted “exclusionary zoning” laws to restrict the kinds of housing most Black people can afford to buy. Research shows that the vast majority of Connecticut towns practice exclusionary tactics like large minimum lot sizes, bans on multi-family housing, and minimum unit size requirements. Black ownership is further stymied because of a lack of access to subsidized mortgages. This financing gap has been well-documented by organizations like the Brookings Institution and the Federal Reserve.

After the murder of George Floyd, many grassroots organizations formed in order to tackle the weighty legacy of structural racism that surrounds us and our communities.

DesegregateCT is one such organization. It is a statewide organization of activists and more than 70 coalition members who are passionate about the idea that through legislation, our commitment to equality can be realized by working to change zoning laws. Over the last year, the group successfully advocated for legalizing accessory apartments, reducing parking mandates, requiring zoning regulations to “affirmatively further” fair housing, instituting commission-er training requirements, and more.

After DesegregateCT’s legislative victory, Sara Bronin said, “A year and a day after we first met – thanks to our coalition, team, and supporters, and the many housing advocates that laid the groundwork over the years – Public Act 21-29 (HB6107) became law. It is an important step toward a more affordable, sustainable, and economically dynamic state, and it marks the first significant update to the State’s Zoning Enabling Act in decades.”

Governments at every level may have forced us to live apart. However, DesegregateCT has proven that it is possible to pass zoning laws that will bring us together, if we are willing to do the work.

Go to desegregatect.org to join the fight to undo restrictive zoning laws in Connecticut.

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