Tags >> rights
Apr 02
2009

Willie Garrett

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , volunteer , teens , students , Sonoma , rights , poverty , nonprofit orgs , news , literacy , justice , history , education , community , children , activism

Bruce Robinson

After living in Sonoma County for nearly 60 years, civil rights advocate Willie Garrett has seen--and instigated--some substantial changes here. But he'd still like to see more.

One of Willie Garrett's first moves toward expanding integration in Santa Rosa, focused on the city's swim center, sometime around 1956.

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In the late 1960s, Mr. Garrett (seen more recently here)  was one of the co-founders of the Ethnic Studies Department at Sonoma State University, where he told the mostly white students not to expect an easy A, because community service would be an important part of his classes.

Typically, Mr. Garrett has not joined in recent public handwringing over the continuing absence of ethnic diversity among the Sonoma State student body. But he is planning to do something about it.

Willie Garrett has been named the 2009 recipient of the Jack Green Civil Rights Award from the Sonoma County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, an honor that will be bestowed at the group's annual Awards Dinner tonight (April 3). Last minute reservations can be made by calling (707) 765-5005.

 

 

Mar 31
2009

Voting Machines

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , technology , rights , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , Napa , media , Marin , legislation , law enforcement , justice , government , gadgets , corporate responsibiliyt , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

 A widely used electronic voting machine has been decertified in California, after tests confirmed it sometimes deleted groups of ballots without counting them.

 

 A co-founder and director of the Election Defense Alliance, Dan Ashby says this latest setback for electronic voting machines is further confirmation of their dubious reliability.

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Mar 26
2009

Come Home, America

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , rights , resources , politics , peace , news , media , legislation , justice , jobs , Ideas , history , government , finances , economy , Congress , climate change , business , budget , author

Bruce Robinson

What must America do to effectively respond to the multiple crises that confront us as a nation today? Political writer William Greider's answer can be summed up in two words:  Grow up!

 

A staunch critic of the economic establishment, Greider has his own, contrarian ideas of how government should move to reestablish credit and restore order to the American banking system.

 

 

A former managing editor for the Washington Post, Greider has contributed to six "Frontline" documentaries on PBS, and is now the National Affairs correspondent for The Nation. This first-hand experience has made him keenly aware of the role that consolidation of media ownership in this country has played in fomenting our current crises.  

 

In his newest book, Come Home America, Greider offers both an analysis of the cultural and political  missteps that have contributed to the current crises we face, as well as some no nonsense ideas for ways to recover and move forward. Here's an excerpt from the opening pages:

 

"I HAVE SOME HARD THINGS TO SAY about our country. Beyond recession and financial crisis, we are in much deeper trouble than many people suppose or the authorities want to acknowledge. Because I think Americans always deal better with adversity if they have a clear understanding of what they are confronting, this book will address the gloomy circumstances and rough passage I see ahead for the American people.

"Everything around us is changing, and Americans must change, too. First, we must be honest with ourselves, face the hard facts, and put aside some comforting myths. Then, we must find the nerve to take responsibility again for our country and democracy. Taking responsibility means having the courage to step up and reclaim our power as citizens. We have to relearn what many in earlier generations knew: how to assert our own ideas and values on what the future should look like, how to make ourselves heard amid the empty noise of politics, how to assert our convictions as aggressively as necessary to alter the course of history.

"Americans will get through this. Our country has been through far worse in the past. We can emerge from it in promising new ways, not necessarily richer, but wiser and joined more closely together as a people, more able to realize fulfilling lives. If we do the hard work. If we change.

"WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY where telling the hard truth with clarity has become taboo. Its implications are too alarming. Any politician who says aloud what some of them know or feel in their guts is vilified as defeatist or unpatriotic. Many are clueless, of course, and others are too scared to raise forbidden subjects. I understand their silence and I do not forgive them.

"This book is about hard truths that were mostly not addressed during the long and intensely reported campaign for the presidency. A few marginal candidates did challenge the orthodox version of American greatness, but their also-ran status ensured they would not be widely heard. Most politicians looked the other way and stuck to familiar themes of patriotic optimism. The news media did not help much, either, by generally adhering to conventional thinking and ignoring dissenting opinions. Under these circumstances, citizens are more or less on their own, and remarkably, they do often find their way to the truth about things. In these very difficult times, I hope this book will help them."

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  William Greider's previous books include Who Will Tell the People:  The Betrayal of American Democracy, and Secrets of the Temple, an inside look at the Federal Reserve Board.

Mar 25
2009

SSU Holocaust Memorial

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , students , Sonoma , rights , peace , parks , media , justice , international , history , families , events , education , art , activism

Bruce Robinson

 With railroad tracks as one of  its main features, the new Holocaust and World Genocide Memorial on the Sonoma State University campus looks both forward, and back.

 
Elaine Leeder, Dean of the SSU School of Social Sciences, says the names engraved on the bricks that form the railroad "ties" are not limited to victims or survivors of international genocides.

 Sculptor and art professor Jann Nunn , seen at left with some of the 5000 glass pieces she assembled into the memorial's tower, says her work typically includes both personal and political elements, and this is no exception.

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