WILPF – March 2017

WILPF – March 2017
Raging Grannies at Support Planned Parenthood demonstration, February 11. Image by Leni Reeves.


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


March 1 (first Wednesday of each month) at noon at Fresno County Courthouse; come at least once this critical year! Wear black, bring a sign if you wish, and stand in silence for peace.


WILPF – ON KFCF 88.1 FM (Listener -supported Free Speech Radio for Central California). March 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!


Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 PM. Call Ellie Bluestein 559-449-1817 for details.


At the February 4 Northern California cluster meeting, Fresno WILPF members presented our strategy for coordinated issue-oriented advocacy with legislators, and this group of chapters will begin to work out the details so that the offices of senators and congressional representatives throughout the region are all visited by WILPF delegations presenting information and demanding action on the same issue each month.  Legislative Committee meets and visits legislators’ offices monthly.  Contact Betty Sempadian or Jean Hays for information.

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

Cluster Meeting Report

The WILPF Branch Cluster meeting of North Central CA was held in Sacramento on Feb. 4, 2017.   There about 40  members present, representing Fresno, San Jose, East Bay/San Fransisco, Palo Alto/Monterey,  Sacramento, and Ojai branches.

We discussed Sanctuary Cities and the best practices for a Sanctuary City, and SB54, the California Values Act, which will ensure that state and local resources are not used to support the Trump deportation machine. Other topics were how to shelter homeless people, supporting the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, the success of the Women’s Marches, the methods used by the Legislative Committee in Fresno to communicate with elected officials, and, of course, how different clusters promote PEACE.  It is energizing to be in the company of people who put forth so much effort to make the world better for all.

—– Joyce Kauder


Friday, March 17, 5:30, CSUF CineCulture.

Ever wonder what things were used to make those fashion jeans you love to wear?  You know that worn look that may include a few holes in the fabric.  The shocking truth is that, through harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste, your favorite jeans have probably contributed to the destruction of rivers and impacted the lives of people who count on these waterways for their survival.  International Water Day is March 22.  On Friday, March 17 WILPF will co-sponsor the CineCulture presentation of the eye-opening documentary, RiverBlue.  This film brings awareness to the destruction of some of the world’s most vital rivers through the manufacturing of our clothing. Hopefully, it will act as a catalyst for us to demand significant change in the textile industry from the top fashion brands that have the ability to make a difference, and for us to buy sustainably manufactured clothing.  You are invited to follow international river conservationist, Mark Angelo as he travels the globe to infiltrate one of the world’s most pollutive industries, fashion!  Next time you step into your favorite jeans, think of where and how they were manufactured.  RiverBlue: Friday, March 17, 5:30, CSUF CineCulture.  Post-screening discussant: Roger Williams, the film’s director.


Potluck/Open House: All are invited to join us on Saturday, March 18, from 1pm to 4:30pm for a potluck/open house at the Dakota EcoGarden. Bring food to share and join the residents and volunteer directors and board members in a meal and conversation. Take a tour of our organic garden, see the Art Dyson-designed Eco Shelters – one still under construction.

Successes and Plans:  Soon we will start on the solar system for the house because we have raised the amount we think we will need; we are grateful for your donations. We also have started a savings account incentive program for residents which provides matching funds to help with rent and deposits needed when they move out, and there are now two bus passes for residents to share. We also have had lots of volunteers lately, spreading gravel in the parking area, hoeing weeds, and helping Gerry Bill construct the new eco shelter: it rotates! We’ve had students from CSUF, Fresno City College, and Edison High School; and, in February, WINGS Fresno shared with us an abundance of volunteers from a local credit union.

How you can help: If you would like to do some work in the garden or help construct a unique ecopod, have a rental apartment or room you would consider making available to a graduate of our project, or have a cleaning, gardening or other task that one of our residents could do for a little cash, please call. And please help persuade our new mayor that the homeless problem can have a solution, that it would not only help many people regain their lives, it would make Fresno a model city and himself a hero.

We have no vacancies as of mid-February, but always call if you see a need: Nancy Waidtlow (559) 224-1738.

Our location: 2231 W. Dakota Ave. Fresno, 93704. We have a facebook page, Dakota EcoGarden, and are part of the non-profit Eco Village Project of Fresno: www.ecovillagefresno.org.



The first Women’s Day observance was held in 1909, in New York. It was organized by the Socialist Party of America, honoring the 1908 strike of the International Ladies Garment Worker’s Union.  It was originally called International Working Women’s Day.

Immigrant Women’s Rights Forum 

Wednesday, March 8, from 3 -4 PM

Fresno City Council Chambers, 2600 Fresno St

Indigenous Mexican, Middle Eastern, South and Southeast Asian Women will share their migration journey, talk about the circumstances that led them to migrate, and how they are building a sense of place and belonging in their new country.

Fear and Threat Will Not Silence Women’s Voices Rally

Fresno City Hall Plaza after 4pm

The rally will be an open public space for immigrant and non-immigrant women to be together and challenge the narrative of fear of the new administration that insists on presenting immigrants as a threat to “America’s security.”  Join us in solidarity, make your voice heard, and challenge the rhetoric of hatred with love, peace, and creativity.

American Friends Service Committee/Pan Valley Institute

For additional information, contact Myrna Martinez Nateras, Program Director   MNateras@afsc.org

Arte Americas Women’s Day Event

March 8, 6pm-8pm at Arte Americas (1630 Van Ness in Downtown Fresno) hosted by Frank Delgado and Devoya Mayo.   Poets, acoustic music, and a Raging Grannies performance.  Light refreshments. All are invited to bring their protest signs from any march to take photos in front of our Women’s March sign display.

Free and open to the public. More information will be posted soon at www.arteamericas.org


Fresno WILPF has exciting plans to celebrate Mother Earth during Earth Week. Here they are:

  • April 22 (Earth Day) Look for the WILPF booth at the annual Earth Day Celebration. Lots of information and activities for children of all ages.
  • April 23 Afternoon River Ceremony at Lost Lake and blessing by First Nations people from our area. Park free at FINS fish hatchery and walk the very short, beautiful trail to Lost Lake, a wonderful way to view Mother Nature’s beauty.
  • April 25 Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba Event.
  • April 25-27 WILPF Library Committee Earth-themed book presentations at various schools.
  • April 28 Adam Scow of Food & Water Watch will give a presentation on the dangers of use of fracking water to irrigate our crops, with information on proposed legislation to stop this practice. This event will be a potluck with music, held in the Wolk Garden.
  • April 29 Citizen’s Climate March.

More info in next edition


Fresno WILPF has been there: at the airport, at the marches, in front of Nunes’s office, at the forums, defending Planned Parenthood, in our representatives’ offices.  We are in it for the long haul, and we know that when we stick together and resist we can win.

Raging Grannies at Support Planned Parenthood demonstration, February 11. Image by Leni Reeves.
Joyce Kauder at February 11 RESIST march. Image by Leni Reeves.
Reza Nekumanesh with Teresa Castillo at the protest against the Muslim Ban at the Fresno airport on January 29.

The WILPF page is compiled and edited by Leni Villagomez Reeves or Patty Bennett lenivreeves@gmail.com


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    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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