Convention 2007 - Tucson, Arizona

Alliance for Democracy’s
7th National Convention!

“Shifting Power from Corporate Rights
to the Rights of People and Nature”

Tucson, Arizona • November 1-4

- Invitation Letter
- Brochure: Convention Schedule, Logistics, Registration Form, Special Pre- and Post Convention Events
- Registration Form

Tucson Slideshow


What issues are you working on? Healthcare? War and peace? Water rights? Corruption in government? Campaign finance reform? Undemocratic trade agreements?

At the AfD 7th National Convention you will learn to reframe these issues to emphasize the basis of our democracy—the people’s right to self-determination—and the need for our government to defend that right over the rights of corporations.

If you are frustrated by regulatory half-victories and tough-talking candidates who do nothing in office, come to the convention and engage with other activists across these issues to build a better democracy. Learn to organize a society where exploitative business can’t hide behind the legal fiction of “corporate personhood” to undermine the Constitution as it should apply only to “the people, who are sovereign.” We cannot let corporations turn a profit off everything from water to war.

You’ll learn to organize for alternatives to the corporate media, to our crumbling profit-driven healthcare system, and even to suburban sprawl, as AfD Co-chair Lou Hammann introduces us to Hundredfold Farm, a sustainable co-housing community that he and Pat Hammann have designed and built in Pennsylvania.

At the convention on Friday evening, you’ll hear Tom Linzey, of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, speak on how communities in rural Pennsylvania have taken the lead in denying corporations personhood rights, and by doing so have protected local livelihoods and the environment.

On Saturday evening, you’ll learn about how corporations have used trade and immigration to destroy communities in Mexico and in the U.S., and keep native-born and immigrants in this country divided and mistrustful of each other.

Throughout the convention, you’ll meet AfD members from across the country, learn more about what individual chapters are doing, share experiences and organizing skills, and chart new directions for Alliance campaigns. Bring your ideas! We want to hear from you!

And in addition to the convention, you are invited to participate in two related events:

  • a Democracy School, taught by Tom Linzey and AfD’s Ruth Caplan, from October 30 to November 1, offering a new organizing model to help citizens confront corporate usurpation of the rights of communities, people, and the earth. If there is an issue in your community that could be addressed by passing an ordinance to address a particular harm, rather than controlled by more regulation, then this is the workshop for you. Energize your activism by learning the history of resistance to corporate power, and how people’s movements have fought and won despite “settled law.” (

  • a trip with BorderLinks south to the Mexican city of Nogales, on November 5 and 6. BorderLinks, a non-profit bi-national group, conducts tours of the border region, introducing participants to how immigration and trade issues shape life there. (

Register Early!
“Early Bird” registration (do it by Sept. 30th) for the convention is only $60. See the enclosed brochure for information on housing, food, and transportation logistics.

Registration for Democracy School and the BorderLinks trip is separate—and space in these programs is limited, so if you’re interested in participating please register early! Please note that the deadline for registering for Democracy School or the BorderLinks trip is September 30th.

And even if you can’t attend the convention, remember that there is no better time than now to renew your Alliance membership or to make an extra donation to the convention scholarship fund! (see your address label for your member expiration date. You can renew on the registration form in the convention brochure or on-line at the Alliance website. Thank you!)

Your generosity builds on networking already taking place in the Tucson area. In the week before the convention, Co-chair Nancy Price will be meeting with local groups and media, and participating in a panel discussion entitled “Our Water—Corporate Profit or Human Right?” By renewing your membership or making an extra donation, you’ll help involve area residents who are new to the Alliance—and possibly lead to new Alliance chapters in the Southwest.

Please look over the enclosed convention brochure today and send in your registration! If you have any questions, please call the office at 781-894-1179, or email

See you in Tucson!

Nancy Price and Lou Hammann


Download - Brochure

7th National Convention

“Shifting Power from Corporate Rights
to the Rights of People and Nature”

Thursday, November 1 to Sunday, November 4
Tucson, Arizona

Plus Special Events Planned for Before and After the Convention
Democracy School: October 30 - November 1
Border Links Cross-border Educational Tour: November 5 - 6

Democracy…rights…sovereignty…what do they mean to us as activists, and to the people around us? What do they mean for our efforts to protect the environment? Alliance members all know the power exercised by corporations over our economy, culture and media. After all, the Alliance was formed in response to Ronnie Dugger’s call in The Nation. But sometimes we despair about what can be done.

Well, there is good news out there. Come to the convention and learn about how communities in the most unlikely of places are asserting rights of people and nature over purported rights of corporations. Learn about what the Alliance has done so far, strategize about what more we can do, and build the organizing skills to do it. Learn about the inspiring work of AfD co-chair Lou Hammann and his wife

Patricia in creating a sustainable community. And participate in optional pre- and post-convention events to broaden your understanding of corporate rule, popular democracy, trade, and immigration.

PO Box 540115, Waltham, Massachusetts • Tel: 781-894-1179 • Fax: 781-894-0279
Email: • Web:


Thursday, Nov. 1: Registration from 4:00 pm on; welcome to participants, dinner, and after-dinner informal gathering at First Christian Church. For latecomers, registration continues Friday morning. Be ready to start bright and early!

Friday, Nov. 2: Building the Alliance

Alliance members from across the country will share their skills and experiences in hands-on workshops geared to getting our message out effectively and strengthening our chapters and regions. Workshops include:
  • How to produce radio and TV interviews and get them on the air
  • How to work effectively with local media
  • How to involve more people in the work of Alliance chapters
  • How to start a new chapter
  • Effective outreach—taking AfD’s message to local, state, and national officeholders
  • Innovative ways to raise funds
There will be ample opportunity for members from each region to gather, share ideas and make plans for the coming year.

Friday evening:

How Rural America is Taking On Settled Law and Asserting Local Authority over Corporations

Keynote Address by Thomas Linzey, Founder and Director of Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

($10 suggested donation; free to convention registrants)

Saturday, Nov. 3: Power Shifting: Looking at Our Campaigns Through a New Lens and Planning for Work Ahead

We will discuss how to reframe our campaigns to focus on the corporate actor, not the regulatory action, and to
assert the rights of people, our communities, and nature.

Separate workshops will examine the Alliance campaigns on water, trade, healthcare, elections, the commons,
and the media from this perspective. There will be an emphasis on how AfD members can bring this reframing
to bear in passing local ordinances to assert the rights of communities over corporations.

Saturday evening:

How Corporations Use Trade, Immigration,
and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP)
to Destroy Communities in the U.S. and Mexico
  • Rev. John Fife, Co-founder, Sanctuary Movement
  • Isabel Garcia, Board member, National Network for Immigrant & Refuge Rights
  • Rick Ufford-Chase, Founder of BorderLinks and executive director of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
($10 suggested donation; free to convention registrants)

Sunday, Nov. 4:

Another U.S. is Possible
Lou and Pat Hammann will present an illustrated show of Hundredfold Farm, the sustainable community they have helped to design and create in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Yes, there are alternatives to corporations controlling our lives and ruling our communities!
Lou Hammann in Hundredfold Farm’s greenhouse, where the community’s wastewater is purified and recycled.

Business Meeting: Reports from campaigns and officers, nomination of officers and other Council members to present to full membership for vote.
Note: An in-person meeting of the AfD National Council will take place Sunday afternoon; all members are welcome to attend!

Note: An in-person meeting of the AfD National Council will take place Sunday afternoon; all members are welcome to attend!


Registration: Early Bird Registration: $60.00, now to September 30
Late Registration: $90.00 from October 1 on
Single day registration: $30

Housing: Rooms for convention participants have been reserved at the beautiful Riverpark Inn, 350 South Freeway ( The inn has a peaceful landscaped inner courtyard, swimming pool and spa, with WIFI and high-speed internet. Double rooms feature two queen-size beds, singles have one king-size bed. All rooms are $69.95. To make reservations, call 800-551-1466 and reference "Alliance for Democracy." We can help match you with a roommate—please call the AfD office at 781-894-1179.

Food: The Riverpark Inn serves a free full American style buffet breakfast. Lunches are provided by the Food Conspiracy Coop; dinners are provided by local caterers. (Veggie meals available--see registration form).

Convention locations:
Thursday through Saturday: First Christian Church of Tucson, 740 E. Speedway Blvd.
Sunday: The Riverpark Inn

Transportation: The Arizona Stagecoach Shuttle to or from the airport is $20.00 one-way or $38.00 roundtrip (to reserve call 520-889-1000). Group rates are available.

Tucson’s public transportation system, SunTran, has two bus routes serving the airport. You will have to transfer to get to the hotel or to the church; for information see SunTran’s website at

The Riverpark Inn will provide free shuttle service to and from the First Christian Church where the Democracy School and the Convention will take place.


Download - Registration Form



Democracy School: Tuesday October 30 – Thursday November 1

Taught by Thomas Linzey, Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, and AfD's Ruth Caplan

“I thought I understood the history of corporate power, but attending my first Democracy School blew me away and totally changed the way I do my organizing. It is indeed an honor to be teaching this Democracy School with Thomas Linzey, who is a real trailblazer.”
- Ruth Caplan, Coordinator, AfD’s Defending Water for Life Campaign

If you've wondered how grassroots struggles can win ecological sanity and democratic self-governance, attend Democracy School! Learn how to reframe issue-oriented work in ways that confront corporate rule and assert the rights of people and nature. Discover the history of popular resistance to the consolidation of corporate power, and how movements have successfully overturned “settled law.” Learn more about Democracy Schools at

Please reserve now – there are only 20 spots. Deadline for registration is Sept. 30

Cost is sliding scale from $105 - $250. Scholarships may be available. Payment must be included with registration. Two weeks before, attendees will receive a 360-page curriculum. Be sure to bring this with you.

Tuesday: Check-in is from 5:30-6:15: Democracy School will be from 6:30-9:30. Be sure to have dinner before the Democracy School starts.

Wednesday, 8:30 – 6:30 pm: lunch and dinner are provided;

Thursday, 9:00 – 4:00 pm: lunch provided

Rooms can be reserved at The Riverpark Inn, see above. Or please contact the office to find out about area



BorderLinks Trip to Nogales, Mexico - November 5th and 6th

After the convention, take a trip to the border region and cross over to Nogales, Mexico, 1 1⁄2 hours from
Tucson. This trip is hosted by Borderlinks, a bi-national non-profit organization that offers travel seminars
exploring issues of trade and immigration that shape life on the border region.

Departure is after breakfast Monday morning and we’ll return late afternoon Tuesday. We will spend some time
at the border before crossing to experience the harsh environment faced by immigrants and those providing aid
and water, share a communal lunch and dinner in Nogales, and learn from community activists, protest artists,
and families how immigration impacts the lives of everyone in this border community.

Reservations and a check for $200 for the trip including transportation and meals and lodging in Nogales,
Mexico, must be received by September 30. Please let Barbara Clancy in the AfD office know promptly if you
are interested in the trip so that she can send you the required BorderLinks Registration Form to fill out.
Additionally, if you wish a copy of BorderLinks “Simple Reader” for advance reading, please let Barbara know.

You must have a current passport or original birth certificate to cross the border. Please bring a non-plastic
water bottle and have good walking shoes. A packing list is available at

Rooms for Sunday evening after the convention and Tuesday evening upon return from the trip may also be
reserved at The Riverpark Inn.

Barbara Clancy
AfD Office Manager
Waltham, MA
Phone: 781-894-1170