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Web Letters | The Nation

Lame Duck Congress Victories

Not a high note

Contrary to your editorial, the "Landmark food-safety legislation" was pt a high note of the lame-duck Congressional session. The FDA has not been the consumers' friend, and giving that corporate-controlled agency more power to intimidate and harass the small farmers and manufacturers, who provide natural food and herbal products that people concerned for their health want to buy, is a really bad plan.

This legislation is an attack by large, corporate industrial agriculture on small organic farmers. The food from small organic farmers is safe. It is the food from large corporate farms that has not been safe. The farming methods used by small organic farmers mitigate climate change. The farming methods used by large corporate farms are one of the major causes of global warming. Not to mention soil depletion, environmental toxins, etc., etc.

The method of passing that legislation was anything but a high note as well. Sneaking it through by voice vote late at night, so there was no debate! Did senators even know what they were passing? Or did they just want to get home for the holidays? Replacing an unrelated house-originated bill in its entirety so the Senate could pass this stinker without violating House-origination rules? A low note if there ever was one.

We need to repeal this stinker of a bill ASAP!

Dorelle Rawlings

Aptos, CA

Jan 10 2011 - 1:37am

Lame Duck Congress Victories

The importance of alliance building

Without doubt, alliances such as the ones described in your article will be critical if we are advance progressive policy change. I want to share a new report on strategic alliance building in the current political climate that has been published by Public Interest Projects (PIP) in partnership with the University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE).

"Connecting at the Crossroads: Alliance Building and Social Change in Tough Times" presents a framework for defining and understanding the forms and paths that alliances take, the key roles they play in building a social movement—connecting across people, issues, and skills; cementing those connections for the long term; and scaling up power and impact—and opportunities for strategic investment in building alliance capacity in this political moment.

The report features a first-of-its kind scan of alliance-building efforts across the country. It is part of PIP's efforts to support alliance building in the social justice field—alliances that span ethnicities, issues and geographies and are a critical strategy in the effort to building a movement for change.

Achieving change is beyond the ability of any one organization. As our problems require systemic solutions, we have to scale up our victories from the neighborhood to the nation. Please continue highlighting the value of alliance building. We have spent enough time fighting each other for little or no gain. The time to harness our political power is now.

Berta Colon

New York, NY

Dec 23 2010 - 8:39am

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