July 30th, 2009
Earlier this week, BusinessWeek alerted its readership to the increasing profitability of water. According to reporter David Bogoslaw, we should expect a ‚surge in water investments to begin over the next one to three years.” In other words, investors who have no doubt been taking a beating due to the instability of the stock market are starting to view water as the potential key to salvaging their flailing portfolios.
While some may see this as a good thing, there is plenty of cause for alarm in Bogoslaw‚ prediction. Because many water funds include private utility companies, investing in these funds channels more money to private utilities, thereby granting them the capital to gobble up more local water utilities where they will continue to do what they have already gained notoriety for: raising rates while offering subpar service and neglecting basic infrastructure upkeep. Read the full article…
July 27th, 2009
Last weekend, I traveled to Burlington, Vermont, along with my three colleagues Denise, Rachael and Zach, to participate in the Vermont Brewers Festival. As representatives of Food & Water Watch, we were at the festival helping distribute Burlington tap water to all the attendees. Check out my earlier blog post describing the partnership. By now weve all flown, trained and driven back to our respective homes, waving goodbye to beautiful Lake Champlain. Read the full article…
July 24th, 2009
Though we awoke to a dark, stormy sky on our last day in Minnesota, we were not discouraged. We had encountered overwhelming support over the last week, and we were enthusiastic about meeting with Senator Klobuchar‚ staff to discuss getting better milk in schools.
The Senator‚ staff was unwilling to commit to anything immediately. However, as we had hoped, they suggested that given the work Senator Klobuchar has done on pro-kids and pro-consumer legislation in the past, she would potentially support the inclusion of language in the Child Nutrition Act clarifying that schools may purchase rBGH-free milk. Read the full article…
July 21st, 2009
How many rBGH-free milk cartons does it take to make a boat? This may seem like a strange question, but yesterday in Minneapolis dozens of teams floated their milk carton boats out onto Lake Calhoun, while thousands of people looked on to see if they would sink or float. Joe, Bethany and I arrived at this annual event dressed in our cow suits and were quickly greeted by swarms of people. It was like a dairy lovers family reunion, with people dressed in all sorts of cow-themed outfits, free samples of organic milk and some of the most creative uses for milk cartons you’ve ever seen. Regardless to say, we were right at home. Read the full article…
July 19th, 2009
Successful Morning in Des Moines!
This morning the rBGH-free cows headed to the farmer’s market
in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Despite
being in the heart of industrial farm country, we were able to get a glimpse of
an alternative to the factory farm model that dominates the state and the
region. The Des Moines farmer‚
market offered a beautiful array of locally produced foods , showing everyone
that the status-quo can, and will be, changed!
The Food & Water Watch team received a tremendous
welcoming to Des Moines! In less
than an hour and half, we collected nearly 200 signed postcards to be delivered
to Senator Harkin. People in Des
Moines are serious about their milk , and they dont want any artificial
hormones corrupting it! Read the full article…
July 18th, 2009
As we started off on the second half of our tour this
morning, we feel like we have big hooves to fill. Alex, Becca and Meredith made
the cows proud by getting lots of support for our campaign, and earning lots of
great media coverage along the way. The first group of roadies shared their
wisdom about arriving on time, leaving extra time for parking and how to be a
cow, but some things you just have to learn for yourself. Today our drive was
long, but we arrived in Iowa City right on time, and were greeted with a warm
welcome when we arrived at the Red Avocado Café for our activist meet-up. Two
supporters were already waiting for us, and a third joined us to talk about the
campaign and how they could get involved. We ate some delicious food and our
new friends left with lots of blank postcards in hand, eager to get help out on
the campaign. Read the full article…
July 17th, 2009
The Healthy School Milk or Bust Tour took over the city of Chicago yesterday! We’ve been on tour since last Friday, gathering support for better school milk and filling senator’s voicemail boxes. We’re at the halfway point in our trip, if you’ve missed any updates so far, check out our webpage to see photos, the map of our journey and read our blogs.
Alex, Becca and Meredith started the tour in DC, and have visited Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Yesterday Sarah, Bethany and Joe met up with the Tour in Chicago to collect over 300 petition signatures from Chicago area residents! This is the largest number of petitions we’ve collected on any day so far, doubling our total number of postcards gathered on the tour. Read the full article…
July 16th, 2009
Each morning we awake and move to our feet slowly, but after a good cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast, we are on the move again. This morning began like any other, but proved to be one of the more event-filled days on our voyage.
We were treated to a breakfast purchased from the famous Zingerman‚ Deli, said goodbye to our lovely host, Sarah, and headed back into downtown Ann Arbor. This time we hit the Farmer‚ Market (all of us cow-clad) for a Call-In Day to Senator Stabenow‚ offices. Well luck was smiling, and we got 53 calls in to Stabenow in just two hours! Read the full article…
July 15th, 2009
‚A home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
When we arrived on Joan Knoertzer doorstep last night, she welcomed us into her library-themed B&B with open arms. Upon entering we discovered a wonderland brimming with laughter, stories, nibbles (her word for candy), and more books than you could possibly imagine. Sometimes being on the road gets tiring, but great Bed and Breakfasts give the impression that you are at a place where they would always take you in.
We fell asleep enveloped in the softest sheets we had ever felt and awoke to an elaborate breakfast. As we prepared for another full day of petitioning, Joan set us up for success.
Enjoying a cooler day in Ann Arbor, Becca, Alex and I hit the ground running. We donned the fashionable heifer suits, and over the course of the day, we collected nearly 150 postcards. As the sky darkened at the late hour of 10 pm, we treated ourselves to ice cream from the local parlor and reflected upon the day. It seemed appropriate that we would share some of our musings below. Read the full article…
Yesterday Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced H.R.3203, the Water Protection and Reinvestment Act. We know this as the Clean Water Trust Fund!
After years of work, we finally have bill that would establish a dedicated, firewalled source of funding for water infrastructure.
Here‚ how the Fund would work:
The Water Protection and Reinvestment Trust Fund would be established in the U.S. Treasury. Money from the Trust Fund would be distributed to the states for loans and grants to localities that need to make repairs, improvements, or build new infrastructure. At the same time, the bill allocates funding for green infrastructure and prohibits the funds being spent on sprawl. Read the full article…