News

UK's largest union calls for fracking ban and "democratic control of the energy industry"

July 24, 2014
Unite policy conference 2014
news photo

At UNITE’s 2014 policy conference, the following resolution was passed:

Composite C6 (Incorporating Motions D1, D3 & D4)

Standing in the names of:

North West/Merseyside AAC

North East, Yorkshire & Humber/300/22 Wm Morrison Distribution Stockton Branch

South West/001401 Bristol Finance & Legal Sector Branch

D. Environment

(i) Hydraulic Fracturing

Conference notes:

Nigerian communities challenge corporate power in quest for Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
Boldwin Anugwara
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That Nigeria is facing power supply challenge is an understatement. But the Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo, in this interview with CHARLES OKONJI, says the epileptic power supply has an exit date if only Nigeria embraces energy democracy. Excerpts:

You have been advocating energy democracy. Can you explain to us what you mean by energy democracy?

San Diego fights for Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
John Farrell
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San Diego and its community choice energy district would be able to offer a diverse energy mix with all of the solar, biodiesel, biogas, and energy storage resources that we have in San Diego.  A product that is price competitive and yet at the same time would strive for and achieve a higher level of renewable content.”

See how this southern California city is striving for more clean energy and more local control in this interview with Lane Sharman, co-founder and chair of the San Diego Energy District Foundation. This podcast was recorded via Skype on May 21, 2014.

Denmark town achieves true Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
Paul Kando
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Ballen, Denmark, is one of 18 small villages on Samsø, an island of 4,000 residents. The new Energy Academy with its 11 new jobs is located here, doubling as a meeting house and visitor center for those who come here from the world over to learn how to become 100 percent energy-independent. The island has 21 huge wind turbines generating over 104 million kW h/year, enough to power 26,000 homes. Sixty percent of the island’s buildings are heated by 4 solar district heating systems, with straw-burning back-up boilers; the rest use electric heat pumps. Cars run on electricity.

Center for Social Inclusion maps the movement for Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
Center for Social Inclusion
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This map pinpoints communities across America that are innovating how to build their local economies while taking into their own hands the fight against climate change by developing community-scale renewable energy projects.

Gar Alperovitz on the cooperative economy's enormous potential

May 22, 2014
Orion Magazine

IN THE MID-1960s, when author, historian, and political economist Gar Alperovitz was working as legislative director for Senator Gaylord Nelson, change was in the air. Ink had dried on an early version of the Clean Air Act, the civil rights movement had won major victories, and the first Earth Day was in the works. The U.S. still faced plenty of serious challenges, but many Americans felt their country was capable of dealing with them successfully.

CommonBound: Moving Together Toward a New Economy

Date: 
June 6, 2014 - 9:00am - June 8, 2014 - 5:00pm

Location

Northeastern University Boston, MA

This June 6-8, more than 500 movement leaders, activists, practitioners, and newcomers will come together in Boston for CommonBound, the New Economy Coalition’s largest and most significant convening yet.

Public Banking & Economic Democracy

May 21, 2014
Gwendolyn Hallsmith
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Private banks have not always been accepted institutions, fixtures of commerce, and purveyors of most of our economic transactions. Throughout US history, there have been robust public conversations about banks, largely due to their propensity to derail the economy when their business models fail. One example of this was in rural Vermont in 1806, when the state established their first public bank. Testimony on that bill, from Governor Tichenor lays out the problem:

Participatory Budgeting in NYC: Governing at the Grassroots

May 21, 2014
Mike Menser and Ron Hayduk
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Like much of the rest of the globe, New York City is beset by two crises: economic instability and the changing climate. Any hope of making our intensely unequal and unsustainable city more equitable and resilient requires fundamental changes in the relationship between the government and its people, and between the economy and its infrastructure. This requires more than a change of administrations; it requires a reconstruction of the governance process itself.

Jackson, Miss. using worker-owned cooperatives to advance economic democracy

May 17, 2014
Gracie Davie
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When Iya’Falola Omobola first crossed the Mississippi state border 10 years ago, she felt uneasy. A friend told her that she was “feeling the energy from all those bodies hanging in the trees.” Yet, Omobola’s feeling soon changed. Born into a family of civil rights and labor organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, Omobola came to see Jackson as the Phoenix that rises from the ashes.

Liberty Tree hosting Gar Alperovitz in Santa Barbara, CA

Date: 
May 1, 2014 - 12:00pm - May 2, 2014 - 1:00pm

Location

Santa Barbara, CA

Community Democracy: America Beyond Capitalism?

For more information visit: www.democracysb.org

DAILY CARDINAL: Madison environmental, social justice advocates converge in Earth Day rally

April 23, 2014
Dana Kampa
Activists with the Global Climate Convergence march in Madison on Earth Day

Madison community members and organizers marched down State Street Tuesday evening, Earth Day, to raise awareness of environmental and social justice issues as part of a 10-day Global Climate Convergence.

The march and rally, titled “Protect our Water–Reject the Mines and Pipelines!,” addressed many issues, such as clean water and oil pipelines, facing Wisconsin and the nation. Advocates marched from the Monona Terrace to Library Mall, where several advocates spoke about Wisconsin’s environmental concerns.

More Info: 

For more information about the Global Climate Convergence in Wisconsin, go to https://wisconsinwave.org/global-climate-convergence-wisconsin-0

CAP TIMES: Demonstrators address fossil fuel divestment at Earth Day rally

April 21, 2014
Pat Schneider
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Fossil fuel divestment is one way to empower ordinary people to respond to the issue of climate change, says Julia Isaacs, a member of 350 Madison.

“I see divestment as an opportunity to engage with people about climate change in a real way,” says Isaacs. “Is it important enough to withhold money from my alma mater? Is it important enough that I want to put my retirement savings into a different place?”

Members of 350 Madison will join University of Wisconsin-Madison students, faculty and others supporting the university's divestment from corporations that profit from fossil fuels in a march and rally Tuesday to mark Earth Day.

More Info: 

For more information about the Global Climate Convergence in Wisconsin, go to https://wisconsinwave.org/global-climate-convergence-wisconsin-0

The Wisconsin Wave is hiring a new Public Outreach Canvass Director!

April 16, 2014
Liberty Tree Foundation

Title
Public Outreach Canvass Director

Job Description
Liberty Tree’s Wisconsin Wave project, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization working to build the grassroots democracy movement in Wisconsin, is hiring a full-time Public Outreach Canvass Director. Responsibilities include door-to-door canvassing to recruit members and raise funds, managing general canvass operations including hiring and training canvass staff, and participating in grassroots campaign development.

Participatory Budgeting continues to grow in NYC

April 4, 2014
Jay Cassano
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It would be tough to find something people like to complain about more than politicians. Now, thanks to New York City's Participatory Budgeting project, we get to do part of their job for them.

With the fast flow of information these days, the average citizen can easily be just as informed as any local politician or policy wonk. So why do we need politicians to spend our tax dollars for us? Especially when it comes local communities, people have a visceral and intuitive understanding of the changes they want to see.

NEW YORK TIMES: Penokee Hills mine controversy is a fight for Wisconsin's soul

March 29, 2014
Dan Kaufman
Bad River

WISCONSIN has been an environmental leader since 1910, when the state’s voters approved a constitutional amendment promoting forest and water conservation. Decades later, pioneering local environmentalists like Aldo Leopold and Senator Gaylord Nelson, who founded Earth Day in 1970, helped forge the nation’s ecological conscience.

But now, after the recent passage of a bill that would allow for the construction of what could be the world’s largest open-pit iron ore mine, Wisconsin’s admirable history of environmental stewardship is under attack.

NYT: Cooperative businesses benefit both worker-owners and their communities

March 25, 2014
Shaila Dewan
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If you happen to be looking for your morning coffee near Golden Gate Park and the bright red storefront of the Arizmendi Bakery attracts your attention, congratulations. You have found what the readers of The San Francisco Bay Guardian, a local alt-weekly, deem the city’s best bakery. But it has another, less obvious, distinction.

TRUTHOUT: Building a more democratic banking system

March 17, 2014
Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese
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In Part I of this series, we examined breaking up the too-big-to-fail-or- jail banks, regulating them - especially

WTAQ: WMC takes stand against minimum wage increase

March 6, 2014
Larry Lee

MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- Leaders of four Wisconsin business associations spoke out against mandatory minimum wage hikes Wednesday.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, and The Wisconsin Grocers Association held a press conference in Madison explaining their opposition to a mandatory increase of the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

WTAQ: WMC pushes bill to limit compensation for injured workers in Wisconsin

February 10, 2014
WTAQ
news photo

A new bill in the state Legislature would tighten the limits that medical personnel could get for treating worker's compensation patients.

Business and labor groups supported the measure at a recent public hearing, while doctors and hospitals opposed it.  

Under the bill, the threshold would be lowered for treatment costs which are considered abnormally high. In 2015, the state would determine maximum prices that health providers could receive for particular treatments.

Medical officials said the bill would either result in less available care for injured workers, or it could hurt other parts of the health care market.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

IN THESE TIMES: Saving Lake Superior from mining

February 10, 2014
John Collins
news photo

A subterranean labyrinth of iron, copper and nickel wraps its way around Lake Superior, the largest expanse of freshwater on our planet. The labor needed to pull these ancient minerals out of the ground has sustained parts of the rural population around the lake for 150 years. Today, globaldemand for the remaining deposits is climbing. As an extractive industry drools, environmentalists panic. Lobbyists descend. Lawmakers are introduced to wealthy and ambitious companies. Sparks fly. They engage in unprotected democracy on a mattress of potential money. Laws change.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

COMMON DREAMS: Is the 'sharing economy' a pathway to greater economic democracy?

January 22, 2014
Adam Parsons
news photo

In recent years, the concept and practice of sharing resources is fast becoming a mainstream phenomenon across North America, Western Europe and other world regions. The internet is awash with articles and websites that celebrate the vast potential of sharing human and physical assets, in everything from cars and bicycles to housing, workplaces, food, household items, and even time or expertise.

Al Jazeera: Oxfam says world's rich threaten democracy

January 21, 2014
Al Jazeera
news photo

The 85 richest people on planet "own the wealth of half the world's population", the charity said.

The world's elite have rigged laws in their own favour undermining democracy and creating a chasm of inequality across the globe, charity Oxfam said in advance of the annual get-together of the world's most powerful at Davos.

AL GEDICKS: WMC, GTac lied to legislators to pass iron mining law

January 13, 2014
Al Gedicks

There is nothing to be gained by "tweaking" the iron mining law because the entire legislation is based upon a scientific fraud ("State's new mining law may require tweaking," Our View, Jan. 10).

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

EAU CLAIRE LEADER-TELEGRAM: WMC pushes 7-day work week bill in WI legislature

January 11, 2014
Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

MADISON (AP) — Wisconsin manufacturing and retail workers could volunteer to work seven days straight without a day off under a bill two Republican lawmakers are circulating on behalf of the state's largest business group.

The bill promises to ratchet up tensions between the GOP and Democrats and their organized labor allies, who are still stinging after Republicans passed Gov. Scott Walker's plan to strip most public workers of nearly all their union rights in 2011.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

WISCONSIN WAVE: What business owners are saying about WMC-Free Wisconsin

December 18, 2013
Dave Schwab, Wisconsin Wave
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It’s difficult to overstate the power that corporate special interests like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) wield over Wisconsin’s governor, legislature, and Supreme Court.
 
We at Wisconsin Wave have been hard at work this year organizing a mass divestment campaign from WMC, the state’s largest and most powerful corporate lobbyist group - so here’s a sampling of what small business owners are saying about our WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign:
 
“WMC puts corporate interests ahead of people's interests. I want decisions based on people. “
-Joe, Stoughton Appliance Repair
More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

EXPRESS MILWAUKEE: Second John Doe investigation focused on big money

December 15, 2013
Milwaukee Shepherd Express
news photo

Very little is known about what’s called the John Doe 2. We know that a special prosecutor, former Republican federal prosecutor Francis Schmitz, is looking into the activities of some political groups during the Wisconsin recalls of 2011 and 2012.

Leaks to sympathetic media outlets indicate that John Doe 2 is focused on conservative groups such as Wisconsin Club for Growth, the Republican Governors Association, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and, perhaps most disturbingly, the Friends of Scott Walker.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

STEVEN ROSENFELD: How US Chamber and corporations spy on civil society

December 3, 2013
Steven Rosenfeld
news photo

Posing as volunteers. Stealing documents. Dumpster diving. Planting electronic bugs. Hacking computers. Tapping phones and voicemail. Planting false information. Trailing family members. Threatening reporters. Hiring cops, CIA officers and combat veterans to do all these dirty deeds—and counting on little pushback from law enforcement, mainstream media or Congress.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

JEFF MILCHEN: Holiday shopping goes local, independent

November 26, 2013
Jeff Milchen
news photo

For those suffering from too much quality time with their families, the chain stores are poised to offer an escape by opening Thanksgiving Day. Before your dinner is digested, you can flee the table to vie for pole position at the big box entrance like Roman chariot drivers and prepare to do battle for one of those few really cheap “door-buster” flat-screens.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

STATE JOURNAL: Investigation of Walker recall campaign targets WMC and other big money groups

November 18, 2013
Dee J. Hall
news photo

The campaign of Gov. Scott Walker, the Republican Party of Wisconsin and more than two dozen conservative political groups are the targets of a secret Milwaukee County probe, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

The newspaper reported that “some 29” organizations were being targeted, and it quoted Eric O’Keefe, an official with Club for Growth Wisconsin, as saying his group was among them.

“In recent weeks,” the newspaper reported, “special prosecutor Francis Schmitz has hit dozens of conservative groups with subpoenas demanding documents related to the 2011 and 2012 campaigns to recall Governor Walker and state legislative leaders.”

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CAP TIMES: Reports show how Koch Brothers and corporate interests funnel big money into state campaigns

November 13, 2013
Steven Elbow
news photo

A slew of reports released Wednesday reveal that a network of conservative think tanks, funded by multinational corporations and industrialists — most notably Charles and David Koch — comprise a vast dark-money campaign funding mechanism that funnels cash to conservative candidates, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in last year’s recall election.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CAP TIMES: Wisconsin Supreme Court hears Act 10 case involving their biggest financial backers

November 12, 2013
Jack Craver

If the Wisconsin Supreme Court does not rule in Gov. Scott Walker’s favor by reinstating the entirety of Act 10, the governor’s signature law that restricts public sector collective bargaining, it's likely a small group of very wealthy people will feel ripped off.

The court is considering a ruling by a Dane County Circuit Court judge last year that key parts of the law were unconstitutional.

The four justices who make up the Supreme Court’s conservative majority owe their positions largely to the help of Republican Party allies, notably Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business group.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CAP TIMES: Wisconsin Supreme Court hears Act 10 case involving their biggest financial backers

November 12, 2013
Jack Craver
news photo

If the Wisconsin Supreme Court does not rule in Gov. Scott Walker’s favor by reinstating the entirety of Act 10, the governor’s signature law that restricts public sector collective bargaining, it's likely a small group of very wealthy people will feel ripped off.

The court is considering a ruling by a Dane County Circuit Court judge last year that key parts of the law were unconstitutional.

The four justices who make up the Supreme Court’s conservative majority owe their positions largely to the help of Republican Party allies, notably Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business group.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

WATCH: Ben Manski, Leland Pan, Jolie Lizotte and more on the future of student organizing

November 7, 2013
Liberty Tree Foundation

Last August hundreds of people from across the country convened in Madison, WI for the  2nd Democracy Convention.  Made up of nine individual conferences, the Convention was an extraordinary space for individuals and organizations to network with and learn from one another in the service of building a larger, more dynamic democracy movement.

ISTHMUS: Schools expert warns Wisconsin off privatization, high-stakes testing

November 7, 2013
Catherine Capellaro
news photo

Don't expect Diane Ravitch to pull any punches when she takes the podium Nov. 14 at the Orpheum Theater. The former assistant secretary of education is on a mission to expose the threat she says privatization poses to our nation's public schools.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CAP TIMES: How to stop WMC from hijacking our democracy

November 6, 2013
Dave Schwab

If the people of Wisconsin want to enjoy true democracy and shared prosperity in the 21st century, we must first do something about the corporate special interests that have hijacked our state government.

More Info: 

For more information about Wisconsin Wave’s WMC Free initiative and how to get involved, check out www.WisconsinWave.org.

NAOMI KLEIN: How Science Is Telling Us All To Revolt

October 29, 2013
Naomi Klein
news photo

In December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles.

Rally to Stop the Frack Attack Power Grab

Date: 
October 24, 2013 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location

Wisconsin Capitol
State St. side
Madison, WI
MADISON--On Thursday, Oct. 24, at 12 noon, Wisconsin citizens will rally on the State Street Steps outside the State Capitol in response to the unprecedented attack on local democracy launched by Sen. Tom Tiffany on behalf of the frac sand mining industry.