Angus Davis feels better, so I guess everything is right and good in the fiefdom of downtown Providence. Lame duck Governor Chafee is not feeling like having a big fight, so Angus will get his way. As the new corporate zoning Czar for the city, I wonder if Mr. Davis would consider helping to rehabilitate the poor and downtrodden, rather than just exiling them from his high tech encampment.
If you want to enjoy some good company and a chance to help your neighbor, here’s one of many opportunities the season offers (thank you Phil Edmonds)…
16th Annual Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange
Thinking globally, acting locally.
The Providence 16th annual Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange takes place Friday November 23rd 10AM-1PM on the State House lawn, opposite Providence Place mall (rain/snow site Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 15 Hayes St. on north side of mall).
Buy Nothing Day began in 1992 by Adbusters Media Foundation in Vancouver, Canada, as a way to resist the advertising industry that abets over-consumption by causing people to feel unfulfilled with what they have. Since then, Buy Nothing Day has evolved into a
global phenomenon creating awareness of how entangled we are in the web of consumerism.
One may ask: “will it really make any difference if I buy nothing on the November 23 ?” If more and more people join the millions worldwide who do observe Buy Nothing Day, then the answer is yes. A quote from Hope’s Edge by Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe helps put this into perspective.
What we choose to buy, where we choose to shop, even whether we choose to be part of campaigns…all this is not a homage to some weighty obligation; it’s a celebration of the world we want…My choices as a consumer used to feel so small, but now I’m convinced they have real power. Together we are a sleeping giant and, awakened, we can really stir things up.
While critics of the day charge that Buy Nothing Day simply causes participants to buy the next day, Adbusters state that it “isn’t just about changing your habits for one day but about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste.”
Another focus of Buy Nothing Day is to “stir things up” – with a clear message that we no longer will be duped by the endless advertisements telling us the way to happiness. People are beginning to question this consumer-globalized economics way of life realizing we are not as happy as we thought we were, and as a result, are thinking more and taking steps in daily living where quality, rather than quantity, is the priority.
With global warming, along with the depletion of some of our natural resources and the loss of many species of life as a result of over-consumption, our planet is at a breaking point, and it is time to face up to it. Let’s think globally and act locally. On Friday November 23rd stop by the State House lawn in a show of solidarity for Buy Nothing Day. If you have a winter coat to donate, please drop one off; if you need a coat, come pick one up.
More on this at Rhode Island’s Future from Greg Gerritt
And Bob Plain say that Americans would like to save the tinsel until after Thanksgiving.
I got to meet Diane Ravitch today as she served on a panel at Netroots about the war on public education. She spoke with amazing authority about what is going on in public education now with the overemphasis on testing, the blaming of teachers and teachers unions, and the right-wing money that is being poured into the movement for “education reform.” The best way to experience what went on is to watch the video.
Here’s what is on the agenda for opening day at Netroots:
9:00am – 10:15am
From Defeat to Triumph: Erasing the Death Penalty in America
Taking the Offense in State Elections
The Heart of the Beast: How the Grassroots is Taking on Big Banking
Agitation and Inspiration: The Power of Art and Cultural Organizing
10:30am – 11:45am
Handcuffs, Conventional Wisdom and Dirty Oil: Activism’s Big Win Against the Keystone XL Pipeline
Collaboration, Not Co-option: Labor, Community Organizations and Occupy Wall Street Working Together
Organizing Lessons from SOPA and PIPA
Beyond Occupy: What Does a New Economic System Look Like?
3:00pm – 4:15pm
Whose Law Is It Anyway? ALEC’s Influence on State Legislatures and What We Can Do About It
The Battle for Congress: Q&A on the 2012 Elections
Liberate Your Ass: Why Sexual Freedom is Key to Fighting the Right
Occupy Goes Home: The Occupy Movement and the Foreclosure Crisis
4:30pm – 5:45pm
Protecting Voting Rights in Communities of Color in 2012
Marriage Equality: Past, Present and Future
Emerging Movements: The Face of New Progressive Online Communities
Why the Fed is the Most Important Economic Issue You Know Nothing About
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Opening Keynote featuring Eric Schneiderman
You hate to see it, but Providence is really struggling to hire. I am sure Mayor Angel Taveras is doing all he can to put us on the road to job creation, but it’s not easy when his own city is so financially strapped. Full article: Oklahoma City Leads Large Cities in Job Creation.
Scott MacKay considers the question of whether Brown University should pay more to the city of Providence.
Originally posted on On Politics:
Once again, Providence politicians are looking to the city’s private colleges for money to help shore up the city’s poor finances. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says these non-profit institutions shouldn’t be seen as cash cows for the city.
There has been more rhetoric than reality in the latest dispute between Brown University and Mayor Angel Taveras and his city council allies. With city government awash in red ink, the pols are hungrily eyeing the tax-exempt Brown property on College Hill as a source of sorely needed money.
You can’t blame the mayor or the city council. Residents are maxed out on real estate and car taxes. Businesses are fleeing. Two iconic downtown buildings – the Jazz Age Superman Building and the Biltmore Hotel – house tenants facing huge financial hurdles.
Now, Taveras and Brown President Ruth Simmons are jousting over how much Brown can, and should, contribute to…
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If I had to call it, my call at this point would be that the Board of Regents will vote to approve one, and only one, Achievement First School to start up in Providence. I have followed this issue closely for the past year, though I am by no means an insider to the process. I am merely a concerned parent and a somewhat obsessive follower of the corporate-influenced education reform movement and its critics, of which I am one.
But it appears, with the Providence Mayor, the (Providence-Mayor-appointed) School Board, and many Providence legislators on board, this Achievement First thing is headed for a ram-through. It’s not going to be a big ram-through, and for this I am grateful. It’s just going to be the first foot onto the slippery slope of the corporate-influenced divvying up of the education money pie. There will still be one foot on firm ground, so if we want to pull back and cancel this whole thing in a few years with only one Achievement First school opened and closed, that will still be possible.
In the meantime, if you still want to try to influence the vote on this matter by beseeching our Governor to intercede (not sure he could actually do that, other than by trying to influence individual Board of Regents members), you can sign the petition at Change.org.