LA CITY COUNCILMEMBER KORETZ JOINS BI-COASTAL CLIMATE CRISIS PROTEST, #ClimateActionNow, #350action

Great March w Aura

Join us THIS SATURDAY for the Southern California Climate Protest Press Conference:

Launched by Converging Storms Action Network, the Building Blocks Against Climate Change action is planned in solidarity with Sunday’s historic People’s Climate March in New York City, which aims to impact next week’s UN summit on the climate crisis and support UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s effort to put together an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution and thereby reduce climate disruption.

WHO: Councilmember Paul Koretz; Members of the SoCal 350 Climate Action Coalition, Sierra Club, NRDC, California Nurses Association and Progressive Christians Uniting.

WHAT: Press Conference to support the United Nations taking collective action next week to address the climate crisis

WHEN: 2:30p.m., Saturday, September 20, 2014

WHERE: 3470 Wilshire Blvd forecourt (a few steps south of Wilshire and Normandie)

MORE DETAILS ON THE GENERAL EVENT: http://againstclimatechange.org/2014/08/05/southern-california-climate-protest-september-20-2014/

Posted in Get Involved! | Leave a comment

And Now LADWP Enables Deforestation… Really? #DeforestationBegins@Home, #DrawTheLine, #ClimateZombies

 

1280px-Clearcutting-Oregon

In the past few years, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) has made remarkable strides towards a positive and sustainable future.  Last week, the DWP Board approved a 15% energy efficiency target by 2020, marking a huge step forward.  Last year, the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign succeeded, with DWP setting groundbreaking targets to get out of its two coal-fire power plants — the Navajo Generating Station by 2015 and the Intermountain Power Project by 2027 at the latest.

In the meantime, however, both of DWP’s coal plants continue to contribute significantly to what is fast becoming a changed planet.  Global warming is no longer some kind of boogey-man way out there in the future.  The climate crisis is here, it’s real, and it is up to us to face it and fix it, or subject ourselves to ever more extreme weather events like: the two Super-Typhoons which have hit Japan in the past two months.  Or the freak lightning storm which killed a surfer at Venice Beach.  Or the tornado which touched down, not in the Midwest, but in Boston.  Or the hundred-year floods which seem to strike the Midwest almost monthly.  Or the wildfires burning across California, Oregon and Washington.  Or our historic drought which gets worse by the day as we use up our water reserves, with no rain in the current two-year forecast.

Which made it all the harder to swallow last week when DWP brought to the LA City Council Energy & Environment Committee its contract with Staples to provide paper for the bills it sends out to DWP customers on a bi-monthly basis.  As we looked into the report, we found that the billing paper is made from 1% recycled paper.  Which means 99% virgin paper.  Which means trees are cut down to produce paper that is turned into the bills which DWP sends to nearly a million customers across Los Angeles.  Which people look at once, rip along the dotted line, and otherwise throw in a file.  Single-use.

To make matters worse, DWP will soon begin sending out its bills MONTHLY.  Which means the amount of paper used will double.  Which means the number of trees which will be toppled will double.  And, DWP testified [boasted] in the Committee hearing that other utilities are taking a close look at DWP’s new billing system and considering following their lead.  Which means the number of trees being toppled could increase exponentially.  Rain Forest Alliance certified or not, these are still trees, which, through the natural process of photosynthesis, absorb the prime greenhouse gas pollutant, CO2, store the carbon and emit pure oxygen.  Deforestation undermines this important carbon sink function.  It is estimated that 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation.

Adding insult to injury, DWP is asking for the City Council to allow an increase the maximum contract limit from $3,456,375 to an amount not to exceed $10,451,419 (budgeted).  Approximately 70 percent of the total increase is in anticipation of the additional paper required for monthly billing.  LA DWP ratepayers are, in essence, funding deforestation without their knowledge, nor their permission.

When questioned about the paper, DWP said that recycled paper isn’t strong enough for their printing machines and that they spent eight months to find that out.  It’s time to let them know that the way they need to do things on a climate-urgent planet is this: DWP should have started out with recycled paper as a requirement and found machines that could use it successfully, rather than vise versa.  This type of thinking is, by the way, already embedded in the City’s purchasing policies.  Policies to which DWP — only one of two City department holdouts — does not subscribe.

Since 1992, the City of Los Angeles has had a Recycled Products Purchasing Program in place, emphasizing that the City Departments purchase products made of recycled materials.  The DWP testified on August 6, 2014, that only 1% of its billing paper includes recycled content.  This does not match the spirit, nor the intention of the ordinance.

The program has been updated at various times, including “Buy Recycled 2000” and the establishment of an Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Policy.  Recycled paper has been part of the program since the very beginning in 1992.

Reportedly, each City Department, including one of the three proprietaries — the Port of Los Angeles — have adopted the Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Policy.  As of today, twenty-two years after Mayor Tom Bradley signed the first ordinance, DWP has not yet adopted the Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Policy.  [LAX is the other.]

The Energy & Environment Committee allowed the contract to move forward to the full City Council last week, but it has gnawed at me and my City Councilmember boss to the point where Councilmember Paul Koretz now strongly opposes LADWP’s using this paper.  He asks for you to join him in advocating for LADWP to change its bill printing system so that a high percentage recycled paper can be used.

Here’s contact info for the Councilmembers and the Mayor: please call and tell them you oppose Item #10 on the Tuesday, August 19th, City Council agenda: the DWP contract with Staples for billing paper.

Talking points:

1) With its two coal-fired power plants, LADWP has already contributed enormously to the greenhouse gas emissions which are causing the worldwide climate crisis, which is affecting Los Angeles in the form of California’s historic and severe drought.

2) The contract with Staples is essentially for virgin paper which will be used to send bills to over a million customers.  This means that, in addition to its coal emissions, DWP is enabling deforestation.  This is especially significant because DWP will soon be moving to monthly billing, which means the amount of paper they use will double.

3) DWP testified in Energy & Environment Committee that other utilities from around the country are examining and considering adopting a similar bill-printing system.  Which means DWP’s policies will be causing the destruction of even more trees.  Despite the fact that DWP reportedly uses Rainforest Alliance-certified paper, there is no way to prevent other utilities from using paper sourced from even more damaging types of deforestation.

4) The City of Los Angeles adopted a Recycled Products Purchasing Policy in 1992, over twenty years ago, requiring City Departments to purchase products — paper included — made from recycled materials.  Nearly all of the other City Departments has implemented that policy, including the Port of LA.  Why hasn’t DWP, one of the worse contributors to the climate crisis, implemented it as well?

5)  I urge Councilmember ____ to oppose Item #10 until such time that DWP redesigns its billing system to adhere to the City’s Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Policy.

Council President Herb Wesson (213) 473-7010

Mayor Garcetti (213) 978-0600 or (213) 978-0721 or mayor@lacity.org

Councilmember Gil Cedillo (213) 473-7001

Councilmember Paul Krekorian (213) 473-7002

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield (213) 473-7003

Councilmember Tom LaBonge (213) 473-7004

Councilmember Nury Martinez (213) 473-7006

Councilmember Felipe Fuentes (213) 473-7007

Councilmember Bernard Parks (213) 473-7008

Councilmember Curren Price (213) 473-7009

Councilmember Mike Bonin (213) 473-7011

Councilmember Mitch Englander (213) 473-7012

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (213) 473-7013

Councilmember Jose Huizar (213) 473-7014

Councilmember Joe Buscaino (213) 473-7015
________________________________________________

Here’s where you find out who represents you specifically and additional contact information for all Councilmembershttp://www.lacity.org/government/ElectedOfficialOffices/CityCouncil/CouncilDirectory/index.htm?laCategory=1820

As we’ve seen just in the past week when phone calls helped push Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas to be the final supporting vote to get SB-270, the state plastic bag ban bill, out of Appropriations Committee, strong advocacy works!  Your call will make a difference.

Thank you!  

Posted in Get Involved!, Global Warming | Leave a comment

TOMORROW: LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz to introduce significant climate change legislation, #ClimateActionNow, #350action

Climate rally w Ed Bagley & David Haake

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz will be hosting a press conference tomorrow to celebrate the anticipated passage by the City Council of his resolution supporting President Obama’s new carbon rules, and to announce the introduction of his motion calling for the City to adopt a citywide 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 (and 80% by 2030 for DWP).

WHO: Councilmember Paul Koretz; Members of the LA Clean Energy Coalition

WHAT:  Councilmember Koretz will be introducing a motion calling for an 80% Greenhouse Gas Reduction in Los Angeles by 2050, then marching inside to the City Council meeting for a vote on a resolution supporting the President’s new carbon rules.

WHEN: 9:30a.m., Friday, June 27, 2014

WHERE: Outside City Hall, Spring Street Forecourt – 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles 90012

Hope you can make it!

Posted in Get Involved! | Leave a comment

Vote for Bee-Protectors, HoneyLove! #yaybees

I’m proud of our bee-protectors, HoneyLove, who have pushed Los Angeles into being a bee-protected zone.

Please vote for their being awarded as an “organization that is having a profound impact on the communities in which it operates:”

http://honeylove.org/zipcar-contest/

 

Posted in Get Involved! | Leave a comment

URGENT – #LABELGMOs – NEED YOUR HELP TO PUSH SB-1381 ACROSS FIRST FINISH LINE, #MAM, @GMwatch, @GMOTruth. #GMO, #RightToKnow, #bees

Image WE ARE THIS/close TO VICTORY IN THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE!

NEXT WEEK, before the end of Friday, May 30th, 2014, the entire California Senate will vote on SB-1381 (Evans): whether or not to require labeling of genetically-modified (GMO) food products for sale to eat in California.  TO CONTACT THE SENATORS IMMEDIATELY, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.

This is a basic consumer rights issue, which encompasses all political beliefs and all economic groups.

As this ABC poll suggests, and poll after poll agrees, 93% of U.S. consumers are in support of labeling genetically-modified foods of any kind: http://tinyurl.com/ABCpollGMOs.

Companies which produce GMO foods do not want their foods labeled as such because they know consumers will avoid their products.  In a pure market economy, consumers must have all the facts at their disposal to make informed choices in order to purchase (and therefore approve) the products they want to use.  If a product is deemed defective, it will not be purchased by consumers and it will be removed from shelves.  Why then, in our supposed “free market economy,” is there any question about labeling GMO products whatsoever?  The answer: corporate money polluting our politics.  Period.

With the unchecked spread of genetically-modified soy and corn, a large unscientific experiment is taking place: people and animals are already eating GMO food and feed and we don’t truly know what effects these will have on any organism over the long-term.  No long-term study has been conducted; no results published to be refuted.  And if the whole of the U.S. population is being exposed to it, there is no control group.

Since probably 95% of all competent scientists in the field of genetic engineering are working for the side of GMO producers and only 5% are truly independent, the USDA and the FDA are generally approving genetically-modified crops and foods based mainly on science provided by companies who will profit from their sale.  That means we have a very serious scientific problem in relation to our food, our most important issue, which trickles down into health and water and resource management issues.  And, most relevant to the discussion surrounding SB-1381, it also means we have a serious Democratic problem.

What we do know, scientifically, is that early-onset diabetes and childhood obesity are both at epidemic proportions in the United States.  It is my opinion that the cause is the difference in food over the last ten years.  If you look at labels in markets, corn and soy, both highly genetically-modified crops in the U.S., have become major ingredients in most foods over the past decade.  But — and here is my salient point — if you look at the label, you have the choice to avoid those foods. 

If the people of California cannot be more effectively protected scientifically and they cannot Democratically choose whether they even want genetically-modified products in their lives (all polls suggest they do not), the choice should not be left up to the companies who have profit incentives whether or not to label their products.  Consumers should have the choice to vote in the store by reading the labels, labels reading GMO or non-GMO.  The whole population should not be subjected to potentially harmful substances without their permission or their choice.

Before next Friday, all the members of the California Senate will be voting whether or not to approve SB-1381.  We need more votes for it to pass.  Please call them ASAP to express your support of SB-1381 (Evans) tonight.

Talking points:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/the_case_for_gmo_labeling

  • Concerns about the health impacts of eating genetically-modified food products; the dominance of our food supply by a handful of corporations, concerns that lower income people eat and are impacted by the processed food products which most contain genetically-modified ingredients; and that the increased use of pesticides and herbicides necessary for cultivation of genetically-modified crops are increasingly having negative impacts our groundwater, something we particularly need to protect as the drought situation worsens. 
  • There is a strong precedent to SB-1381 in the United States: the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act, which protected consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy.  When it went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation and, most importantly, consumers had more information with which to protect themselves.  We have all seen the signs, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts.”
  • Food prices also remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago.  Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia.  I am especially concerned that people in China and Russia have more rights to know what is in the food they eat than we do in California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE ARE THE SENATORS WHO MOST NEED CALLS:

Ed Hernandez (D) – West Covina area – Voted NO in Health Committee – ask him to turn it around and vote YES.

State Capitol
(916) 651-4024
Fax: (916) 651-4924
——————————–
Carol Liu (D) – Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Sierra Madre, Upland area – thank her for her usual strong environmental leadership and we need her vote on this one

State Capitol
(916) 651-4025
Fax: (916) 651-4925
——————————–
Ted Lieu (D) – West LA, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica 

State Capitol
(916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 651-4928
——————————–
Richard Roth (D) – Riverside area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4031
Fax: (916) 651-4931
——————————–
Lou Correa (R) – Santa Ana area- emphasize disproportional effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4034
Fax: (916) 651-4934
——————————–
Marty Block (D) – San Diego 

State Capitol
(916) 651-4039
Fax: (916) 651-4939
——————————–
Norma Torres (D) – Chino area – emphasize disproportional health effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4032
Fax: (916) 651-4932
——————————–
Ben Hueso (D) – Chula Vista, Indio area - emphasize disproportional health effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 651-4940
——————————–
Joel Anderson (R) – Temecula area – voted NO in Judiciary Committee

State Capitol
(916) 651-4036
Fax: (916) 651-4936
——————————–
Cathleen Galgiani (D) – Stockton area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4005
Fax: (916) 651-4905
——————————–
Holly Mitchell (D) – Culver City, West LA, Beverlywood, Bel Air – thank her for her leadership with her fracking moratorium and ask her support for this

State Capitol
(916) 651-4026
Fax: (916) 651-4926
——————————–
Mark Wyland (R) – Carlsbad, San Juan Capistrano area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4038
Fax: (916) 651-4938

——————————–
Mimi Walters (R) – Irvine area – voted NO in Appropriations Committee

(916) 651-4037
Fax: (916) 651-4937
——————————–
Alex Padilla – LA area – say thanks for moving it out of Appropriations Committee and you hope he’ll work hard to get it through the full Senate.

(916) 651-4020
Fax: (916) 651-4920
——————————–
Ted Gaines (R) – Redding area

(916) 651-4001
Fax: (916) 651-4901
——————————–
Anthony Cannella (R) – Modesto area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4012
Fax: (916) 651-4912
——————————–
Tom Berryhill (R) – Modesto area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4014
Fax: (916) 651-4914
——————————–
Andy Vidak (R) – Bakersfield – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4016
Fax: (916) 651-4916
——————————–
Jean Fuller (R) – Bakersfield – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4018
Fax: (916) 651-4918
——————————–
Steven Knight (R) – Lancaster area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4021
Fax: (916) 651-4921
——————————–
Mike Morrell (R)  – Palm Desert area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4023
Fax: (916) 651-4923
——————————–
Bob Huff (R) – Brea area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4029
Fax: (916) 651-4929
——————————–
Jim Nielsen(R) – Chico area – Ask why he is against consumer rights and transparency

State Capitol
(916) 651-4004
Fax: (916) 651-4904
——————————–
Kevin de Leon (D) – LA area – Thank him for moving it out of Appropriations Committee and encourage his strong support of getting it through the full Senate.

State Capitol
(916) 651-4022
Fax: (916) 327-8817
——————————–

Especially if you live in any of their districts, please contact them immediately and tell them you want them to support SB 1381.  You can even call them if you don’t live in their district.

==================

For further info:

http://www.labelgmos.org/

For other endorsements:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/endorsement_main_page

Resources:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/resources

Posted in Get Involved! | Leave a comment

URGENT: California State GMO-labeling bill needs your help TODAY!! SB-1381(Evans) #labelGMOs

Image WE ARE SO CLOSE IN THE SENATE!

NEXT WEEK, before the end of Friday, May 30th, 2014, the entire California Senate will vote on SB-1381 (Evans): whether or not to require labeling of genetically-modified (GMO) food products for sale to eat in California.  TO CONTACT THE SENATORS IMMEDIATELY, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.

This is a basic consumer rights issue, which encompasses all political beliefs and all economic groups.

As this ABC poll suggests, and poll after poll agrees, 93% of U.S. consumers are in support of labeling genetically-modified foods of any kind: http://tinyurl.com/ABCpollGMOs.

Companies which produce GMO foods do not want their foods labeled as such because they know consumers will avoid their products.  In a pure market economy, consumers must have all the facts at their disposal to make informed choices in order to purchase (and therefore approve) the products they want to use.  If a product is deemed defective, it will not be purchased by consumers and it will be removed from shelves.  Why then, in our supposed “free market economy,” is there any question about labeling GMO products whatsoever?  The answer: corporate money polluting our politics.  Period.

With the unchecked spread of genetically-modified soy and corn, a large unscientific experiment is taking place: people and animals are already eating GMO food and feed and we don’t truly know what effects these will have on any organism over the long-term.  No long-term study has been conducted; no results published to be refuted.  And if the whole of the U.S. population is being exposed to it, there is no control group.

Since probably 95% of all competent scientists in the field of genetic engineering are working for the side of GMO producers and only 5% are truly independent, the USDA and the FDA are generally approving genetically-modified crops and foods based mainly on science provided by companies who will profit from their sale.  That means we have a very serious scientific problem in relation to our food, our most important issue, which trickles down into health and water and resource management issues.  And, most relevant to the discussion surrounding SB-1381, it also means we have a serious Democratic problem.

What we do know, scientifically, is that early-onset diabetes and childhood obesity are both at epidemic proportions in the United States.  It is my opinion that the cause is the difference in food over the last ten years.  If you look at labels in markets, corn and soy, both highly genetically-modified crops in the U.S., have become major ingredients in most foods over the past decade.  But — and here is my salient point — if you look at the label, you have the choice to avoid those foods. 

If the people of California cannot be more effectively protected scientifically and they cannot Democratically choose whether they even want genetically-modified products in their lives (all polls suggest they do not), the choice should not be left up to the companies who have profit incentives whether or not to label their products.  Consumers should have the choice to vote in the store by reading the labels, labels reading GMO or non-GMO.  The whole population should not be subjected to potentially harmful substances without their permission or their choice.

Before next Friday, all the members of the California Senate will be voting whether or not to approve SB-1381.  We need more votes for it to pass.  Please call them ASAP to express your support of SB-1381 (Evans) tonight.

Talking points:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/the_case_for_gmo_labeling

  • Concerns about the health impacts of eating genetically-modified food products; the dominance of our food supply by a handful of corporations, concerns that lower income people eat and are impacted by the processed food products which most contain genetically-modified ingredients; and that the increased use of pesticides and herbicides necessary for cultivation of genetically-modified crops are increasingly having negative impacts our groundwater, something we particularly need to protect as the drought situation worsens.

  • There is a strong precedent to SB-1381 in the United States: the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act, which protected consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy.  When it went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation and, most importantly, consumers had more information with which to protect themselves.  We have all seen the signs, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts.”
  • Food prices also remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago.  Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia.  I am especially concerned that people in China and Russia have more rights to know what is in the food they eat than we do in California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE ARE THE SENATORS WHO MOST NEED CALLS:

Ed Hernandez (D) – West Covina area – Voted NO in Health Committee – ask him to turn it around and vote YES.

State Capitol
(916) 651-4024
Fax: (916) 651-4924
——————————–
Carol Liu (D) – Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Sierra Madre, Upland area – thank her for her usual strong environmental leadership and we need her vote on this one

State Capitol
(916) 651-4025
Fax: (916) 651-4925
——————————–
Ted Lieu (D) – West LA, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica 

State Capitol
(916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 651-4928
——————————–
Richard Roth (D) – Riverside area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4031
Fax: (916) 651-4931
——————————–
Lou Correa (R) – Santa Ana area- emphasize disproportional effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4034
Fax: (916) 651-4934
——————————–
Marty Block (D) – San Diego 

State Capitol
(916) 651-4039
Fax: (916) 651-4939
——————————–
Norma Torres (D) – Chino area – emphasize disproportional health effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4032
Fax: (916) 651-4932
——————————–
Ben Hueso (D) – Chula Vista, Indio area - emphasize disproportional health effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 651-4940
——————————–
Joel Anderson (R) – Temecula area – voted NO in Judiciary Committee

State Capitol
(916) 651-4036
Fax: (916) 651-4936
——————————–
Cathleen Galgiani (D) – Stockton area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4005
Fax: (916) 651-4905
——————————–
Holly Mitchell (D) – Culver City, West LA, Beverlywood, Bel Air – thank her for her leadership with her fracking moratorium and ask her support for this

State Capitol
(916) 651-4026
Fax: (916) 651-4926
——————————–
Mark Wyland (R) – Carlsbad, San Juan Capistrano area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4038
Fax: (916) 651-4938

——————————–
Mimi Walters (R) – Irvine area – voted NO in Appropriations Committee

(916) 651-4037
Fax: (916) 651-4937
——————————–
Alex Padilla – LA area – say thanks for moving it out of Appropriations Committee and you hope he’ll work hard to get it through the full Senate.

(916) 651-4020
Fax: (916) 651-4920
——————————–
Ted Gaines (R) – Redding area

(916) 651-4001
Fax: (916) 651-4901
——————————–
Anthony Cannella (R) – Modesto area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4012
Fax: (916) 651-4912
——————————–
Tom Berryhill (R) – Modesto area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4014
Fax: (916) 651-4914
——————————–
Andy Vidak (R) – Bakersfield – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4016
Fax: (916) 651-4916
——————————–
Jean Fuller (R) – Bakersfield – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4018
Fax: (916) 651-4918
——————————–
Steven Knight (R) – Lancaster area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4021
Fax: (916) 651-4921
——————————–
Mike Morrell (R)  – Palm Desert area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4023
Fax: (916) 651-4923
——————————–
Bob Huff (R) – Brea area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4029
Fax: (916) 651-4929
——————————–
Jim Nielsen(R) – Chico area – Ask why he is against consumer rights and transparency

State Capitol
(916) 651-4004
Fax: (916) 651-4904
——————————–
Kevin de Leon (D) – LA area – Thank him for moving it out of Appropriations Committee and encourage his strong support of getting it through the full Senate.

State Capitol
(916) 651-4022
Fax: (916) 327-8817
——————————–

Especially if you live in any of their districts, please contact them immediately and tell them you want them to support SB 1381.  You can even call them if you don’t live in their district.

==================

For further info:

http://www.labelgmos.org/

For other endorsements:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/endorsement_main_page

Resources:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/resources

Posted in Get Involved! | Leave a comment

URGENT THIS FRIDAY AT LA CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE: Support new statewide GMO-labeling bill

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This coming Friday, May 16th, 2014, 9:00am in Room 340, at Los Angeles City Hall (200 N. Spring Street), a Los Angeles City Council Committee will be voting on a resolution of support for SB-1381 (Evans): whether or not to require labeling of genetically-modified (GMO) food products for sale to eat in California.  TO CONTACT THE COUNCILMEMBERS IMMEDIATELY, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.

This is a basic consumer rights issue, which encompasses all political beliefs and all economic groups.

As this ABC poll suggests, and poll after poll agrees, 93% of U.S. consumers are in support of labeling genetically-modified foods of any kind:
http://tinyurl.com/ABCpollGMOs.

Companies which produce GMO foods do not want their foods labeled as such because they know consumers will avoid their products.  In a pure market economy, consumers must have all the facts at their disposal to make informed choices in order to purchase (and therefore approve) the products they want to use.  If a product is deemed defective, it will not be purchased by consumers and it will be removed from shelves.  Why then, in our supposed “free market economy,” is there any question about labeling GMO products whatsoever?  The answer: corporate money polluting our politics.  Period.

With genetic engineering, without much Democratic decision-making at all, a few companies and scientists are trying to change the permanent genetic makeup of all life, life that was made either through divine intervention or through millions of years of evolution.  Either way, we have no right – simply for profit, or for research – to change them fundamentally.  Regardless of how far we humans have evolved, we are not, ourselves, Gods, and we do not truly understand “life” the same way we understand machines.

With the unchecked spread of genetically-modified soy and corn, a large unscientific experiment is taking place: people and animals are already eating GMO food and feed and we don’t truly know what effects these will have on any organism over the long-term.  No long-term study has been conducted; no results published to be refuted.  And if the whole of the U.S. population is being exposed to it, there is no control group.

Since probably 95% of all competent scientists in the field of genetic engineering are working for the side of GMO producers and only 5% are truly independent, the USDA and the FDA are generally approving genetically-modified crops and foods based mainly on science provided by companies who will profit from their sale.  That means we have a very serious scientific problem in relation to our food, our most important issue, which trickles down into health and water and resource management issues.  And, most relevant to the discussion surrounding SB-1381, it also means we have a serious Democratic problem.

What we do know, scientifically, is that early-onset diabetes and childhood obesity are both at epidemic proportions in the United States.  It is my opinion that the cause is the difference in food over the last ten years.  If you look at labels in markets, corn and soy, both highly genetically-modified crops in the U.S., have become major ingredients in most foods over the past decade.  But — and here is my salient point — if you look at the label, you have the choice to avoid those foods. 

If the people of California cannot be more effectively protected scientifically and they cannot Democratically choose whether they even want genetically-modified products in their lives (all polls suggest they do not), the choice should not be left up to the companies who have profit incentives whether or not to label their products.  Consumers should have the choice to vote in the store by reading the labels, labels reading GMO or non-GMO.  The whole population should not be subjected to potentially harmful substances without their permission or their choice.

This Friday, 3 Los Angeles City Councilmembers of the Rules/InterGovernmental Affairs Committee will be voting whether or not to allow the full City Council to vote on SB-1381.  Please call them ASAP to express your support of the City Council resolution supporting SB-1381 (Evans) today.

Talking points:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/the_case_for_gmo_labeling

  • Concerns about the health impacts of eating genetically-modified food products; the dominance of our food supply by a handful of corporations, concerns that lower income people eat and are impacted by the processed food products which most contain genetically-modified ingredients; and that the increased use of pesticides and herbicides necessary for cultivation of genetically-modified crops are increasingly having negative impacts our groundwater, something we particularly need to protect as the drought situation worsens. 
  • There is a strong precedent to SB-1381 in the United States: the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act, which protected consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy.  When it went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation and, most importantly, consumers had more information with which to protect themselves.  We have all seen the signs, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts.”
  • Food prices also remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago.  Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia.  I am especially concerned that people in China and Russia have more rights to know what is in the food they eat than we do in California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE ARE THE COUNCILMEMBERS ON THE RULES/INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE:

Herb Wesson - Council District 10 – (323) 733-8233

councilmember.wesson@lacity.org

——————————–

Jose Huizar - Council District 14 – (213) 473-7014

——————————–

Tom LaBongeCouncil District 4 - (213) 485-3337
tom.labonge@lacity.org

——————————–

Especially if you live in any of their districts, please contact them immediately and tell them you want them to support the City Council resolution supporting SB 1381, which is coming up in “Rules Committee” this Friday.  Even if you live in another district, since this is a committee, it is fine to call and voice your support.

==================

For further info:

http://www.labelgmos.org/

For other endorsements:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/endorsement_main_page

Resources:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/resources

Posted in Genetically-Modified Food | Leave a comment

URGENT: New California statewide GMO-labeling bill needs your help!

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This coming Tuesday, April 1st, 2014, 9:30am in Room 113, the California Senate Agriculture Committee will be voting on SB-1381 (Evans): whether or not to require labeling of genetically-modified (GMO) food products for sale to eat in California.  TO CONTACT THE SENATORS IMMEDIATELY, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.

This is a basic consumer rights issue, which encompasses all political beliefs and all economic groups.

As this ABC poll suggests, and poll after poll agrees, 93% of U.S. consumers are in support of labeling genetically-modified foods of any kind:
http://tinyurl.com/ABCpollGMOs.

Companies which produce GMO foods do not want their foods labeled as such because they know consumers will avoid their products.  In a pure market economy, consumers must have all the facts at their disposal to make informed choices in order to purchase (and therefore approve) the products they want to use.  If a product is deemed defective, it will not be purchased by consumers and it will be removed from shelves.  Why then, in our supposed “free market economy,” is there any question about labeling GMO products whatsoever?  The answer: corporate money polluting our politics.  Period.

With genetic engineering, without much Democratic decision-making at all, a few companies and scientists are trying to change the permanent genetic makeup of all life, life that was made either through divine intervention or through millions of years of evolution.  Either way, we have no right – simply for profit, or for research – to change them fundamentally.  Regardless of how far we humans have evolved, we are not, ourselves, Gods, and we do not truly understand “life” the same way we understand machines.

With the unchecked spread of genetically-modified soy and corn, a large unscientific experiment is taking place: people and animals are already eating GMO food and feed and we don’t truly know what effects these will have on any organism over the long-term.  No long-term study has been conducted; no results published to be refuted.  And if the whole of the U.S. population is being exposed to it, there is no control group.

Since probably 95% of all competent scientists in the field of genetic engineering are working for the side of GMO producers and only 5% are truly independent, the USDA and the FDA are generally approving genetically-modified crops and foods based mainly on science provided by companies who will profit from their sale.  That means we have a very serious scientific problem in relation to our food, our most important issue, which trickles down into health and water and resource management issues.  And, most relevant to the discussion surrounding SB-1381, it also means we have a serious Democratic problem.

What we do know, scientifically, is that early-onset diabetes and childhood obesity are both at epidemic proportions in the United States.  It is my opinion that the cause is the difference in food over the last ten years.  If you look at labels in markets, corn and soy, both highly genetically-modified crops in the U.S., have become major ingredients in most foods over the past decade.  But — and here is my salient point — if you look at the label, you have the choice to avoid those foods. 

If the people of California cannot be more effectively protected scientifically and they cannot Democratically choose whether they even want genetically-modified products in their lives (all polls suggest they do not), the choice should not be left up to the companies who have profit incentives whether or not to label their products.  Consumers should have the choice to vote in the store by reading the labels, labels reading GMO or non-GMO.  The whole population should not be subjected to potentially harmful substances without their permission or their choice.

This Tuesday, 5 members of the California Senate Agriculture Committee will be voting whether or not to allow the full Senate to vote on SB-1381.  We need more votes to pass it out of committee.  Please call them ASAP to express your support of SB-1381 (Evans) today.

Talking points:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/the_case_for_gmo_labeling

  • Concerns about the health impacts of eating genetically-modified food products; the dominance of our food supply by a handful of corporations, concerns that lower income people eat and are impacted by the processed food products which most contain genetically-modified ingredients; and that the increased use of pesticides and herbicides necessary for cultivation of genetically-modified crops are increasingly having negative impacts our groundwater, something we particularly need to protect as the drought situation worsens.
  • There is a strong precedent to SB-1381 in the United States: the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act, which protected consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy.  When it went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation and, most importantly, consumers had more information with which to protect themselves.  We have all seen the signs, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts.”
  • Food prices also remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago.  Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia.  I am especially concerned that people in China and Russia have more rights to know what is in the food they eat than we do in California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE ARE THE SENATORS ON THE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE:

Ted Lieu –  Senate District 28 – (Mar Vista, Santa Monica, West LA, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Pacific Palisades, Bel Air, San Pedro, Rancho Palo Verdes).

State Capitol
(916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 651-4928
senator.lieu@sen.ca.gov

——————————–

Cathleen Galgiani – Committee Chair - Dem 5 – (Stockton, Lodi, Galt, Lanthrop, Manteca, Tracy, Modesto, Salida, Riverbank)

State Capitol
(916) 651-4005
Fax: (916) 651-4905
senator.galgiani@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

Lois Wolk - Dem 3 – (Davis, Vacaville, Woodland, Fairfield, Napa, Sonoma, Vallejo, Calistoga, Winters, Dixon, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, St. Helena)

State Capitol
(916) 651-4003
Fax: (916) 651-4903
senator.wolk@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

Anthony Cannella - Rep-12 – (Modesto, Salinas, Merced, Madera, Turlock, Hollister, Ceres)

(916) 651-4012
Fax: (916) 651-4912
senator.cannella@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

Tom Berryhill - Rep -14 – (Fresno, Modesto, Salida, Lodi, Sonora, Waterford, Oakdale, Escalon, Ripton)

(916) 651-4014
Fax: (916) 651-4914
senator.berryhill@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

If you live in any of their districts, please contact them immediately and tell them you want them to support SB 1381.

==================

For further info:

http://www.labelgmos.org/

For other endorsements:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/endorsement_main_page

Resources:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/resources

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LA COUNCIL COMMITTEE MOVES FORWARD MORATORIUM ON FRACKING IN LA, #UnfrackLA

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LOS ANGELES – In a packed hearing room, the Los Angeles City Council Planning and Land Use Committee headed by Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar approved two motions calling for a moratorium and for land use restrictions on the controversial oil and gas extraction method fracking.

Co-author of the fracking moratorium motion, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz said, “We’ve begun the worst drought in California history.  Each fracked well reportedly uses five to ten million gallons of water and turns it into what is, essentially, untreatable toxic waste.  We have other methods of extracting oil and gas; there is no substitute for drinking water.”

Moratorium co-author Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin mentioned the recent earthquakes in Oklahoma (more than 2,800 in 2013), which the US Geological Survey suspects are attributed to fracking wastewater disposal.  “We cannot continue to allow the safety of the neighborhoods we represent to be jeopardized by dangerous drilling,” Bonin said, “I am very excited by today’s progress and I look forward to continuing this conversation with the full council on Friday.”

Land Use restrictions author Councilmember Bernard Parks mentioned the health impacts of fracking near residential neighborhoods and schools.

Kwazi Nkrumah of the MLK Coalition discussed the social justice impacts of fracking and climate change.  He invited everyone in the room to fight by attending the Great March for Climate Action launch event, a cross-country march beginning in Los Angeles and ending in Washington D.C. in time for the November mid-term Congressional elections.  The marchers’ aim is to keep action on climate change at the top of the Congressional debate all the way across the country.

Residents of the Esperanza Community Housing Corp recently affected by the oil company AllenCo’s recently shut down University Park oil drilling pad and of the Harbor Gateway North Neighborhood Council and the Mar Vista Community Council, testified alongside members of the environmental, social justice and health advocacy groups: with Food & Water Watch leading the way, Sierra Club, NRDC, the MLK Coalition and Citizens for a Safe Community.

The motions are scheduled to be heard before full City Council this coming Friday, February 28th.

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Great March for Climate Action launch day press announcement at LA City Hall, THIS WEDS, 9:15am, #ClimateMarch, @350Action

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Join Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, the Sierra Club and the Southern California Climate Action Coalition (350.org/LA) to announce the fast-approaching Great March for Climate Action and to encourage everyone to take climate change personally. The worst drought in California history is here and each of us in California will be directly affected by it. 

Press Conference Details:

Wednesday, February 19th
9:15am
Los Angeles City Hall 
200 N. Spring Street (outside Spring Street steps)
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Bring: Climate Action Signs (fracking, tar sands, carbon tax, Obama masks, et al)

For details on the Great March launch event: http://tinyurl.com/ClimateMarchRSVP

Facebook Page: http://j.mp/ClimateMarchFB

National Great Climate March website: ClimateMarch.org

“There are not two sides, but the whole of humanity. There are no winners and losers, we all either win or lose in the future we make for ourselves.”
                                          – U.N climate chief Christiana Figueres

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