Archive for November, 2013

Our Pals at ACORN Community in Louisa have had a SECOND fire this year, this time damaging their main building. These folks are incredible, do incredible work for agriculture and community. There are so many amazing residents, and they need some support right now. Please, if you are able to, donate to their repair fund. And definitely share this with others who might be willing and able to support them!

There indiegogo fundraiser:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/acorn-community-s-post-arson-repairs?show_todos=true

http://igg.me/p/576244

https://www.facebook.com/HandsOffAppalachia

“As UBS profits, my people suffer”

Adam Hall of Glen Daniel, West Virginia was one of 14 people arrested yesterday at actions targeting UBS, a major financier of mountaintop removal.

Adam locked himself down to the entrance of UBS’ NorthAmerican headquarters while others dropped a banner and locked down inside the building.

As UBS continues to fund the destruction of communities in Appalachia, it was time to bring the fight to UBS’s home in Connecticut.

The 14 people arrested are being held on a total bail of $260,000. Read more about yesterday’s actionshttp://handsoffappalachia.com/ and donate to the bail fundhttp://bit.ly/Ltg4zF.

LIKE and SHARE if it’s time for UBS to do what’s right and stop funding destruction in Appalachia.

ubsfundraise

http://www.ctpost.com/policereports/article/14-arrested-in-protest-of-Stamford-based-UBS-5011577.php#page-1

Please share with your contacts:

RVA Environmental Film Festival Announces 2014 Dates and First Confirmed Film

For immediate release
Contact: Tara Quinn
Email: tara@capitalregionland.org; Phone: 804-301-5352

Richmond, Va. ~ Plans are rapidly moving forward for the fourth annual RVA Environmental Film Festival (RVA EFF), to be held around the second weekend in February, 2014. The Enrichmond Foundation, Falls of the James Group – Sierra Club, Capital Region Land Conservancy, EarthCraft Virginia and the James River Green Building Council have been working together to make sure this year’s festival is the best yet, with many insightful films designed to raise awareness of environmental issues relative to all residents of our planet – and to Richmond citizens in particular.

The film selection subcommittee is pleased to announce its first confirmed film, “Lost Rivers”, a Canadian documentary that was just released this past year. Lost Rivers takes its audience on an adventure down below and across the globe, retracing the history of lost or forgotten urban rivers by plunging into archival maps and going underground with clandestine urban explorers.

“Certainly this film speaks to how Richmond and other cities are rediscovering their riverfronts, but now with the proposal for a Shockoe Bottom stadium, perhaps this film will reignite interest in one of Shockoe Bottom’s lost natural features, Shockoe Creek”, said Scott Burger, a Sierra Club and RVA EFF film selection subcommittee member.

The film is tentatively scheduled to be shown at the Byrd Theater on afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 8.

Thanks to generous sponsors such as Bon Secours, Whole Foods Market, the Sierra Club-Falls of the James Group, REI, EarthCraft Virginia, Slow Food RVA, James River Association, Carytown Merchant’s Association, Watershed Architects, and The Fresh Market, this event is free and open to the public. This year’s Festival will feature a VIP reception to take place on Feb 7th. In addition, an environmental short film contest has been launched.

More information about other films, guests and speakers, and specific schedules for each day will be made available as the event becomes nearer. For more information on the Festival, including sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.rvaenvironmentalfilmfestival.com.

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See trailer for Lost Rivers by clicking here:

Related!:

http://gizmodo.com/how-living-infrastructure-will-save-our-cities-from-nat-1467518998

Thanks,
Scott

Everyone!

On Monday, Nov. 25, Richmond City Council will consider a critical resolution on the mayor’s proposal to put a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom. It’s not a legally binding resolution, but would put the council on record as being in favor of the proposal. This would be a big pubic relations victory for the mayor. Every council member is getting deluged with emails and phone calls about this issue and we are hearing they may decide not to vote, which would be a huge victory for our side. 

This is a real battle. The deep-pocketed, pro-business group Venture Richmond has hired a public relations firm to promote the mayor’s plan. Or, more exactly, the developers’ plan being fronted by the mayor. They were able to turn people out for Tuesday’s Land Use Committee meeting, which we also attended. They had more people there, but we had more people willing to speak, and that was the message the media carried.

WE NEED EVERYONE WHO CAN MAKE IT TO BE AT MONDAY’S CITY COUNCIL MEETING – 6 pm, Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, Richmond City Hall, 900 E. Broad St. Showing up is half the battle and we don’t want to lose this fight.

People are also needed to attend council’s Finance Committee meeting at 3 pm Thursday, Nov. 21. And please speak to the issue if the spirit moves you. It helps.

One last thing: The mayor says that if his plan is adopted, the city will gain net tax revenues of up to $187 million over the next 20 years.But he says If it builds a new stadium on the Boulevard, it will still gain half that amount. We say, keep baseball on the Boulevard and develop a historic district and major tourist destination in Shockoe Bottom and you’ll make even more in the long run, from taxes on hotel rooms and meals for the millions who would travel here in years to come. And you will avoid further cementing Richmond’s image as a backward, Confederate-tainted town that cares more about profits than respecting its Black history.

And whether or not you can make the meetings, please make sure you sign the online petition against the stadium – we’re close to 2,000 signatures! See http://shockoebottom.blogspot.com

Thanks,

Phil Wilayto
for the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
http://shockoebottom.blogspot.com/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Virginia Anti-Violence Project and Minority Health Consortium condemn the brutal murder of Richmond, VA transgender woman

Agencies urge community solidarity
November 19, 2013,  Richmond VA
For Immediate Release:
 
The Virginia Anti-Violence Project and Minority Health Consortium condemn the murder of Amari Hill, a transgender woman in Richmond, Virginia that occurred on November 9. 
 
Juan Pierce, Executive Director of the Minority Health Consortium stated, “Our community has lost another ‘gem of brilliance’ to senseless violence and backward behavior. We encourage the community to support efforts to end this violence.” Ted Heck, President of the Board of Virginia Anti-Violence Project, stated, “This is a terrible tragedy to lose a loved member of the community in such a violent manner.  We stand in solidarity with the family and the community in the face of this crime.”
 
In response to this attack, Minority Health Consortium (MHC) and the Virginia Anti-Violence Project (VAVP) offer support to transgender and other community members and organizations to assist in processing this violence and responding in a constructive manner.  Support to victims and survivors of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) violence, including those experiencing fear and distress resulting from this and other hate-motivated violence is the mission of VAVP, along with work to prevent all violence against and within LGBTQ individuals, families, and communities.  From Monica Behney, Board member for VAVP, “As members of the LGBTQ community and people of compassion, we must reach out to each other in our grief and outrage at this loss. Moving forward together to educate and advocate to prevent violence may be the best way to remember and honor this beautiful life.”
 

 
The Minority Health Consortium works with the LGBTQ community and all citizens to address the stigma and social determinants of health that impact the communities we serve through providing education, outreach and drop-in center activities that include a safe space to explore and discuss issues that impact minorities and youth. The MHC website can be found at http://www.mhcprevents.org
 
The Virginia Anti-Violence Project works to address and end violence, with a specific focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities across Virginia.  VAVP is an organization active since 2006, and currently offers services for survivors of intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and stalking, including a free and confidential helpline for LGBTQ people in Virginia.  The Helpline number is 866-356-6998.  VAVP also has resources to support training and consultation with agencies, community groups, congregations, and other interested organizations.  The VAVP website can be found at http://www.virginiaavp.org/ 
  
For inquiry, please contact:
 
Ted Heck, VAVP Board President
(804) 726-1056
vavpboardpres@gmail.com
 
Juan Pierce, MHC Executive Director
(804) 641-1555
 juan@mhcprevents.org
 
 
© Copyright 2013 Virginia Anti-Violence Project. All rights reserved.
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Starting in December the Wingnut Anarchist Collective will be doing an informal produce distribution on Wednesday and Friday at 8am each week.

This is a first come, first serve deal, and not going to be facilitated,  cause we have to run off to work many mornings. Please just take what you need. Some weeks we will be holding back produce as well, in order to do solidarity catering for events such as the Transgender Day of Remembrance or Virginia People’s Assembly, or just the usual Sunday Food Not Bombs (depending on what will keep).

We have started doing this for our neighbors, but frankly have so much produce that it doesn’t all get taken!

If you come take produce please consider helping out by either cleaning the distribution area and taking some empty boxes and trash with you, or making a cash donation to help cover fuel and vehicle maintenance. 

If you have a vehicle and would be interested in helping us bring produce from several other locations here for distribution please be in touch!

image


http://www.gayrva.com/news-views/november-is-transgender-awareness-month-and-there-are-a-number-of-events-to-support-it/

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Southerners On New Ground
Building Connecting and Amplifying LGBTQ Organizing for Liberation
SONG Calls for Support and Power-Building as Key Southern LGBTQ leaders Sit in Jail to Stop Deportations

LIVE COVERAGE:  http://www.notonemoredeportation.com/2013/11/19/atlanta/
 
At this moment 16 Immigrant Rights, Racial Justice and LGBTQ leaders in Georgia (including SONG Founder Suzanne Pharr, Co-Director Caitlin Breedlove, and Board Member/Co-Director of Project South, Stephanie Guilloud) are participating in a non-violent civil disobedience at the U.S. Immigration Court in Atlanta, GA to stop today’s deportations.

These brave leaders have locked arms to demand Obama puts an Immediate End to Deportations and Detentions and the violent policies of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Together they demand #not1more. Immigrant people, people of Color, and LGBTQ often live lives filled with violence, fear, and isolation. We are central to the fabric of our communities and our economy. We deserve so much better.

People being deported at this time in the US are the people who wash our dishes, pick our vegetables and build our houses. We need to honor their work and their lives, not rip them out of their communities.

United in the vision of what is possible for all of us beyond our fear when we are willing to take shared risk, this group has chosen to put their bodies on the line to demand an end to the fear mongering and caging of our family who is undocumented. Over 2.2 million individuals have been deported during Obama’s presidency and thousands languish in detention right now. More than 276,000 undocumented LGBTQ immigrants are living in fear in the US today. Our communities cannot afford to wait. Si se puede!!!

HERE IS HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT US

SONG is reaching out to ask for your support. Our movements badly need moments of shared risk to build our integrity across lines of race, class, culture, gender and sexuality. Our communities are sitting in fear, violence and cages. SONG along with one of our closest organizational partners, The Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) is partnering with the Not1More campaign to hold a major rally and press event to call on President Obama to end deportations and show that LGBTQ people are deeply a part of the fight for immigrant communities to live free of violence and fear.

WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO HELP?

1. Could you write a Blog or Op/Ed telling your own story about why this is important to you, using our talking points?

2. Would you join our twitter campaign (goal—100 tweets to @MHarrisPerry and @MHPShow) to ask Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC TV host, to have Paulina Helm-Hernandez (SONG Co-Director) on her show to tell their viewers that it is PAST TIME to unite the fight for lives of LGBTQ people with the fight for the lives of immigrants and people of Color and the poor. We are uniting and have been. More people just need to know!!!!

3. Could you share our Memes on Facebook? These can be found at http://www.facebook.com/ignitekindred

4. Want to make a donation to legal fees or bail fund for leaders? Please go to www.notonemoredeportation.com for evolving information about how to give.
If you can help, please let Hermelinda Cortes at SONG know how and share with her (Hermelinda@southernersonnewground.org)

 
     
SONG envisions a sustainable South that embodies the best of its freedom traditions and works towards the transformation of our economic, social, spiritual, and political relationships. We envision a multi-issue southern justice movement that unites us across class, age, race, ability, gender, immigration status, and sexuality; a movement in which LGBTQ people – poor and working class, immigrant, people of color, rural – take our rightful place as leaders shaping our region’s legacy and future. We are committed to restoring a way of being that recognizes our collective humanity and dependence on the Earth.
http://www.southernersonnewground.org
 

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Richmond Water Rate Reformers Respond to Utility Report

Richmond water rate reformers had been eagerly anticipating the Sept. 17th City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities Report to Council (pursuant to City ordinances 2013-58-77 and 2013-61-79, study performed by DPU with consultant Ratfelis Financial Consultants). A copy of the study was finally earlier this month and is attached to this press release. Disturbingly, the report has not been worth the wait. It lacks substance and appears to be written to support the existing rate structure. At this point, City Council has asked it’s staff to review and make some comments and recommendations for next steps, which suggests that it will consider the issue further in the next budget cycle.
Citizens are urged to contact the press and their City Council representative and ask why the base charges cannot be further reduced and why the PILOT for federal tax is still part of their bills. 

Report lacks substance:
Pages    Topics
00-01    Table of contents
02-03    Executive summary
04-05    Purpose
06-09    Concepts
10-12    Reconciliation
13-13    Expenses
14-15    PILOT cost
16-20    Affordability measures
21-26    Low Income assistance

The only things new are some subsidy ideas, which are arguably not the purpose of DPU. There is no consideration for the relatively high base charges of $26.11 (which Mayor Jones only partially addressed last year) or the unlawfulness or appropriateness of the federal PILOT (payment in lieu of federal taxes, which, again, no private business pays to the City). In the report chart (page 3) showing how rates would change if this PILOT payment in lieu of federal income tax was eliminated, instead of showing a reduction in the base service charge, the report shows only a reduction in the volumetric charge. It does not justify the allocation of the charges to the base service charge vs. the volumetric charge.  (more…)

Tell the Mayor & City Council:
 NO to a Shockoe Stadium, YES to a Historic District!

10 AM MONDAY, NOV. 11 – Gather at 17th & East Grace streets in Shockoe Bottom. Bring signs and we’ll have some for you.

6 PM – RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL MEETING. 2nd floor of City Hall, 900 E. Broad St., downtown Richmond.

On Monday morning, Nov. 11, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones will publicly call for building a for-profit baseball stadium in historic Shockoe Bottom, once the site of the second-largest slave-trading market in the United States. That evening, a resolution is expected to be introduced to Richmond City Council laying the groundwork for the stadium plan. The mayor will present his proposal as an economic development project that will create jobs and income for the City while still paying homage to the Bottom’s history. Venture Richmond, the pro-business group pushing for the stadium, is mobilizing people to attend the mayor’s announcement to try and create an illusion of community support. We need to be there to counter this. Bring your won signs and we’ll also have some for you.

It doesn’t matter what bribes or incentives the mayor offers the public – not a “slavery museum” next to the stadium, a supermarket, more retail shops – it’s just wrong to play games on the site of mass human suffering. Instead, we are calling for the creation of a historic district and educational tourism destination that would finally tell the real story of how this city, state and country were built, avoid one more shameful instance of Richmond disrespecting its African-American past and bring far more economic benefits to many more people than just the small group of wealthy developers behind the stadium project. 

Your presence is vitally needed. Either we show we care about this issue or we lose. It’s crunch time and we need all hands on deck. We hope to see you