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EDA NEWSLETTER - OCTOBER 2019
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THIS MONTH IN EDA NEWS
EDA ENTERS A NEW PHASE - Now Is Our Moment of Action!
TOMORROW'S LEADERS ARE LEADING TODAY - A New Generation of Climate Activists (VIDEO)
ANOTHER EDA INFOGRAPHIC - Ownership & Resource Control by the People
RIGHTS OF ACTIVE MEMBERS - Many Ways to Be Involved in EDA
UPDATING ANCIENT BIOREGIONALISM - PROUT USA Welcomes James Quilligan
WHAT WE'RE READING & WATCHING - Keeping Ourselves Informed (VIDEO)
– EDA ENTERS A NEW PHASE –
Now Is Our Moment of Action!

Our Third Annual Conference in Oakland, October 4-7, is a milestone for Economic Democracy Advocates. Not only is this our first public conference, it also marks the end of our initial phase of capacity-building. In 2017, we organized and became a non-profit. In 2018, we developed a democratic governing structure. This year, we’ve developed several highly innovative programs. 

We are coming of age. In 2020, EDA will launch Advocacy Intensives and Training in targeted locations across the United States; our Education Team will bring the ideas that drive EDA to a much wider audience, and Research will expand its GIS Mapping across the country. In addition, EDA will be launching a new website, developing new communication and marketing departments and broadening our many programs through webinars and social media.

As we leave this first stage, we reflect on the saying that ‘hindsight is 2020’. This may be true, but for EDA, 2020 is all about foresight – embarking on the work we set forth to do three years ago. Now is our moment of action.

– TOMORROW'S LEADERS ARE LEADING TODAY –
A New Generation of Climate Activists

Led by the American and Swedish teenagers, Alexandria Villaseñor and Greta Thunberg (just 14 and 16 respectively) and others including the Sunrise Movement, the world has been witnessing a new phenomenon. Teenagers from across the world are taking off school to bring attention to climate change.

Last month, these demonstrations coincided with Villaseñor’s address to UNICEF on September 11, 2019, Thunberg’s address to the US Congress a week later, their joint participation in the UN Youth Climate Summit on Saturday, September 21 and Thunberg's emotional speech to the UN General Assembly on Monday, September 23.

In a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on September 18, Thunberg introduced as her testimony Global Warming of 1.5°C: An IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5°C above Pre-industrial Levels (also known as SR1.5). This was accompanied by a short letter saying, “I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists. And I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take action.” 

She also referred to this report in an interview with Trevor Noah on the Daily Show after she arrived in New York on August 28. In this interview, she speaks about how not enough people are informed about the realities of the situation: 

“Right now, if I were to choose one thing that people should do it is to inform yourself and try to understand the situation and push for a political movement because the politics needed to fix this don’t exist today. I think that what we must do is to use the power of democracy to make our voices heard, and to make sure that people in power cannot continue to ignore this.” (Edited for clarity - see the full interview below)

Ms. Thunberg speaks eloquently for precisely what EDA is proposing – using the power of democracy to make informed voices heard by those in positions of authority.

Greta Thunberg - Inspiring Others to Take a Stand
Against Climate Change - The Daily Show    Time: 8:52

[ Here is a link to Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN General Assembly. The newsletter team debated whether to include it, given EDA’s desire for non-partisan consensus building. On the one hand, we understand that as a teenager whose generation will likely bear the brunt of inaction to halt global warming and climate change, she has every right to be blunt. On the other hand, we understand that some may find her manner difficult to listen to. In the end, we felt we should include the link. Beneath her tendency to communicate in an unfiltered way, she is well informed and is speaking her truth. This is not an example of anger for anger’s sake. She is expressing righteous anger at being told that her generation doesn’t matter.]

– ANOTHER EDA INFOGRAPHIC –
Ownership & Resource Control
by the People

Freedom House, an international watchdog organization, says that democracy has been in worldwide decline since 2005. Yet the slow erosion of democratic values in Western nations actually started forty years ago. In this infographic, EDA explores why our societies have become increasingly complacent about our free and fair institutions and how we can revitalize their democratic spirit.

– RIGHTS OF ACTIVE MEMBERS –
Many Ways to Be Involved in EDA

Our amazing teams – Research, Education and Advocacy – can be contacted through the Active Members portal on Loomio. They are doing cutting-edge work and need more and more help as our activities grow in scope. If you are inquisitive, creative and action-oriented, these groups are real springboards for adventure. You can contact them directly, here: Research, Education and Advocacy

EDA holds yearly elections for positions within the organization. In the past two years, ten different elections were held. This year, member turnout was extraordinary – 80% of our Active Members voted. 

We also hold referendums. So far, we have used this method sparingly, but we would like to broaden its use. Any Active Member has the right to make a proposal to the organization by initiating a poll on our Active Members portal. If the proposal shows significant interest, our members will vote on it.

In addition, EDA’s At-Large Trustees were elected by members to represent your interests on the Board of Trustees. They hold regular Town Hall meetings on Zoom to understand what our members are thinking. We urge you to join these meetings.

EDA’s Mediation Body was also elected by members to be an independent, safe haven for Active Members with grievances or disputes that they may have with other members, including the management of EDA. If you want someone with an objective ear to listen to your concerns about EDA members or the organization, please reach out to the Mediation Body. The procedure and contact details can be found in the Announcement from EDA's Mediation Body thread on the Loomio Active Members portal.

– UPDATING ANCIENT BIOREGIONALISM –
PROUT USA
Welcomes James Quilligan

One of the key principles of PROUT (Progressive Utilization Theory) is samaj – the Sanskrit term for ‘developing a self-sufficient bioregion’. This is similar to EDA’s concept of regionalizing our economies through democratic self-organization. It is also how EDA Advocacy is empowering citizens to engage in regional action and legislation on social and ecological issues.

EDA’s Managing Director James Quilligan has been invited to make two presentations at the Annual PROUT Planning Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, October 11-13. He will take part in a panel discussion on Economic Democracy and also show the EDA Research Team’s slideshow, ‘Food and Water Sustainability in the San Francisco Bay Watershed’.

Like PROUT, EDA believes that when people take a direct role in managing their sustainability, they buy more regionally-produced goods, create new jobs, stabilize wages and increase local diversity, resilience and community integration. And in this carbon-driven world, self-sustaining communities also enable us to decrease our demand for global transportation, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our subsistence on fossil-fuels.

– WHAT WE'RE READING & WATCHING –
Keeping Ourselves Informed

No doubt it’s true for everyone reading this newsletter – we all receive more emails than we can deal with. Yet we would encourage you to watch for postings in two places on the Active Members portal – Inquiry Group: Creating the Story of EDA thread and the Articles of Interest thread, where members have been sharing articles and videos.


A VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Food Independence & Planetary Evolution: Zach Bush, MD - Rich Roll Podcast
Time: 1:54:31

One recent posting centers on the triple board-certified physician, Zach Bush, MD. Dr. Bush is much more than an endocrinologist. With many patients suffering from cancer, his search for causes has led him to study the practices of farmers who grow what his patients are eating.

Motivated by a concern that the use of chemicals for fertilizers and weed/pest control in so-called “conventional” farms was detrimentally affecting his patients, he discovered that year after year, these farms were producing progressively lower yields. The majority of these large farms, many of which are owned or controlled by large agribusiness corporations with short-term profit motives, grow the same crop each year and have discarded the notion of naturally-produced soil health. 

Dr. Bush is an advocate of “regenerative agriculture” – a practice that would increase the yields and nutritional health of produce, reduce the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and provide food independence. It’s a somewhat lengthy video, but definitely worth watching.

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