WILPF BUSINESS MEETING
WILPF will meet Thursday, March 12, 7 p.m., at the Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N. Van Ness Ave. This meeting is open to all members.
WOMEN IN BLACK
March 4, the first Wednesday of each month, at noon at the 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)
March 25, 3 p.m. (fourth Wednesday of each month). Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Tune in!
Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 p.m. Call Ellie at 559-229-9807 for details.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MARCH 8
Centennial Committee Report
WILPF’s 100th anniversary celebration will take place April 27–29 at The Hague, where 1000 women whose men were fighting each other in WWI met to put an end to war. And the challenge seems even greater now. All spaces are filled for the Hague celebration, but we’ll get reports on our WILPF International Web site. Fresno WILPF started just 50 years ago, and our history is every bit as notable and courageous. We’ve been offered space to display it in the county libraries and in the Madden Library at Fresno State, and we have extensive archives at the university to call on, as well as personal collections and photos from our great photographers. So help us put it all together. Ann Caruthers, Mary Murphy, Joy Quigley, Claudia Lufts, Elke Kurpiers or Ellie Bluestein: Contact any of us. The rest of you please look through your collections of posters, clippings, photos, mementos and bring us what you have. You will be amazed at what we have done—and are still doing—internationally and at home.
Legislative Committee Report
The Legislative Committee has been busy delivering letters to our Congresspeople. Our January topic was the Keystone XL Pipeline. WILPF expressed the reasons for our opposition in letters delivered to the offices of Senators Feinstein and Boxer. After many attempts, our committee met with Rep. Devin Nunes’s field representative, Jose Avila, and presented our letter addressing the Keystone XL Pipeline issue to him.. He relayed that Rep. Nunes supports the pipeline.
We also visited with Kim Schaefer, the district director for Rep. Jim Costa and presented her with our Keystone XL letter. Ms. Schaefer related that Mr. Costa is anxious to please both Democrats and Republicans in his district; he voted to support the Keystone XL Pipeline. We will visit his Fresno office and Nunes’s offices again!
The topic for this month’s Legislative Committee visits is immigration. This is a large topic, and we have much to learn! Luckily, at our last committee meeting we had help from Brisa Cruz and Luis Ojeda of Fresno Immigrant Youth in Action (wearefiya.org) and from Community Alliance Editor Ernesto Saavedra. They explained some of the issues and problems with DAPA and DACA and discussed the issues of driver’s licenses and insurance, giving us information to draw on when we visit our representatives. Another valuable resource is No More Deaths (www.nomoredeaths.org). We are thankful to have so many resources as we prepare the letter and legislators’ visits.
EARTH DEMOCRACY REPORT
Each year, our Fresno Branch joins with Fresno State’s CineCulture to present an environmental film around March 22, International Water Day. This year, for the March 20 screening, we chose the documentary Oil and Water, and are excited to have Hugo Lucitante, featured in the film, as the discussant! Oil and Water is the coming-of-age story of two boys as they each confront one of the world’s worst toxic disasters, the prolonged contamination of the Ecuadorian Amazon by Texaco and other oil companies. Hugo comes to America to fight for the survival of his tribe, the Cofán, while David goes to Ecuador to launch the world’s first company to certify oil as “fair trade.” Can Hugo become the leader his tribe so desperately wants him to be? Will David clean up one of the world’s dirtiest industries? Join us at CineCulture on March 20 and find out!
The City of Fresno is proposing to almost double its water rates over the next three years, with most of the revenue used to build a new surface water treatment plant. Normally, Fresno has access to water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains but what the city doesn’t seem to realize is that we are in the midst of a serious drought and might not get any water from the Sierra this year or in the future.
WILPF Earth Democracy Committee members Ann Carruthers, Mary Murphy, Jean Hays and Joan Poss attended the hearing and testified, along with fellow WILPFers Gerry Bill, Nancy Waidtlow and Bev Fitzpatrick, emphasizing the importance of water conservation, pointing out several examples of cities that have implemented brilliant plans to conserve and manage their water.
The four Earth Democracy WILPFers presented the City Council with a fact sheet, compiled by Mary Murphy, detailing problems with the proposed water treatment solution, which assumes there will be water to treat! Other suggestions included a Living Machine System that treats water at a fraction of the cost of building a treatment plant. Our suggestions seemed to fall on deaf ears, but the vote to approve the $429 million plan will take place on Feb. 26 and we are hopeful that an alternative will be considered, one that will help preserve our precious water for future generations!
(Note: The Sempadian Report on Cuba will continue in a future issue.)
The WILPF page is edited by Leni Villagomez Reeves, physician, activist, translator and EMS captain, BMVFD. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.