Archive for November 9th, 2017

Introducing the #PowerKit

Posted on 09. Nov, 2017 by .


Fom –

The PowerKit is a way to make your choices count. It’s a first of its kind community subscription from Presente that aims to fulfill the wishes of our ancestors that we thrive, not just survive every day. 

We strive to be accountable to our community — your values and needs — so the only constraints on what we can do are your dreams. Presente aims to change its financial strategy to be primarily funded by community members like you and dedicated to movement-building, culture, and action. And the PowerKit is how Presente holds itself more accountable to our community.

Get your October PowerKit today to bring joy and beauty into your life, while honoring our ancestors.

What’s in a PowerKit? Each kit will be uniquely tailored to the month and the issues our communities face and will include pieces of art from Latinx artists, swag from social justice organizations, and useful tools to help navigate your everyday life. All this while supporting a sustainable, thriving future for independent, powerful organizing.

What does this have to do with my ancestors? Our October Dia de Los Muertos themed PowerKit honors our ancestors’ deepest desires for our well-being. Our ancestors wanted us to live in ways where our choices reflect our values. We honor our roots. We honor how we are all connected. For Dia de Los Muertos we offer items that bring our culture alive.

Today is an opportunity to make a choice that reflects your values of a fair economy, self-determination, passing on cultural legacies, and making every day a piece of art.

The October Power Kit includes roasted coffee from Chiapas via our partners at Sin Fronteras Coffee. We choose to include coffee because it is a direct connection to our Latinx diaspora. We honor those who produce the coffee, their hands touching the beans, the plants, and the soil before it makes it into our mug in the morning. We honor those farmers that have decided to run small batch grown coffee that doesn’t result in deforestation or worker exploitation and continues to celebrate culture into production. We accept and support their version of an alternative, humane economy that continues to bring joy to people all over the world in the morning, in gossiping with friends, in writing your best piece of poetry, in making it through the day.

Our PowerKit will also include a specially designed art sticker. A sticker is ultimately the people’s art. It can be used by children, adults, and it is free from boundaries. Like our culture it’s an adhesive that we can put anywhere, that comes with us everywhere. We are people of the sun and we adorn what we wear, where we go, and the things we use with our artwork. Our sticker was created by Francis Mead.

Bring people’s art back into your home and buy the PowerKit today.

Finally, our PowerKit includes a postcard size art piece with a velvet finish. Migration is beautiful. Humans are meant to soar not to be caged. Humans are meant to dream bigger and fly over hurdles. Humans are meant to come together. Our ancestors and cultures remind us how much we have in common and how we all journeyed to a land, a place, to create a home and a family. Our postcard was created by Jess X Chen. The sticker and postcard were commissioned by our friends at CultureStrike and Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (M.I.V.) for the “Until We Are All Free” initiative.

Your support of the PowerKit is an act of courage. This is the prototype Kit, testing our ability to build financial stability through forming deeper connections with our members. Donating to this Kit is a chance to show that you believe that alternative economies can and should exist. You believe that the world can change with your hands. You believe that every day should be a living piece of art.

Soar with us to a new financial and cultural pathway, by supporting Presente and buying the PowerKit.

It was once said that all of life can be art. How we live, how we dress, how we eat, how we laugh — these are our opportunities to create art in the world. We believe that we can bring art into our everyday life in a way that supports fair economies and keeps us accountable to our community.

Let’s use our everyday choices to support our lives as masterpieces.


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Our Changing Climate Mind-Set

Posted on 09. Nov, 2017 by .


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Climate images have never been able to convey our full planetary danger until now. The extraordinary recent four-punch sequence of hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria — threatened the lives of millions of people, obliterated their homes and has raised doubts that some places will ever recover. The rest of us have a newly immediate sense of catastrophes of biblical proportions. As meaning-hungry creatures we search for explanations. No wonder some have embraced the apocalyptic narrative of total destruction by an angry deity. And no wonder that climate-change rejecters like President Trump have increasing difficulty defending their position.

Even before the hurricanes we had experienced a drumbeat of storms, floods, droughts and wildfires that rendered global warming not just a remote future danger but an immediate one. This fear was reinforced by the recent hurricanes, which provided imagery equivalent to the danger, imagery equivalent to nuclear disaster. When we viewed photographs and film of the annihilated cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we sensed that the world could be ended by nuclear weapons. Now these hurricanes have conveyed a similar feeling of world-ending, having left whole islands, once alive in their beauty and commerce, in ruin.

But does this mean that we attribute this menace to global warming and to human contributions to that warming? My answer here is yes and no and yes again.

Yes: Scientists warn that hurricanes are made worse by the warming of the atmosphere and the oceans and by the increased storm surge caused by higher sea levels. Climate change can thus amplify disasters into catastrophes.

No: There are still voices ridiculing this conclusion. About the record-breaking intensity of Hurricane Irma, Mr. Trump said that “we’ve had bigger storms than this.” And Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, took righteous exception to discussing the “cause and effect of these storms” as “very, very insensitive to the people in Florida.” Both were engaging in climate rejection rather than denial. Because with climate truths so widely disseminated and accepted, both know in some part of their minds that global warming is real and threatening.

But to do only that would neglect the primary cause of our danger, and would do nothing to prevent ever more lethal expressions of global warming. The climate swerve moves us to focus on the adaptation of our entire species. That would require meeting the Paris pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and going further in making renewable energies a dominant force in national and world economies. In that inclusive form of adaptation, the human species becomes our operative group, and we do all we can to bring our historical and psychological imagination to the task.

We have squandered opportunities to reduce global warming and there has already been more suffering from climate change than we have allowed ourselves to recognize. But we can still avert civilization-ending catastrophe, and even achieve a modest new beginning for our species. Yes, it is very late in the game, but at the same time far from too late.

But there is good reason to believe that climate rejecters, including the president and Mr. Pruitt, are fighting a losing battle. The apocalyptic fear aroused by the recent destructive hurricanes is the latest manifestation of the mounting dread that has taken hold in the American mind-set about the implications of our steadily warming planet.

So yes again, hurricanes have now become a central component of what I call the climate swerve: the powerful shift in our awareness of climate truths. The swerve is a change in collective consciousness that includes a coherent narrative of global warming, of cause and effect and of steps necessary for mitigation. The swerve forces us to look upon ourselves as members of a single species in deep trouble.

This mind-set is evident in public opinion surveys, in the reporting of catastrophes that regularly invoke the influence of global warming, in growing doubts about a carbon economy and in challenges to the morality of extracting and burning underground fossil fuel resources.

The Paris climate conference of December 2015 was a stunning demonstration of the reach and force of the climate swerve. Virtually every nation in the world joined in what could be called a species-wide recognition of global warming and its dangers, each putting forward a promised goal of reduced carbon emissions. True, Paris was more a demonstration of universal climate awareness than an enforceable treaty. But the mind-set it expressed is crucial for all subsequent climate action.

And that mind-set could not be readily defied, as President Trump has learned. His determination to withdraw from the agreement was no surprise, since he had long rejected the idea of climate change as nonexistent, not human-caused or a hoax. What was perhaps surprising was the immediate and overwhelming reaction to his announcement of the American withdrawal. The decision was widely denounced in this country by governors who declared that their states would hold to the Paris protocols, and by mayors who said the same of their cities. It was also condemned abroad. France, Germany and Italy insisted that the Paris momentum was “irreversible,” and China asserted that it would follow the protocols no matter what the United States did.

What followed were clarifications by the White House having to do with renegotiation and continuing to attend climate meetings — all amounting to equivocation and leaving the whole issue of withdrawal confused.

It would seem that the climate swerve is greater than any individual person, even one as dangerous to the world as Donald Trump. And while the climate swerve may ebb and flow, it is gathering momentum and will have to be reckoned with for generations.

The string of hurricanes we experienced recently and can expect again in the future raises a crucial question about the kind of adaptation we make to climate change. Of course we must prepare for extreme climate conditions, with special attention to coastal areas and flood plains, and to restrictions on what and how we build or rebuild in those areas.

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Speak out against Goodlatte’s guestworker bill

Posted on 09. Nov, 2017 by .


Indentured servitude in 2017?

Rep. Goodlatte’s guestworker bill passed the senate Judiciary committee 17-16. The bill creates a modern day Bracero program and would undermine the wages and working conditions of all agricultural workers. The legislation would allow employers to pay farm workers less than the minimum wage – and to replace any farm worker not willing to work for $8.34/hour or their state minimum wage. It will next move onto the full house.

Help the United Farm Workers and a broad coalition of almost 150 groups oppose this bill. Instead of taking agriculture back to the 1940’s, join us in asking Congress to refocus on the one thing that could stabilize agriculture quickly — providing farm workers already laboring in the US with a path to lawful permanent residency and eventual citizenship by supporting the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017. The bill, authored by Senator Feinstein and Representative Gutierrez, would provide undocumented agricultural workers with legal immigration status and an eventual path to citizenship. E-mail your Congressmember today!

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