Tag Archives: Chicago

Climate-Friendly Gardening in Action … a repost


Become a shareholder in Eden Place Farms and receive 20 weekly boxes of organic produce grown by local farmers right in Fuller Park. Half and full shares available.
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A repost

Are you interested in creating a climate-friendly garden? These videos can help get you started. Follow UCS analyst Karen Perry Stillerman on her visit to Eden Place Nature Center in Chicago to see how the same practices used to create this urban oasis can transform the American agricultural landscape.


Use yard waste and table scraps to turn your garden into a global warming mitigation machine.

Urban Trees

They provide shade, lower air conditioning use, and store carbon.

Today the Backyard, Tomorrow the World

What we do in our gardens, farmers can do in their fields.

Help the Philippine​s with one signature


U.S. Congress: Save lives by exempting Typhoon Haiyan victims from outdated food aid regulations

  By Juanita Salvador-Burris
                                                Chicago, Illinois

As a Filipino-American in Chicago, I have reeled in shock and helplessness as thousands of Filipinos in Haiyan-decimated Tacloban city, were shown hungry everyday sitting, crying, walking, with nowhere to go, without food, water, shelter, and medical care. After six days and reports of no aid arriving yet, I wrote seventeen friends in Manila seeking comfort as to why more aid has not reached those devastated by this natural disaster. They felt the same despair I did…“not enough aid reached the people in a timely manner.”

Like many others I am thankful for the generosity of my fellow Americans, many of whom have already donated millions to the relief effort. But I could never imagine that red-tape and outdated rules written by the US Congress could delay urgently needed relief from reaching the millions of people who desperately need humanitarian assistance.

So far, the UN has said $301 million is needed immediately to help victims of the typhoon. President Obama has already promised an initial pledge of $20 million to provide food, water and urgent medical care. But regulations, which require the vast majority of US food aid to be shipped from preferred growers in the US on preferred ships, could delay most US food aid from arriving for weeks or months.

These regulations, written in the 1950’s, require food to be shipped more than 11,000 nautical miles across the ocean even though there is ample food available much closer to the crisis in unaffected areas of the Philippines and countries like Thailand and Vietnam, usually at a lower price for taxpayers. The rules prevent aid agencies like the World Food Program from purchasing food from the closest and most cost effective sellers. Delays in delivering food could cost lives and red-tape costs tax dollars.

But Congress has the power to waive these regulations. In this urgent crisis in the Philippines please join me in calling on Congress to save lives now by exempting the Philippines emergency response from these outdated rules so humanitarian aid can reach suffering people when they need it most.

Top Five Stories You Missed Over Thanksgiving


The War On Thanksgiving Hits American Workers

1. Walmart Workers Strike On Black Friday: The nation’s largest private employer saw strikes in nine cities on Black Friday this year. OUR Walmart, the non-union group arguing for labor protections, saw tens of thousands of people participate in 1,500 protests involving workers and their community supporters. At the same time, workers who strike could face retaliation, like being fired, for their actions. Dozens of protesters have already were arrested for their civil disobedience.

2. Whole Foods Workers Strike In Protest Of Working On Thanksgiving: Ten workers went on strike at two Whole Foods stores in Chicago on Wednesday to protest having to come to work on Thanksgiving. Matthew Camp, an employee and member of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOOC), told Eidelson that while they work hard so people can enjoy the holiday, “we would like to be able to participate in the holiday ourselves.” He added that “it’s a question of respect.” Given that he has a shift on Thursday, he said he won’t be able to spend the holiday with his family in Texas.

3. Ruining Workers’ Thanksgivings Fails To Boost Holiday Shopping Sales: A large number of stores decided to open for Black Friday so early this year that they had hours on Thanksgiving Day itself, hoping to juice the holiday shopping season haul and necessitating that millions of workers show up to their jobs. But while sales did increase on Thanksgiving this year, that only took a bite out of Black Friday sales, failing to bring the net increase that retailers were hoping for. Overall, retail spending over the holiday weekend actually fell for the first time in at least seven years.

4. Congress Got 239 Days Off This Year, Workers Are Guaranteed Zero: Congress has just eight days on the job between now and the start of the next session on January 7, with the House coming back on today and adjourning for the year by December 13 and the Senate returning on December 9 only to most likely adjourn for the year on December 20. In total, the House will have had 239 days off this year with even more scheduled for next year. The picture is very different for the rest of Americans, however. The country doesn’t guarantee its citizens any paid vacation or holiday time off, and many workers were forced to come in on Thanksgiving.

Where The Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace With The Earnings Of The 1%: If the minimum wage had grown at the same rate as the earnings of the top one percent of Americans the federal wage floor would be more than triple the current hourly minimum of $7.25. Instead, the minimum wage has been lower than a poverty wage ever since 1982. As minimum-wage jobs have provided less and less stable economic footing for working people, the wealthiest sliver of the country has seen astronomical gains in their compensation. If instead the federal minimum wage had grown at the same rate as one-percenter earnings, it would sit at $22.62 per hour today — 212 percent higher than the current wage floor.

Stay Tuned: Coming Up This Week

Fast Food Strikes Will Hit 100 Cities On Thursday: Fast food workers will stage a one-day strike against their employers in 100 cities on Thursday. Striking workers have been organizing since August and are demanding a raise to $15 an hour and the right to form a union.

RainForest Action Network

Rainforest Action Network


In June, we teamed up in Chicago with CREDO and the Other 98% to hold our first #NoKXL civil disobedience action against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. We earned national press coverage and helped push President Obama’s stance on climate change forward.

But we need to keep pushing until the pipeline is canceled.

This August, we’re taking our message straight to the State Department Building in DC as they consider whether or not to keep up their thoroughly bogus pro-KXL whitewashing — and we need your help to let the world know we’re coming.

Let’s tell the world ASAP: sign up for our Thunderclap campaign here to let all your friends know when it happens.

Hundreds will be taking action in DC but those who can’t be there are crucial to making our message heard. Let’s coordinate our voices so that they echo through the halls of power.

Thank you for all you do to make this movement real.


In Solidarity,

Scott Parkin, Rainforest Action Network

P.S. Have you signed the Keystone XL pledge of resistance yet? It might be the most important thing you do all year. Sign now!

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks Meeting to Address Youth Violence

The First Lady addresses a joint luncheon meeting in Chicago hosted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that included members of Chicago’s leading civic organizations. Mrs. Obama urges Chicago¹s business leaders to invest in expanded opportunities for youth across Chicago¹s neighborhoods.