Many of you will will receive our end of year letter in the mail this week. If not, here is what you missed! Thank you for donating generously to CAGJ during this giving season, to help us continue to build the global food sovereignty movement!
Dear Friend of CAGJ,
We are still basking in the glow of this year’s SLEE dinner, held in October for the first time. We are so grateful that it sold out, and that the packed house got to hear a powerful and very personal keynote from local farmer Ari de Leña. We all needed that nourishing evening, after a difficult year. It has been personally challenging, as Heather was diagnosed with breast cancer in March. And of course we are all contending with a constant barrage of attacks from our country’s administration. Together we have demonstrated fortitude, and felt the need for community like never before. Thank you for helping sustain CAGJ through these tough times!
At SLEE, Emma Shorr, AGRA Watch Co-Chair, spoke about how CAGJ provides her with a political home, and how important this is, “as we build our movements for resistance and resilience together”. CAGJ is proud to play a role in so many movements, from agroecology and food sovereignty, to respect of Native treaty rights, and hopes to offer a political home to many in our communities seeking a way to be engaged in the struggles of our time.
It has been a full year, and we are ready for 2018; we hope you will help us start off on a strong note! Here are some of our top achievements of 2017, thanks to your support.
- GE Salmon and Native Treaty Rights In partnership with Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project, we organized a free “Wild Salmon Cookout” at the UW longhouse (see photo above) where over 200 people learned about the efforts of Northwest Tribes in rejecting GE salmon and its direct affront to their culture and treaty rights. With funding from the Muckleshoot Tribe, we co-produced our first short film called Salmon People: Risks of Genetically-Engineered Fish for the Northwest. We have generated pressure on Senator Murray to respect Native Treaty rights, and require labeling if GE fish come to market in the US. We have also begun to strategize with Food Action for a potential ballot measure to ban the production, sale, and distribution of GE salmon in
- Food Access Win in Seattle CAGJ joined a coalition led by Got Green to ensure that 50 percent of revenue from the Sugary Beverage Tax (approved in June by City Council) will be invested in closing the food security gap for low-income households and communities of color.
- South Africa Agroecology Exchange CAGJ co-organized the second South Africa-US Agroecology Exchange! For ten days in October, a delegation of seven leaders from the US, representing Latino and Mexican farmworker and African-American farmer organizations, traveled to urban and rural farms in South Africa to meet farmers, farmworkers, agroecologists, and organizers. Two leaders in Washington’s local food sovereignty movement were part of the delegation: Edgar Franks with Community to Community in Bellingham, and Dean Jackson with Hilltop Urban Gardens in Tacoma. Check out the delegation‘s article series on our website!
- TPP defeated! Following the presidential election, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was officially nixed in Congress and declared a dead trade deal. CAGJ was part of an international coalition that mounted grassroots opposition to the TPP and the failed model of “free trade”, which increases corporate profits at the expense of workers, consumers, farmers, and the environment.
When we educate, develop leadership, and build movements together, we know we can win. With nearly all of our funding coming from individual donors, we need your support to continue this work.
In the coming months, we will host multiple events, including a premiere of our GE salmon film and a new CAGJ summer school focused on anti-oppression leadership development. We will also look critically at charity and alternative funding models at our Who Profits from Philanthropy? event, which draws on ten years of tracking the Gates Foundation’s agricultural development program in Africa.
We are especially excited to send 3-4 AGRA Watch leaders to Africa in 2018! The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa has invited us to attend their annual meeting as an associate member. This is a huge honor and presents an opportunity to deepen our partnerships, cultivate greater cross-pollination of ideas and exchange of publications, and build stronger food sovereignty movements internationally. We aim to raise enough funds to include site visits to several partners, an important opportunity to document farmer and activist stories, and strengthen joint campaigns.
CAGJ is unique: we show up for multiple food justice campaigns, while also building international solidarity and engaging in transnational organizing. And we do this work with only two staff, thanks to our activist members, volunteering your time and funds. We need your generous support again to continue building global and local networks of solidarity. Thank you for including CAGJ in your year-end giving!
To another year of building the world we know is possible!
Heather Day and Simone Adler
p.s. To achieve our goals in 2018, we need sustained funding. We are seeking $3000 more per month from Monthly Sustainers by the end of the year, to add to the incredible commitment of $7000 per month from over 30 donors who became sustainers at SLEE. Please consider a generous monthly gift.