Intro: Occupy Movement Lifts Up Call for Justice
As the Occupy movement has spread like wildfire across America, so too has the call for social justice.
We've had the honor of witnessing and participating in the birth of the Bay Area's Occupy movement right across the street from our offices in downtown Oakland — where young and old; black, white, and brown; the homeless, the unemployed, and everyday concerned residents united in common cause toward an economy that works for all and sustains our precious planet.
Some have asked whether the Occupy movement has clearly articulated its goals, or whether its proponents have fully grasped the fact that growth economy is ending. True or not, the movement has broken our country's decades-old silence around economic disparity and injustice like no other in recent memory.
And that, more than anything, has provided us all with a new opening for vital discussion and revisioning around the kind of society we truly wish to become.
Toward that end, we've been doing our part:
- Co-hosting the Bay Area Convening on Resilience and Equity to create a shared vision and action plan for a socially just and resilient region.
Releasing our new video, Who Ate the Economy?, to focus the debate around economic fairness.
Strengthening our local food system by promoting fresh food access in communities around the Bay.
- Reclaiming our energy future by ensuring that cities build up their clean energy assets for the benefit of our communities and local ecology.
Read on for news, updates, and ways to get involved!
Yours for equity and community resilience,
— The Bay Localize team
P.S.: Please contribute to our year-end fund drive! We need your support to thrive into 2012 and beyond.
Over 150 Gathered to Forward Solutions at Convening on Resilience and Equity on 11/11/11
Co-convened with 16 allied social justice and environmental groups, theConvening on Resilience and Equity helped build common ground toward a vibrant, socially just Bay Area. We heard from local leaders about the growing impacts of climate change and peak oil on our region, and how different groups are taking action to prepare our communities to thrive through these challenges. We learned about government agencies' plans for adapting to climate change, as well as the challenges of ensuring broad-based community involvement in regional planning. We then split into breakout groups, which developed their own solutions to advance social equity and community resilience.
VIDEO RELEASE: Who Ate the Economy?
This fall, Bay Localize was proud to release "Who Ate the Economy?" — a colorful and persuasive take on the root causes of our current crisis — with timely solutions for moving toward a fair, resilient economy.
If you look at the US economy as a pizza party, not everyone is getting their fair share. How large is your slice? What's it made of? Climate change and dwindling oil drive up prices of basics such as food and energy, causing inflation and deepening the recession.
To get us back on track, we have two main tasks:
- Re-make the economic pizza with less oil and coal and more fresh, local, organic ingredients
- Share the slices more equitably
"Who Ate the Economy?" provides a powerful narrative for this critical moment when taxing Wall Street and revitalizing Main Street has ever-increasing public support, as demonstrated by Occupy Wall Street protests happening across the country and the planet.
Bridging Our Movements for Local Food Security
On November 5-8, the 15th annual Community Food Security Coalition conference “Food Justice: Honoring Our Roots, Growing Our Movement” came to Oakland. Our work on expanding urban agriculture was featured on a standing room-only panel, and grassroots groups from around the country shared strategies and resources on strengthening our local food systems. Especially inspiring was this year’s Food Sovereignty Prize awardee, the Landless Workers Movement (MST) who are reclaiming land for peasants in Brazil.
In solidarity with food sovereignty and climate justice events happening during the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, Bay Localize, Communities for a Better Environment, Movement Generation, and other allies are organizing an action on December 3rd called “Building Resilience for Our People & Planet” to recognize land as our common heritage and demand just solutions for a resilient future. Join us!
New Initiative Brings Composting to Laney College
In partnership with community groups, students, faculty, and staff, Bay Localize has launched a new composting system at Laney College in Oakland!
Food scraps will go both to the college's bountiful campus garden and local farms. In addition to diverting food scraps from our over-crowded landfills, we're bringing ecological awareness to a campus full of people of all ages and backgrounds. Many thanks to StopWaste.org for its generous support of this exciting initiative!
Local Clean Energy Alliance Hosts Meetings on Solar Gardens, Energy Efficiency, and On-Bill Financing
JOIN US! Want the opportunity to participate in meetings with decision-makers? Join the Local Clean Energy Alliance as a voting member today!
Community Choice Energy Moves Forward in San Francisco, Sonoma County, and Richmond
In San Francisco, after a nine-month campaign by the Local Clean Energy Alliance and our allies, the SF Public Utilities Commission gave the green light to a $390,000 study of local renewable potential for a plan to deploy 210 MW of local clean energy over the next five years. In Sonoma County, the Board of Supervisors approved continued work on setting up a Community Choice program to begin purchasing local renewable power in 2012; and in Richmond, the City Council is moving forward on negotiations with the Marin Energy Authority to join Marin's Community Choice program, with the expressed interest in local green energy development and clean energy jobs.
All of these efforts will require community advocacy to stay on track. Get involved in the Alliance today!
Localization News Around the Bay
This summer and fall have seen a wide range of exciting and controversial developments toward local economies and community resilience.
Read on for updates around the Bay!
Regional: The Bay Area’s four regional agencies including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are continuing to develop the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), which aims to reduce driving and promote transit-oriented development in the nine-county Bay Area. At stake is more than $200 billion over the next 25 years: key decisions are being made now that will determine if investments will go towards freeways or public transit, affordable housing and renter protections or displacement of urban residents to sprawling suburbs. For more, go to www.onebayarea.org. To get involved with the 6 Wins for Equity Coalition, the social and environmental justice movement pushing for regional equity and transit, contact Lindsay Imai at firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Bay: As part of Oakland's urban agriculture reforms, the City Council voted unanimously on October 4th to legalize homegrown sales of fresh produce! With a basic business license, residents may now pay a nominal $40 to the city’s Community and Economic Development Agency to obtain a “home occupation” permit to sell food they’ve grown on their own properties. This small but significant change will help catalyze the Oakland’s local food economy, providing opportunities to urban farming entrepreneurs, and providing new options for fresh food in some of the city's most under-served neighborhoods.
North Bay: In June 2011, Sustainable Fairfax, the Town of Fairfax and the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce launched a new local alternative currency — the Fairbuck — to reinvigorate the local economy. There are now $12,000 worth of the wooden trade tokens in circulation, keeping that money flowing locally among community-based businesses. Go to www.fairbuck.org for more information.
South Bay: Palo Alto has taken a controversial step forward in advancing local renewable energy and sustainable waste management by passing Measure E, the Palo Alto Green Energy and Compost Initiative. The measure allows the city utility to use 10 acres of Byxbee Park to build a new waste-to-energy bio-facility, or anaerobic digestion plant. Compost collected from city residents and businesses will now generate local renewable power instead of being hauled for processing in San Jose and Gilroy. Critics argue that the facility could endanger the park, while supporters contend it will save the city money and reduce Palo Alto's greenhouse gas emissions.
San Francisco: Members of PODER (People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights) have embarked on two new initiatives to build an alternative "solidarity economy" based on the principles of mutual aid and reverence for land and life. The newly-formed Mutual Aid Cooperative is a system of exchange in which services and favors are exchanged using time, not money, as the form of currency. PODER is also working to transform an underutilized parking lot on 17th and Folsom into a thriving mixed-use park with an urban farm and affordable housing. Visit www.podersf.org for further details!