The Progressive Platform Project

Welcome to the Progressive Platform Project!

The Progressive Platform we are building will be a sort of blueprint that we believe all progressives, especially candidates, should follow. It will be our beliefs as progressives, where we stand on various issues, and in many cases, what we believe needs to be done on those issues.

In the first post, the idea of creating a Progressive Platform was introduced. I had posted links to various political platforms, so everyone could get an idea of what we are trying to accomplish. Then you were asked to vote on what planks we should include in our platform.

This week we will briefly discuss planks for our platform.

 

 

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Making Water Clean with Dirt (New 2 Minute Episode of Nourishing the Planet TV)

In this week’s episode, Nourishing the Planet research intern, Elena Davert, introduces a counter-intuitive method of cleaning water. In 2004 Peter Njodzeka founded the Life and Water Development Group Cameroon (LWDGC) with a rather simple goal. “ I wanted to see the people in my area have clean water,” he said. “And we kept expanding. That’s how it started.” Now, LWDGC, with support from Engineers without Borders (EWB) and Thirst Relief International, is teaching households how to use dirt and bacteria to clean their water, greatly improving the quality of drinking water and all but eliminating diseases caused by contaminated water. Here is the link: http://bit.ly/ahFrGJ

ECOVA MALI: Building Home Grown Knowledge

Cross posted from Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet. This is the first part in a series about our visit with ECOVA MALI.

It’s not a new concept—farmers learning from other farmers about different agricultural techniques—but it’s one that can be difficult to execute. Foreign NGOs often offer trainings, but they don’t always fit farmers needs. But at ECOVA MALI’s training center, 35 kilometers outside of Bamako, Mali’s capital, farmers are getting the skills they need to be better stewards of the environment, as well as better business women and men.

ECOVA was started by former Peace Corps Volunteers, Gregory Flatt and Cynthia Hellman. Along with Yacouba Kone, a Peace Corps program assistant and trainer for agriculture and natural resource management and Madou Camara, ECOVA’s Country Director, they’ve created a training center—and testing ground—for environmentally sustainable agricultural techniques. They want to encourage “home grown knowledge” by building local expertise. The facility, near the village of Terenabougou, uses local experts to teach farmers how intercropping, water conservation, agroforestry, seed saving, processing shea butter, and other practices can help both protect the environment and increase farmer income. ECOVA also instructs farmers about basic business, accounting, and marketing skills and provides small loans and “mini-grants” to allow farmers to buy tools and equipment they need and to start businesses.

ECOVA holds workshops based on requests from farmer communities—for example, they’ve worked with women’s groups from nearby communities, teaching them how to process shea butter. ECOVA hopes to eventually start training farmers about small-scale livestock production, including raising poultry and goats. Listen to Madou Camara talk about ECOVA’s farmer to farmer training method:

Thank you for reading! As you may already know, Danielle Nierenberg is traveling across sub-Saharan Africa visiting organizations and projects that provide environmentally sustainable solutions to hunger and poverty. She has already traveled to over 19 countries and visited 130 projects highlighting stories of hope and success in the region. She will be in Gabon next, so stay tuned for more writing, photos and video from her travels.

If you enjoy reading this diary, we blog daily on Nourishing the Planet, where you can also sign up for our newsletter to receive weekly blog and travel updates. Please don’t hesitate to comment on our posts, we check them daily and look forward to an ongoing discussion with you. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Climate Hero McKibben on the Midterms

Bill McKibben knows a thing or two about overwhelming opposition.

McKibben is a scholar-in-residence at Vermont's Middlebury College (my first choice until they wait listed me!) and the author of the first book about climate change for a general audience, 1989's The End of Nature. In 2006, McKibben organized the largest protest against climate change in American history, and was apalled to learn that it was the largest in American history. All it was was him getting on the phone to call some friends, then getting together to walk across the state. THAT was the largest in history? So he launched 350.org, which has organized thousands of rallies in hundreds of countries in just two years, including 5,200 actions on just one organized day in 2009.

One electoral race McKibben has gotten involved with this cycle is VT-Gov. McKibben has endorsed Google executive and former state senator Matt Dunne, and climate isn't even the central tenant of Matt's campaign (that would be jobs). Matt is currently in the middle of a massive fundraising drive, and needs just $34,855 more by Tuesday night to air his first TV ads. We need those ads - Vermont hasn't had a progressive Governor since Howard Dean.

McKibben is an international figure now, but cares enough about Matt's campaign - even though he'd never Matt before - to attend small house parties in the traditional New England style. Here's a video he recorded at such a party urging folks to support Matt so he can raise "enough money to be able to compete with the reeeeally rich guys... That doesn't require tons of money; it does require everybody doing their part."

Please watch, then donate at MyDD's ActBlue page. No, I'm not employed by the Dunne campaign - in fact, I'm unemployed, and yet I'm still donating to Matt. I believe in his message just that much. Below the fold, McKibben's original endorsement, a much higher-quality video.

There's more...

Climate Hero McKibben on the Midterms

Bill McKibben knows a thing or two about overwhelming opposition.

McKibben is a scholar-in-residence at Vermont's Middlebury College (my first choice until they wait listed me!) and the author of the first book about climate change for a general audience, 1989's The End of Nature. In 2006, McKibben organized the largest protest against climate change in American history, and was apalled to learn that it was the largest in American history. All it was was him getting on the phone to call some friends, then getting together to walk across the state. THAT was the largest in history? So he launched 350.org, which has organized thousands of rallies in hundreds of countries in just two years, including 5,200 actions on just one organized day in 2009.

One electoral race McKibben has gotten involved with this cycle is VT-Gov. McKibben has endorsed Google executive and former state senator Matt Dunne, and climate isn't even the central tenant of Matt's campaign (that would be jobs). Matt is currently in the middle of a massive fundraising drive, and needs just $34,855 more by Tuesday night to air his first TV ads. We need those ads - Vermont hasn't had a progressive Governor since Howard Dean.

McKibben is an international figure now, but cares enough about Matt's campaign - even though he'd never Matt before - to attend small house parties in the traditional New England style. Here's a video he recorded at such a party urging folks to support Matt so he can raise "enough money to be able to compete with the reeeeally rich guys... That doesn't require tons of money; it does require everybody doing their part."

Please watch, then donate at MyDD's ActBlue page. No, I'm not employed by the Dunne campaign - in fact, I'm unemployed, and yet I'm still donating to Matt. I believe in his message just that much. Below the fold, McKibben's original endorsement, a much higher-quality video.

There's more...

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