CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | June 5, 2018
Join Rise Up! CAGJ Summer School
Thank You: We Reached our Membership Month Goal!
CAGJ NEWS & ANALYSIS
Get Involved! Upcoming CAGJ Meetings:
Food Justice Project:
3rd Tues/month, 6:30 - 8:30; for more info email us.
time varies, for more info email us
Follow us on Twitter
SAVE THE DATE: SLEE is SAT Sept 29, 2018
Rise Up! CAGJ Summer School
TUES June 12: First Reading Group Discussion & Gathering
SAT June 23: AGRA Watch Tour of Gates Foundation Visitor Center
This month we are excited to launch Rise Up! CAGJ Summer School, an anti-oppression leadership development program exploring food sovereignty movements situated in our local contexts. The 3-month program delves into our campaign-related themes through community discussions and site visits. You must register to receive location details and materials for discussion. We will accept registration through the first meeting so please register today!
In June we will explore the African food sovereignty movement and the role the Seattle-based Gates Foundation plays in influencing agricultural development on the continent through a visit to the Gates Foundation. In July we are deepening our understanding of Farmworker solidarity, and are honored to be hosted by Community to Community on SAT July 21. In August we will study Northwest Native Resistance to GE salmon. Perspectives of people of color will be prioritized in the materials and discussions as we focus on anti-oppression and intersectional analysis. We are excited to develop the leadership of members involved in the organizing and facilitation, and hope to create a safe space to encourage newer activists to explore learning edges and rise up in leadership. Register here, and let Simone know if you are interested in helping to organize or have any questions.
Save the dates for July & August:
TUES July 12: Second Reading Group Discussion & Gathering
SAT July 21: Meet Farmworker Organizers with Community to Community
SAT Aug 11: Field Trip TBD!
TUES Aug 14: Final Reading Group Discussion & Gathering
We met our Membership Month Goal of $10,000 - Thanks to YOU!
Thank you to everyone who helped us reach our $5000 goal, and to the help of UFCW Local 21 and donors who gave us a $5000 Matching Grant! Your contributions allow us to continue organizing for food sovereignty and mobilizing people to get involved and take action. We are excited about the direction of CAGJ in the year ahead and grateful to your support to keep us going!
Seeking Book-Keeper & Tech Support
CAGJ is seeking a book-keeper, who will work on average 5 hours per month and be paid $30 per hour; accounting students have often filled this role for CAGJ and are welcome! We are also seeking someone to help us improve our office computer and back-up systems. To apply email your resume to Heather Day.
Summer Internships, Dinner Organizers, Table Captains & Sponsorship Opportunities
We are now seeking Sponsors, Table Captains and SLEE Dinner Organizers to make our 12th annual Strengthening Local Economies Everywhere Dinner a roaring success! SLEE brings together over 300 people for a locally sourced and Fair Trade meal, who will have the pleasure of hearing Edgar Franks deliver the keynote, “The Legacy We Inherit: Luchando por una Vida AgroEcológica,” reflecting on agroecology as a way of life. Edgar organizes farmworkers with Community to Community Development in Bellingham, WA. If you are interested in being a Sponsor or a Table Captain (organize 9 of your friends to join you at SLEE!), please contact Mollie.
SLEE Dinner Organizers: Volunteers and Summer Interns are invited to join our team to contribute to the vision of SLEE, and make it even more spectacular than past years! Learn valuable skills in the areas of nonprofit development and fundraising, community engagement and outreach, communications, and event planning. The following positions are available: Dessert & Silent Auction: Coordination and Outreach; Food & Farm Outreach; Table Captain Outreach. We are currently accepting interns for summer quarter if you would like academic credit, or a minimum of 10 weeks between now and mid-October. Please send an introductory email explaining your interest and availability to Mollie at [email protected]. Thank you!
Monthly Food Justice Project Meeting & Racial Justice Leadership Collective
New volunteer orientation at 6pm! Please RSVP.
FJP Meetings are a great way to get involved in CAGJ! We have incorporated the new Racial Justice Leadership Collective into our monthly FJP meetings to activate participants in taking action on our solidarity campaigns through a framework of racial justice. At this meeting, we will be discussing readings on racism in the food system (email Simone for readings!), and organizing Summer School. Meetings are held 3rd Tuesday/month at CAGJ’s Office in the ID, 606 Maynard Ave. S. Rm 102, Seattle. All are welcome! For more info, email the Food Justice Project.
"Salmon People" Film Screened at Indigenous Environmental Network Conference in Nisqually
We are grateful that CAGJ’s new short film, “Salmon People: The Risks of Genetically Engineered Fish for the Pacific Northwest” will be screened at the upcoming Protecting Mother Earth gathering hosed by the Nisqually Indian Tribe near Olympia WA. The conference is co-sponsored by Indigenous Environmental Network and Indigenous Climate Action. Register for this free conference! Watch our 3.5 minute film, and please share widely. You can learn more about GE salmon in our updated backgrounder on our website. We are seeking new opportunities to share the film – please contact us if you know of film festivals, conferences or events!
Very Affordable Office Space Available in ID with CAGJ!
CAGJ is seeking a new co-tenant, and we just got an office make-over thanks to Seattle University! Two adjacent desks available now for $300/month in our warm community office space in the International District. Close to many bus lines and light rail station, and amazing restaurants and cafes surround the office. We are a diverse group of people with deep commitments to social, economic, climate, and racial justice and toward collective liberation in our work and personal lives. We uphold clear, direct communication and community agreements around sharing our space. We meet monthly to share lunch, updates, and to address current needs in the office. The space is colorful, brightly decorated, and includes a shared conference room and kitchen. Contact us to arrange a visit.
“We must confront issues of broken labor laws and racism and defend workers' right to organize in order to achieve immigrant justice and food sovereignty!” – Community to Community
Last August, farmworkers at Sarbanand Farms under the H2A guestworker visa program were fired for striking when Honesto Silva Ibarra died due to health complications exacerbated by extreme dehydration and low food rations while working and living in a prison camp-like setting. In February, the Dept. of Labor and Industries found the farm not negligent in the death of Honesto, despite having denied his requests for health care. The Dept. also found Sarbanand Farms had committed 13 violations last summer related to depriving farmworkers of rest breaks and serving their meals late. They were only fined for two of those violations. Now Sarbanand Farms plans to bring in over 600 workers through the H2A guestworker program, a legal quasi-slave labor program. Read more from Community to Community here.
What’s more, the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, State, and Homeland Security are coordinating a dangerous attack on immigrants and our food system under the guise of ‘streamlining and improving’ the H2A guestworker visa program – by expanding and rebranding it as the H2C guestworker visa program. This is part of the “Securing America’s Future Act of 2018,” HR 4760 to be voted on this month. H2C would extend the use of this exploitative guestworker program throughout our entire food system: from farms and ranches to packing houses and processing plants, and from seasonal crops to year-round dairy cows and poultry farms. Sarbanand Farms is working with WAFLA, a corporate grower lobby association actively campaigning to support the expansion of the guestworker program into H2C, lobbying for the removal of worker protections and providing further incentive to similar employer associations. As C2C states, “This bill does not provide a path to citizenship for the current experienced, undocumented farmworkers or their family members. Instead, it is an attack on family-based immigration, reducing immigrant workers in the food system to individual commodities to be imported and exported cheaply for the profit of agribusiness.” Learn more from C2C about the dangers of this program here.
Fight the expansion of H2A in Whatcom County and WA State!
Action Alert from Replace NAFTA, a project of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. ISDS has enabled transnational corporations to challenge state laws, local land use ordinances, and even court decisions in an arbitration system, where they seek unlimited sums of taxpayer money, including for the loss of expected future profits. The corporations need only convince a panel of three corporate lawyers that a state law violates the expansive rights granted to them under NAFTA, and their decisions are not subject to appeal. Together, we’ve changed the national narrative so much that NAFTA’s job outsourcing incentives and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regime could very well be removed from NAFTA. And the corporate lobby is freaking out. We usually ask you to contact your member of Congress, but right now we have a quick ask for your state legislators that could make a big difference at this critical point in the NAFTA renegotiations. Ask your state legislators to sign a simple letter supporting the elimination of ISDS in NAFTA – click here.
CAGJ NEWS & ANALYSIS
By Kate Hamilton, CAGJ Intern
On May 20 CAGJ hosted a Teach-Out at Kamayan Farm with farmer Ari de Leña, who gave the keynote at the 2017 SLEE Dinner (watch it here). Check out Teach-Out photos on Facebook!
Kamayan Farm is located in the Snoqualmie Valley near Carnation. The farm got its name from a style of communal eating in the Philippines in which a variety of food sits directly on banana leafs and the only utensils at play are your own hands. Kamayan Farm places the spirit of this style of eating at the heart of its mission. It’s a space for community to gather and get their hands dirty, all while learning, healing, and making connections in the process. We began the day with introductions. Going around the circle, we shared our name, preferred pronouns, relation to CAGJ or Kamayan Farm, and answered the obligatory introduction question that lets you peer into the innermost depths of someone’s soul: if you could turn a vegetable into your own personal carriage, which vegetable would you choose and why? I knew it was a great group when everyone chose a vegetable they would want to munch on while riding in it. After introductions we had the pleasure of getting to know the amazing farmer Ari de Leña, who shared why she chose to be a farmer, having worked previously on farm policy and in other lines of work. Ari’s mission is multifaceted, but its overarching drive is to transform the the food system from its current corporate, mechanized, and impersonal state, to a more egalitarian one in which individuals have access to produce that is both nourishing and culturally appropriate. In a food system that subsidizes staples like corn and wheat that are easily processed into cheap products, making a livable wage as a small-scale farmer using methods that respect the land is an uphill battle, but an act of resistance that is important as ever. Read the rest of the reflection.
Last month Simone Adler, CAGJ’s Organizing Director, completed an intensive multi-month racial justice training for white organizers led by Catalyst Project. CAGJ is grateful for this amazing opportunity to deepen our commitment to racial justice in our organizing, and is planning a strategic planning process, including an organizational assessment over the next year! CAGJ is excited to support AGRA Watch Co-Chair Emma Shorr to participate in the New Economy Coalition CommonBound Conference in St. Louis this month. Check out their Food Sovereignty track!
AGRA Watch Blog: Putting Agriculture First without Farmers and Land? Reflections on Tanzania's Road to Green Revolution
Youjin Chung wrote this article for AGRA Watch at the request of Heather Day, CAGJ’s Director, who wanted to learn more from Youjin about her research related to AGRA in Tanzania. Youjin will be teaching in the Geography Department at Clark University starting this Fall.
Much of ethnographic fieldwork is about getting used to uncomfortable situations or negotiating the contradictions embedded in everyday life that often leave us feeling curious, uneasy, and at times, outraged. Over a period of 18 months between 2013 and 2016, I was based in Tanzania’s Coast Region, investigating the intersectional politics of a large-scale agricultural land deal for commercial sugarcane production, signed between the Tanzanian government and a Swedish investor. While I spent the lion’s share of my time in the countryside/sugarcane concession land, I also travelled often to Dar es Salaam to keep myself abreast of new developments and emerging debates in agricultural policy circles. One of my many uncomfortable ethnographic experiences included being a participant observer at an Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) policy workshop in October 2015. I felt uncomfortable not only because the workshop took place in a lavish five-star hotel in Dar es Salaam beyond the reach of ordinary Tanzanians, but also because there were no smallholder farmers physically present at the meeting. And yet, they were ubiquitous in the presentations and remarks made by donor agency representatives, agricultural scientists, and government officials. High-profile political figures iterated AGRA’s vision of “triggering a Green Revolution that was uniquely African,” and many speakers emphasized the need to “improve the incomes of smallholder farmers” in Tanzania. And yet, no one questioned who the nation’s smallholder farmers were, how they perceived and experienced Tanzania’s agricultural transformation agenda, and why they were nowhere to be seen at the workshop. When I probed the AGRA Tanzania Country Coordinator about this in an interview a few weeks after the workshop, he said I was asking a “tricky question.” Read the rest of Youjin’s article.
Seeds of Neo-Colonialism - Why the GMO Promoters get it so wrong about Africa: Statement by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)
The GMO lobby is showing signs of desperation. Once again they are on the offensive with a major public relations push targeting East Africa, particularly Uganda, in an attempt to subvert African policy development towards their own narrow ends. Their immediate goal is to weaken national biosafety laws, thereby removing any barriers to their access to African markets for their contentious high-risk products. Specifically, they want to remove the ‘strict liability’ clauses and thereby avoid any responsibility; avoid having to pay compensation for any damage that they do; avoid labelling so that African people are prohibited from knowing if their food is genetically modified; and avoid any punishment that African laws can impose. White male European so-called experts are channelling the message of the biotech industry, heavily controlled by US-European seed and chemical giants Monsanto/Bayer, Syngenta and DuPont Pioneer. The message once again is that failure of African farmers to adopt GMO technology is the root cause of hunger and poverty on the continent. It is ironic that GMO foods are banned by law as unsafe in the European home countries of those giving the advice. Meanwhile the African biotech scientists seem more concerned that the strict liability measures will chase away donor funding and investment for their costly and “prestigious” research. Read the statement.
MON June 18, 10 – 2
Pollinator Field Day
Learn to promote wild bees in your garden and farm! Join PhD Candidate Elias Bloom, NW Pollinator Initiative, The Common Acre, and WSU Food Systems to explore pollinator habitat at the Beacon Food Forest. This program will feature a short lecture by WSU researchers detailing the latest information on the status of wild bees globally. We'll provide all the tools and techniques for hands on exploration in small groups of: pollinator habitat conservation and improvement, identification and monitoring, and integrating farming systems with pollinator conservation. Farm-walk led by BFF staff will detail their practices to conserve biodiversity and productivity. Take home resource booklet with local pollinator guide provided by WSU. Open Q&A and potluck featuring locally grown organic food. We welcome your addition of a potluck dish to share! If possible, please bring your own re-ususable dish and utensil. Learn more.
June 28- July 1, 2018
Indigenous Environmental Network Protecting Mother Earth Gathering
The Indigenous Environmental Network will once again present The PROTECTING MOTHER EARTH Gathering. This year’s conference will be hosted by the LSqualli-Absch, the Nisqually People (People of the River, People of the Grass) and held within the territories of the Nisqually Nation, near Olympia, Washington. Co-hosted by Indigenous Climate Action, a coalition of Indigenous Peoples representing different organizations and communities whom have a shared vision and mission to provide Indigenous leaders with knowledge about climate change and climate policy. From the Bakken oil fields to Standing Rock, and to the Bayou Bridge, from the Canadian Tar Sands to the Keystone XL and Kinder Morgan pipelines, to the Northwest coastal Salish Sea, Indigenous peoples are standing up to private corporations and governments that want to treat their ceded or UN-ceded territories, waters and lands, as a sacrifice zone for profit. Native Nations have inherent and the legal rights to decide what happens to their land, their waters, air, sacred sites and the climate. Learn more, and Register.
SAT August 18, 10-5pm
Tilth Alliance Chicken Coop & Urban Farm Tour
See Seattle's Best Urban Farms! Glean great ideas from creative neighbors who are incorporating animals and gardens into their home landscapes. In this self-guided tour, you will see simple chicken coops built in an afternoon and elaborate finely-crafted coops that took weeks of planning and building. See what's needed for keeping miniature goats, ducks, mason bees, honey bees and rabbits. There are sites all around Seattle. Enjoy a unique and inspiring urban adventure! Tilth Alliance has been hosting this event, or a version of it, since 1999. This is your chance to visit folks who are keeping chickens and creating unique and inspiring urban farms. Tickets for the Chicken Coop & Urban Farm Tour will be available online and at various local retailers at the end of June. To receive email updates, sign up for our newsletter.
Thank you for reading CAGJ's e-newsletter!
CAGJ is funded by the community - Become a Member today!