CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | March 4, 2020

March E-News:
SAT March 28 Membership Gathering!
Join CAGJ Leadership
La Resistencia: Ban Private Prisons
How Agri-Business Corporations Influence UN Institutions
Upending farm labor by owning the land
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

Contact us with any questions!


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Coalescing around our Vision and Strategies!

We’re nearing the end of this membership-led strategic assessment process in CAGJ thanks to the important feedback and participation from our community and partners. On SAT March 28 we will hold our third membership gathering! Food provided, register here!

Members at our January Membership Gathering
SAT MAR 28, 9am-4pm
CAGJ Membership Gathering Part 3: Purpose, Vision & Theory of Change
Location: Our office at Welcome Table Church, 1322 S Bayview St, Seattle 98144. Breakfast, lunch & snacks provided – Register today!
Join us for the final membership gathering of our Strategic Assessment & Planning Process! We’ll confirm CAGJ’s new vision and purpose (i.e. mission) statements and identify our organizing strategies, building off of our Theory of Change work and the September and January membership gatherings. Together with our consultant Scott Winn, we will review the building blocks, values, and assumptions informing our strategies to organize for food sovereignty and center racial equity. We’ll report-back on our Solidarity Campaign partner consultations as well. We’re excited to have arrived at this point in the process – Please join us for this important Membership Gathering!


TUES MAR 17, 6:30 - 8:30PM
Monthly Food Justice Project Meeting
Summer School Organizing!
Location: Our office at Welcome Table Church, 1322 S Bayview St
Join us to set our vision for this year’s Rise Up! Summer School, a political education and leadership development program for adults entering its second iteration! From March to May, FJP meetings will be the place to get involved in organizing. This month we will confirm the theme for our Summer School program, set up our curriculum and outreach teams, and plug into roles. This is your opportunity to be involved in an ongoing FJP project!
FJP Meetings are a great way to get involved in CAGJ, and are held the 3rd Tuesday/month. New volunteers are invited to our orientation at 6pm: Please email us to let us know you're attending the orientation. POTLUCK: Please bring food or drink to share, if you are able. All are welcome! For more info, email the Food Justice Project.
May Day in Skagit County/Dia de los Trabajadores
Join our solidarity partner Familias Unidas por la Justicia and the farmworker community to march in honor of all workers! We will be in solidarity with worker movements around the globe to remember the struggles of the past and also continue the legacy of the radical labor movement. Stay updated on the Facebook event here. Want to help organize a carpool from Seattle to Skagit? Get in touch: [email protected].
14TH Annual SLEE Dinner! 
Location: The Polish Home - 1714 18th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
We are excited to announce that CAGJ’s 14th annual SLEE Dinner will be held on October 17th at the site of our very first SLEE, The Polish Home on Capital Hill. We are grateful to Sara Lavenhar for stepping up to coordinate the dinner, who will be familiar to many of you as our long-time registration coordinator. We are seeking interns to help with outreach starting April 1, and volunteers to plug in to the many roles that make SLEE a vibrant community gathering - email Sara if you want to join our 2020 SLEE team - thank you!

Call for Spring-Summer Interns
We are now seeking interns to help CAGJ organize this Spring and Summer! We have a lot of exciting program coming up, including Rise-Up! Summer School and the 14th annual SLEE Dinner. Help us determine the SLEE program, create social media, do outreach and more! Read about internships, and how to apply on our website.
Help us organize: Join CAGJ Leadership
CAGJ is membership-led and driven by leaders in our community! Right now is an exciting time to plug into CAGJ’s organizing by stepping into a volunteer leadership role. No experience needed; we believe all members have the ability to become leaders in our organizing. We will support you in developing grassroots organizing and leadership skills as you support the organization’s goals and growth – and the strengthening of the food sovereignty movement! We are currently seeking At-large Co-Chairs for our Steering Committee, and folks to join our Membership and Fundraising Committees. If interested, you can read more on our website, and let us know you are interested in this online form, and we will follow-up with you soon - thanks!


Support La Resistencia’s Campaign to Ban Private Prisons!

CAGJ endorsed La Resistencia’s campaign to ban private prisons in Washington State. In mid-February, the Senate and House Private Prison Ban bills were gutted. The House bill (HB2576) now calls for a study about the state's ability to conduct inspections in private prisons. The Senate bill (SB6442) aims to restrict DOC usage of private prisons. Neither of these revised bills ban private detention, so La Resistencia is organizing for a stronger bill next year! In the meantime, join their call to put immediate and sustained pressure on the House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, who represents the 27th Legislative District.

From La Resistencia: The House Speakers’ concerns led to the gutting of the bill in the House. Those concerns included the bill's ability to withstand a lawsuit from Geo Group or the Feds. Going forward, we believe she should include our communities in the entire legislative process if she is to work for this bill to become law next year. To us, this means the process should be open and transparent. Our work to ensure she is an ally in passing a bill next year begins today!

Take Action: Call and Email House Speaker Jinkins
(360) 786-7930, [email protected]
Call Script:
Hi, my name is (name), and I am a concerned (eg parent, teacher, Washington resident). I am calling to let House Speaker Jinkins know that I supported the Private Prison Ban bill this year and am disappointed to hear that the bill was gutted such that it is no longer a ban. I support the continued work to pass a Private Prison Ban bill in 2021. Can we count on House Speaker Jinkins to work collaboratively and tirelessly with communities leading this effort to pass a Private Prison Ban bill in 2021?
Email Script:
Dear Speaker Jinkins,
I am a concerned (eg parent, teacher, Washington resident) writing to let you know of my support for this year's Private Prison Ban bill. I am disappointed to hear that the bill was gutted such that it is no longer a ban. I will continue to support the passage of a Private Prison Ban bill in 2021. Can we count on you to work collaboratively and tirelessly with communities leading this effort to pass a Private Prison Ban bill in 2021? I look forward to your response.
(Your Name)


How Agri-Business Corporations Influence UN Institutions
Article by Anuradha Mittal, Oakland Institute

Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) was appointed as the United Nations Secretary-General Special Envoy to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. Upon arriving in Rome on Feb 10 to meet with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director General, Dr. Kalibata’s appointment was rejected by over 175 civil society organizations from 83 countries. Dr. Kalibata also serves on the board of the International Fertilizer Development Center.

“By 2021, when the UN summit will take place, an estimated one billion people will be suffering from chronic undernourishment while climate crisis is already the defining issue of the century. While strong political will is urgently needed to tackle this human made disaster, the appointment of Dr. Kalibata to lead, prepare, and design the Summit, hijacks yet another global forum to promote fossil-fuel based corporate industrial agriculture. Willfully ignoring the past failures of the Green Revolution and industrial agriculture, AGRA continues orienting farmers into global value chains for the export of cash crop commodities. Furthermore, AGRA's model of fossil fuel-based industrial agriculture is laying waste to the environment. AGRA is after all a mouth-piece of agro-industrial corporations and their shareholders. AGRA’s takeover of the summit will fuel global hunger and further compound the climate crisis. Appointment of a wrong candidate to lead the UN Food Systems Summit is a deliberate attempt to silence the farmers of the world who feed, nurture, and protect the planet.” Read the full article here.

Read the Oakland Institute's call to revoke AGRA’s Agnes Kalibata As Special Envoy to 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.

'No supervisors, no boss': Upending farm labor by owning the land
By Manola Secaira, Crosscut. Interview with Modesto Hernandez, Ramon Torres and Rosalinda Guillen.

CAGJ had the honor of consulting with Familias Unidas por la Justicia leadership recently, as one of our Solidarity Campaign partners, and we are excited to continue to support their efforts, as well as the farm co-founded by their leadership, Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad!

Check out more photos from our visit here.

It’s the middle of winter, and in the darkness of early morning, Modesto Hernandez and Ramón Torres drive up to their fields of raspberries and blueberries in Bellingham to make their morning rounds. The bushes are skeletal and dark, with a thin sheet of snow dusted over them. The two stay in the car, peering over the fields, and strategize. The 65-acre parcel they co-own is fairly small as far as berry farms go, and they can’t afford to lose any of their crop.

Hernandez last worked at a corporate agriculture farm in 2008 as a contracted farmer. That year, he was ordered to work in the fields in the middle of winter, with snow on the ground. He got frostbite on his feet after hours of pruning and spent seven months in the hospital as a result. Eventually, he had parts of his feet surgically removed. He now uses prosthetics and walks with a cane. “If they’d listened to me at first, it wouldn’t have happened,” Hernandez says. “That’s what happens [in a corporate farm].” 

But he co-owns the land he farms now — 65 acres of it, although only 30 acres are currently in use. Torres, 35, and Hernandez, 43, founded the organic berry farm Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad (Land and Liberty Cooperative) together after leaving jobs on corporate farms. Both had spent years farming for big companies and had grown disenchanted with it, experiencing unpaid breaks, unreliable pay (often paid by the pound rather than the hour) and a lack of flexibility that made it difficult to tend to needs outside of work.

There are plenty of farming cooperatives around the country — the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives reports that there are nearly 3,000. But worker-owned farming cooperatives like this one, which works as a unit on all parts of production from start to finish and focuses on laborers’ rights, are fairly uncommon.

After Torres joined FUJ, he and other farm workers successfully negotiated a contract giving Sakuma Brothers Farms workers an average wage of $15 an hour in 2016. He’s now that union’s president. It was through Community to Community that Torres met Hernandez, who’d connected with the organization after his injury. 

But Guillen says that unions aren’t always the answer. While unions are one way to push back against an agricultural system that fails to care for its workers, a worker-owned cooperative business puts direct control back in the hands of the laborers themselves. “Cooperatives are an alternative — almost like a transition into a different type of sustainability within the capitalist system that we live in,” Guillen says. Read the full article.


Climate Justice Concert with Amora & Julia Newman
Come join us for a special night of music and unity for climate justice! Be blessed with our incredibly talented musicians and activists including Alexandra Blakely, Brooke Hatch, and Julia Newman. Benefit for 350 Seattle and The People’s Echo. Please consider a minimum donation of $20, but NO ONE will be turned away for lack of funds. Location:The Collective Seattle, 400 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109. Learn more here.
SAT Mar 7, 1PM-5PM
A Global Imagination - Music, Dance, Artists for our Earth
Be transformed and inspired by song, music, and visuals to connect with the Earth and learn ways we can address the climate crisis.  Learn more here.
SUN MAR 8, 9-10:30AM; 1-4PM
Seattle Womxn's March Brunch & Rally; Womxn's March on Seattle 2020
Even with Donald Trump's impeachment underway, the rights and safety of womxn, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, and anyone else who is not a wealthy white man are still at risk. For the fourth year in a row, join Seattle Indivisible, the Washington Immigrants Solidarity Network, and other local organizations in one of many marches happening around the country. Learn more here.
TUES March 17, 7pm
Rebecca Solnit: Recollections of My Nonexistence
In Recollections of My Nonexistence, Rebecca Solnit describes her formation as a writer and as a feminist in 1980s San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and throughout society and the exclusion of women from cultural arenas. She tells of being poor, hopeful, and adrift in the city that became her great teacher; of the small apartment that, when she was nineteen, became the home in which she transformed herself; of how punk rock gave form and voice to her own fury and explosive energy.  She explores the forces that liberated her as a person and as a writer–books themselves, the gay men around her who offered other visions of what gender, family, and joy could be, and her eventual arrival in the spacious landscapes and overlooked conflicts of the American West. These influences taught her how to write in the way she has ever since, and gave her a voice that has resonated with and empowered many others. Learn more here.
WED Mar 18, 7PM-9PM
Building Community Power: "The Response" Movie Screening
Join 350 Seattle for "The Response," a 30-minute film about the recovery in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria. Stay afterward for a discussion about what we can do in Seattle to prepare and to be ready to help our neighbors if a disaster of this magnitude were to strike our region. No minimum or maximum amount is suggested for entry, just pay what you can.  Learn more here.
WED Mar 18, 6:30PM-8:30PM 
Gender Justice = Justice for All; Creating Change at Every Age
Join Oxfam America Action Fund for a night of storytelling, interactive communal artwork, and celebration of womxn changemakers.  Learn more here.
THURS, MAR 19, 7:30PM
Sophie Egan with Tim Egan - Conscious Food Choices For Ourselves and the Planet
Is organic food really worth it? Are eggs okay to eat? What does it mean if something’s labeled “Fair Trade,” or “Biodynamic,” or “Cage Free”? Health, nutrition, and sustainability expert Sophie Egan explores the world of ethical food choices we face every day. With insight that aims to revolutionize our understanding of food, Sophie draws from her book How to Be a Conscious Eater: Making Food Choices That Are Good for You, Others, and the Planet and joins in conversation with environmental author and journalist Tim Egan. Tickets are free for youth (22 and under) and 5$ for adults.  Learn more here. 
MON April 6 - SUN Jun 28 2020
Exhibition - You Are On Indigenous Land: Places/Displaces
The artists in this exhibition use traditional and contemporary visual expressions that acknowledge the interconnectedness of humans and the land and the critical need to protect the earth against degradation. Traditional art forms like basketry, wood carving, and weaving are storehouses of memory, marking ancestral origins and movements across the landscape. New forms of storytelling in painting, printmaking, and video create new spaces for justice and understanding.  Learn more here.
TUES April 21, 11:30 am–2 pm
Stand Against Racism
A community discussion about taking action to eliminate institutional and structural racism with Ijeoma Oluo, author of the New York Times best-seller, So You Want To Talk About Race.  Learn more here.
WEDS, APRIL 22, 7:30PM
Climate Change And Farmland - Building A Resilient Future For Washington with Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, PCC Farmland Trust presents national bestselling authors and mother-daughter duo Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé, who bring a multi-generational perspective on the environment, the climate crisis, and our food system. Frances and Anna are joined by a panel of local farmers who offer insight on building a sustainable and resilient food system and share real stories about climate change impacts on farmland, and the ways they are working to mitigate and adapt. Honor the power of soil and the knowledge of farmers as one answer to Washington’s low-carbon, resilient future.  Tickets are free for youth (22 and under) and 5$ for adults. Learn more here. 
WEDS April 29, 7:30PM
Danielle Sered and Nikkita Oliver: Violence, Incarceration, and a Road to Repair
Although over half the people incarcerated in America today have committed violent offenses, the focus of reformers has been almost entirely on nonviolent and drug offenses. Danielle Sered takes aim at issues of mass incarceration, insisting that we cannot just critique violence and mass incarceration, but must build practical, moral solutions to displace them.  Learn more here.

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