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Organic Empowerment 2010: Taking Action Locally

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ten Strategic Local Campaigns

#1: Locally Grown Organic Food

Making affordable, locally and regionally-grown organic food available to all, rich, middle-income and poor, must become a top priority for city and county governments across the nation. Making the transition to organic food and farming stimulates the local economy, improves public health, sequesters enormous amounts of climate destabilizing greenhouse gases, and protects the environment. As global warming intensifies, scientists warn that a continuation of current "business as usual" practices will lead to a catastrophic 8.6 degree Fahrenheit temperature rise by 2100. Our only hope is to make energy-efficient and climate-stabilizing organic food and farming the norm rather than just the green alternative. Here are several programs that support locally grown organic food:

Resources and inspiration:

#2: Local Currencies and Community Banks

Unregulated Wall Street gambling crashed the economy, prompting Bush and Obama to hand over $14 trillion to our so-called "Too Big to Fail" banksters! Meanwhile, almost nothing has been done to stop the avalanche of foreclosures and job losses. The US economic system seems diabolically designed to suck money out of local economies and ordinary working people. We can reverse this trend by pulling our money out of Wall Street and the big banks, and instead investing in local currencies, credit unions, and community banks. Here's how:

  • Local governments can open publicly-owned banks to create credit for the local economy.
  • Neighborhood corporations can engage in housing and land development, and own stores, businesses and factories to benefit the neighborhood.
  • "Enterprising cities" can manage municipally owned cable television, Internet services, land, hotels and utilities to provide services, create jobs and make money to pay for health care and nutrition, education and jobs.

Resources and inspiration:

#3: Health Care Access, Including Natural and Integrative Medicine

The health care debate has occurred mainly at the federal level, and, with 6,000 corporate lobbyists and nearly a billion dollars being spent by the insurance industry to influence the outcome, public support for universal, single-payer health care is likely to lose out to a plan that would force each of us to buy expensive, inadequate health insurance. OCA is calling on the public to boycott the "profit-at any-cost" medical insurance industry and support local alternatives like state-level single payer health care coverage, local universal health care, and health care providers who have opted out of the insurance industry. States and localities need to be pressed to protect the right to practice - and access - midwifery, naturopathy, and alternative integrative medicine.

Next Week:

#4: Organic, Fair Trade & Union Made Procurement

#5: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost

#6: Reduce Energy Use & Build a Renewable Energy Infrastructure

#7: Tell the Toxic Industrial Food Producers to Take a Hike

#8: Implement the Precautionary Principle

#9: Eliminate Corporate Personhood to Protect Democracy

#10: Make Peace At Home

Read more from Ronnie Cummins in Organic Bytes, the free weekly e-newsletter of the Organic Consumers Association.