Ann Carruthers with Jane Addams Children’s Book Award display: Reading for Peace and Justice.

WILPF – February 2017

WILPF BUSINESS MEETING

WILPF will meet Thursday February 9 at 7 PM, at Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N Van Ness.  This meeting is open to all members.

WOMEN IN BLACK   Feb 1 (first Wednesday of each month) at noon at Fresno County Courthouse; come on the month in which your birthday falls! Wear black, bring a sign if you wish, and stand in silence for peace.

STIR IT UP – WILPF – ON KFCF 88.1 FM (Listener -supported Free Speech Radio for Central California)

February 22,  3 PM (4th Wednesday of each month)  Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities.  Tune in to 88.1!

RAGING GRANNIES

Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 PM.  Ellie Bluestein’s new phone # is 559-449-1817.Call for details.

UNITY

Legislative Committee has presented our issue coordination strategy to WILPF chapters nationwide. Our effect can be multiplied if senators and congressional representatives in many parts of the country are all visited by WILPF delegations presenting information and demanding action on the same issue each month. We await the response of other chapters and hope to work out the process of deciding issues and formulating letters and talking points on a nation-wide WILPF basis soon.

For a valuable resource on effective advocacy, see Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda  https://www.indivisibleguide.com/web/

In January, Fresno WILPF Legislative committee worked on health care – defending Planned Parenthood, Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid. We will continue to resist all attempts to cut people off from healthcare.  Join us! Contact Betty Sempadian or Jean Hays


CALIFORNIA CLUSTER MEETING FEBRUARY 4

WILPF California Branches Cluster Meeting 2017

Saturday, Feb. 4

9:30 A.M.-3:30 P.M. Southside Park Co-housing 434 T Street  Sacramento

Contact Sabreena Britt at breenabritt@gmail.com  or 916-717-6426

Those registering after Jan 20 will need to provide their own lunch.

Workshops will feature successful projects and their lessons for future planning, and cross-branch cooperation; keynote speaker will be Nancy Price  on “Fair Trade Under Trump.”  The Raging Grannies will perform.


DAKOTA ECOGARDEN UPDATE

Watch for a potluck/open house in March. See Alliance calendar or Dakota EcoGarden Facebook page or www.ecovillagefresno.org. You will see the amazing new dinosaur-egg ecoshelter on its rotating platform in almost finished form, our woodworking shop, an arts and crafts area that used to be a smoking area, and hopefully, a thriving spring-planted garden, as well as having the pleasure of talking with residents and volunteers and maybe seeing some way you can help. Or, don’t wait, come by for a tour. Call N. Waidtlow, 559-224-1738, and we’ll set a time.

We picked up a dozen big barrels donated by an almond roasting company in Madera and have been using them for water collection and storage. We need a huge tank to store the recent rainwater for use in the garden later, but at least we are avoiding the puddling around the house that we used to have.

We had a marvelous donation which puts $8000 into a matching fund for solar for the house. An end of the year fund-raising letter has encouraged many donors to contribute to the fund. We are probably not there yet, but we know some folks are planning beginning-of-the-year contributions so maybe that will be the next project.

We are at capacity but are always willing to take applications for future vacancies. The main message, of course, is that there is no excuse for the City of Fresno to continue its heartless policy of pretending it is doing everything possible to ameliorate the problem of homelessness. With a new mayor, I do have hope.

………   Nancy Waidtlow


FRESNO WILPF SUPPORTS

BLACK LIVES MATTER/BROWN BERET POLICE POLICY PROPOSAL

Let’s Make Sure We All Make it Home: Community Proposal for Changing Police Policies and Practices was formulated by Black Lives Matter Fresno and the Fresno Brown Berets, discussed in community meetings, and presented at a press conference on January 3, 2017. This proposal outlines preventive policies including a requirement for other alternatives to be exhausted prior to the use of lethal force. A “No Shoot Policy” includes de-escalation and non-lethal alternatives, use of mental health professionals, avoidance of excessive force. It also sets some parameters for the evaluation of officer-involved shootings, so that evidence can be gathered in a timely manner and independent, thorough investigations can be carried out in an impartial environment.

Fresno WILPF endorses and supports this proposal. We too say, as the proposal states,” Fresno has one of the most diverse cities in the nation, and the people would like to trust our law enforcement officers and leadership in caring for both the people and the peace officers. We the people urge the Fresno Police Department to take a stand, and become the beacon of change we would like to see in the city and nation.”


CHILDREN, BOOKS, JUSTICE

Each year WILPF Fresno has donated sets of Jane Addams Children’s Award and Honor books to Central, West Fresno, Betty Rodriguez and Gillis library branches. At WILPF’s January membership meeting approval was given for the purchase of an additional set 2016  to give to the Malaga Community Center. In February, the Committee will take these books as well as some 75 additional books that have been donated by Gioia Frank and by author Margarita Engle. Malaga has no library and no bookmobile visits, a fact you may want to call to the attention of your county supervisor.

Jane Addams Peace Association  Book Award Winners

New Shoes written by Susan Lynn Meyer, illustrated by Eric Velasquez is the Winner in the Books for Younger Children category. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley, illustrated by PJ Loughran, is the Winner in the Books for Older Children category. Honor books are: Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation written by Edwidge Danticat, illustrated by Leslie Staub, The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, and Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton.


A NOTE FROM THE FRESNO WILPF EDITOR

These are bad times. But they are not the first bad times or the worst bad times in history.  Reaction, racism, and repression have always been, like violence, as American as apple pie.  Nor are they unique to the US. It is our duty to struggle, but I have included a different quote, along with others that also reflect strength and courage. The beginning and the end is “action.” We may choose our way of resistance but no one can sit this one out and still preserve self-respect. Fresno WILPF is a group of people who offer commitment and integrity in struggle. Our arms are hope and solidarity. We welcome you.

—-Leni Villagomez Reeves


“Action is indeed the sole medium of expression for ethics.”

—-Jane Addams

“Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

—- Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. “

—-Rosa Parks

“Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories…”

—-Amilcar Cabral

“Conventional wisdom would have one believe that it is insane to resist this, the mightiest of empires, but what history really shows is that today’s empire is tomorrow’s ashes; that nothing lasts forever, and that to not resist is to acquiesce in your own oppression. The greatest form of sanity that anyone can exercise is to resist that force that is trying to repress, oppress, and fight down the human spirit.”

—- Mumia Abu-Jamal

“History has a long-range perspective. It ultimately passes stern judgment on tyrants and vindicates those who fought, suffered, were imprisoned, and died for human freedom, against political oppression and economic slavery.”

—Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

“Dreams and reality are opposites. Action synthesizes them.”

—- Assata Shakur

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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