« June 2006 | Main

What's A Citizen To Do?

Bob asked me to join your blog tonight to talk about "What's A Citizen To Do? - a statewide activist e-newsletter that I produce every week. It goes out to 900 people around Vermont. I would be happy to talk about that, but I'm also interested in knowing what folks are thinking about or doing to address the current world situation and the crisis within our own democracy - as well as discussing up-coming actions in Vermont and region.
The last few weeks have been quite busy for the peace and justice community. This week PeaceVermont organized a vigil in solidarity with the civilians of Palestine, Lebanon and Israel at which we collected signatures to ask Bernie to co-sponsor Dennis Kucinich's resolution for a cease fire [Bernie voted as did most members of congress to support the Israeli government's aggression (war) on Palestine and Lebanon - which is funded by the United States].
I spent the entire weekend in meetings. Saturday was devoted to a coalition of groups focused on shutting down Vermont Yankee [I'm a member of the Vt Yankee Decommissioning Alliance], while on Sunday morning activists from around the Northeast met in Brattleboro to discuss actions focused on impeachment and ending the war in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, and the likely wars on Iran and Syria [Cindy Sheehan was supposed to meet with us but at the last minute she and other members of CodePink were invited to meet with members of the Iraqi parliament].
Last weekend I briefly attended the Activist Skill Share in Wheelock, VT, where many people were discussing the need for direct action [non-violent civil disobedience]. So, this discussion tonight could take any direction - I'll let you take the lead.
But first I should introduce myself. My name is Debra Stoleroff. I live in Plainfield, Vermont. I'm an activist/organier of peace, justice and environmental events and actions. When I'm not volunteering in these activities, I work as the coordinator of a Twinfield High School program through which students can design studies on anything they want, work with a mentor [or not] and get credit for the study. Studies can be academic, an internship, a journey, job, or college course. The Renaissance program is one way a small rural school can address the varied needs and learning styles of all students. My interests don't end there though, but I think those will suffice for tonight.
Oh, I suppose I should mention that I'm an independent. I don't want to be affiliated with a political party, though I have worked on issues regarding elections [fraud, instant run-off voting and multiple party elections].
I'm looking forward to our discussion
*Posted by Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on July 31, 2006 at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)

Political Blogs

Recent studies have shown blogging activities tend to cluster around high profile entities and then spin off into smaller and more familiar local or regional e-communities. The questions is - how might this particular blog best contribute to a robust and significant political dialogue which brings about measurable change to the national political scene?

Posted by Jessica Falker on July 24, 2006 at 08:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Darrell's Famous Blogger's Breakfast

Hi, I'm Charlene (MViMV) and catamount (BFA).  The place is filling up.  Sorry that I'm delayed Bob. Thank you for being here.  We're running ragged but having a wonderful time.

This is my first Blogger's Breakfast despite having been at the past two events.  I always attended to get to the Blogger's Breakfast before, but there was always an organizational item or a fire to put out that kept me from it. 

Jessica Falker (jjem), Cofounder of DemocracyFest, welcomed us, explained the unfortunate news that Darrell could not be with us, but his intent was for her to provide the story of how DemocracyFest got started.

Posted by Charlene Johnston on July 16, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (18)

Your Economic Security in an Era of Climate Change

*** At DemocracyFest This Saturday***

BEYOND KYOTO: Responding Together to Climate Change

How can we respond together to the possibility of future disasters like Hurricane Katrina that are partially due to the results of rapid climate change?   The panel will address the topic from perspectives of the environmental movement, community development, and insurance.  Panelists will also lead a discussion on the roles of government, business, and bottom-up community activism in managing new environmental risks, which may threaten the economic security of communities around the nation.

     *      John Garamendi, California State Insurance Commissioner
     *      Lori SaldaƱa, California State Assemblywoman (76th Assembly District, San Diego)
     *      Quintus Jett, Principal Investigator of the Gentilly Project in New Orleans, also moderating


Hi, I figured I'd start with the panel on climate change on DemocracyFest.   My being on the panel as a lot to do with my research project that focuses on Post-Katrina recovery in the neighborhoods of Gentilly, a community about a 10-15 minute drive from downtown and the French Quarter that doesn't get mentioned all that much.

Everything I've seen in New Orleans has me thinking a lot about the economic security of families following disasters.   If what's going on (or not going on) in New Orleans is an example of what we'll see after the next widescale disaster, we're in a lot of trouble.  Somehow it escapes most of the public dialogue all the thousands of working- and middle-class people that are suffering economically post-Katrina.  It's not just the poverty of those before Katrina, but also the people at risk of being pushed into poverty afterwards.

Then there's rapid global climate change.  Didn't think too deeply about this until after Katrina, and learning more about global warming, higher sea levels, and warmer water in the Gulf of Mexico that cause stronger hurricanes.  Next time there's major flooding and/or devastation due to a hurricane, how many hundreds of thousand of people could be displaced next time?   How many tens of thousands of homes will be destroyed?  And what can government, business, citizens do to prepare and later respond if such a thing happens?

Posted by Quintus Jett on July 10, 2006 at 08:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (12)

Will We See You at DemocracyFest?

If you're coming to DemocracyFest next weekend, please stop by the MViMV table and say hello to fellow members in our MViMV Community.  Also, if you volunteer to help us cover the table for an hour, we'll give you an organic cotton t-shirt with the fabulous MViMV logo.

If you don't have your tickets yet, please go to www.democracyfest.us  This is always an event not to be missed!  Great speeches, entertainment, discussions and networking opportunities.  I guarantee you'll leave far richer than you arrived. Each year I have met people that I now call friends.  Afterall, one can never have enough Progressive friends to bring more balance to our lives.

Don't forget to get your ticket for Darrell's Famous Blogger's Breakfast.  Yup, Darrell is back at DemFest and Jessica Falker and myself will be blogging from the breakfast, so whether you can attend or not join us here at 8 AM PDT (11 AM EDT).   

Posted by Charlene Johnston on July 8, 2006 at 10:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)