CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | June 6, 2019
SLEE is July 13!
CAGJ NEWS & ANALYSISFailure of Monsanto's Maize in Africa
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
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SAT July 13, 13th Annual SLEE Dinner!
Happy Hour 5pm, Dinner 6:30pm
Buy your Sliding Scale Tickets or Sign up to Volunteer!
CAGJ's 13th annual SLEE Dinner (Strengthening Local Economies, Everywhere!) will be SAT July 13th at St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in the Montlake neighborhood. Purchase your sliding scale tickets today: $40 - $100, no one turned away.
Doria Robinson, a leader in both the food sovereignty and climate justice movements, will deliver the keynote: "For the Love of Soil: Dismantling the Extractive Economy with Justice and Food Sovereignty." Doria is the Executive Director of Urban Tilth, a community-based organization rooted in Richmond, California, dedicated to cultivating urban agriculture to build a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system.
Volunteer or Intern: Help is needed before the event, and there are dozens of roles to fill on FRI July 12 and July 13!, from picking up donations, to serving, to registration! Learn more.
Table Captains are community builders who fill a table with 10 guests and donate critical seed funds to help organize the dinner!
Donate Silent Auction items: Get-aways are most popular, and treasures from your travels, gardening, favroite restaurant gift certificates??
Donate a Dessert: Do you love to create beautiful desserts, or want to support your favorite bakery? We are sseeking 30 desserts, each for 10 guests!
Contact Mads to learn more and to get involved in organizing this year's dinner and community celebration. Thank you!
We met our Membership Month Goal with your help!
We wrapped up our Membership Month in May exceeding our goal, raising a total of $11,200, $420 of which is annual income from three new Monthly Sustainers! Thank you so much to everyone who made a Membership donation, or became a Member during Membership Month! And it’s never too late to join: Support CAGJ’s organizing for food sovereignty by making a donation and/or signing up online today.
Informational Gathering with Scott Winn: Join CAGJ's Dream Team to Support Strategic Planning
RSVP. Location: CAGJ office, 1322 S Bayview St. Dinner is provided!
Be a part of CAGJ’s Dream Team for our 2019-2020 Strategic Planning & Assessment Process! CAGJ is excited to be launching a year-long strategic assessment and planning process (SAPP for short) beginning now and going through next Spring. The goal is to reinvigorate CAGJ by engaging our members in reflecting on our purpose in the food sovereignty movement and our role in the current political moment. We want our members to lead in determining a vision for the future of CAGJ, our organizing strategies, and how we will transform the food system! We aim to come out of this process with a renewed mission, vision, action plan, and more. Read all about our SAPP here!
To accomplish this, we are working with Scott Winn as a consultant, who specializes in supporting organizations to address racial and other inequities. CAGJ first hired Scott in 2008 for a formative planning retreat, and again in 2012 for in-depth anti-oppression work. We are also building a “Dream Team” of folks that care about the direction of CAGJ to help guide our process. Read here for a detailed description of the goals of this team and the expectations. If you are interested in joining our Dream Team, please fill out this google form! And join us TUES June 11 (RSVP)! Thank you.
Monthly Food Justice Project Meeting & Discussion:
Community Gardening & Banner Art Making
LOCATION CHANGE: We will meet at Got Green’s new community garden located on 19th Ave S. between Plum and Hill streets. The garden is 0.4 miles from CAGJ’s office. See event RSVP link for access & transportation info. Click here to RSVP to the meeting!
Join us for an evening of generative and creative projects as we weave the threads of our recent FJP meetings on Just Transition in local contexts. We will start out getting our hands in the dirt and gardening at Got Green’s new community garden! In preparation for our upcoming SLEE dinner in July, we will be painting banners together. While we work, we’ll continue our conversations on Just Transition and Just Circular Economy as this relates to food systems in Seattle.
We are so grateful to Kamal Patel, who facilitated a special interactive workshop and systems mapping exercise on Just Transition and Just Circular Economy with us last month. We encourage you to check out the digitized version of the systems map that we created with Kamal’s leadership. This is an interactive document, so feel free to add notes and comments. If you haven’t looked at the resources we’ve shared on Just Transition yet, check them out:
FJP Meetings are a great way to get involved in CAGJ, and are held the 3rd Tuesday/month (PLEASE NOTE there will be no July FJP Meeting!). New volunteers are invited to our orientation at 6pm: Please RSVP. POTLUCK: Please bring food or drink to share, if you are able. All are welcome! For more info, email the Food Justice Project.
Are you a well-organized and detail-oriented person who is available to come to our office once or twice per month for 5-10 hours total to do data-entry? Our data-base is called CiviCRM, and we are working hard to update our data-entry systems to make the strongest use of this organizing tool. This is a great opportunity to learn about the systems that keep small non-profits like CAGJ running. Read our full announcement. The office volunteer will complete data-entry related to memberships, fundraising and donations, mailings, and events. No prior experience is needed. We will provide training, and we now have detailed protocols in addition to a very skilled intern who is available to help train you! We prefer someone who is available for one year minimum, but we are certainly open to plugging in volunteers who can help for a shorter time period. We are hoping to fill this role by July. If you are interested, please email Heather (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a brief statement of your interest and availability. Thank you!
FRI Sept 6-SUN Sept 8, Spokane, WA
AMP: Activists Mobilizing for Power
This September, Western States Center presents Activists Mobilizing for Power (AMP), 2019 in Spokane! Join CAGJ for this year’s leadership development convening. Every two years, AMP attracts hundreds of social justice leaders from across the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West states for three days of shared learning and opportunities to develop our relationships, skills, and analysis. This year's theme is Democracy Under Siege and will focus on building effective strategies in countering white nationalism and defending inclusive democracy. After a 30-year history of hosting AMP in Portland, AMP 2.0 launches with a new regional model and Spokane is the inaugural host to showcase the vibrant local organizing by Greater Spokane Progress, the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, and others. Sponsorships are available: check out AMP website for more information and to sponsor this year's event. For any other questions about AMP, please contact Amy Herzfeld-Copple.
Save the Date! 20th Anniversary of WTO Protests
CAGJ is organizing a day-long event at Town Hall Seattle to mark the 20th anniversary of the people’s victory and shut-down of the 1999 World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle! Contact us to get involved in planning the event, where we aim to learn from our history and build today’s movements for global justice.
Why We Must Stop NAFTA 2.0 to Ensure GE Salmon Labeling By Selden Prentice for CAGJ. Selden is active with 350 Seattle and WA Fair Trade Coalition
As we fight Big Ag, corporate power, environmental degradation, and climate change, here’s another threat: genetically engineered (GE) salmon. Indigenous tribes, including the Muckleshoot and Quinault, have raised serious concerns about GE salmon now being sold in the US by AquaBounty Technology. Addressing these concerns and the public’s right to know the source of their fish, requires a look at the science behind these fish, FDA rules, a proposed federal law, and trade agreements.
AquaBounty Technology, a Massachusetts based company, has engineered genes from three different fish to create a new type of salmon that the company claims grows three times faster than wild salmon. Although the FDA approved GE salmon in 2015, the Center for Food Safety has raised concerns about the safety of such fish including the possibility that the fish contain high levels of cancer-causing hormones. In addition, Food and Water Watch believes there is a chance of such fish escaping and breeding with wild salmon, thus threatening native populations.
Because of these concerns, in March 2016, the Center for Food Safety and a coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the FDA challenging its approval of GE salmon. In the meantime, it’s not at all clear that government rules affirm the public’s right to know whether commercial fish has been genetically modified. According to Friends of the Earth, the recently issued USDA rules on GE labeling are vague and contain dangerous loopholes. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska agrees, stating, “USDA’s new guidelines don’t require mandatory labeling, and instead allow producers to use QR codes or 1-800 numbers, which is a far stretch from giving consumers clear information. There’s a huge difference between genetically engineered salmon and the healthy, sustainably-caught, wild Alaskan salmon.”
For this reason, Senator Murkowski has introduced Senate Bill 1528, the Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act, which would require that genetically engineered salmon be labeled, and which sets forth requirements for additional robust environmental analysis. Yet even the passage of this law would not guarantee the public’s right to know the source of its fish. This is because World Trade Organization rules, and rules included in Trump’s proposed new NAFTA (NAFTA 2.0) allow challenges of food labeling programs. For example, Mexico and Canada have already successfully challenged U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) policies pursuant to the WTO. Similarly, Mexico successfully challenged the U.S. ban on tuna caught using nets that encircle and kill dolphins, leading to the elimination of an embargo on such tuna.
The NAFTA 2.0 text makes such challenges even more likely because it includes additional problematic labeling provisions not found in the original NAFTA text. For example, it requires countries to ensure that their “technical regulations concerning labels … do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.” Related language in the food standards chapter prohibits certification requirements concerning “the quality of a product or information relating to consumer preferences.” According to Public Citizen, these terms mean that if a regulated business believes that a labeling policy is based on consumer preferences rather than on safety (such as might be the case with organic labeling or GMO labeling), such labeling policies could be successfully attacked. Thus, a full reading of the NAFTA 2.0 text reveals that it is designed to promote agricultural biotech and limit policies that help consumers avoid exposure to such products.
It’s possible that NAFTA 2.0 will be up for a vote later this spring or early summer. For this reason, Congress needs to hear from you!
1. Please contact WA Senator Patty Murray and ask her to support SB 1528, Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act: 206-553-5545
Senator Cantwell is a sponsor of this bill, but it would be helpful for her to receive phone calls thanking her for the bill and urging her to continue to push for it: 206-220-6400
2. Please contact your Congressional Representatives to urge them to oppose NAFTA 2.0 as currently written. You can find your Congressional Representative here.
CAGJ NEWS & ANALYSIS
Sabrina Masinjila is the outreach and advocacy officer with the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), based in Tanzania. Anne Maina is the coordinator for the Kenya Biodiversity Coalition (KBioC). Re-posted by Becca Fogel, CAGJ Intern.
A recent USDA report has confirmed that Monsanto’s drought-tolerant maize is not nearly as successful in terms of both yield and adoption rates when compared to non-GE drought-tolerant corn. The drought-tolerant GE maize was developed for use in Africa by the Gates Foundation and Monsanto-funded Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project. WEMA trials have been underway for several years in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. These GE varieties entail the modification of a single gene; however, multiple genes, and relationships between them, control drought tolerance in plants. Further, drought responses vary based on the drought’s timing, duration, and severity. Non-GE drought-tolerant corn was introduced in the US in 2011, while GE drought-tolerant corn came two years later. By 2016, over 80% of drought-tolerant corn planted in the US was with non-GE seed, and only 3% used GE seed. The USDA report states that this lag in adoption rates of GE seed confirms the lack of efficacy of the drought-tolerant trait in the GE seed.
In October 2018, South African biosafety officials rejected an application by Monsanto to cultivate a triple-stacked drought-tolerant variety, due to the same reasons cited in the USDA report. In November 2018, the Tanzanian government put an end to all field trials of drought-tolerant GE maize crops, conducted at the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute, due to unauthorized use and release of the trial results. In Kenya, the WEMA drought-tolerant GE maize has been rebranded as TELA Maize, and scientists are calling for its commercialization throughout the country through the Cornell Alliance for Science’s biotech communications platform. However, only conditional approval has been granted for National Performance Trials in Kenya pending a full Environmental Impact Assessment. Recently, extremely high temperatures from December 2018 to February 2019 resulted in a huge failure of WEMA non-GE hybrids while local Open Pollinated Varieties have been much more resilient. Read rest of report.
By Ben Lilliston, IATP – Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy
On the last day of April, 16-year-old Juan de León Gutiérrez died in U.S. government custody in Texas. It was just 10 days since he had crossed the border after migrating from his home in Guatemala. His passing follows the deaths of 8-year old Felipe Gómez Alonzo and 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin in December while in Border Patrol custody—they were also from Guatemala. The Trump administration’s vicious crackdown on people migrating from Mexico and Central America, including unaccompanied children and children separated from their families, is allegedly designed to deter those considering the already dangerous journey north. But the focus on deterrence ignores the intersection of two powerful forces that have destabilized the economies and lives of many in Central America and are driving migration: Climate change and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
Guatemala and Honduras recently surpassed Mexico as the home countries of most people crossing the U.S. southern border. The percentage of families or children traveling alone is much higher than in the past. And, they are not trying to avoid capture, but rather are seeking asylum from dangerous conditions and deep poverty in their home country, according to the Washington Office of Latin America. According to news reports, Gutiérrez was from Camotán, one of the poorest and driest parts of Guatemala that lies within a region known as the “Dry Corridor.” Farmers in the Dry Corridor—which includes parts of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador—lost nearly half their corn and bean crop in 2018 after a multi-year drought dating back to 2015 was followed by torrential rains, according to the United Nations. Time reported that the Gutiérrez family had completely lost their maize and beans in 2017 and 2018 due to the drought. Read the rest of the article.
THURS June 6, 6:00pm
Green New Deal Town Hall
Join Got Green in partnership with Councilmember O'Brien for a community conversation about the Green New Deal and how we can build it to support folks on the frontlines of climate crisis. The mainstream dialogue about The Green New Deal has created an opening for visioning a better world. What would a Green New Deal look like for our communities? For the people on the frontlines of social injustice? How do we make sure people of color and low-income folks don’t get harmed by well-intended policies? This is our chance to be bold, be visionary, and take action. Join the fight for a just transition. Dinner and childcare provided. More info here.
FRI June 7, 5:30pm
"Dammed to Extinction" Film Screening
The Puget Sound Southern Resident orcas’ prize food is Snake River chinook salmon — but those salmon are on the precipice of extinction due to four obsolete dams that choke off access to thousands of miles of rivers. Chinook salmon are in trouble – with less than one percent of their historic abundance returning; this year’s numbers are particularly dismal. "Dammed to Extinction" shows how removing these dams will save money, salmon, and orca. Northwest salmon and Southern Resident orcas need our help today. Hosted by Save our Wild Salmon. Free! More info and tickets here.
SAT, June 8, 2:30pm-5:30pm
I Love Paint & Sip (ILPS)
Enjoy a welcoming and fun environment to make some revolutionary portrait art with Art by Henry Luke and raise funds to send a contingent of local organizers to Hong Kong for the historic 6th International Assembly of the International League of People's Struggle (ILPS). This event will feature a lesson on painting faces, one of the most exciting and often daunting art skills. No experience necessary! $60 admission includes paint supplies and mimosas* *non-alcoholic available. More info here.
SAT, June 8, 5pm-8pmAsian Cajun Vegan Popup Fundraiser
Come out to a popup fundraiser catered by Asian Cajun Vegan to send a contingent of local organizers to Hong Kong for the historic 6th International Assembly of the International League of People's Struggle (ILPS). Asian Cajun Vegan is a future food truck that specializes in plant-based fusion food with gluten free options. There will be two different servings: 5pm-6:30pm and 6:30pm-8pm. Hosted by Parisol / Pacific Rim Solidarity Network and others. More info here. Reserving a spot is required, via this form.
MON June 10, 6:30pm
“Keep the Hives Alive” Film Screening
Celebrate National Pollinator Week! Bees and other pollinators are declining at an alarming rate, and studies link this decline to pesticide use. Beekeepers, farmers, and consumers all need a healthier environment for bees! Honey bees and native pollinators are essential to our food supply and help to provide one in every three bites of food we eat. Watch the film online to learn more about the causes of pollinator declines and how we all can work together to protect and create healthier habitats for our pollinators, or head to Port Townsend on June 10th for an in-person screening.
THURS June 13, 12-4:00pm
Tilth Farm Walk: Ecological Soil Management for Organic Grain Production
The Tilth Alliance's Farm Walks are designed to transfer the hard-earned expertise of established farmers to the current and next generations of sustainable producers. Each Farm Walk features farmer-to-farmer education through a tour of farm or business, with guest experts on hand to share the most current research and resources. This month, learn about cover crops and other soil health management practices, discuss tools for monitoring soil health, and learn about plow-to-package grain farming. More info and registration here.
THURS June 13, 7PM
Artists share works about Central American migrants at Elliot Bay Bookstore: Jorge Pech Casanova, Claudia Castro Luna, Fulgencio Lazo
Elliot Bay Book Company will bring artists across borders and would-be walls, from near and far, and in varying mediums, to be presented bilingually in Spanish and English (if everything goes as planned). From Oaxaca, essayist, journalist, and documentary filmmaker Jorge Pech Casanova will screen his newest documentary La marcha de los diez mil (The March of Ten Thousand), about the exodus of Central Americans through Mexico in October of 2018. He will be joined by Seattle artist and Oaxacan native Fulgencio Lazo, who will present his beautiful new art book, Song for Migrant Children. Claudia Castro Luna, presently Washington State’s Poet Laureate, herself a native of El Salvador, and the author most recently of Killing Marías (Two Sylvias), will read newer work on borders, migration, refugees. Please join us for this special evening. Por favor únete a nosotros para esta noche especial. More info here.
SAT June 15, 7:30pm
Confronting the Threat of Ocean Outbreaks
Renowned scientist Drew Harvell takes the stage at Town Hall with a daunting and urgent report of the rising risks of marine epidemics in Ocean Outbreak: Confronting the Rising Tide of Marine Disease. She underscores these diseases’ destructive potential to cause a mass die-off of wildlife from the bottom to the top of the food chain, impacting the health of ocean ecosystems as well as lives on land. Harvell shares twenty years of research and investigation of four iconic marine animals—corals, abalone, salmon, and starfish—demonstrating how these animals have been devastated by disease—and how they still have the potential to be saved. Through policy changes and the implementation of innovative solutions from nature, we can reduce major outbreaks, save some ocean ecosystems, and protect our fragile environment. Tickets are $5. More info and registration here.
SUN, June 16, 2pm-4pm
Father's Day Rally @ NWDC
Join La Resistencia in Tacoma to tell ICE and GEO that Father's Day should be spent at home with family and community - and NOT in prison! Family friendly event. More details to come, stay updated here.
TUES, June 18, 11am-1pm
Stop Deportations & Keep Families TogetherJoin Seattle Indivisible and others to say NO to Jeh Johnson, ARCHITECT OF THE DEPORTATION MACHINE, as a Speaker in our community! Seattle CityClub’s Choice to invite Secretary Johnson to speak normalizes the ongoing oppression and harm of immigrant & refugee communities and legitimates what federal courts as well as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have already recognized as a fundamental betrayal of our core values. To uphold his voice without a counterpoint is irrefutably anti-immigrant. Seattle cannot distinguish itself as a safe place for immigrants when civic organizations like Seattle CityClub so willingly welcome the “Architect of Deportations” into our own home. Join to loudly say: Stop Deportations! End Family Separation! More info here.
FRI-SUN, June 28-30
June is Pride Month!
Save the date for the last weekend in June! Trans Pride Parade will take place on Friday, June 28th (5pm-8pm), and the Seattle Dyke March will be on Saturday, June 29th (5pm-8pm). Then, on Sunday, June 30th (11am-4pm) join us for the 45th annual Seattle Pride Parade. The parade includes more than 200 participating groups and 60,000 individuals marching in support of LGBTQ pride. This year the parade will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, which became a national movement and eventually led to marches around the country, including the first Seattle Pride march in 1974 – which has been held in late June ever since to commemorate the June 28th Stonewall Riots. See you there!
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