CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | September 6, 2018

September E-News:
Get your tickets to Sept 29 SLEE Dinner!
9/18 FJP Meeting
10/12-15 USFSA National Assembly: REGISTER
CAGJ meets with Rep Adam Smith on Trade
First Agroecology Encuentro
Reflections on March with Dignity
Seeking new office
Sign the Community Coalition for Real Meals Petition
Cancer patient wins case against Monsanto/Bayer
Anti-Merger Bill
UN Declaration on Rights of Peasants
Local events


Get Involved! Upcoming CAGJ Meetings:

Food Justice Project:
3rd Tues/month, 6:30 - 8:30; for more info email us.
AGRA Watch:

time varies, for more info email us

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Sign up here for Food Justice Project Listserv
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We can't wait for SLEE! SAT Sept 29 - Get your tickets today!
The 12th Annual SLEE Dinner will uplift a lberatory vision connecting food and immigrant justice - Join us!
SAT Sept 29, 5pm Happy Hour, 6:30pm Dinner

Tickets $40-$100 sliding scale

Help us publicize! Share the Facebook event.

CAGJ's 12th annual SLEE Dinner - Strengthening Local Economies, Everywhere! - will be Saturday Sept. 29 at University Christian Church. Enjoy a fun Happy Hour, delicious meal souurced from our local farmers and fishermen, and Fair Trade cooperatives in the Global South, and get inspired for all of our work ahead to make another world possible!

Keynote by Farmworker organizer Edgar Franks, Community to Community Development

Edgar’s keynote, “The Legacy We Inherit: Luchando por una Vida AgroEcologica,” will reflect on agroecology as a way of life and share C2C’s work to ensure that the needs of migrant farmworkers are represented on the path towards food sovereignty.


CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS! We rely on our community to make this beautiful event happen every year! Thank you for signing up to help either on Friday Sept 28, when we cook and set up the dining room, or on Sat Sept 29, when there are many roles, including kitchen prep, set-up, clean-up, registration, and serving. Read all about volunteering on our website, or email our Volunteer Coordinator - Thank you!



TUES Sept 18, 6:30 - 8:30PM
Monthly Food Justice Project Meeting
New volunteer orientation at 6pm! Please RSVP.
FJP Meetings are a great way to get involved in CAGJ! 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.
OCT 12-15 in Bellingham, WA
IV National Assembly of US Food Sovereignty Alliance

SUN Oct 14: Food Sovereignty Prize Ceremony

YOU are invited to a convergence of grassroots organizations, activists, faith-based community, scholars, union members, farmers and fisherfolk, and other food chain workers from around the world October 12 – 15, in Bellingham, WA, for the IV National Assembly of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA)! The Assembly will provide a space to learn about food sovereignty, share struggles and collective wins, and build solidarity. The USFSA has a goal of bringing together as many people as possible in a World Social Forum style gathering that will encompass a range of panels, political education, arts and other cultural exchanges to pave the way for stronger political action in the United States. The space will be an opportunity for mutual learning. Together, we’ll deepen relationships across sectors and geographies to build a path for community liberation and reclaim our food systemm. Register today to participate!  Volunteers needed to welcome USFSA members from around the country – contact CAGJ if you can join our team.


The Assembly will include the 2018 Food Sovereignty Prize Awards Ceremony, taking place SUN October 14. Lauded as an alternative to the World Food Prize, the Food Sovereignty Prize honors movements in the US and internationally that champion real solutions to hunger. The Prize is recognized by social movements, activists and community-based organizations around the world. Please register today for the Assembly or contact us if you have any questions! CAGJ maybe able to provide partial funding for our members. And follow USFSA us on Facebook and Twitter!


CAGJ Meets with Rep Adam Smith with Fair Trade Delegation

Last week representatives from CAGJ and WA Fair Trade Coalition met with Representative Adam Smith (9th district) to discuss the state of affairs with NAFTA. We shared our specific concerns about a trade policy that supports efforts to build a fairer and more just food system, including safe working conditions and economic stability for people working across the food system; biodiversity and sustainability; limits to industrial agriculture’s contribution to climate change; and food safety regulation and local protection without international threats. Congressman Smith welcomed and agreed that trade policy must support a just food system. See round-up of other trade-related news below!


First Pacific NW Agroecology Encuentro Grows Our Movement!

CAGJ joined with Community to Community, Hilltop Urban Gardens and Got Green to organize the first Pacific Northwest Agroecology Enceuntro which took place August 24-25 in Bellingham. Over 50 farmers, farmworkers and organizers from Washington, Oregon, and California as well as Atlanta and New York came together to develop a shared analysis of the political moment and to create a regional network of campesinos, grassroots support organizations, urban and rural farmers, and movement intellectuals working to scale out Agroecology as a practice and a concept. Peoples' Agroecology Encuentros are regional gatherings taking place across the country as part of our broader food sovereignty movement. These encuentros/encounters have roots in the US Food Sovereignty Alliance and grassroots organizing efforts with intersecting focuses on farming, just transition, and gender, environmental, indigenous, and racial justice. We were honored to be joined by Samuel Ramos, a Pureh'pecha healer who was visiting the Pacific Northwest to help bring awareness about the struggle for autonomy in his community of Cherán, Michoacan, Mexico. Samuel and Antonio from Orgullo Pureh'pecha offered a blessing to open the meeting on Saturday. A panel shared their insights on the meanings of both agro-ecology and afro-ecology. We enjoyed delicious food together, including produce brought by participating farmers, and we closed by planting starters from seeds donated by the MST in Community to Community’s garden. Check out photos on CAGJ's Facebook.


Today We March: Reflections on the Mach for Dignity

By Alanna Boynton, Food Justice Project Co-Chair

It's 5:30am on Sunday, August 5, 2018. The sun has just appeared above the horizon, illuminating wisps of fog that drift across the pastoral farmlands of Lynden, Washington. Everything is still and peaceful—yet the parking lot outside Mom’s Bar & Grill is beginning to fill up. My friend and I join the dozens of activists gathered there, and are handed red bandanas with the words “Campesino Power” and “C2C” stenciled in white letters. We tie them around our necks, grateful for the extra warmth they provide in the chilly morning air. We are welcomed in a sunrise ceremony by Community to Community Development (C2C), who organized this March for Dignity to demand fair treatment of farm workers. "Thank you all for being here. We thought maybe ten people would show up this early," C2C’s Civic Engagement Program Coordinator Edgar Franks says, to the applause of the large crowd. We hear from several other community leaders and take in the logistical information for this all-day march. We will be walking 12 miles, symbolizing the number of hours per day a farmworker is in the fields during peak season.
Around 6am, we depart the parking lot. The march is led by several farmworkers, including Ramon Torres, the president of Familias Unidas por la Justicia, Washington state’s first indigenous-led farmworker union. Together, we march north, towards the U.S.-Canada border. There is no shoulder on this country road, so we walk single file in a narrow strip of dry grass between the white line at the edge of the pavement and a shallow ditch. Energy is high, and conversations sprout up all around us. My friend, noticing the slogans on some of the protest signs, asks about the H-2A guest worker visa program.

As a participant in CAGJ’s Summer School, I recently learned about this program in detail; one of our readings outlined its intentions and flaws in a report titled, “Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the U.S.” In brief, companies can apply to the U.S. Department of Labor to hire workers from other countries if they can’t find enough in the local labor force (a requirement that is often ignored). Often, H-2A workers come from Central or South America, and many of these are indigenous peoples who are already marginalized in their home countries. They come to the U.S. for a short period of time, usually during the growing season, and because their work visa is tied to a specific company, they can only work for that employer. If they lose that job, they must leave. Read the full blog here.

Help CAGJ find new office space!

CAGJ is considering a move. While we are continuing to seek a new co-tenant at our International District location, we are also looking at other options. Ideally we would like to find a new space with our current office-mates, CISPES and WA Fair Trade Coalition, and would require enough room for 5 staff, plus storage and meeting space.  Contact us if you have ideas - thank you!



Campaign Launch! Community Coalition for Real Meals

Tell Aramark, Sodexo and Compass Group to Support Real Food: Sign the Petition

Launched this week, CAGJ has joined the Community Coalition for Real Meals, a grassroots alliance of farmers, ranchers, fishers, farmworkers, students, educators, and environmental advocates that believe food is a powerful lever for social change. We are calling for the three biggest food service management companies to change their business model, from one that favors exclusive deals with “Big Food” companies to one that is oriented toward “Real Food” - food that supports producers, communities, consumers and the planet. We advocate for shifting dollars away from a system that extracts wealth and well-being from communities, and towards one that protects our environment and fairly compensates those who have dedicated their lives to feeding others. The Coalition currently includes the following organizations: Domestic Fair Trade Association, Fair World Project, Friends of the Earth, HEAL Food Alliance, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, Operation Spring Plant, Organization for Competitive Markets, Public Justice, and Real Food Challenge.


Take Action: Sign the Petition

Tell Aramark, Sodexo and Compass Group to stop serving unhealthy, unsustainable and unethical food on college campuses! The petition reads, in part:

“As a first step, I ask that you do the following on college campuses across the country:
  • Purchase at least 25% of your food from sources that are local & community based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane;
  • Invest in racial justice and equity by expanding purchasing from disenfranchised farmers, fishers and ranchers and by investing in infrastructure to support them;
  • Reduce your company's carbon emissions and factory-farmed meat, poultry, and cheese purchases by 25%; and
  • Create and maintain transparency and accountability.”



NAFTA-lite?? Farmers Need Fair Prices 

By Coral Mercado, CAGJ Volunteer

On August 27th it appeared that Trump and Mexican President Peña Nieto had agreed to move forward on a new trade agreement without Canada. This “handshake” deal with Mexico for a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took place after three-nation negotiations slowed to stand still in June, and Trump decided to focus his energy on negotiations with Mexico. Trump is anxious to move forward with a new trade agreement as soon as possible so that it will honored by the incoming Mexican President. However, it is not known whether or not the three-nation pact can be replaced with a two-nation agreement under congressional rules. In a statement released by the National Family Farm Coalition, Farmers Need Fair Prices, Not NAFTA-Lite and Meager Tariff Aid, Jim Goodman stated, “Global trade is based on the premise that, as US farmers, it is our job to feed the world, when we know that the world can feed itself as long as farmers everywhere have fair prices and access to land.” Institute for Agriculture and & Trade Policy also released a statement, Trump's U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement is not a Real Deal, adding, "Given the Trump administration's lack of adherence to existing international agreements, a handshake deal can hardly be seen as credible. What little has been released on agriculture makes the dubious assertion that U.S. farmers have benefited from NAFTA and, even worse, promises new rules to lock in the spread of agricultural biotechnology, which would favor agribusiness interests over those of family farmers in each of the three countries." Read Washington Fair Trade Coalition’s analysis, Trump’s ‘NAFTA without Canada’ deal is still incomplete, to learn more!


Cancer Patient Wins Case Against Monsanto as it Merges with Bayer Update from National Family Farm Coalition

In what's been called a "stunning" verdict, a California state jury found that Monsanto's glyphosate products were responsible for a former groundskeeper's diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (a type of cancer) and awarded the man, Dewayne Johnson, $289 million in damages. The company will appeal - except now it's Bayer that will have to do so, as it just got a green light to incorporate Monsanto's assets into its brand and retire the Monsanto name. Turns out the deal might not be as good for Bayer as it hoped: stock shares plummeted 14 percent on Monday in response to the verdict. The new combined company will also have to deal with the hundreds of other lawsuits in the pipeline. NFFC sent comments to the Department of Justice…requesting that they reconsider approval of the merger: “Monsanto has gathered too much control over the US seed supply in the past 20 years, and we expect this merger with Bayer to accelerate that trend. Family farmers are extremely concerned about Monsanto-Bayer’s increasingly concentrated control of the non-GM seed supply, the likelihood of higher seed prices and the loss of favored heirloom or hybrid seed varieties. A Monsanto-Bayer dominance in the seeds and pesticides markets – particularly as more multi-herbicide-tolerant seeds are released – means that more and more farmers will be compelled to plant these crops and spray more and more toxic herbicides throughout farm country. This will exacerbate the deterioration of wildlife habitat, soil and water health, and the quality of rural life. All of these factors fly in the face of reason during a time when rural communities are striving to revitalize their economies through local, sustainably-grown foods.” Learn more in The Monsanto Papers, an amazing resource put together by US Right to Know.

Ag Anti-Merger Bill Introduced

Update from National Family Farm Coalition

On August 29, Senator Cory Booker introduced a bill to place a moratorium on agricultural mergers. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI) will introduce a companion bill in the House this week. The bill would put an 18-month moratorium on large agribusiness, food and beverage manufacturing, and grocery retail mergers and acquisitions, and study the impact of such mergers. It is modeled on a similar measure introduced in 1999 by Sen. Paul Wellstone, a great champion of family farmers. Read the press release and full list of organizational supporters here.


La Via Campesina Call for Mobilization

'UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants' awaiting final vote and adoption this month

After ten long years of negotiations in Geneva, a 'United Nations Declaration on Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas' is now at the point of being finalized. The draft text of the declaration was discussed during the Fifth Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group session in April 2018 at the UN Human Rights Council, and countries will vote to adopt the text this month.

TIME TO MOBILIZE! This declaration will set a new standard for human rights. It promotes food sovereignty and supports the development and implementation of socio-economic policies that improve our food and agriculture system. It will also pave the way for the creation of public policies in favor of peasants and rural workers in countries where such policies do not exist. The UN Declaration will become a credible reference to improve existing policies further and give millions of rural peasant communities and workers an international voice. It is therefore important to pressure our governments to vote in favor of the final text of the declaration at the September UN Human Rights Council and UN General Assembly meetings in New York. In this context, La Via Campesina – a global movement of peasants, indigenous people, landless people, agricultural workers, women, and young people – is calling upon all our members and allies to mobilize and reach out to the respective governments, demand and convince them to vote in favor of this initiative that upholds humanity.

FRI Sept 7, 6-9PM
Japanese American Citizens League Banquet: Food & Social Justice
Seattle Japanese American Citizens League's 96th Annual Banquet “Food and Social Justice” will look at the role of food in creating an equitable future for Japanese Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, and other groups. We will honor nonprofits who are using food to heal and nourish vulnerable people, and tell stories of the legendary restaurants that have been instrumental to feeding and inspiring Nikkei people, as well as other communities of color. Tickets range from $0-155. More info.
SAT Sept 8, 9AM-2PM
Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice Rally & March
Join the Washington Fair Trade Coalition and 350 Seattle at Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice, a massive global day of action planned for September 8, to coincide with the start of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco. On that day, thousands of actions will be held around the world to demand that elected leaders commit to fighting climate change by building a world that puts people and justice before profits. Rally beginning at 9am at Tollefson Plaza (1548 Commerce St, Tacoma WA). March at 11:00am to the Northwest Detention Center (distance of 1.2 miles with bussing back). Feel free to bring signs related to trade/climate or trade/immigrants rights. Hope to see you there! Learn more at
SAT Sept 15, 10am-3pm
Plant Walk and Medicine Making
Tilth Alliance and the Beacon Food Forest are pleased to host two plant walk and medicine making workshops with Della (Rice) Sylvester, a traditional medicine woman from Cowichan tribes on Vancouver Island. Spend the morning with Della on a plant walk around the farm and wetlands as she shares her wisdom and knowledge about Native connections to plants. In the afternoon, Della will teach us about Medicine making from the tradition of her people with a hands-on workshop. Students will each take home their own creations that they will be making along with Della (Rice) Sylvester. This is a rare opportunity to learn from a First Nations teacher and a wonderful way to deepen our connection to the land we live on from someone who originates from the land. Dress for the weather and bring a lunch, water bottle and notebook. Come with an open mind and heart prepared to learn from a traditional point of view. Tickets are $150. Learn more and buy tickets HERE.
THURS Sept 20, 7:30-9pm
Town Hall: Anand Giridharadas, The Self-Interested Altruism of Today’s Elite
What do we do when our society’s economic elite become more interested in celebrating their own magnanimity than bringing about real change? Former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas takes Town Hall’s stage to present perspectives from his latest book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. He decries the modern gilded age where the rich and powerful have rebranded themselves as saviors of the poor—constantly seeking to do more good, but never less harm. He outlines ways which the socio-economic elite are doing everything in their power to preserve their position at the top of the social order while lavishly rewarding “thought leaders” who redefine change in winner-friendly ways. Giridharadas advocates for widespread support of institutions dedicated to benefiting public, rather than relegating society’s gravest problems to be solved by an unelected and self-interested upper crust. Join Giridharadas for a critical discussion about building more egalitarian institutions for addressing the ills of the world. Tickets are $5. Learn more and buy tickets here.
SAT Sept 22, 12-3pm
Marra Farm Fall Fest
Please join us for the 17th Annual Marra Farm Fall Fest! Bring your favorite potluck dish to share. We’ll have: Free Food • Live Music • Fresh Apple Cider • Children’s Activities • Cooking Demos. More info.
FRI Sept 28, 7:30pm
Town Hall: Jose Antonio Vargas with Ijeoma Oluo, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who has been called “the most famous undocumented immigrant in America,” tackles one of the defining issues of our time. He takes Town Hall’s stage to share his explosive and deeply personal memoir Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. Vargas is joined by Seattle-based feminist writer and activist Ijeoma Oluo. Together they discuss Vargas’ tale, focusing not on the politics of immigration but on the sense of homelessness, the unsettled and unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like Vargas find themselves in. Vargas recounts his experiences passing as an American and being forced to lie about his identity and his origins. Join Vargas and Oluo for a call to action and a meditation on what it means to not have a home. Tickets are $5. Learn more and buy tickets here.

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Community Alliance for Global Justice
1322 S Bayview St, Ste 300
Seattle, WA 98144