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Monday, February 11, 2013

NEW! 2nd Community Rights Workshop March 29-30

Community Rights Workshop and a Pittsburgh Community Bill of Rights Referendum CANCELLED BUT TAKING A RAIN CHECK!  WATCH FOR MORE!

Not to be missed by those who are committed to Community Empowerment for a Sustainable Future 

Space is limited to 35 maximum. Sign up early and please forward this to people you know who would find this a really useful 

Friday evening, March 29, 6pm to 9pm Saturday, March 30, 9am to 6pm, 2013, 
located in the Friends Meeting House, 4836 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh 


  • Wondering why corporations have more power than those of you living in your community? 
  • Wondering why Harrisburg licenses and permits corporations to harm your community? 
  • Wondering why Harrisburg routinely prevents you from making decisions that are in the best interests of your community? 
The Pennsylvania Community Rights Workshop takes an in-depth look at how Pennsylvania's political and legal structures have been set up to protect the interests of an elite minority, at the expense of the majority of Pennsylvanians. We'll look at how Pennsylvania's constitution has continually evolved since the American Revolution to protect wealth and privilege over community self-government; we'll look at how corporations in Pennsylvania have received more rights and protections than those of you living in your community; and we'll look at how Pennsylvanians have pushed back against these oppressive structures to reclaim democracy in their communities. 

We will also explore how to strengthen a Referendum Campaign in Pittsburgh that will place Community Rights on the November ballot. 

We will also consider what it would take to create a Pennsylvania constitution that protects the rights of people, communities, and nature by securing our inalienable right to local self-government, free from corporate and state interference. 

TO REGISTER SIMPLY EMAIL: environment@thomasmertoncenter.org and let us know how you will be paying. 

The total cost of the workshop is $60 per person. 
A partial payment of $25 must be paid by March 25 unless a special arrangement is made (call Wanda at 724.327.2767 or 412.596.0066) or email environment@thomasmertoncenter.org It is possible to PAY BY CREDIT CARD OR PAYPAL ACCOUNT! Log on to Thomas Merton Center Donate and scroll down to Environmental Justice. 

Checks should be made out to the Thomas Merton Center, with a memo notation “Community Rights” Please send to Thomas Merton Center, 5129 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15224 The balance should be paid in full the evening of March 29 at the workshop. We are keeping our expenses to a minimum to ensure affordability for everyone. 

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Pittsburgh's Community Bill of Rights: leading the way toward true local democracy, sustainability and justice 

Can we support a Referendum? In 2010, Pittsburgh famously became the first U.S. city to pass a Community Bill of Rights (CBoR) ordinance which, in contradistinction to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, limits the rights and influence of corporations and makes them subordinate to the rights of people and the natural communities upon which we depend. 

Now, this groundbreaking ordinance could become part of Pittsburgh's local constitution with great organizing. 

So what does the Community Bill of Rights do? It asserts the rights of residents to clean air, pure water, freedom from chemical trespass, peaceful enjoyment of home, local self-government.  It recognizes the rights of natural communities and ecosystems as well, and empowers community members with legal standing to enforce those rights. 

Included in the Bill of Rights, indeed the issue that prompted its introduction in the first place, is a provision that prohibits corporations from extracting natural gas within the city (with the exception of gas wells already established and in operation at the time of adoption of this amendment). 

Here’s the reason why it is important to move our Community Bill of Rights from the status of an ordinance to that of an amendment to the city Charter: Numerous times over this past year, the community has rallied to support the ordinance as the mayor was prodded by the gas industry to overturn the drilling ban so that such companies might "feel welcome" to set up their headquarters in Pittsburgh. If the citizens of Pittsburgh succeed in embedding the Community Bill of Rights in the Charter through a ballot initiative it will be clear to politicians that the people of Pittsburgh take their rights seriously. It will also take the Community Bill of Rights, including the gas extraction ban, out of the hands of future mayors and council members, who might be persuaded to rescind it on behalf of the gas corporations. So if you are a city resident and would like to learn more please come to the workshop.

To keep up to date on Community Rights please visit the blog:
communitybillofrightspittsburgh.wordpress.com


We the People 2.0 Funding Promo from Tree Media on Vimeo.

Terry Engelder and Tony Ingraffea debate

Should New York State and/or Starkey Township Allow High Volume Shale Gas Extraction? A debate sponsored by the Town of Starkey held January 23, 2013 at the high school auditorium in Dundee, NY between Dr. Terry Engelder, Penn State University, who supports the proposition, and Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, Cornell University, who opposes. Jack Ossant, moderator, introduces debaters “The value of this science could increment the net worth of U.S. energy resources by a trillion dollars, plus or minus billions.” —Dr. Engelder “They are imposing on us the requirement to locate our homes, hospitals and schools inside their industrial space.” —Dr. Ingraffea Those unfamiliar or familiar with hydrofracking’s offerings, in favor of or not, or still undecided, should gain new perspectives from this event. Wednesday January 23, 2013 7:00PM Dundee Central High School Auditorium 55 Water Street Dundee, NY

Monday, February 4, 2013

1 BILLION RISING

On Valentines Day, Feb 14, 2013, Market Square, Downtown Pittsburgh, high noon .... 

STRIKE - DANCE - RISE! 
WHY? 

  • One In Three Women On The Planet Will Be Raped Or Beaten In Her Lifetime. 
  • One Billion Women Violated Is An Atrocity. 
One Billion Women Dancing Is A Revolution. 

Join V-Day on 02.14.13 
STRIKE - DANCE - RISE 
Demand an end to violence!