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EDA'S 2019 CONFERENCE - Breakthrough in the Bay Area
SPOTLIGHT - Ann Riley: Gotta Keep It Flowing
WHAT WE'RE READING & WATCHING - Treasures That Illuminate (VIDEOS)
BETTER TOGETHER - EDA Partners with Prout Alliance
STAFF ANNOUNCEMENT - Meet EDA's New Director of Communications
POSITION AVAILABLE - EDA Director of Marketing
Breakthrough in the Bay Area

EDA’s Third Annual Conference: Resource Democracy in Action exceeded all expectations. Our first-ever public event drew a significant number of local people in the Bay Area and created real impact and excitement.

Situated on the banks of an estuary with views of the San Francisco skyline, our conference offered presentations from EDA’s various teams, including a talk on Sustainability in the San Francisco Bay Watershed. EDA’s young scholarship recipients shared with us their unique perspectives of the future and their current activities. We also heard an insightful appeal from longtime water activist Dr. Ann L. Riley (see adjoining article).

The bulk of our time was spent in transformational training from EDA’s Advocacy Team. After examining the layers of social conditioning around our use of non-renewable resources, the Advocacy Team introduced us to California AB 933 — a bill to restore watersheds across the state. We practiced lobbying in preparation for visiting with government officials the following day to advocate for this important legislation.

Twelve conference participants visited the offices of State Assembly members Buffy Wicks (District 15) and Rob Bonta (District 18) to engage their support for the watershed bill in 2020. Staff representatives in both offices were very receptive. For some of our EDA advocates, it was their first experience in making an 'Ask' of an elected representative, a fitting climax to our conference.

We’re still evaluating the event and planning our next steps, but it’s clear from all participants that the conference was a rousing success. Our conference and finance teams, which worked diligently to come in on budget, also report that we ended the occasion with a small surplus.

Having launched our research and advocacy projects, we’re focused now on developing education, communications and marketing platforms to support these programs and expand our membership. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported EDA, bringing us to this inspiring milestone on our journey!

Whether a one-time supporter or a monthly donor,
EDA needs you as we expand.

EDA is seeking donors and creative partners to join us in expanding our operations at this critical juncture in our growth.
We're revamping our website, setting up a new phase in the development of a nationwide research program on resource sustainability, filling new positions in communications and marketing, and helping support our Managing Director to keep the myriad parts and positions running smoothly as we evolve.

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Ann Riley: Gotta Keep It Flowing

California Assembly Bill 933 proposed that all watersheds in the State must be upgraded. Introduced by Assemblyperson Cottie Petrie Norris in February, this legislation was approved unanimously by the Senate in August but died suddenly in the State appropriations committee shortly before the EDA conference.

In her office in Berkeley, Dr. Ann L. Riley didn’t flinch. A watershed restoration activist for over 30 years, she is used to the slow-drip politics of Sacramento.

“Just go back next year and reintroduce this bill,” Ann told our group. “It already has broad support. Keep it moving. You just have to push harder!” 

Sage advice from someone who has been at it for a long time.

Ann is a co-founder of California Urban Streams Partnership, a statewide organization with approximately 150 partners dedicated to stream and river restoration through erosion control, flood damage reduction, water pollution control, stormwater management, water supply management, and wildlife and fish habitat restoration. Her 2016 book, Restoring Urban Streams, is a practical guide for bringing degraded streams back to life through local planning and organization.

With two graduate degrees in biological science from the University of California and vast experience in planning, designing and creating stream restoration, Ann shared her political judgment with EDA. She told us that AB 933 appears to have been suspended by an official who claimed that similar watershed recovery legislation had already been approved – which effectively killed the bill.

She urged us to keep up the pressure on legislators, which we did the next day by visiting the offices of two State Assembly members to urge them to reintroduce the bill. Like the stream and river channels that Ann revives, EDA will keep the vital currents of AB 933 flowing into new legislation during 2020 through our lobbying of elected officials in the region.

Treasures That Illuminate

Who, or what will stop the battle against biodiversity – this article appeared on the Resilience website. It presents statistics on how human engineering has impacted the natural flow of creatures and plants on three-quarters of the earth’s surface. Biodiversity has allowed humans to thrive over the millennia, but our consumption of resources now threatens our life-support system and our climate. Even though the UN speaks out about the decline of biodiversity, not one political leader has taken action to stop the decline. The extreme measures that are needed to stop this problem must involve us all.

You may have seen this video before, but it’s worth reviewing. In 30 minutes, How the Economic Machine Works explains in very simple terms how our current economy operates.

How the Economic Machine Works, by Ray Dalio     Time: 0:30:59

This companion video, The Crisis of Credit Visualized, explains topics such as sub-prime mortgages, debt obligations, how money is leveraged and why that can create problems.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized, by Jonathan Jarvis     Time: 0:11:10

Human Watershed: The Emerging Politics of Bioregional Democracy – this article from Kosmos Journal talks about bioregional democracy and how to provide vital resources for all living things in a particular area. EDA believes that bioregional self-sufficiency—meeting human needs within the constraints of a resource area—will lead to democracy and prosperity. Over the generations, we have completely lost our understanding of nature’s carrying capacity. Most of us don’t think about the fact that we all share the same limited resources. The time has come to develop a new set of rules that will balance the short-term interests of individuals against the long-term interests of all resource users within and across political boundaries.

EDA Partners with Prout Alliance

Progressive Utilization Theory (Prout) — the economic model introduced in India by PR Sarkar in 1955 — has been a guiding light for EDA since we began. Now we’ve engaged in a project with Prout’s principal group in the United States.

Prout Alliance members, Alex Jackimovicz and Shri Verrill, are joining EDA’s Research Team for a biocapacity study of the Kennebec and Sheepscot River watersheds in Maine. Alex and Shri are also the directors of Alliance for Economic Democracy, which is affiliated with Prout Alliance. Shri holds a Master of Science degree in watershed management.

We welcome this collaboration. Measuring the carrying capacity of these ecosystems in Maine will further the mutual goals of our three organizations for economic equality and sustainability. EDA will also bring the results of this study to the attention of elected officials in the region.

Meet EDA's New Director of Communications

EDA is delighted to announce the appointment of Sylvia Reischke as Director of Communications. Since 2016, when she was asked by EDA’s original founders to join the Strategy Group which pre-dated the Board of Trustees, Sylvia has played a key role in most of our communications, including this newsletter.

"I’ve witnessed our organization evolve through its various phases and quickly grow evermore focused and impactful over its short history," Sylvia observes. "And here we are today, at another new beginning, as EDA builds its Marketing & Communications team to launch us into a public phase of our existence."

Sylvia has begun taking the pulse of EDA's internal and external communications, while solidifying the Marketing & Communications Team to develop a strategy for 2020. If you're interested in joining this group, please go to the Loomio thread Connect with Marketing + Communications or email Sylvia at

"We already have some big plans for the upcoming year," she says. "We're truly excited to get our message of economic democracy out into the world."

EDA Director of Marketing

EDA is looking for a Director of Marketing who will be in charge of leading our organization's marketing efforts. As a successful hire, you will be responsible for providing guidance to our marketing department by evaluating and developing marketing strategies, planning and coordinating marketing efforts, communicating the marketing plans to those involved and building awareness and positioning for EDA's brands. Finally, you will be in charge of organizing EDA's conferences and major events. High competency in project and stakeholder management is a huge advantage.

We will be posting a full job description, with instructions on how to apply, on Loomio in the EDA Active Members folder by November 10. If you’re interested, please make sure your email preferences will prompt you by going to EDA Active Members group > Settings > Email Preferences, and select “whenever there is activity (subscribed)”. If you have difficulty navigating your Loomio email settings, please contact Sylvia Reischke at

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