2009 QC Earth Charter Summit
Building a Local Foods Movement
By Caroline Vernon
You’re invited to attend!
The 2009 Quad Cities Earth Charter Summit
“Building a Local Foods Movement”
Saturday, September 26, 2009, 9am-3pm
Augustana College – Wallenberg Hall
Local Food is the theme of the 2009 Earth Charter Summit, focusing on PACG’s Local Foods Initiative – Our goal is to promote and assist in the development of a healthy, sustainable, local food supply for our region, emphasizing sustainable agricultural practices.
The summit will include local and regional speakers and informative workshops focusing on our effort to develop a working partnership between individual citizens and those working within an institutional framework. There are opportunities for everyone on every level to become involved in the Healthy, Local Foods movement. People in communities all across our country, and in the world, are mobilizing around this effort.
· Community Gardens
· Local Food Coop
· Farm to Cafeteria
· The Economics of a Local Food Supply
· Information for Food Services, Municipalities, & Legislators
· Reducing the Carbon Footprint of our Diet
· The Importance of SEEDS in a local Foods movement
Director, University of Northern Iowa Center of Energy and Environmental Education
Enshayan launched Buy Fresh, Buy Local in Iowa and worked with Iowa communities to start chapters.
Recipient of the 2008 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award from Practical farmers of Iowa.
Augustana’s Food Service will be providing a delicious, healthy, local foods lunch!
Cost to attend the Summit is only $10 /$5 for students—scholarships are available
REGISTER TODAY!—Through our website: qcprogressiveaction.org or Call PACG at 563-676-7580, or REGISTER at the door!
Dean Party Disaster: Fighting Howards!
by Linda Thieman
There is no weirdness too weird for the genuine Deaniac. I should know. I’m one of them.
Recently, after the big electoral college Obama-electing election, Dr. Alta Price of Democracy for the Quad Cities gave a Howard Dean party at her home. (There is simply never a wrong time to have a Howard Dean party, according to Iowa’s de facto head Deaniac.)
The more sober Deaniacs (if there is such a thing) sat and gazed in rapture at that moment in history that defined Howard Dean as unafraid to speak out, representing the “Democratic wing of the Democratic party” – a slogan borrowed from the late, beloved U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Paul Wellstone.
Amazingly, a large number of these rabid Dean supporters had never actually SEEN the beloved gov deliver his famous “What I Want to Know” speech from 2003. So, Alta obliged them by showing her video tape of the event. (Does this thing still work?)
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, there was a choreographed fight going on between Howard Dean and, well, Howard Dean. Connie Wilson, press-credentials seeker extraordinaire, had brought her Dean doll along, and her Dean doll had tangled with Alta’s Dean doll. Heads landed on cake plates and forks were thrown. (These Dean dolls were a prototype made up by, of course, a Deaniac several years ago. All their parts move—wrists, elbows, arms, etc. I wondered aloud if you could take off its suit jacket and roll up its sleeves! Alta was unable to provide me with that information.)
So, long story even longer, some of the Deaniacs relegated to the kitchen started posing the two Howards and taking pictures. It was an epic battle for the soul of the doll-faced Howard Dean (I’ll let you guess what I mean by that.) There was even an appearance put in by Flat Howard, and if you don’t know what that is, what are you doing reading a Dean blog, pray tell? (Not that you aren’t perfectly welcome, mind you.)
Connie's daughter, Stacey Wilson, has transferred the photos of the altercation to video, which is now being hosted at You Tube. The tag line is hysterically funny. Enjoy.
Incumbent Molly Regan Runs for Scott County Soil & Water Conservation Commission
by Linda Thieman
Scott County's Molly Regan was one of the success stories that came out of the Howard Dean movement in 2004. Inspired by Dean to run for local office, Molly found herself in a tight race for Soil & Water Conservation Commissioner. To our delight, she pulled it off and has been serving ever since. Molly is currently up for re-election. Molly is also serving as co-campaign manager for Steve Smith of De Witt in his run for Iowa House District 83.
Four years ago, Molly wrote this piece for Blog for Iowa about some of the DFQC folks' bus trip down to the Harkin Steak Fry. Here's what she said about the excitement amongst the progressives on the Iowa political scene when Barack Obama leaped into the national consciousness at the Democratic National Convention that year.
Molly Regan speaks at the Sierra Club/Eagle
ViewChapter at the Bettendorf library.
About half an hour west of Davenport, I put in the tape from the Democratic National Convention I had brought along. The bus we rode had 6 small TVs overhead and a tape deck! So we watched…You guessed it… GOVERNOR HOWARD DEAN. The man received a two-and-a-half minute standing ovation even before he could speak! We also heard Barack Obama. Several people on the bus had not heard his speech. How inspiring that man is. He will probably be president some day.
Molly, you may be right!
Quad City Earth Charter Summit, Oct. 11, 2008, Davenport
Global Climate Change: Generating Hope and Energy
Join them for a day of exploring facts and possibilities. Walk away with hope for the future and energy to make a difference.
Saturday, October 11th, 2008
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
The River Center
136 East 3rd Street
cost: $20 – includes the organic lunch, or $10 without lunch.
Guest speakers include our own Molly Regan, Soil & Water Commissioner, Scott County
2008 has been named the United Nations' Year of Planet Earth. A perfect time to emphasize Earth Charter's role in healing the planet.
Controversial Rabbi Michael Lerner to Speak at Spiritual Progressives Conference Nov. 3rd in the Quad Cities
Rabbi Michael Lerner to Speak at Spiritual Progressives Conference Nov. 3rd in the Quad Cities
By James Lee
the Election Season closes in on the Quad Cities, people are looking at the
vast challenges facing our country and questioning how
individual citizens can make a difference. According to
national polling, over 70% of Americans feel that our nation is on the “wrong
track”. Organizers of the
Spiritual Progressives Conference feel the answers to many
of our concerns and worries are rooted in our values, faith and spirituality.
Cities Progressive Action for the Common Good (PACG) in conjunction with Churches
United of the Quad Cities, Democracy for America–Quad Cities,
Davenport Unitarian Church,
Edwards Congregational-UCC, First Congregational-UCC, Network for Spiritual
Progressives, and a host of other supporters are
sponsoring a Spiritual Progressives Conference on November 3, 2007. The theme of the conference is: Living our Faith:
Integrating Values and Politics in the Heartland.
PURPOSE OF THE CONFERENCE
The purpose of this conference is to promote the voice of progressive
people into the national conversation on issues of values, faith and spirituality.
The conference is
designed to dig beneath the surface of controversial national issues &
public policy debates to get to the core of how we decide what makes our
society a healthy place to live.
It is our hope that the conference will help the public better
understand how to more effectively integrate progressive values with political
action that can create positive change in our nation.
Conference organizers assert that progressives have
been the social innovators who have initiated changes in our society that have
given us more freedom, liberty, and equality. Progressives believe in
continually improving our society in order to assist as many people as possible
to achieve a better life for themselves, their families and the community as a
whole. During this time of national
drift when confusion seems widespread over what America represents and truly
believes, progressive people must amplify their voices in the public conversation
on what we value as a nation.
We reject the tactic of using religion and spiritual traditions
to be a divisive force in our nation; pitting one group of Americans against
another group. We believe that ethics and morality cannot be claimed
as the property of a single religion or political group, but must be understood
in the context of furthering the well being of all humanity, present and
The conference will cover three main
1) Promoting a conversation on Progressive Values, Faith & and Spirituality
2) Organizing Progressives for political action
3) Creating healthy personal & inner lives for progressive people
The key-note speaker,
Rabbi Michael Lerner, will examine the question of how our values are translated
into political action. Rabbi Lerner is an internationally
renowned social theorist, theologian, editor of Tikkun magazine, and author of The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our
Country from the Religious Right. He has a PhD from the University of California,
Berkeley and is
the founder of the Network for Spiritual Progressives.
Faith, values, and spirituality play an important role in responding to the many challenges we
face in our country today. The primary focus of
this conference will be to explore how our values, faith, and
spirituality can direct political action and transform our nation and our world. In so doing, this conference will be
addressing the most serious issues facing our
communities such as affordable, quality health care, the war, and global warming
to name a few.
workshops include topics such as “Challenging
the Misuse of God and Religion by the Religious Right”, “Global Consciousness
and Ecological Sanity”, “Our Common Values” and “Grounding Justice Work in
To learn more about other workshops which will be presented at this conference,
click here. To download the flyer to print (double-sided to conserve paper) go to our home page: www.qcprogressiveaction.org.
The Conference commences at 9:30am with a spiritual reflection on the state of
our world. Rabbi Michael Lerner will
speak at 10:15am. Workshops will continue throughout the day.
At 2:30pm Rabbi Lerner will be part of a panel discussion with local leaders on
the state of values and spirituality in our nation. Lunch will be served and
the conference will come to a close at 3:30pm.
event is open to the public; seating is limited. To Register, contact PACG at 563-676-7580 or go to our website for more information: www.qcprogressiveaction.org.
conference begins with an Interfaith Service led by Rabbi Lerner on Friday evening,
November 2nd, 7pm at the Unitarian
Church, 3707 Eastern Avenue, Davenport, Iowa.
Saturday morning, November 3rd, the Spiritual Progressive Conference
will be held at the First Congregational Church-UCC, 2201 Seventh Avenue, Moline, IL 61265. Registration
starts at 9:30AM.
Book Signing with Rabbi Lerner
Saturday evening, November 3rd, 5:30pm at Borders Bookstore, 4000 E 53rd St in Davenport.
DFA National Action:
Ask the Media to “Tell the Truth” about the War
The following Media Advisory was sent to all local media in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas of Eastern Iowa:
Scheduled Event — Davenport, IA
Event: ”Tell the Truth” Picket and Rally
Democracy for America – Quad Cites and the Peace Forum of Progressive Action for the Common Good
Contacts: Alta Price: – 563-332-5051, 563-505-2996
Monica Kurth – 563-271-9332
Following the Sept. 11 anniversary, we Americans demand that this president do what he has never done since he seized the office — tell the truth.
The facts are clear: Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11, which even the Bush administration has admitted. Yet White House officials and many media pundits still continue the false position that the war in Iraq is “fighting terrorism.”
Quad Citians will be participating in a “Tell the Truth” rally on Thursday, September 13th from 4:30 to 6pm asking Clear Channel WOC Talk Radio 1420 AM to TELL the TRUTH about the Iraq war.
We are asking 1420 AM (Rush Limbaugh and Jim Fisher) to tell the truth about the failure of Bush's “surge”. We will also call on Clear Channel to return Progressive radio to the Quad Cities.
What: Clear Channel and WOC picket
When: Thursday, September 13, 2007, 4:30 PM
Where: Quad Cities Radio Group
3535 E Kimberly
Davenport IA 52807
A majority of Quad Citians are against this war – the same is true nationally.
Last year, the Quad Cities lost Progressive radio immediately after the 2006 elections. We believe this is no coincidence given the shift in power as a result of the last election, and the rising tide of opposition to the war. The American people want our troops home and out of harm's way.
We demand that Clear Channel and WOC Talk Radio “tell the truth!”
America has never been told the truth about the Iraq war. Stop telling us that “Iraq will stabilize” when (pick one) Saddam Hussein is removed, Iraq has a constitution, Iraq has an election, Iraq has a security force, the troop surge has done its job. Stop telling us that “freedom is on the march” when we can see with our own eyes that Iraq remains a quagmire of corruption, sectarian fighting, death and destruction.
The truth is what the Government Accountability Office recently reported — that the Iraqi government met three of 18 benchmarks, partially met four and failed to meet 11.
The truth is — America had no business invading Iraq post 9/11.
The Authoritarian Political Brain
September 3, 2007
Drew Westen's The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation helps explain the neuro-cognitive mechanisms involved in rationalizing away inconvenient truths, something we all do regardless of political affiliation. From the Introduction:
The neural circuits charged with regulation of emotional states seemed to recruit beliefs that eliminated the distress and conflict partisans had experienced when they confronted unpleasant realities. And all this seemed to happen with little involvement of the neural circuits normally involved in reasoning.
The results show that when partisans face threatening information, not only are they likely to “reason” to emotionally biased conclusions, but we can trace their neural footprints when they do.
When confronted with potentially troubling political information, a network of neurons become active that produces distress. Whether this distress is conscious, or unconscious, or some combination of the two, we don't know.
The brain registers the conflict between data and desire and begins to search for ways to turn off the spigot of unpleasant emotion.
Nothing earth shattering there. But here's where it gets interesting (italics in the original):
But the political brain did something we didn't predict. Once partisans found a way to reason to false conclusions, not only did neural circuits involved in negative emotions shut off, but circuits involved in positive emotions turned on. The partisan brain didn't seem satisfied in just feeling better. It worked overtime to feel good, activating rewards circuits that give partisans a jolt of positive reinforcement for their biased reasoning. These reward circuits overlap significantly with those activated when drug addicts get their “fix”, giving new meaning to the term political junkie.
The Progressive Iowa Network
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Iowa City Public Library
123 S. Linn St.
Iowa City, IA
9 AM – 3PM
3. Why a Progressive Network is important for Iowa
4. Democracy for America – Support for Iowa’s Progressive Network
5. 2007 Iowa Legislative Review (Legislators)
6. Overview of Top Progressive Legislative Priorities (Progressive Activists)
7. Envisioning Progressive Power in Iowa (Ed Fallon & Denise O'Brien)
9. Top Progressive Legislative Issues – Workshops
11. Workshop Reports
12. Progressive Iowa Network – Next Steps
13. Democracy for Iowa – Administrative overview
Please note: If you are interested in discussing potential state-wide initiatives that will pressure our Congress to end the war in Iraq, please come to this event. Peace groups can strategize during the workshop hour (#9) and also report back to the larger group after lunch. This will be an excellent opportunity for all of us to be united for peace.
We will start gathering at 9am – coffee and bagels / breakfast treats.
The summit will begin promptly at 9:30am. Please let us know if you intend to come:
Please RSVP: http://www.dfalink.com/event
Establishing our Progressive Iowa Network (PIN) – Update
By Caroline Vernon
This Saturday, June 9th, progressive leaders, legislators and activists from various organizations across Iowa will come together for the first DFA-Iowa Networking Summit.
We will be gathering at the Iowa City Public Library from 9am to 3pm (the last hour will be devoted to DFA-IA administrative business).
Some of our great leaders who will be in attendance include Charlie Chamberlain from Democracy for America, Ed Fallon, Denise O’Brien, and Senator Joe Bolkcom, just to name a few…
Once again, the purpose of this gathering is to establish a Progressive Iowa Network which will serve to better unite progressives across the state in order to support each others efforts around important issues, particularly if we hope to be more effective moving into the next legislative session. Besides providing an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow progressives, one direct benefit of an Iowa Network would be the enhanced ability to articulate our progressive world view by creating a state-wide echo chamber that will carry our unified message to all Iowans.
As previously indicated, we have identified 5 issues in Iowa that require urgent action:
1. VOICE (Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections)
2. CAFO regulations / Farm Bill
3. Fair Share
Also, due to the recent vote on the Iraq supplemental bill, it is our hope that peace activists from across Iowa will take advantage of this opportunity to come together to discuss potential state wide initiatives that will effectively pressure those in Congress who voted for the bill.
In addition to addressing the above issues, we are tracking organizations by their particular area(s) of focus. This list has also evolved since my last blog:
1. Policy / Research
3. Media & Blogs
4. Grassroots Organizing
These 4 areas have been added:
5. Direct Action
7. Funding (to identify potential sources of funding)
8. Political Campaigns (organizations who can be involved with campaigns)
We are working on compiling a comprehensive list of all participating organizations, including contact information, primary areas of focus and primary issues of concern. If you or your organization will be attending the summit, we ask that you submit your information using the example below (4 stars = primary focus)
Organization: Progressive Action for the Common Good
Address: 3707 Eastern Ave, Davenport, IA 52807
Contact Information: (name/position/phone/email):
Caroline Vernon, Organizer, 563-676-7580, email@example.com.
James Lee, Executive Director, 563-650-3922, firstname.lastname@example.org
Areas of Focus Rating Issues Rating
Policy/Research VOICE ****
Lobbying ** CAFO/Farm Bill ***
Media/Blogs Media **
Grassroots Organizing **** Fair Share **
Direct Action *** Healthcare ***
Funding * Other: _Peace _ ****
Please send the above information to email@example.com by Thursday, June 7th so we can be sure to include your information in the hand-out.
It is important to note that we encourage ALL progressive organizations to attend this meeting and become part of the network even if we may not be focusing on your specific issues at this time. The goal of the network is to create a framework designed to support all progressive initiatives. We need everyone’s participation in order to succeed.
If you have any questions, please call Caroline Vernon at 563-676-7580.
Hope to see you Saturday!
Take the Bus to the US Social Forum June 27th
Mark Your Calendars for the Progressive Event of the Year!
By Caroline Vernon
is working on securing a bus (or two) to take a large Iowa contingent
to Atlanta, Georgia from June 27th thru July 1st to attend the US Social Forum
(USSF). Please mark your calendars and spread the word far and wide.
Details about the cost of the bus trip and available lodging will be
forthcoming… stay tuned…
Excerpt from the site:
Social Forum is more than a conference, more than a networking bonanza, more
than a reaction to war and repression.
USSF will provide space to build relationships, learn from each other's experiences,
share our analysis of the problems our communities face, and bring renewed
insight and inspiration. It will help develop leadership and develop
consciousness, vision, and strategy needed to realize another world.
USSF sends a message to other people's movements around the world that there is
an active movement in the US
opposing US Policies at home and abroad.
must declare what we want our world to look like and begin planning the path to
get there. A global movement is rising. The USSF is our opportunity to
demonstrate to the world Another World is Possible!
Check out the following link to see some of the many workshops that will be available…
If you would like to be part of this great adventure, please contact Caroline at 563-676-7580, firstname.lastname@example.org