Category: Vote!

What’s at stake in the U.S. election: Catherine Flowers for The Globe and Mail

What’s at stake in the U.S. election: The Globe and Mail has asked a group of writers to offer their opinions. Scroll to the bottom for links to the full series.

Most of the historic 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march went through rural Lowndes County, Ala. The area was once steeped with racial terror because of the desire to control Black labour – that had once been free to plantation owners owing to slavery – and stymie their right to vote. Because of the violence used on Black and white citizens, it earned the name “Bloody Lowndes.” Today, it is the epicentre of the wastewater crisis and a poster child for policies fostering inequality in rural communities. The county residents have not received adequate funding for wastewater infrastructure, and the infrastructure in place is failing or has failed. It is also where poverty, environmental justice and climate change intersects with the lack health care access.

The population of Lowndes County is 72 per cent African-American. It has a per capita income of US$19,491, where more than a fourth of the residents live below the poverty line. Many of the residents are essential workers, employed in plants or in other jobs that have high workplace COVID-19 infection rates. It is also a food desert in a place where many people are victimized by high blood pressure, diabetes and respiratory issues. There is only one doctor to provide medical services within the entire county. It also has the highest per capita COVID-19 infection rate in the state of Alabama and one of the highest death rates per capita as well, in a county of approximately 10,000 residents.

Policies supporting infrastructure funding and development – whether on the state or federal level – have long excluded places such as Lowndes County. The wealthiest populations can qualify for loans or grants, while the poor are penalized through the denial of access to funding for sanitation infrastructure. With climate change becoming even more evident through higher temperatures for longer periods of time, higher water tables and wastewater treatment failures, the pandemic has made the population of Lowndes County and many others in the United States vulnerable for illness and death. This is compounded by the discovery that COVID-19 is shed in feces.

Read on…

Catherine Coleman Flowers is the author of the forthcoming book Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret. She is the founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, a member of the board of directors for the Climate Reality Project and serves as a senior fellow for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary.

CEE Update and Vote the Earth!

The Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University are launching Vote the Earth, an interactive poetry project connecting place and voice. Expanding on the Earth Stanzas community poem project launched in honor of 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, Vote the Earth draws on the inspiration of George Ella Lyons’ poem “Where I Am From,” and invites visitors to view the short videos and poems on the map and to share their own poetic voice.

Participate

As the election approaches, we invite you to help inspire voters to put their love for the Earth behind the power of their vote – to #VotefortheEarth! In a time when wildfires burn out west, tropical storms flood the Gulf Coast, and we remain in the grips of a global pandemic, many of us seek the healing experiences offered to us by the land. There is no more important time to come together for the climate, ethics, voting and justice. Let’s make our vote count for the places we love – to consider the question of positionality through an ecological lens, giving poetic voice to our forests and our watersheds, invoking their political agency through Ecological Citizenship.In the lead up to the U.S. elections on November 3rd, we offer this platform to map the creative voices of the Earth and ask your networks to help us spread the word.

Full link:  www.vote.earthstanzas.com or click below:

The Center for Earth Ethics is a forum for education, public discourse and movement building that draws on faith and wisdom traditions to address our ecological crisis and its root causes at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

The Wick Poetry Center, in Kent State University’s College of Arts & Sciences, is home to the award-winning Traveling Stanzas project, and is one of the premier university poetry centers in the country. It is a national leader for the range, quality, and innovative outreach in the community.

For more information please contact:

Email David Hassler, Director, WPC

Email Shannon M.D. Smith, Communications Manager, CEE


Center for Earth Ethics Director, Karenna Gore was honored to speak at the Global Vision Summit lifting up the teachings of the Dalai Lama on five concepts as keys to overcoming the climate crisis: karma, inter-dependence, universal responsibility, happiness and compassion. Listen Now.


Join CEE and the Big Shift Global Campaign in telling the World Bank to stop using public money to fund fossil fuel development projects. 



Sign the Petition here:
https://bigshiftglobal.org/world-bank


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Support the Center for Earth Ethics

Faith Rally – Election Day Home Stretch!

WHAT TO WATCH:

Feeling bruised, battered, or fatigued by this election season? Looking for a source of uplift down the home stretch to election day? Then, this webinar is for you. Three speakers rally our energy and direct our focus during a moment with so many profound implications for those who care about the climate crisis and the many interconnected issues of justice that we face today. The speakers include the Rev. Gerald Durley of Interfaith Power & Light, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., of the Hip Hop Caucus, and Karenna Gore, founder and director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary. The webinar is co-hosted by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt of the United Church of Christ Environmental Justice Ministry and the Rev. Michael Malcom of Alabama Interfaith Power & Light and the People’s Justice Council.

Catherine Flowers among those participating in “Your Vote, Your World” on October 24th

 

What’s at stake in the 2020 election?

EVERYTHING.

 

With just 10 days to go before the most important election in generations, Your Vote, Your World brings together activists, artists, musicians, and cultural icons for a LIVE digital rally to explore what’s at stake and how we will make our voices heard this election.

We want a country that faces up to racism and inequality. A country where all voices count, no matter who we are or where we come from. A country that promises clean air and water for everyone. A country with a strong economy that protects our environment and creates a just and healthy future of opportunity for all. And together, we can make it a reality.  Learn More…

PRESENTED BY


HIP HOP CAUCUS

THE CLIMATE REALITY PROJECT

EARTHDAY.ORG

with

AL GORE

Founder and Chairman, The Climate Reality Project


REV. LENNOX YEARWOOD, JR.

President and Founder, Hip Hop Caucus


STACEY ABRAMS

Founder, Fair Fight Action


DR. MUSTAFA SANTIAGO ALI

Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization, National Wildlife Federation


SAAD AMER

Founder and Director, Plus1Vote


BISHOP WILLIAM J. BARBER II

President, Repairers of the Breach; and Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival


DR. ROBERT D. BULLARD

Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University


CHARLIE BONNER

Communications Director, MOVE Texas


CATHERINE COLEMAN FLOWERS

2020 MacArthur Fellow


PHILIPPE COUSTEAU JR.

Filmmaker and Conservationist


ASHLAN COUSTEAU

Journalist and Conservationist

 

And many more…

 

Pledge to be a Faith Climate Justice Voter!

This is a moment for fundamental change. When people of faith vote our values, elected officials take note. We can help make change by electing leaders who are committed to ending structures of oppression, ending environmental injustices, and tackling climate change.

Join us in helping communicate our values of caring for God’s Creation and loving our neighbors.

I pledge to vote with climate and Creation in mind.

I am pledging to be a Faith Climate Justice Voter to put love into action for every living creature and for every vulnerable community suffering the impacts of our changing climate, from sea rise, to extreme heat, to devastating droughts, to supercharged storms.

My pledge to vote for climate justice is rooted in environmental justice. I am in solidarity with all who are disproportionately burdened with climate impacts, including Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities.

I believe that our nation’s elected leaders and our public policies should reflect our shared values. By pledging to be a consistent voter and vote with climate justice in mind, I am communicating the values of caring for God’s Creation and our children’s future.

You pledge to vote. We remind you to keep your word. It’s so easy. And it works.

Make Good Trouble with Catherine Flowers

Catherine Flowers | Good Troublemaker

"If we want justice, whether it's climate justice, environmental justice, social justice— it starts with voting." 🗳🌎This National Voter Registration Day, join Good Troublemaker Catherine and help protect the vote in states that need it most ➡️ bit.ly/Good-Troublemaker-3.

Posted by John Lewis: Good Trouble on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

REGISTER VOTERS

The right to vote is critical for an effective and fair democracy that works for all of us. For $1.50 per person, you can help fight voter suppression in states that need it most, like Georgia.

We’re partnering with Register2Vote, a non-profit and non-partisan, voting rights organization, to mail pre-filled voter registration forms to eligible unregistered voters. Recipients will also receive a pre-stamped return envelope, so all they have to do is sign it and drop it in the mail. Then, Register2vote will track it to make sure it arrives safely at the County Registrar. By lowering the barriers to voter registration, we can make a difference in the fight against voter suppression.

VOTE

Make sure you’re set to make GOOD TROUBLE this election season.

– Check that you’re registered to vote here.

– Register to vote here.

– Confirm you have the ID you need to vote in your state here.

– Make sure you’re an informed voter here.

– Check your polling place here.

 

Get Inspired!  WATCH

“John Lewis: Good Trouble” chronicles the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist and Democratic Representative from Georgia.

 

USE YOUR VOICE AND PRIVILEGE TO SUPPORT OTHERS’ RIGHT TO VOTE.

See where voter suppression is already silencing voters at alarming rates (Source: Brennan Center) and then help empower disenfranchised communities by facilitating others to register to vote.

Learn how…

Climate Crisis Policy Launches Climate Movement Campaign

The Center for Earth Ethics has been participating in the Climate Crisis Policy (CCP) review of pending climate legislation. We strongly encourage all those interested in protecting our environment through the legislative process to use the extensive resources collected by CCP to deepen your understanding of proposed legislation. You can participate by attending the bi-weekly Action Campaign calls, through Climate Crisis Policy’s “Adopt-a-District” program, join the Faith Mobilization, or find another way to engage your community and representatives.

A “Climate Bill Package” Creates Unified Front for Climate Movement, Preparing Now for Nationally Coordinated Effort in 2021

 

For Climate Week 2020, a nationwide network has launched a ”Climate Bill Package” campaign, uniting 10 bills spanning key policy sectors.  Designed to unite the underlying movements, the bills are collectively supported by over 1200 organizations.

 

The Climate Bill Package tackles regenerative agriculture, fracking, fossil fuel subsidies, plastics, refrigerants, confined animal feeding operations, toxic pesticides, planting billions of trees, restoring wetlands, environmental justice, and just transition, with additional bills pending.

 

Collectively, these have a myriad of climate, environmental and structural benefits, and serve as core elements of a more comprehensive legislative agenda in 2021.  

 

“Strategically, the package unites movements to increase the political power needed for victory,” said Todd Fernandez, Director of Climate Crisis Policy, featuring a digest of climate solutions from 150 sources.  “If we work together across topics, climate activists can defeat the triumvirate of Big Oil, Big Ag & Big Pharma and reclaim our democracy.  But we have to be ready.”

 

The Climate Bill Package network will target all 435 Congressional Districts with an Adopt-A-District effort where local organizations form mini-coalitions to secure co-sponsorship of the package. In 2020, the network will target 100 Districts, led by local leaders with Climate Reality, Project Drawdown, Unitarian Universalists, Sierra Club, 350, and more.

 

Among the many NGOs leading legislative efforts, the network collaborates with the Center for Biological Diversity, Mighty Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Food & Water Action, Family Farm Alliance, Environmental Investigation Agency, Climate Justice Alliance, The Center for Earth Ethics, and The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

 

Expectations are high that 2021 will present the first opportunity for huge climate action in Congress.  To prepare, the network aims to grow nationwide coalition capacity and infrastructure so that civil society writ large is ready to seize this moment and save our planet from ecological disaster.  

 

The network hosts open meetings on Wednesdays featuring experts on the legislation and action with past meetings available on YouTube.  The website lists the Package Bills, Sponsors, Group Support, and District leads. They are also reviewing the U.S. House Climate Action Plan to identify what’s good, bad, and missing, to prepare for action in 2021.

2020 CLIMATE BILL PACKAGE 
(See Detailed Summaries; Outreach Toolkit)

 Materials

1. Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 (H5845 – 2020):

  • Phases out most common single-use non-recyclable plastic products by 2022
  • Reforms waste and recycling programs, and establishes nationwide bottle return refund program
  • Holds corporations responsible for cleaning up plastic pollution

2. American Innovation & Manufacturing Act (H5544 – 2020)

  • Bipartisan bill to replace environmentally harmful hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in refrigeration and air conditioning with more efficient cooling products
  • Creates 33,000 manufacturing jobs and an estimated 2.5M industry jobs by 2027

3. Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act (H7940 – 2020)

  • Bans pesticides shown to cause significant harm to children, adults, and the environment, some which are already banned or restricted in Europe & Canada
  • Bans insecticides that lead to pollinator collapse
  • Protects frontline communities directly impacted by pesticide exposure

 

Farming & Forests

4. Farm System Reform Act (H6718 – 2020)

  • Phases out concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and large factory farms that produce enormous waste and harmful pollution
  • Offers buyouts to help farmers transition from CAFOs to regenerative practices


5. Food & Agribusiness Merger Moratorium Act (H2933 – 2019)

  • Halts corporate consolidation in the food & farming industries, which devastates independent farms and can thwart efforts on regenerative practices
  • Establishes commission to investigate the impact of market concentration


6. Climate Stewardship Act (H4269 – 2019)

  • Supports programs to reduce or offset one-third of agricultural emissions by 2025
  • Plants 16 billion trees, including 400 million in urban areas
  • Restores and protects 2 million acres of essential coastal wetlands
  • Invests in regional food systems, helping small and medium sized farms provide fresh, nutritious food to more people via local systems


7. Agriculture Resilience Act (H5861 – 2020)

  • Rewards farmers for promoting healthy soil and carbon sequestration
  • Supports farmers for practicing pasture-based livestock systems
  • Provides financial incentives to help farms transition to green energy
  • New federal programs aimed at reducing food waste

 

Fossil Fuels


8. Fracking Ban Act (S.3247 / H5857 – 2020)

  • Bans fracking nationwide by 2025 and prioritizes transition of fossil fuel workers into good-paying jobs in their communities
  • Immediately bans new federal permits for fracking-related infrastructure and bans fracking within 2,500ft of homes


9. End Polluter Welfare Act (H7781 – 2020)

  • Eliminates up to $150B in federal subsidies to fossil fuel companies over 10yrs
Environmental Justice & Just Transition


10. Environmental Justice for All Act (H5986 – 2020)

  • Addresses disparities in environmental and public health, particularly impacting under-served communities and communities of color
  • Provides economic assistance for communities that depend on the fossil fuel industry, ensuring a fair and just transition for workers and local economies

Help Secure Sponsors! Adopt-A-District.