Since 1976, Project Censored, a media research, education and advocacy initiative currently based at Diablo Valley College, has been reporting on "The News that Didn't Make the News," issuing a look at the top 25 most censored stories of the year, and every year, we check in with them to talk about their work. In this edition of "Corporations and Democracy," Annie and Steve host Andy Lee Roth, Project Censored's associate director, to see what we we should have been reading about in the mainstream media. You can click here to listen.
Is President Trump’s new Election Integrity Commission a fix or a fraud? That was the topic on this week's edition of "Corporations and Democracy," a twice-monthly radio show hosted by Alliance secretary Steve Scalmanini and Annie Esposito. Their guest was election integrity and voting rights activist Jan Ben-Dor, a founding member of the Michigan Election Reform Alliance, and a member of the board of directors of the National Election Defense Coalition, as well as a former election official.
You can listen or download a podcast of the show here.
Want democracy? Come to Minneapolis this August for the Democracy Convention (and our Earth Democracy Conference!)
If July 4th left you hankering after some real democracy, come make the connections, hear the ideas, and share the skills that will invigorate your movement-building at the Democracy Convention III, August 2 – 6, at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis.
The Alliance for Democracy will be there, organizing the Earth Rights and Global Democracy Conference linking global work to defend Mother Earth and the rights of communities and ecosystems to thrive and survive to the issues important to us in the US, such as: fair trade, water, food and agriculture, climate.
Read the Earth Rights and Global Democracy statement here. AfD’s Co-chair, Nancy Price is organizing a series of panels. Here’s a partial list of Convention presenters; the full program will be posted soon.
Here’s just a taste of the Earth Rights & Global Democracy panels: the Renegotiating NAFTA panel will add a gender and racial justice analysis; and panels on the false solutions to global warming of cap and trade and carbon tax, stopping GE Eucalyptus forests slated for our southeastern states responsible for the terrible fires in Chile and Portugal, on bottled water, frac-sand mining and more.
Ronnie Cummins, International Director of the Organic Consumers Association, will speak on “Connecting the Dots: Bringing the Food, Climate, Natural Health and Democracy Movements Together in a Powerful Force for Revolution.” The great line-up of Convention Plenary speakers will be posted soon.
Earth Rights and Global Democracy is one of eight distinct, yet interrelated conferences at this third Democracy Convention. You can also connect with Representative Democracy, Racial Justice for Democracy, Peace and Democracy, Media Democracy, Education United for Democracy, Democracy and the Constitution, and Community and Economic Democracy. In addition, two tracks, on Overcoming Oppression, Building an Inclusive Movement, and Skills and Arts provide a toolkit for activists seeking to broaden their allies and impact.
Register Now: The Democracy Convention website has all the information you need on registration, lodging and meals (including affordable options on campus), and getting to and from Minneapolis. You can also donate or sponsor the convention.
As conference organizers at the 2013 and 2015 conventions, we are excited to be working again with so many sharp and committed people. Previous conventions were a tremendous coming-together of activists across the issues and the miles.
We look forward to seeing you again – this time in Minneapolis, August 2 – 6. Look for our table!
Alliance national council Ethan Scarl has been focusing on an issue in his town of Tewksbury, Massachusetts--preventing the establishment of a slot machine parlor within this town of 30,000 people. The anti-slot parlor group won a town meeting vote on the rezoning ordinance required to build the project, with record attendance of about 2,700 voters. "We only needed 34% to kill a zoning change, and we got 61%, thereby obviating a scheduled September election on the casino itself," writes Ethan.
Ethan adds: "This was an almost allegorical tale of a small grassroots campaign with volunteered time and money, soundly defeating a $3B corporation--Penn National Gaming, with no native involvement--whose deep pockets bought ads, signs, paid canvassers, etc., with all selectmen and the town manager signed on." The public votes on the slots parlor also gave townspeople tools to defeat this measure. By local law, they had to approve the zoning change, and by state law, the gambling establishment itself. "More often, townships fighting invasive corporations don't have such built-in mechanisms to work with," Ethan notes.
The slots parlor proposal was defeated at an open town meeting, at which every registered voter is welcome to come give input and participate in the final vote. Earlier in the year, though, Tewksbury's selectmen had proposed switching to representative town meetings, where voters elect a small slate of "town meeting members" to vote on their behalf. Ethan writes, "The town population soundly over-rode their selectmen and voted that down. If that hadn't happened, the casino would have been decided by elected representatives who would have been easy targets for the corporate campaign (as were the selectmen in this one)."