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Oct 14
2010

Organizing Against Poverty

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , rights , politics , policy , nonprofit orgs , justice , jobs , Ideas , government , education , economy , current events , community , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

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What can people in poverty do to improve their lives? Mary Gonzales takes an atypical approach; organizing disadvantaged communities to exercise political clout they didn’t know they had.

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Mary Gonzales, The Gamalilei Foundation's regional organizer for California and Hawaii, reports that her greatest success story to date occurred in Venturra County, where a combination of organizational outreach and concentrated research enabled the local agricultural community to fend off a major mining operation's plans.

   

 

 

 

 

Sep 26
2010

Increased Recycling

Posted by Bruce Robinson in waste , state government , recycle , politics , policy , legislation , jobs , Green , government , garbage , environment , employment , economy , corporate responsibiliyt , conservation , California , business

Bruce Robinson
recycle.jpgCalifornia has long since met its goal of recycling at least half of the state’s waste stream. So north coast Assemblyman Wes Chesbro thinks we should reset the goal to be even higher.
 
chesbrohearing.jpgAchieving further reductions in overall waste generation will require working closely with manufacturers to adjust processes and materials so that their products are more readily recyclable.


Concurrently, Chesbro suggests that the soft market for recycled materials, especially in China, may represent an opportunity for entrepreneurs in California to develop new businesses to use those materials closer to home.
 
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AB 737 is only the latest in a series of pioneering state laws that have made recycling a way of life for most Californians. To trace those bills, read this history of California's recycling laws.

Sep 20
2010

Local Businesses

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Sonoma County , research , policy , nonprofit orgs , jobs , Ideas , government , finances , employment , economy , community , business , author

Bruce Robinson
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Small businesses have a disproportionately big impact on the local economy, especially when it comes to creating jobs. But public policy has been slow to recognize that. The need for changes was a central theme at Monday's Smart Growth Symposium, presented the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy.



ms.jpgOn the global economic playing field, the ongoing tug-of-war between local business and corporate giants can be distilled into competing views of how capitalism should work, explains Mike Shuman, Director for Research and Economic Development for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). He likes to think of them as two quite different women.


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Many consumers are already aware of and acting on the desirability of directing their spending toward local businesses. But few give much thought to taking the same approach with their retirement accounts and other investments. Shuman explains how some of the long-standing obstacles to doing that are beginning to go away.
 
Aug 31
2010

Conservation Corps

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , waste , teens , students , Sonoma County , recycle , preservation , poverty , parks , nonprofit orgs , Marin , jobs , environment , employment , education , Cotati , conservation , activism

Bruce Robinson

What’s the antidote to gangs, unemployment and juvenile crime? In part, it’s the newly rechristened Conservation Corps North Bay.

Marilee Eckert, the organization's Executive Director, explains that their expansion into Sonoma County was begun in early 2009, with the support and encouragement of many local leaders.


08californiaxlarge1.jpgLooking ahead, Eckert sees a busy future for the Conservation Corps North Bay, doing more of what they are already working on.

 
In addition to referrals from established partner sources, individuals who are interesting in becoming part of the program can apply directly using the CCNB online application form.

The Conervation Corps was  featured previously on the North Bay Report when they launched their Sonoma County operations in January, 2009.

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