View this email in your browser




The summer sun was supposed to drive out the virus. Covid-19 would be in decline by now and students would be back in school. We'd be able to go to restaurants and movie theaters again. Workers would be in their jobs and we could all get back to a semblance of order in our lives. Most of this hasn’t happened and autumn is nearly upon us.
One thing that is back to normal is EDA News. Our format is returning to brief reports, rather than longer articles. That’s not to say that our special editions were not worthwhile. Essentially, we documented the stages of sustainable economics, providing a written record for those who took part in the ReConnect with EDA seminars over the summer. Our readers were mostly appreciative and so were several of our partnering organizations.

Thank you for the positive responses. It was a gratifying experience, but also a labor-intensive process. EDA is not a journal with the staff to produce a hefty publication. Our special editions were not intended to be a permanent feature. Now back to the news.
Our Fourth Annual Conference will be held on Saturday, November 7. Please join us for this four-hour virtual conference, which will include presentations and discussions. There will be keynote talks by two dynamic personalities from the field of regenerative communities: Clare Politano of Terran Collective and Jean Russell of Thrivable Futures. The Chairs of EDA's Research, Education and Advocacy teams and our President and Managing Director will also speak. Put this on your calendars now and don't miss it!

EDA Fourth Annual Conference:
From Crisis to Cooperation

Live on Zoom

November 7, 2020

10:00 am-2:00 pm PT (1 pm-5 pm ET)


10:00  - 10:15      Welcome

10:15  - 10:45      EDA President Roar Bjonnes, 'Systems    
                            Change through Local Cooperation'

10:45 -  11:00      Discussion

11:00 -  11:15      EDA’s New Website

11:15  - 11:45      Clare Politano, Terran Collective

11:45  - 12:00      Research Chair Dave Cunningham

12:00  - 12:10      Discussion

12:10  - 12:25      Education Co-Chairs DeeDee & Chloe Brown

12:25  - 12:35      Discussion

12:35  - 12:50      Advocacy Chair Jacelyn Eckman

12:50  -   1:00      Discussion

 1:00   -   1:30      Jean Russell, Thrivable Futures

 1:30   -   2:00      EDA Managing Director James Quilligan,
                            'Strategic Business Plan for 2021'
What is behind this theme, From Crisis to Cooperation?

It's likely that we can all define crisis better than we can cooperation. This is because our society is prone to creating crises while discouraging the cooperation that could prevent them. We seem to provide mutual aid only after a catastrophe has taken place. Nor do we have many rules or institutional frameworks for cooperation because volunteering for group work is simply not a valued part of this society, especially when it comes to the management of our commons resources. We can do better than that and we must.

One way of addressing this is to focus on a vital activity that can benefit everyone, such as the carrying capacity of resources like food, water and energy. Many people are recognizing that action for carrying capacity has become more urgent now since the covid-19 pandemic. At this online conference, our Keynote Speakers and our Team Chairs will address how their work on carrying capacity can lead to greater group cooperation, and how this cooperation is necessary to further the practice of carrying capacity.

We are looking for volunteers to help produce this program. If you are interested in joining our conference planning team, please contact James Quilligan at

Registration for this conference will soon begin on the EDA website. The cost is $20.
Election Results

EDA is pleased to welcome Greg Pace to the EDA Board of Trustees. He won the election for EDA Treasurer on August 10 with 76% of the votes. Jonathan Stoller received 22% of our members' votes and 2% abstained from voting.

This election represented a high level of commitment by many people. Gratitude is due all around, from the candidates to EDA voters to those who managed the voting process.

Greg is well known to our members, having assisted us with EDA website maintenance, conference planning and bookkeeping over the past several years. These skills, as well as his intelligence, problem-solving capacities and geniality will serve Greg well in his new position. We couldn't be happier that Greg is joining us now in an official role.

Jonathan accomplished much in his two years as EDA Treasurer. He spearheaded the work with attorneys to form our 501(c)3, Economic Democracy Advocates Foundation. He has also helped develop our platform for receiving state charitable donations and designed EDA's 2019 Annual report, in addition to providing careful advice on the Board's financial and policy decisions. We thank Jonathan for a job well done in so many areas.

EDA members deserve our gratitude, too. In this moment of ebbing democratic values, 88% of EDA members voted in our election. This large turnout is an important sign that democracy can be saved. It reminds us that the individual act of voting is, historically speaking, a relatively new expression of citizen responsibility that must never be lost in our increasingly fractious world. Hope burns more brightly because of you.

Because we are deeply committed to the democratic process, we congratulate our Election Board for their steadfast efforts. Setting up these elections may look easy, but it's not. We are grateful not only for the painstaking work of Christine Silvey, Janet Hunter and Susan Willson but for what this means to EDA. Keeping our elections independent and transparent demonstrates our integrity and builds trust within our membership as well as the public. The dedicated service of our Election Board enables EDA to run elections honestly and without influence from anyone within EDA or from an outside organization.

We also thank Marguerite Kolb for serving as our interim membership coordinator. She has helped our Board of Elections and Board of Trustees sort out many knotty issues, including the development of a flow chart and setting our voter rolls in order. We greatly appreciate what she has done in making our member-voter interface more efficient.

Last but not least, we are grateful to the Membership Streamlining Committee which proposed policy changes on Active and Supporting Members (see the article below, "Active and Supporting Members"). This group, including Tracy Edmonds, Terry Blatt, Margueite Kolb, Christine Silvey, Eva Simonsen and Susan Willson, developed a new way of classifying and handling memberships, which will make EDA voter eligibility clearer.


EDA completed a new round of ratifications on August 30. Once again, the turnout was extraordinary: 80% of our Active Members voted. Thanks to everyone who took part!

EDA's Governing Circle has ratified Jacelyn Eckman as Chair of the Advocacy Team. Jacelyn has an MA in International Relations from Syracuse University and worked in the United States Foreign Service. She lives in Asheville, NC.


EDA members also ratified DeeDee Brown as a Co-Chair of the Education Team. DeeDee is a nurse and is presently attending graduate school in nursing at George Washington University. She lives in Richmond, VA.


Chloe Brown was ratified as a Co-Chair of the Education Team. Chloe is in her final year at Virginia Commonwealth University, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Religious Studies. She lives in Richmond, VA.


Both of us are excited and grateful to be the Co-Chairs of Education and look forward to furthering the progress of the Education Team in the upcoming months. Our Education Team will begin having working meetings each week in the Fall. Time and day are yet to be determined. Please let us know if you'd like to join this new team and help us.

Since being appointed as Co-Chairs, we have been leading the Civics of Resource Democracy seminars, where we have been teaching about different types of commons and how we can responsibly manage them. Once these seminars are completed, we'll make sure this information remains accessible to you. We will provide one-sheets with all of the information you will need so that you can review it and share it with others.

We are also planning a series of new Friday night EDA seminars to be held throughout 2021. The curriculum for these events is already under development. More on this soon.

While working alongside the Research and Advocacy Teams, we’ll continue educating EDA on the topics that we’re all working on so that you can have a better understanding of what the entire Action Council is doing. This will include weekly posts on important topics that pertain to you and your local commons. The amount of information won’t be overwhelming, just a paragraph or two that you can easily learn and share with others.

We’ll be checking in with EDA members during our time as Co-Chairs to make sure you all feel that you’re receiving information that is important to you. Talk to you all soon.


The Board of Trustees has approved a proposal to reorganize the procedures for Active and Supporting Members. It is based on recommendations from the Membership Streamlining Committee, a steering committee which was formed to address some issues of the membership process and develop more workable and practical solutions.

As an organization dedicated to bringing democracy to our economic life, EDA has set a high standard of engagement for its members. The Governing Circle of Active Members is expected to be involved in the activities of the organization, its teams and committees and its governance. Supporting Members are also expected to be active with these teams and committees, but they are not required to commit to governing the organization through participation in elections, ratifications or referenda.

EDA wants to encourage members to become engaged and to maintain their membership status in positive ways. The Membership Steering Committee recognized that personal circumstances may necessitate a member having to change their level of engagement in EDA activities. The committee proposes making this change in membership level as easy and flexible as possible. The Board of Trustees approved the Membership Streamlining Committee recommendation to have both Supporting and Active Members pay dues.

What this means is that Supporting and Active Members will now pay their dues on the same scale and under the same requirements. Upon sign-up or renewal, individuals will be able to select the type of membership and the amount of dues they desire or can reasonably afford. We have created procedures for Supporting Members to upgrade their status to Active, and for an Active Member to switch to Supporting when desired.

The Committee also recommended that a Members-Only space be developed in the new EDA website to facilitate engagement with both Active and Supporting members. This area of the website would contain official business notices, reports, links to transcripts and recordings, and alerts for upcoming elections/referenda and ratifications. The public-facing part of the website will still contain EDA News and other public information. Members of the public who wish to receive the monthly newsletter, attend gatherings, partner with EDA, financially support the organization, or share EDA’s information will be considered Friends of EDA. They will receive these benefits without being assessed dues.

IMPACT: Part 1

People sometimes ask, what does EDA do? What is our actual business? Our goal is to prepare individuals to speak with their elected officials on legislation for economic democracy through our programs in research, education and advocacy. The rest of the organization is designed to carry out and support this mission.

The next questions are: how do you make this happen? What is EDA's strategic plan?

The Integrative Management Planning and Coordinating Team (IMPACT) has been approved by the EDA Board of Trustees to enable planning and coordination among all of our teams and departments. This business steering committee is a natural outgrowth of our rapidly expanding activities. This team was not anticipated when EDA developed its Cooperative Charter three years ago because our business plan was just germinating.

Since IMPACT is not a new department within EDA, it does not require an amendment to our Charter. But as a new policy framework or procedure through which our Operations department will be working closely with our Research, Education and Advocacy teams, we are asking for the members of EDA to affirm the new plan. This ratification will be held from October 26 - November 1. Part 2 of IMPACT will be in October’s EDA News.

New Conference and Research in Portugal
EDA Collaborates with
Systems Change Alliance (SCA)
A major conference, Systems Change Through Bioregional Economies, will be held at University of Beira Interior (UBI), Covilhã, Portugal, September 23-26, 2021. During the past few months, EDA Managing Director James Quilligan and EDA President Roar Bjonnes, who is also a co-founder of SCA, have been working together with the University of Beira and other individuals and organizations to plan the conference program.
        University of Beira Interior (UBI), Covilhã, Portugal

According to the program notes, “This unique conference is focused on collaborative action for systems change. Through lectures, workshops, research and pathbreaking models for local, bioregional economies, we plan to co-create and step into this new economy, culture and world together. Time is running short. To survive and thrive, we must now come together to change the course of history, from the local to the global. Join us and take action!”

Conference topics include how to create resilience and sustainability around food, water and energy issues; climate change and the local economy; wealth and resource distribution; and particularly relevant to EDA, these two topics:
  • Carrying capacity for regional self-sufficiency: what is the biocapacity of the Castelo Branco bioregion? Is the area capable of producing enough food, water and energy to support its population? Is Portugal able to produce enough of these resources for its people?
  • Aligning political districts with natural boundaries: how to replace artificial political boundaries with political districts that align with the local bioregion and the local culture?  What would the Covilhã/Castelo Branco/Beira Baixa area look like if it were treated as a bioregion? What would Portugal look like if it were organized into bioregions? What would Europe look like?
A local research team from the University of Beira and the Portuguese Prout Research Institute (PRIP) has already begun collaborating with EDA's Research Team. This promises to be a milestone event and we will keep you updated about further developments.
How city mayors are taking action on climate change
"If you change your city, you're changing the world," says Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles and chair of C40 Cities, a network of the world's megacities committed to tackling the climate crisis. Garcetti shares tangible ways that Los Angeles and other cities across the globe are promoting economic and social justice while taking concrete action on climate change and creating a more inclusive, green and sustainable society as we rebuild from covid-19.

The world’s energy system must be transformed completely
For more than 100,000 years, humans have derived all of their energy from what they hunted, gathered and grazed on or grew for themselves. Their physical energy for moving things came from what they ate. Energy for light and heat came from burning the rest. In recent millennia, energy from the flow of water and later air was added to the repertoire. Yet, important as water power and windmills were, they did little to change the overall energy picture.
One could define extractivism as a productive process where natural resources are removed from the land or the underground and then put up for sale as commodities on the global market. But defining extractivism is not really this simple. Extractivism is related to existing geopolitical, economic and social relations produced throughout history.

The Tragedy of the Commons
What is this tragedy and how do we avoid it? Are there any good solutions? Is there a way to stop it? Learn the Economics of the commons in a fun way!
ReConnect with EDA

10-Week Seminar
Civics of Resource Democracy

Through October 9
Fridays, 4:00 PM PDT/ 5:00 PM MDT/ 7:00 PM EDT (US & Canada)
Civics is from the Latin word civicus, meaning "citizen". It was taught in Ancient Greece and Rome to educate citizens on the virtues of democratic participation. Civics emphasized the rights and duties of citizens to advance the cause of social justice. A garland of oak leaves called a civica was placed on the head of every Roman citizen who saved another from death during wartime, inspiring community service and leadership.

EDA's seminar, Civics of Resource Democracy, focuses on the personal responsibility that is needed now for citizens to sustain our commons during the growing conflict over world resources. This is more challenging than it seems. How shall we take responsibility for our common resources when we have forgotten the practice of our civic duties?

Each week, Chloe Brown and Dee Dee Brown, with the assistance of Roar Bjonnes and James Quilligan, are presenting background on the roles that citizens must take to make economic democracy work. These presentations include group discussion. Each topic builds upon the previous one, so we encourage you to attend them all.

These free weekly presentations are a great way to further your understanding of economic democracy and provide a place for you to ask questions and share ideas. Meetings are open to the public. Friends and family are welcome, too!

Minimal background reading is required for each session. Each week's homework is posted on ReConnect with EDA (in Active Members on Loomio) on the Saturday before each seminar. You also can post comments or questions on this page.

Zoom call information is available there and also below:

As an elementary school teacher, I believe in teaching the youth of today how their actions can greatly affect our fragile planet and that their voices count, even at nine and ten years old.  EDA's vision of utilizing advocacy to make positive environmental changes is a model that I can use in my classroom, helping me to become a better advocate and use that experience to train my students to do the same.

Whitney Wolfsohn
4th Grade Teacher
Rim of the World Unified School District
Lake Arrowhead, California

I love EDA because of how much they try to be inclusive with all types of people. They understand that everyone – BIPOC, the disabled, women, those who are non-binary, LGBTQ+, young people, older people, the list goes on and on – need representation and they deserve to have their needs met. EDA's effort to hear from all sides in order to make sure they find the right information to research and share with the public is something that groups everywhere should strive to accomplish as well. I’m very thankful for this group and their effort to serve the whole by understanding each type of individual.

Chloe Brown
Virginia Commonwealth University
School of Humanities and Sciences
Psychology-Religious Studies

What’s in a website? Everything! It creates that all-important first impression. It’s your brand, your public face.

Our current site has served us well, but EDA quickly evolved and we have outgrown this website. So we’re launching a fundraising drive to help build a new website.

Our fundraising target is $25,000

The new dynamic website will have:

  • A new look and feel that attracts and engages
  • Rich content and educational material
  • Easy-to-access resource material
  • Details on current initiatives and projects
  • News, testimonials and videos
  • Explanations of what education, research and advocacy teams do and how you can help
  • Tips and techniques on how to lobby your elected officials
  • Members section

And much more….

Exciting things are happening in EDA and we want the name EDA to be on top of the search list. But we need your help to build a website that will entice, encourage and engage members and educate the public to meet the challenges of these turbulent times.

Please consider donating now to our 501(c)3 non-profit educational arm, EDA Foundation (EDAF).

Your gift to EDA Foundation goes directly to our website fund. All donations for the website are tax-deductible.

Thank you! And we look forward to telling you more about the new website in future newsletters.





Copyright © 2017 Economic Democracy Advocates, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Economic Democracy Advocates
106 Gallows Hill Road
Cranford, New Jersey 07016-1837, USA

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Economic Democracy Advocates · 106 Gallows Hill Road · Cranford, NJ 07016-1837 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp