Friday, December 12:
Let's Keep Involved Democracy Going
Our December meeting will be an official Obama Change Is Coming house meeting. Please sign-up through Obama's web site. The location and attendance of these meetings will be posted there. Seeing the amount of participation encourages others to get involved, too. The Obama transition team is asking folks to help plan their next steps. Our ideas and feedback will be submitted to help shape their priorities in months ahead.
We'll have an open discussion about how we can promote a progressive agenda on domestic and foreign policies with the new Administration. We'll revisit the priorities we identified together at our Platform Meeting in July, and discuss what we can do to help realize Obama's vision for government to be transparent, participatory and efficient. His Administration is already inviting us to get more involved via new channels of two-way communication at www.change.gov and by creating a new Cabinet position of "Progressive Liaison."
Friday, November 14:
Election Recap with Linda Robertson
of Plato's Cave
Linda Robertson of the popular but erstwhile WEOS radio program Plato's Cave which she co-hosted with Iva Deutchman, will be here to provide her always perceptive and often witty insights on the recent political season. Robertson will comment on the presidential and other political races as well as the role of political pundits and other media phenomena from a refreshingly liberal perspective.
Feel free to ask questions and participate in this informal discussion.
Thursday, October 30: John Tonello
Democratic candidate for New York Senate
This could be a transformative election year. We could finally have a president who will actually take governance seriously. We could have a 60-seat, filibuster-proof U.S. Senate. In New York, control of the State Senate could flip to the Democrats for the first time since 1965.
Elmira Mayor John Tonello is an integral part of that transition. Running in the 53rd Senate District against incumbent George Winner, Tonello promises to work for the reforms that are so sorely needed in Albany. An opponent of the "three men in a room" style of decision making that has made New York's political system one of the most corrupt in the country, he'll eliminate "Pay-To-Play," which favors corporations over ordinary people. He supports the aggressive development of green technologies that will help make New York a leader in creating a sustainable economy.
Come meet John and bring your questions.
Thursday, October 16 at 7pm : Ulysses Town Justice Candidate Forum
In addition to all the other important offices on the November 4 ballot, Ulysses residents will see choices for the position of Town Justice. If you are not familiar with the candidates -- Tom Schlee is the incumbent, and Charles Wolff is the challenger -- Back to Democracy is sponsoring a forum to allow you to meet and interact with them. Candidates will introduce themselves, say why they are running, discuss the competencies they belive qualify them for the position, and what issues they find important. Members of the audience are then free to ask questions of one or both candidates.
Don't go blindly into the voting booth and just vote for a name. This is an important and interesting race in its own right -- one that affects the quality of the justice that citizens receive and how legal disputes are settled in our community. Come out and listen to the candidates and see what they have to say for themselves.
Background Info: What do judges do?
Friday, October 10: Eric Massa, Candidate for New York's 29th Congressional District
(running against Randy Kuhl)
Here's your opportunity to meet the person who will finally unseat Randy Kuhl, who has been a reliable source of aid and comfort to the people who have occupied the White House for the past eight years and who have done so much to harm this country. Massa has been a strong and consistent opponent of the Iraq occupation and a supporter of fair trade and universal healthcare. He understands the danger of global warming and our need for energy independence. Come out and show your support. All donations go to the Massa for Congress Campaign.
Massa's stand on issues (from his website).
Donate to Eric Massa through ActBlue.
Here is Eric's statement in response to our request for a bio:
A New Direction for Western New York
My name is Eric Massa and I'm running for Congress because I know there is a better tomorrow for the Western New York. As I've campaigned, I've learned that families of this district are ready for change rather than more of the same from typical Washington politicians. It is time for someone to step up and fight for our families, not the corporate special interests. From creating jobs, to lowering gas prices, to supporting our troops, to making health care affordable — I will stand up for you.
Creating good jobs with benefits. Middle class American families are the backbone of this country and when they prosper, so does the United States of America. Under the Bush-Kuhl administration American families have struggled while thousands of jobs have been shipped overseas. Unlike my opponent, I would not support CAFTA, NAFTA and unfair free trade deals with China. The people of Western New York need a leader who will create good jobs with solid benefits and fight to bring businesses back home. By partnering our local educational institutes with private industry and the State/Federal government, we can rebuild our economy by ensuring that college graduates that grew up in New York can stay here by creating stable 21st Century jobs.
Energy Independence and Lowering Gas Prices. These days, working Americans are having trouble affording the fuel they need to get to work and are worried about how they will afford to heat their homes this winter. Everyone is feeling the pain at the pump, but the current administration continues to sit idle, voting for Big Oil tax handouts and against middle class tax cuts. In Congress, I will fight to expand domestic drilling, fund renewable energy initiatives, and create green jobs right here in the Southern Tier. My vote will never be sold to Big Oil. That's why I've never accepted any money from corporate special interests, unlike my opponent who has taken over $1 million from them. The only people I will owe my loyalty to are the families of our district.
Standing up for our Veterans. As a 24 year US Navy veteran, I will also fight for veterans benefits. The men and women who sacrifice their lives for our freedom deserve the utmost respect, but Washington politicians continue to dishonor veterans and their families. As a Congressman, I will put our veterans and their health first. I will vote for full funding for the Veterans' Administration. I will also lead the fight to provide our returning veterans with all of the resources that they need to find good jobs and successfully transition from military to civilian life.
Fighting for quality, affordable healthcare. American families should not have to choose between putting food on the table or filling their prescriptions. Each and every citizen of Western New York deserves quality, affordable health care. Unfortunately, today's Washington politicians have failed to take action and American families continue to feel the pain of skyrocketing health care prices. In Congress, I will lead the fight for health care reform and I won't back down until all Americans have access to the same affordable, quality health care that every member of Congress has already voted to give themselves.
This district deserves a new standard of independent leadership in Washington. We need a representative who will stand up to the special interests and work for the families in Western New York. I believe that we can improve America now and for our children's future and that's why I'm running for Congress. I hope you will join me in our cause and vote for a new direction on November 4th.
Friday, September 12:
How We Can Avoid War with Iran
Professor John Weiss of Cornell University will explore ways of assessing the danger of war and how to bring about conditions that may avoid it. As we've seen, many things seem to be pointing to a war between the US and Iran: Iran has rejected pleas to cease its enrichment of uranium and has conducted some of its nuclear work outside the view of inspectors; Iran's President has held a conference of Holocaust deniers and has made provocative statements about Israel's place on the map; Iranian groups are exporting weapons to Iraq in the hands of men trained to attack American troops; Israeli officials have said that an attack on Iran is inevitable; funds have been voted specifically for the purpose of regime change in Iran; American officials have stated that allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons is unacceptable.
Our Guest Speaker
Professor John Weiss played a leading role during the fall of 2002 in the activities at Cornell aimed at avoiding a war with Iraq. During that period, he also appeared regularly on the local "Morning Report" radio show (WHCU) as a guest expert on international affairs. This term, he is teaching a course on the Early Cold War, a course on Darfur, and a seminar course called "Iran and the World."
John Weiss grew up in Rome, NY, "in the Happy Days of the Eisenhower Presidency,"as he describes them. At Princeton, he majored in International Affairs, founded the African Affairs Committee, and wrote a thesis on genocide in the King of Belgiumís Congo. After serving as an artillery lieutenant in Korea, he studied European and African history at Harvard, where he also ran a project on small claims courts for Ralph Nader, helped develop a nationally marketed curriculum on technology and society, and protested the invasion of Cambodia as a member of Veterans for Peace.
Since arriving at Cornell in 1974, John has taught scores of courses there: on European history, World War II, the history of technology, and the history of international humanitarianism. He has served three times as director of Cornell's Institute for European Studies, was a member of the board of Cornell Cinema for 15 years, and now serves on the board of the Public Service Center. He is also finishing a term as the chair of the University-ROTC Relations Committee. Since 2005, he has received two teaching awards from Cornell and one from the United States Air Force.
As an activist, John helped in 1988 to found the Friendship Center, Ithaca's center for the homeless and disadvantaged, and served for six years as its board president. During the war and genocide in Bosnia, he served as chair of the Bosnia Coordinating Committee, which worked to bring aid and political assistance to the victims of the conflict. During his mission to Bosnia in 1995 on behalf of the BCC, he became the only American witness to the events immediately surrounding the Srebrenica massacre.
In 2004, John and his wife Elaine started producing the weekly TV show HOW TO SPELL PRESBYTERIAN, which begins its fifth season this month. Of the many subjects covered in the show, the most frequent one was the Darfur genocide. John also directs the Darfur Action Group-Cornell and teaches courses on Darfur and Sudan every term, taking students to Washington and Ottawa to brief government officials about policy questions.
John's daughter Amity, a graduate of Ithacaís public schools, is best known in this area as the founder of KIDSREACH, an independent activist/public education organization that won local and national awards for community service. She graduated from Princeton in 2007 and has just completed a year's internship in Rwanda with an international child protection organization.
John's wife Elaine, a native of Ithaca, teaches at St Paul's Nursery School. In Johnís words, "Elaine is also a co-conspirator on most of my activist projects and shares a house with me on Coddington Road near Brooktondale, a very senior cat Rosie, a mostly unsuccessful garden, church activities, and a passion for kayaking, camping, fishing, hiking, and each other."
Friday, August 8: The 11th Hour
This 2007 documentary, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Nadia Conners, explores the global environmental crisis and paints a portrait of a planet at risk while also offering some exciting and radical solutions for making life on earth sustainable. Tapping the brains of leading scientists and thinkers -- including Stephen Hawking and Mikhail Gorbachev -- the film ultimately delivers a hopeful message: Our planet may be in crisis, but that doesn't mean it's too late change.
Tuesday, July 22 7pm:
Help Determine the Democratic Party Platform
From the Obama website:
Every four years, the Democratic Party assembles a "platform" that outlines the partyís position on a variety of issues. Traditionally, the platform is written by paid professionals and then presented to the American people.
This year, thatís going to change.
From July 19 to July 27, everyday people all across America will hold Platform Meetings in their own communities. From Atlanta, Georgia to Muncie, Indiana, from Bangor, Maine to Eugene, Oregon, Americans will meet to talk about what issues are most important to them and what should be at the heart of the Democratic platform for change.
The results of these Platform Meetings will be incorporated into the formal process that culminates in the adoption of the platform at the Democratic Convention in August. A few participants may even be invited to appear and testify at the National Hearing and at the Convention!
You can write the next chapter in the history of the Democratic Party. Host an event in your own community. Weíve prepared all the materials that you need to host. Or, if you'd prefer, find an event near you.
This meeting is open to everyone and is our chance to join with citizens throughout America to get our voices heard. Please register for this meeting through the Obama web site, so they can record the number of people who participate nationwide.
Here's a link to the 2004 Democratic Platform for your review.
Friday, July 25
What's Next for New York?
A Report on Election Integrity by Bo Lipari
After an arduous five-year battle with the manufacturers "black box" voting machines, New Yorkers can finally be assured of a voter-verified paper ballot. This is in large part due to the efforts of Bo Lipari of New Yorkers for Verified Voting.
Bo is an old hand at BTD, having visited us on several occasions to keep us informed on the status of this project. Now he returns to report on NYVV's successful campaign
Friday, July 11 @ 7 PM: The Net At Risk
From the website:
The future of the Internet is up for grabs. Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) effectively eliminated net neutrality rules, which ensured that every content creator on the Internet-from big-time media concerns to backroom bloggers-had equal opportunity to make their voice heard. Now, large and powerful corporations are lobbying Washington to turn the World Wide Web into what critics call a "toll road," threatening the equitability that has come to define global democracy's newest forum. Yet the public knows little about what's happening behind closed doors on Capitol Hill.
Some activists describe the ongoing debate this way: A small number of mega-media giants owns much of the content and controls the delivery of content on radio and television and in the press; if we let them take control of the Internet as well, immune from government regulation, who will pay the price? Their opponents say that the best way to encourage Internet innovation and technological advances is to let the market-not the federal government-determine the shape of the system.
"The genius of the Internet was that it made the First Amendment a living document again for millions of Americans," says Robert McChesney, a media scholar and activist and co-author of OUR MEDIA, NOT THEIRS. "The decisions that we're going be making ... are probably going to set our entire communication system, and, really, our entire society, on a course that it won't be able to change for generations."
Friday, June 27:
Report on the Walk to Fort Drum from New York State Marches for Peace
On Thursday, May 8, 2008, citizens starting from Ithaca, Rochester, and Utica began a 10–day march to Fort Drum in Watertown, NY. The three groups converged in Pulaski, picking up many more participants along the way. Some folks walked the whole way; others joined in for a day or so. Some citizens who had not intended to march at all, or who did not even know the march was happening, were so inspired as the march passed through their town that they, too, joined in..
The march culminated on Saturday, May 17, Armed Forces Day, at the Fort Drum Spring Festival, where veterans, their families, and civilians came together to celebrate the principles of peace and democracy. The festival was coordinated by members of IVAW who run A Different Drummer Cafe, whose mission is to promote the free and uncensored exchange of ideas and information among active duty and reserve military personnel and civilians.
The organization that organized the march — New York State Marches for Peace — is a collaboration between members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and upstate peace activists. March organizers, participants, and veterans will join us on June 27 to recount their experiences on the march and to participate in a panel discussion on issues such as war and peace, foreign policy, the military mission of our soldiers both at home and abroad, and the proper balance between the rights of citizen soldiers and military authority in a democratic society.
The panel will be followed by an open discussion on how we can SHARE THE BURDEN OF THIS WAR WITH SOLDIERS AND VETERANS, and how we can proceed in future peace-related efforts, in cooperation with veterans and active duty soldiers who are opposed to the Iraq War.
Thursday, June 12 @ 7 pm: King Corn
2007. Run time: 90 min
If you've read or heard much about Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, you'll be familiar with the extensive role that subsidized corn plays in our society. Everything from the shape of our landscapes to "supersized" fast food, to the increased flow of immigrants from Mexico and Central America can be traced to corn. Join us for this sometimes amusing sometimes heartbreaking journey through the paths corn takes through our culture.
From the movie's web site:
King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, andpowerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America's most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat-and how we farm. —Copyright © 2007 Balcony Releasing
Friday, May 30 @ 7 pm: Citizens for Agricultural and Rural Responsibility
Robert Barton of Citizens for Agricultural and Rural Responsibility (www.carrcny.org) will join us to discuss "The Right of Citizens to Govern," with a focus on protesting sludge dumping on local farmlands.
Robert, a resident of Hector, will show the documentary film My Name is Allegany County (run time: 50 min.) as an example of how citizens came together in 1989 to prevent a nuclear waste dump site in their county. He will then discuss the current use of sewage sludge on farmers' fields, and the necessity of citizens to mobilize once again to halt this practice.
Sludge is treated sewage from city wastewater plants. Some farmers spread sludge products (also called "biosolids") on their fields for organic content and/or as a substitute for lime. The main reason farmers use sludge is that it is cheap.
Sludge contains human waste, as well as anything that goes into city sewer systems, such as household cleaning products, medications, industrial chemicals, hospital waste, and pathogens (disease organisms). Sludge used to be dumped in the ocean, but the practice was so destructive that it was outlawed in 1991.
Friday, May 9 @7pm: The Witness (2004)
Local filmmakers Jenny Stein and James LaVeck will join us for a screening and discussion of their award-winning documentary, The Witness, profiling one man's change of heart towards animals, and how his awakening transforms his own life as well as others on the streets of New York City. It's a true story of compassion, courage, advocacy, and the power of individuals to make real changes in the world.
After screening the film (43 minutes long), the filmmakers will join us for a group discussion. Drawing on the film's inspiring story, as well as its producers' tribulations and triumphs while attempting to get their work shown to mainstream audiences, we will focus on the life path of citizen activism, which moves from awareness of an issue, to the awakening of conscience, and then to empowered nonviolent action. The filmmakers will offer their thoughts on how artwork which has the power to transform society is often blunted and suppressed, as well as strategies for overcoming these forces of resistance.
Producing/directing team James LaVeck and Jenny Stein are co-founders of Tribe of Heart, a charitable organization that produces award-winning documentary films that explore how the awakening of conscience inspires ordinary people to respond to injustice with creativity and nonviolence. LaVeck and Stein are outspoken proponents of values-based grassroots activism, emphasizing the need for respect for individual rights, truth, transparency, and integrity in effecting social change. In addition to film making, they lecture and publish on critical thinking, the ethics of animal advocacy, and the essential roles of grassroots activism and independent media in maintaining a healthy democracy. Tribe of Heart films are financed, produced, and distributed entirely through the power of an international grassroots community, giving LaVeck and Stein an extraordinary level of freedom from the forces that so often limit both the content and reach of independent documentaries.
Since its release in 2000, nearly 20,000 copies of Tribe of Heart's first documentary, The Witness have been purchased over the internet by people who wish to share its message with others in their family and community. Concerned citizens have partnered with Tribe of Heart to hold hundreds of community screenings, and to translate the film into Czech, French, Finnish, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. The film has also been broadcast on numerous PBS stations and Link TV, and will have its European broadcast premiere in May 2008 on Britain's Community Channel.
Tribe of Heart's next film, Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, is due for release in the second half of 2008. It is the culmination of a ten year project exploring the emerging new ethics of the human-animal relationship. The film will offer a riveting portrait of the moral and ethical awakening of several farmers, whose growing sense of connection with the animals they raise and send to slaughter leads them to challenge the basic assumptions of their culture, to part ways with generations of family tradition, and ultimately to adopt a lifestyle based on nonviolence toward all living beings.
Tuesday, April 29:
Clean Money / Clean Elections Lobby Day in Albany!
Most of us sooner or later feel frustrated that nothing changes. We see clearly that our country and our planet are in trouble and something needs to be done — and soon. But only rarely do we get the opportunity to really make a change. Such an occasion is coming up this month. On Tuesday, April 29, Citizen Action New York is sponsoring a "Lobby Day" in Albany to push for the Clean Money – Clean Elections (CMCE) campaign.
CMCE is a method of publicly funding elections that has the potential to greatly change the nature of elections and the kind of people who get elected. One reason the system is so corrupt now is that it takes a lot of money to run a campaign, and candidates get large quanities of the stuff from corporate lobbyists. The corporations expect something in return, and they usually get it, whether it's in the public interest or not. In a Clean Money election, candidates can opt in to the public system and receive enough money to compete. Such systems have been very successful in Maine and Arizona in bringing more grassroots candidates into office.
Of course, there's a lot of opposition from those who thrive on the current system, but Citizen Action believes that it's possible to get legislation passed during this legislative session, but they need the support of citizens. That's where you come in. Here's an opportunity to do something that will really make a difference.
Take the day off work and join us on Tuesday, April 29 for a day of lobbying in Albany. We need as many people as possible so that the legislators will see that this program has strong public support. A bus will be leaving at 7am from Ithaca, so you don't have to drive (but if you choose to drive, we can tell you where to meet us).
For more information about how the Clean Money / Clean Elections system works, go to PublicCampaign.org.
Thursday, April 24 @7pm:
Water Quality in Taughannock and Trumansburg Creeks
The Community Science Institute (CSI), a local nonprofit, partners with groups of adult and youth volunteers to monitor water quality throughout the southern Cayuga Lake watershed. Volunteers collect samples from Cayuga Lake and its tributary streams, and CSI's EPA-certified laboratory analyzes them for chemicals and bacteria. The data are scientifically credible and can be used by all levels of government in managing water resources, including impacts of land use practices on tributary streams and the streams' impacts, in turn, on Cayuga Lake. CSI's volunteer monitoring partnerships are building a base of information about water quality in our region and are helping to fill the large data gaps left by state and federal programs. Monitoring results through 2006 may be viewed at CSI's web site. Results from 2007 will be posted following redesign of the CSI website, hopefully this spring. Raw data through 2007 are available on request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
CSI partners with local Stream Watch volunteers to monitor water quality in Taughannock Creek and Trumansburg (Frontenac) Creek, including effluent from the Village of Trumansburg's aging sewage treatment plant. Preliminary data on samples collected from the headwaters to the mouths of both Trumansburg and Taughannock Creek suggest water quality impacts in some places, including E. coli bacteria and phosphorus and nitrogen nutrients. Stream Watch and CSI have requested funds from local municipal governments to increase the frequency of monitoring in both streams in order to get accurate baseline data and to characterize stormwater impacts on water quality throughout their lengths. Repeated sampling of the effluent from the sewage treatment plant over a two-year period from 2006 to 2008 has shown that the effluent is contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria above the permitted level approximately 90% of the time. However, because of dilution, the fecal bacteria counts at Camp Barton, located about a mile downstream at the mouth of Trumansburg Creek, are found to be elevated only under stormwater conditions.
Dr. Stephen Penningroth is a co-founder of the nonprofit Community Science Institute, where he serves as both Executive Director and Technical Director of CSI's certified laboratory. A former associate professor and researcher in cell biology and toxicology and the author of a dozen peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Penningroth taught at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey in the 1980s and in Cornell's Department of Natural Resources in the 1990s before moving to CSI in 2000. He lives in the Town of Ulysses with his wife, Judy Roberts, and their two German shepherds, Xoe and Patrick.
Friday, Apr 11 7pm:
Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety
At the Fire House in Trumansburg. Run time: 50 min. Open discussion to follow.
Have you ever noticed all the pharmaceutical company logos in your doctor's office -- on pens, calendars, clocks, mugs, whatever? This is a small but visible indicator of the growing influence of the drug industry on the way medicine is practiced in the U.S. Money Talks reveals the pharmaceutical industry's corrupting influence over medical education, drug trial results and publications, and drug marketing, resulting in the overprescribing of some medications and the withholding of negative discoveries about others. This 2006 independent documentary by Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau features six experts in the field, including John Abramson, MD of Harvard Medical School, author of Overdosed America, and Prescription Access Litigation Project director, Alex Sugerman-Brozan.
The film was independently written, directed, produced and distributed by Hummingbird Pictures, a woman-owned company. Money Talks was honored by the American Library Association's 2008 list of Notable Videos for Adults. For more info and to view a trailer, visit www.moneytalksthemovie.com.
Dr. Abramson happens to be the son-in-law of one of Back To Democracy's Founding Mothers, Ruth Kahn. To follow up our screening, we asked Dr. Abramson if he'd speak to the public in person about this subject when he visits Trumansburg sometime this fall. He kindly agreed. We are currently exploring larger venues, including the High School, and will post details here on our web site.
Friday, March 28, 7pm: Sandra Steingraber
Toxic Trespass: How Chemical Pollutants in Air, Food, Water, and Consumer Products Violate Human Rights and What We Can Do About It
Ecologist, biologist, author, acclaimed lecturer and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the environmental links to cancer and reproductive health. Her world renowned book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment -- the first to link data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries -- presents cancer as a human rights issue.
The recipient of numerous prestigious awards, Dr. Steingraber was heralded by the Sierra Club in 1999 as "the new Rachel Carson." Her book, Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood was selected by The Library Journal as one of its best books of 2001. The following year, it was featured in a PBS documentary by Bill Moyers. A two-way translator between scientists and activists, Steingraber briefed U.N. delegates on the global contamination of breast milk in 1999, and this year appeared before the U.S. Congress to present her findings on the falling age of puberty in American girls.
She is currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Ithaca College, resident of Trumansburg village and mother of two.
Dr. Steingraber's talk will explore the ways in which new discoveries in toxicology and environmental health are mounting challenges to our antiquated methods of regulating toxic substances, which are based on outdated scientific presumptions. In particular, she will examine how the toxic trespass of chemical pollutants into our bodies can contribute to developmental disorders and health problems, including learning disabilities, infertility, early puberty, asthma, and cancer. The advent of green chemistry and serious chemical reform initiatives in Europe and California offer an entirely new approach to chemicals regulation and the chemicals economy.
How can citizen activism on a local level contribute to, and take advantage of, these ongoing efforts? An open discussion will follow Dr. Steingraber's presentation.
Copies of her latest report, The Falling Age of Puberty in U.S. Girls: What We Know, What We Need to Know was featured last fall on Good Morning America and profiled in the Los Angeles Times. Copies will be available, free of charge, to the audience. In addition, she will bring copies of her earlier books for sale and signing. For more information on the author, visit www.steingraber.com .
Friday, March 14 Movie: No End In Sight
2007. Run time 102 min.
The first film of its kind to chronicle the reasons behind Iraq´s descent into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy, NO END IN SIGHT is a jaw–dropping, insider´s tale of wholesale incompetence, recklessness and venality. Based on over 200 hours of footage, the film provides a candid retelling of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003 by high ranking officials such as former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Ambassador Barbara Bodine (in charge of Baghdad during the Spring of 2003), Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, and General Jay Garner (in charge of the occupation of Iraq through May 2003), as well as Iraqi civilians, American soldiers and prominent analysts. NO END IN SIGHT examines the manner in which the principal errors of U.S. policy — the use of insufficient troop levels, allowing the looting of Baghdad, the purging of professionals from the Iraqi government and the disbanding of the Iraqi military — largely created the insurgency.
--© Magnolia Films
Saturday, March 15, 11:00am: Trumansburg Peace March
Beginning in front of Trumansburg High School on Route 96 / Main Street, we'll march down Main Street through town to "People's Park" — the small grassy area near the intersection of Main Street and Route 227 (across from the T-burg Farmer's Market) -- where we'll gather in a circle at about 12 noon. The total distance is about one mile.
Parking is available on Main Street, but please don't park in the school lots. Bring signs if you wish, and dress warmly.
It helps the anti-war movement to show numerous protesters on a national web site. So please RSVP for this event at UnitedForPeace.org.
Saturday, March 15, 2:00 pm - Ithaca Commons
"All People are Created Equal -- A Puppet Pageant for Peace."
Raise your voice against war and crimes against humanity as we work together to hold our current administration accountable, end the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and stop white supremacy and neocolonialism. The pageant will include prepared skits by community organizations or groups of people representing a particular theme. If you are part of, or know of an organization who might want to participate in a prepared skit, please contact Alexis Alexander ; (607) 277-9219.
Saturday, March 8, 10:00am
Trumansburg Trustee Candidate Forum at the Trumansburg Village Hall
On Tuesday, March 18, 2008, voters will go to the polls to select a new Trustee to fill the seat of David Filiberto, who is stepping down. Vying for the empty seat are Allen Carstensen, Democrat, and Debbie Nottke, Republican. Marty Petrovic is running unopposed for Mayor. On Saturday, March 8, Back To Democracy will host a candidate forum where voters can meet the candidates. Candidates will introduce themselves and tell us why they have chosen to run and what issues they think are important in their desired role as Trustees. You are then free to ask the candidates any questions you might have.
There are important issues coming up for the board -- the Byrne Dairy Store, Water District 5, Privatization of billing for the ambulance service, zoning changes, etc. Learn what the candidates believe about these issues. Don't vote in ignorance. Come out and get informed.
Friday, February 22: Trucks and Asphalt (EVENT CANCELED)
Trucks and Asphalt -- the backbone of the US consumer culture. A necessity, or a dinosaur?
Gary Redmond, the owner/operator of Regional Access in Trumansburg will speak about our truck-based freight transportation industry: its economic and environmental impacts, some of its historical background and, as we approach an era of diminishing petroleum-based liquid fuels, what the future holds for it.
After 28 years in the business of distributing food commodities throughout the Northeast in trucks of all sizes, Gary brings a wealth of knowledge to the subject, both from behind the wheel and behind the desk. He also brings a view of the future of an industry that is so necessary in our culture, and how it might adapt to the changing landscape of that culture as we move into the next decade and beyond.
Please join us for an interesting and informative evening. As always, the speaker’s presentation will be followed by a guided discussion session involving all those attending. You will also find petitions and/or letters directed to various legislative bodies for your perusal and signatures, and information on current events that are of import to our community.
Friday, February 8, 7pm:
The Injustice System in America
Released 2007. Directed by Cary Silberman. 80 minutes.
The Injustice System in America explores issues surrounding the mass incarceration of American minorities, especially African-Americans, who make up 13% of the U.S. population, but 49% of the prison population. Through a series of talking heads (including Van Jones and Professor Michelle Alexander of Stanford University) a picture of what's behind this phenomenon is revealed.
There are at least two threads of American culture at work here. One is the historical trend of suppression of minorities. Slavery, Jim Crow laws, and anti-immigrant riots have all been part of this legacy. Recently it has been extended and widened through "tough on crime" tactics such as over-policing of minority communities, harsher penalties for the types of drugs more likely to be used by minorities, mandatory sentencing for non-violent crime, racial profiling, and prejudicial severity in every step of the justice process. As a result, our prisons are disproportionately populated with minorities.
The second thread evident in the rapid increase in the number of prisons and prisoners is the development of mass incarceration as a for-profit enterprise. Building prisons brings money and jobs into our communities, and creates interest groups who lobby for stricter laws in order to keep the prisoners and money flowing.
At the root of this trend is the ability of Capitalism to exploit our culture's refusal to set limits on the "free market". Like permissive parents who sit by while their bullying child gets more and more aggressive, hoping that he'll "grow out of it", we are unwilling to restrain our corporate offspring, naively waiting for the "invisible hand" to correct the inequities. As a result, the corporations get richer, more powerful, and ever more difficult to control.
Friday, January 25:
Clean Money - Clean Elections, with Mary Clark of Citizen Action New York
Mary Clark will be here to update us about Clean Money - Clean Elections -- CANY's campaign to get big money out of politics.
One way that the corporations dominate American democracy is through making politicians dependent on campaign donations. CANY's effort to get money out of elections offers one important means to make politicians more dependent on, and more accountable to voters.
Come out and learn how Clean Money / Clean Elections works, and how you can help push for publicly-funded elections in New York State.
Friday, January 11: Iraq in Fragments
7:00 pm, Trumansburg Fire Hall
An opus in three parts, Iraq In Fragments offers a series of intimate, passionately-felt portraits: A fatherless 11-year-old is apprenticed to the domineering owner of a Baghdad garage; Sadr followers in two Shiite cities rally for regional elections while enforcing Islamic law at the point of a gun; a family of Kurdish farmers welcomes the US presence, which has allowed them a measure of freedom previously denied.
American director James Longley spent more than two years filming in Iraq to create this stunningly photographed, poetically rendered documentary of the war-torn country as seen through the eyes of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. Winner of Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editing awards in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival documentary competition, the film was also awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2007.
Description is from the web site www.iraqinfragments.com .
Run time 94 minutes; discussion to follow.