9/24 General Volunteer Meeting

Join us at our September general volunteer meeting – come find out what’s new with NCPA and how you can get involved! We meet at the Labor Temple (840 E Street, Eureka) from 1:00-3:00. Details/RSVP/Share on Facebook.

Please review the following documents beforehand:

9/24 Meeting Agenda

Endorsement Application – D. Kelley

Endorsement Application – B. Diester

If you’re new to NCPA, please try to arrive at 12:30 for a brief pre-meeting orientation.

You’re also welcome to stay afterwards for our Book Club meeting at 3:00.

7/14/2017 Action Alert for Eureka!

Attention friends — your quick action is needed!

Eureka City Manager Greg Sparks is scheduled to appoint an interim police chief for Eureka next week, and we at NCPA think the public deserves to have some input. Rumors are swirling about potential candidates, and we want to be sure that both the interim (and permanent) chief reflects this community’s values and serves our interests.

Please take a few minutes today to call the City Manager, as well as all City Council Members, to respectfully demand the following, in your own words:

  • That the decision regarding an interim chief appointment be delayed a short while to allow for community input (and that they proactively seek out that input from all sectors of our community);
  • That the person chosen as interim chief be someone of good moral character with a clean record and a proven history of trustworthiness; and
  • That the process to select a permanent police chief be open, transparent, and inclusive – ideally with help from a task force representing a broad spectrum of interests and populations, including those most at risk – immigrants, low income folks, youth, homeless, women, and people of color.

Contact information:

Thanks, and onward to the future we deserve!

Viking Economics – We Can Have This, Too

Viking Economics by George Lakey
Review by N. Moran

Ever wonder what society will look like for our children and grandchildren? Will we all have health care in 10 years? Or will we still have a dysfunctional healthcare system that privileges those with the money to pay, and is a gift to the insurance industry? How about our higher educational system: Will we increasingly send our students into lifelong debt? Or will we move to invest in our greatest resource, our young people, and offer them a chance to really make their best contribution? And how about the big banks; will they continue to siphon our wealth into the coffers of the richest few?

Or will we be able to do what the Nordic countries have done, and whip the banks into submission, so that the economy serves the needs of its people? We could then use our wealth to offer National Improved Medicare for All and free quality education, we could use our wealth to support the growing cooperative model of non-exploitative businesses, and at the same time, we could protect the environment from further degradation.

Well-known activist, professor and author, George Lakey, in his latest book, Viking Economics, examines how this not only can be done, but actually has been done in countries such as Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland. By all standards of quality of life, these countries fare better than we do in the U.S. Universal programs (such as those that care for the elderly, offer parental leave, living wages and one-month annual vacations) have buy-in from everyone, especially the working and middle-classes. These programs are supported by the majority of people because they are not means-tested subsidies for the poor, they are for everyone – so everyone supports them. These countries value full employment, high productivity, and a high standard of living for all.

Lakey’s coverage of Norwegian and Swedish history clarifies that none of what these countries have was handed to them gratis. Much as the working class in the U.S. fought for an end to child labor, for an 8-hour day, social security, and other rights and benefits, the working classes of the Scandinavian countries also had to wage many nonviolent direct action campaigns over the last century and a half to get where they are today. The difference between their countries and ours is that they continued their fight for a more just and equal society, whereas we have largely retreated from the agenda set by the working class struggles of the first half of the last century. Where they continue to go on the offensive, we have largely moved to a defensive mode, trying to protect gains won in the past.

It helps to take a step back from our daily politics and our daily struggles, as we can do in a book club discussion, and look at the vision we have for our future society. To see how other countries have built – and continue to build – better societies is an inspiration. The chapter on Iceland’s handling of its banking crisis draws a sharp contrast to the way the Bush and Obama administrations handed our 2008 banking crisis over to Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan to solve. While Iceland’s collapse was arguably worse than our own, people stayed in their homes, the government expanded the social safety net and let the biggest banks go bust. The population as a whole felt an uptick in their sense of well-being. That result stands in sharp contrast to the ongoing foreclosures – with the resulting rise in homelessness – here in the U.S.

So, when we wonder what our society will look like for our children and grandchildren, we could look at countries who are heading in a different direction than the one our largest corporations and banks have in mind. We can also look at our rich history of experience with people power, including civil resistance, nonviolent struggles, boycotts, occupy, strikes and demonstrations. Since our struggles of the 30’s and 60’s, we have learned much about grassroots organizing. But unlike those past years, when we were offered options, when we experienced growing prosperity, and the government still had some legitimacy, we are now faced with a system which increasingly cannot provide for the basic needs of its citizens. Then, the alternative economic designs were made to seem scary; now the Nordic Model shows us that healthcare for all, business coops, caring for the environment, childcare, public pensions, public transportation and free public education for all ages, can be a reality. Countries like Norway, Sweden and Iceland are the best places to grow old, where there is no fear of hunger, homelessness or lack of medications. Isn’t it time we gave it a try?

We’re in this for the long haul. Are you?

There’s no way to sugar coat it. Things right now are bad. We know that many of you are super energized to get involved and fight for our shared values, and we’re writing today with one idea for how you can do just that.

Transforming our current national leadership to one guided by progressive values is going to take time. The actions we invest now will pay off over the long haul. One of the most important things we can do is to engage deeply at a local level. By shaping our local and state governments, we can push for the change we need from the bottom up.

The following vacancies are coming up in 2017 through the City of Arcata. If you or someone you know lives or works in the Arcata Planning Area, please consider applying for one of these positions. More information here.

  • For the term beginning 5/1/2017 – 3 seats on the Open Space & Ag Committee (Members have knowledge of active and passive recreation, fish and wildlife, land trusts, local agricultural farming, watershed management, wetland/riparian ecology and economic land use policy.)
  • For the term beginning 5/1/2017 – 2 seats on the Parks & Recreation Committee (Members have knowledge in recreational activities, parkland development, local and regional trails, the arts and other related activities.)
  • For the term beginning 8/1/2017 – 2 seats on the Forest Management Committee (Members have knowledge of multi-resource forest management, which includes forest ecology, forest management, watershed management, wildlife, fisheries, botany and recreation.)
  • For the term beginning 8/1/2017 – 1 seat on the Historic Landmarks Committee (Members have knowledge of Arcata’s social, built and cultural environment, or of design and building technology. Members do not have to live or work in the Arcata Planning Area.)
  • For the term beginning 8/1/2017 – 1 seat on the Planning Commission (Members have knowledge of all areas of City planning and development.)
  • For the term beginning 11/1/2017 – 3 seats on the Energy Committee (Members have knowledge of energy usage, conservation, regulation and/or generation.)
  • For the term beginning 11/1/2017 – 4 seats on the Transportation Safety Committee (Members reflect, as much as possible, interest in all transportation modes, including pedestrian, bicyclist, mass transit and skateboarding.
  • For the term beginning 11/1/2017 – 2 seats on the Wetlands and Creeks Committee (Members have knowledge of wildlife, fisheries, watershed management, wetland ecology, wetland/riparian botany, water quality, Arcata’s creeks, riparian areas, or wetlands and tidelands.

2017: Resolve to Get Involved!

Chances are, since you’re reading this blog, you already care deeply about progressive issues like environmental protection, social justice, and equality. We are all painfully aware of the impending aggressive attacks on these values that we hold dear. Many ideals and individuals will be put in danger, so there’s never been a better time to step up your involvement and activism than now.

To that end, we have a few ideas and opportunities to share, right here in Humboldt County.

 

  • Join the newly formed local chapter of the national organization SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice).

 

Image result for 350.org logo

  • Join the newly formed local chapter of 350.org
    • Read about 350 National.
    • Attend the local chapter’s next meeting on January 10th at 6:00 p.m. at the Labor Temple in Eureka (840 E Street).
    • If you’d like to be added to the Google Group for 350-Humboldt to participate in online discussions between meetings, request to be added here, or just reply to this email and ask to be added.

 

  • Join the local ACLU Chapter

The local branch of the ACLU is hoping to expand to meet the challenges ahead, and is recruiting new members (especially for its Board of Directors, though all are invited to participate).

If you are an ACLU member or are interested in becoming one, and would like to become involved locally, please contact Peter Martin by phone at 707-268-0445 or by email at peter@petermartinlaw.com.The local chapter meets on the third Thursday of each month at noon at 1369 G Street in Arcata, so their next meeting is on 1/17. There is also an annual meeting scheduled for 1/23 at 6:00 p.m. at the D Street Neighborhood Center in Arcata.

 

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Injustice Boycott and #NoDAPL

Many of us in Humboldt feel the need to support members of our community who may be affected by the increase in racist tension already being experienced across the country as a result of the election of Donald Trump. Our hearts might be in the right place, but what can we do?

An opportunity now presents itself. Noted journalist Shaun King has announced a Montgomery-bus-type boycott focused on three U.S. cities where we see some of the ugliest manifestations of racism and oppression.

Phase 1 of the boycott (December 5th – January 16th) was timed to begin on the anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott started by another King, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shaun King’s call to boycott could very well deliver an historic impact equal to the original.

San Francisco and New York

Two of the three targeted cities, San Francisco and New York City, while enjoying a liberal reputation, have painful records of police violence. Officials in both cities have specific goals, set by local activists and concerned citizens. Go to InjusticeBoycott.com and subscribe to keep up with the daily emails of very doable actions that we can all participate in.  If city officials do not make headway on these specific goals before January 16th, the actual boycott will begin. Once substantial progress has been made, the boycott will be lifted. Another city will then take its place in the boycott’s cross hairs. The boycott will last as long as necessary to make our cities safe for all residents. And, it’s worth noting that all precautions will be taken to decrease risks to, and even improve, the local economy of the affected cities.

Standing Rock

Standing Rock, Water Protectors

But there is a third city, Standing Rock, at the center of the boycott efforts. Beginning immediately, the boycott calls for a divestment of all funds from the banks which fund the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Shaun King spells it out:

“A DeFund DAPL movement is already fully underway and we encourage you to join it. While the decision by the Army Corps of Engineers was a start, the best way to ensure that this pipeline is stopped, is to hit it where it counts — in its funding. Remove your money from all banks that are supporting the pipeline and tell them that you will never bank with them again if they continue to fund this ugliness.

“While we are now on a 43-day countdown in San Francisco and New York City, we are asking that you actually make the serious decision to help DeFund DAPL today. We must move to support Standing Rock now.”

So please join us. Help us mobilize our community to divest now. Look at the list of banks at the bottom of this post which have invested in DAPL. Do you have a bank account with one of them? You could withdraw your money. Have a mortgage with one of those financial institutions? Refi with a local bank. Have a credit card with a DAPL financier? Same thing. Switch. Below is a list of financial institutions invested in DAPL. Tell them to divest. And explain to them that if they do not, you will pull your money!

We also listed the local banks and credit unions you can use when you make a switch.

Perhaps you are already in a local bank or credit union? Congratulations! Tell your friends. NCPA held one door-to-door mobilization — we will have more.

We may need to do more to reverse climate change, but this is an excellent step in the right direction!

Here are the banks (with local offices) invested in DAPL:

  • Bank of America
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo

And here are local financial institutions to support:

  • Coast Central Credit Union
  • Provident Credit Union
  • Redwood Capital Bank
  • Umpqua Bank
  • Tri Counties Bank

For more information, go to: www.defunddapl.org. Already over $28million has been divested.

And if you haven’t signed up already, here is the link to Injustice Boycott: www.injusticeboycott.com. Already over 200,000 have signed up! Let’s put Humboldt County on the right side of history!

Bring Betty Home

Those of you who joined our Human Rights March last Saturday had the opportunity to hear Renee Saucedo speak at the Gazebo about her mother’s heartbreaking deportation. In case you missed it, you can find it on our Facebook page (scroll down to the video posted on 12/10 at the Gazebo – Renee’s portion starts around minute 14 or 15).

Renee’s mom, 82 year old Betty Flores, had been living with Renee, Renee’s husband Giancarlo, and their 7-year-old son, until she was detained in November at SFO and deported to Mexico. Betty has early onset Alzheimer’s, and requires the care of her family, who are devastated not to be with her. Please join Betty’s family to advocate for her humanitarian return.

Sign the petition today!

Follow/share ‘Bring Betty Home’ on Facebook.

Attend the press conference in San Francisco.


left-right: Clorinda (Giancarlo’s mom), Giancarlo, Renee, Carlo, Betty

December 5, 2016 – Historic Boycott Begins

Many of us in Humboldt feel the need to support members of our community who may be affected by the increase in racist tension already being experienced across the country as a result of the election of Donald Trump. Our hearts might be in the right place, but what can we do?

An opportunity now presents itself. Noted journalist Shaun King has announced a Montgomery-bus-type boycott focused on three U.S. cities where we see some of the ugliest manifestations of racism and oppression. Of course, Humboldt’s cities do not fall into this category, but boycotting a city can take the form of not vacationing there, not holding conventions in their venues, not buying products from corporations based in those cities, and other creative ways that King will reveal on Monday, December 5th.

The boycott is timed to begin on the anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, started by another King, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shaun King’s call to boycott could very well deliver an historic impact equal to the original.

Each of the three targeted cities will have specific goals, and once reached, the boycott will be lifted. Another city will then take its place in the boycott’s crosshairs. The boycott will last as long as necessary to make our cities safe for all its residents. And, it’s worth noting that all precautions will be taken to decrease risks to, and even improve, the local economy of the affected cities, and in particular, businesses owned by people of color.

Here’s an update Shaun King posted yesterday:

Keep an eye out for the names of the cities and boycott activities to be announced on Monday; let’s put Humboldt County on the right side of history!

Sign up here

Injustice Boycott on Facebook

It’s In Our Hands

This election season was a roller coaster ride of emotions for those of us who worked to influence its outcomes. Here in Humboldt, volunteers for the Bernie Sanders campaign had the complicated sensation of intense pride and happiness at the 70% victory we helped to secure for Sanders in Humboldt County’s Democratic primary, coupled with the crushing disappointment that came with Sanders’ overall defeat in California, and soon after, in the primary.

Many of the same volunteers who campaigned here for Bernie went on to lobby for progressive change at a local level, working as the North Coast People’s Alliance (NCPA) to help pass Measure P (True Ward) and Measure V (Mobile Home Rent Stabilization), and to get Austin Allison elected to Eureka city council. Once again, on election night we found ourselves overwhelmed with contradictory emotions – unable to wholeheartedly celebrate our remarkable victories on all three local campaigns in the midst of our devastation over Trump’s victory.

At NCPA, we’re all working through our individual reactions to the events of the past six months. For most of us, there is immense gratitude for the bonds we’ve forged, and the progress we’ve made locally for progressive causes. We are energized to continue this work well into the future.

But many of us are also experiencing intense fear and anxiety over what the future holds under a Trump administration. Some of us need to take time to heal and rejuvenate; others are more galvanized than ever and ready to fight injustice and inequality immediately and with renewed intensity.

One consistent theme throughout this year is a sense that our current system of government (and elections) is truly and fundamentally broken. Our government no longer serves the interests of regular people; it’s become an out-of-control monster whose only purpose is to increase power and wealth among elites, at the expense of the well-being, safety, and happiness of the rest of us. Our electoral system silences meaningful debate, excludes innovative candidates and ideas, and doesn’t even ensure that the candidate with the most votes actually wins. How can we even call this a democracy?

One thing is painfully clear – we can’t look to our newly elected national leadership to save us from the climate crisis, or to lead the way toward justice and equality. We’re on our own. This is The People’s fight now.

Critically, each and every one of us must plug in however we can. This is no time for standing on the sidelines. Engagement will look different for everyone, but it’s vital that you, yes-YOU, do engage, in whatever ways make sense to you. Here is a list, by no means exhaustive, to spark your own ideas and plans.

Change Begins At Home –

  • Plant a garden or connect directly with local farmers.
  • Turn off lights and electronics when you’re not using them.
  • Install solar panels on your home (cheaper and easier than ever).
  • Divest from fossil fuels and the associated banks.
  • Walk, bike, carpool, or use transit instead of driving alone.
  • Support local nonprofits.
  • Check in on a neighbor or visit a nursing home.
  • Visit a place of worship that’s not your own.
  • Ditch mainstream media – US corporate media is complicit in what has gone wrong. Find and support reputable alternative sources for news such as Democracy Now, the largest public media collaboration in the US, which refuses both corporate and government funding.
  • Think about the vulnerable people in your life, and ask them what they need to feel safe. Then fight for that.

Engage With Movements –

  • Wear a Black Lives Matter or Native Lives Matter shirt – especially if you’re white.
  • Attend a protest.
  • Go to Standing Rock.
  • Write a letter to the editor.
  • Donate to NAACP, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, 350.org, etc.
  • Join a group – the North Coast People’s Alliance, the Humboldt Democrats, the Humboldt Green Party, True North, Humboldt Move to Amend, etc.
  • Start a group – one is in the works for SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) in Humboldt – how about a local chapter of 350.org or Black Lives Matter?

Engage With Politics –

  • Find out who your state and local representatives are, and let them know what’s important to you.
  • Serve on a school board.
  • Attend a city council meeting, county supervisors meeting, school board meeting, or local partisan central committee meeting. Listen closely and use your voice.
  • Run for office, or volunteer for a quality candidate you believe in.

Analysts and scholars have drawn frightening parallels between the rise of Hitler, and Trump’s own ascent to power. This is not hyperbole; the similarities are terrifying. I would venture to guess that most of us, at one time or another, have pondered the rise of Hitler, asking ourselves or others, “Why didn’t good people stop this disaster before it took root?”

We are in that kind of moment today. We can choose to act now – swiftly, collectively, with courage, compassion, and solidarity – and we just might have a chance to stop the atrocities Trump has already begun to inspire, and avoid some of the most catastrophic effects of climate change. But our window of opportunity is small, and in order to succeed, we must avoid the pitfalls of perceived helplessness, despair, and petty infighting.

We must each find solutions and actions for our own lives to ensure that decades from now, we can tell our grandchildren exactly what we did to divert catastrophe. Our actions must be bold, loving, and brave to withstand history’s judgment.

Tamara McFarland

North Coast People’s Alliance

NorthCoastPeoplesAlliance.org

hello@NorthCoastPeoplesAlliance.org

 

The Latest & Greatest

Update time!

We currently have two active working groups – one for local issues and candidates, and one for education. Here’s what each group has been up to lately..

Local Issues & Candidates Team

This is a dynamic group of folks who are committed to enacting progressive change at a local level. There are several projects currently underway.

Measure V – Mobile Home Rent Stabilization Initiative

Earlier this week, our county supervisors voted to include this initiative on the ballot in November. The North Coast People’s Alliance is endorsing this measure as an important protection for low income citizens of our community. We will be supporting this campaign through phone banking and canvassing in Eureka.

HELP NEEDED! – Measure V campaign leadership is currently looking for people to help with the following:
  • Campaign bookkeeping and Fair Political Practices Department reporting
  • Simple website setup
  • Facebook page
  • Video production
If you can help with any of the tasks listed above, please contact Hilary at hilmosh@gmail.com.

Measure P – True Ward Initiative

The North Coast People’s Alliance is also pleased to support the True Ward initiative, which will also be on this November’s ballot. The current ward system in Eureka makes it difficult for regular working people to run for (and win) city council seats, and gives an advantage to moneyed corporate and special interests. The passage of Measure P will make Eureka city council seats more accessible to high quality working class candidates who will work for the interests of the people, not the 1%.

As with Measure V, we will also be providing support to Measure P through phone banking and canvassing in Eureka.

If you would like to join our Local Issues & Candidates team, please come to our next meeting on Thursday, August 25th at 5:15 at Rita’s (1111 5th Street, Eureka).

If you would like to sign up to phone bank or canvass for the local issues listed above (our anticipated kick-off for these activities is 8/28) in Eureka, please email Tamara at mcfarlanddesigns@gmail.com.

Education Team

This group of volunteers has just begun to meet, with hopes of creating a variety of useful educational opportunities for community members and activists.

We have started a book club, and the first meeting is on Tuesday, August 16th at 6:00 at Ramone’s on Harrison in Eureka, where we will discuss Naomi Klein’s book ‘This Changes Everything.’

If you would like to join our Education team, please come to our next meeting on Tuesday, August 23rd at 6:00 at the Labor Temple (840 E Street, Eureka).

Other

HELP NEEDED! – If you have experience with designing WordPress websites, Tamara could use your help. Please email mcfarlanddesigns@gmail.com.

This Thursday, August 17th at 6:00 at the Labor Temple (840 E Street, Eureka) there will be a meeting to revitalize Move to Amend in Humboldt. [more info].

We’re working on getting our website up and running – it’s pretty bare-bones for now, but we’re working on getting a calendar of upcoming events added – in the meantime you can access that information at www.tinyurl.com/NCPA-calendar.

Stay tuned for ongoing information about these exciting projects, or better yet, join us and help shape the future of our group!