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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, April 16, 2010

    TEXAS FOCUS: Blogs, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events

    Hank Gilbert, Democrat for Commissioner of Agriculture

    Democracy for America has endorsed Hank Gilbert for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture. Here is Gilbert's statement to DFA:


    Rancher and Small Businessman Hank Gilbert is a father of two with his wife of 25 years, Karla. He has spent his entire professional life in Agriculture and has fought hard to protect small farmers and ranchers from eminent domain abuse and to stop infrastructure privatization in Texas. He is a traditional grassroots candidate who is rallying Democrats all over Texas.


    Real Eminent Domain Reform and a Stop to Selling Our Roads

    Protecting private property rights has always been a priority for me. We will stop eminent domain abuse with real reform and I’ll continue to lead the fight against selling our roads to the highest bidder, burdening us with toll taxes.

    Real Food Safety

    Do you really know where our food comes from? I’ll fight for country of origin labeling for all food products and increase the number of inspectors at TDA to ensure that the food we all consume is safe and clean.

    Real Weights & Measures Oversight

    The TDA controls accuracy certifications of everything in Texas that scans, measures or weighs, whether it’s checking U.P.C scanners at the grocery store or the pumps where you buy your gasoline. As your Commissioner of Agriculture, I will make sure that inspections are increased and those who would cheat Texans are prosecuted.

    Real Texas Agriculture Marketing and Promotion

    Agriculture is the second largest industry in Texas. I will fight to open new opportunities to sell Texas agriculture products in Texas, throughout the US, and internationally in markets where it makes sense. I won’t pander to the large agribusinesses as Todd Staples does, I’ll work for all Texans who want to market their agricultural products.

    Working to Bring Bioenergy Jobs to Texas

    There is absolutely no excuse for the lack of support from the TDA for bioenergy production in this state. As Commissioner of Agriculture, I will be a tireless advocate for building a real, strong and stable bioenergy sector in this state.


    Food safety, consumer protection and leading a shift to biofuels.

    Gilbert has also been endorsed by the Bryan-College Station Eagle, Houston Chronicle, Texas AFL-CIO’s COPE, the Austin Progressive Coalition, Austin Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.

    And here is a Tejanos endorsement video:

    Please volunteer with Hank Gilbert's campaign. Or if you can't do that, please contribute.

    Some upcoming events:

    April 16-25: Trade Up Your Appliances to Save Money and Energy

    Public Meeting of South Texas Nuclear Project Environmental Impact Statement scheduled for May 6th

    May 12th: GASLAND in Cowtown: Save the date!

    News from Texas:

    Federal Income Taxes at Historically Low Levels for Middle-Income Families...seriously, what are the teabaggers whining about???

    How much did the Obama tax cut save you?

    Reflections on the Tea Party Movement: Voices of the Angry Privileged

    Texas can meet all our energy needs for next decade through efficiency alone, save $330 per household

    Old-Time Racism Is Still Alive In Texas

    First Look: Candidates for Bryan City Council Single Member District 2

    Arlington considers tighter rules for gas-drilling

    Corruption probe for City of Windcrest

    Gilbert Sanchez loses election

    Check this out: Guns from US used in Mexican drug war...Last week I noted THIS article: 500 guns missing from TX police evidence room...and I suggested it could link to this exact Texas guns for Mexican Drug Lord connection:

    Demand for Appliance Rebates Shows Success of Federal Stimulus, Failure of Perry's Agencies

    Former Chief Executive Officer of Alvin Medical Facility Arrested, Charged with Two Felonies

    Mercury, coal's gift of slow death

    Three steps are needed to create a solar boom in Texas

    Tricky Ricky Perry tells insurance lies

    Andy Wilson (who is running for Congress against the idiot who yelled "baby killer" at the anti-choice Democrat Bart Stupak) has released this latest video:

    EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: TX State Board of Education (SBOE) 2010 Races

    And here's a video from Dr. Rebecca Bell-Metereau for School Board:


    The Burnt Orange Report is a good blog source of news and politics in Texas.

    Dos Centavos covers Chicano socio-political discourse in Texas. (new web address and design)

    LeftyBlogs Texas is the place to find out what's happening in the progressive blogosphere across Texas.

    To the Left of College Station: A Liberal Voice in a Conservative Community

    Dallas Progress: "Named a "Best of Big D" New Media Star by D Magazine, I write about politics, development, and whatever else comes to mind."

    The Lubbock County Progressives are committed to advancing the needs of all citizens. Our organization welcomes diversity and new ideas from all citizens and we respect that all have a voice. The freedoms that form the foundation of our country are still important to us. We understand that agreement is not always possible but we strive to present positions that respect the person and advocate a free exchange of ideas.

    North Texas Liberal covers the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

    Here are some alternative energy groups and events:

    Some statistics from Repower America:

    * Texas' wind energy accounts for close to one-third of the nation's total installed wind capacity.

    * If Texas' solar potential was fully realized, the state could generate up to 40% of its electricity from rooftop applications, as well as 70% from solar thermal systems.

    * The state's energy efficiency programs save enough electricity to power almost 30,000 homes for a whole year, save more than $51 million in energy costs, and prevent the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking over 46,000 cars off the road. Although great progress, the state still has much more potential to increase its energy efficiency.

    Alternative energy and YOUR energy bill: YOU can be part of the solution for America by signing up to purchase your energy through a Green Power Provider. My wife and I have been doing this in NYC for years. All our energy usage is provided through wind energy generation on American farms. So we use clean energy AND help American farmers. It costs us three cents per kilowatt-hour more per month, but we feel great about it. Although our actual energy may come from anywhere, we are paying to purchase wind energy for the energy grid. Each state has different programs available, usually through yuor existing energy provider right on your existing energy bill. To find such options in Texas, go here and pick your energy provider from the list. If you need help, you can email me and tell me who you get your bill from (don't give me any other info!) and I can tell you who to contact to go green through that energy provider. Or you can do the same thing using Renewable Energy Certificates through an organization that works with utility companies, though in this case it is a separate bill. One off the cheapest (.4-1 cent per kilowatt-hour), but still e-Green certified, ways to do this is through Good Energy. Or, for about half a cent per kilowatt-hour you can purchase renewable energy certificates through Carbonfund.org. ANY of these ways you do it, you are helping the environment, helping America, and helping cut carbon emissions.

    Texas Solar Energy Society: The TXSES mission is : To increase awareness of the potential of solar energy and other renewable energy applications and to promote the wise use of sustainable and non-polluting resources. Find local chapters here. Check out their calendar for upcoming events.

    The Dallas Progressive Alternative Energy Meetup Group
    Want to know when and where this meeting is? Sign up for this Meetup.

    The foremost purpose of The Dallas Alternative Energy Meetup Group is to bring together individuals seeking better, cleaner, more economical energy methods and technical experts working in the field of solar, wind, water, geothermal and other renewable sources to gain knowlege and how to use that knowledge. Any individual that has family or friends who live and breath air, those who live in a home, apartment, condo or townhouse as well as those who own automobiles or any other energy powered machinery would be well served to visit our monthly meetups.

    Sign up to find out when a meeting is scheduled

    Texas Wind Energy Group (Austin)

    This group is to discuss the role of wind power in Texas. Who should attend?

    -citizens interested in learning about wind
    -homeowners and landowners
    -wind industry professionals
    -wind industry job-seekers
    -anyone who feels they can contribute to the group

    Go here to find out more info, sign up, and find out when and where the next meeting is.

    Alternative Energy Resources in Texas: a short summary of alternative energy resources for Texas. For more information on each technology, visit the State Energy Alternatives Technology Options page.

    Texas Food Co-ops:

    It took nearly 7 years living within a few blocks of one of the biggest food co-ops in America before Joy and I joined it. We were definitely reluctant. But, in the end the lack of good produce and the decline of our local supermarkets led to us joining. And the result is a slighly more inconvenient shopping trip each week, but much healthier, higher quality and cheaper food. I recommend joining a co-op if there is one nearby. You will save money and eat healthier. Here are a few co-ops I could find in Texas:

    Wheatsville Food Co-op
    3101 Guadalupe
    Austin, Texas 78705
    Phone: (512) 478-2667
    FAX: (512) 478-2081

    The purpose of Wheatsville is to create a self-reliant, self-empowering community of people that will grow and promote a transformation of society toward cooperation, justice, and nonexploitation.

    Wheatsville's mission is to serve a broad range of people by providing them goods and services and by using efficient methods which avoid exploitation of the producer and the environment.

    The Sustainable Food Center/Austin Community Gardens Not a food co-op per se, but related.

    1106 Clayton Lane
    Suite 480W
    Austin, Texas 78723

    Phone (512) 236-0074
    Fax (512) 236-0098


    From seed to table, SFC creates opportunities for individuals to make healthy food choices and to participate in a vibrant local food system. Through organic food gardening, relationships with area farmers, interactive cooking classes and nutrition education, children and adults have increased access to locally grown food and are empowered to improve the long-term health of Central Texans and our environment.

    Sustainable Food Center works to create a food secure community by improving access to local, healthy and affordable food for children and adults in Central Texas. Our community and youth gardens, Farmer's Market Initiative, and cooking and nutrition education classes benefit an estimated 20,000 Central Texans annually.

    The focus of this mission is to supply high-quality food and nondoctrinaire information about food to the people in Austin, Texas.

    "Best of the Blessed" Healthy Food Co-op
    2900 Mistywood Lane
    Denton, Texas 76209
    Phone: (940) 380-0787

    Central City Co-op
    2115 Taft
    Houston, Texas 77006
    Phone: (713) 524-9408
    FAX: (713) 520-9813

    Imagine communities of people coming together each week in different parts of the city to purchase high quality, organic food at reasonable prices. This was the dream of Jennifer Georgantas and Patricia Greer in September 2001 as the idea for Central City Co-op was born. With the help of numerous volunteers both then and now, the dream has become a reality.

    We believe that everyone has a divine right to organic food and that organic food should be available at reasonable prices--that one day there will be co-ops throughout the city that provide locally grown, high quality, organic produce to people on a weekly basis. We offer as much produce as possible from local sources that embrace the practice of compassionate and chemical free growing.

    Central City Co-op offers a space--if only for a moment--where people come together as a community. Join us!

    Keller Texas Produce Co-op
    1401 Briar Meadow Dr.
    Keller, Texas 76248
    Phone: (817) 284-2433

    And here are some groups and meetings:

    The Texas Fair Trade Coalition (TFTC) is a diverse, nonpartisan, coalition of unions, environmental advocacy groups, consumer groups, family farmers, religious organizations, women's advocacy groups, low-income and immigrant advocacy groups, professors, students, public interest and fair trade groups. TFTC promotes democratic control over fiscal and social policies, social justice, workers' rights and livable wages, and sustainable development in trade policy, in Texas and worldwide.

    Monthly Colleyville, Grapevine, Southlake Democrats Meeting
    The CGS Democrats meet the second Thursday of each month at different locations around our three cities. Arrive at 6:30pm to socialize and eat dinner or at 7:00pm to meet.

    Central Market (Southlake, TX)
    Hwy 1709
    Southlake, TX 76092

    Meet with other local Democrats, listen to special guests speakers, and learn how to participate in the poltical process. We have a lot of fun networking and learning how to activate our voters.

    Meeting agendas are posted at the club Website one week in advance of the meeting date at

    Look for us in the community room of the Central Market store. It is a nice meeting room and works out nicely. Call if you need directions: (817)939-5671

    Lake Area Democratic Club (Social)
    A gathering of Democrats and anyone interested in the democratic process.
    Location: Seven Points Dairy Queen (Seven Points, TX)
    Directions: On hwy 85 just west of hwy 274

    We meet at the Seven Points Dairy Queen at 6PM 3rd Tuesday of each month. Come join us and dine at the Queen and have fun while we work to get our county, state, and country back in shape.

    Call 214-683-2811 for more information.

    Stonewall Democrats is an organization of politically active individuals working for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community. Here are some local chapters in Texas:

    Stonewall Democrats of Dallas

    Stonewall Democrats of Austin

    Stonewall Democrats of Houston

    Stonewall Democrats of Collin County

    Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats

    Here are the Texas Drinking Liberally groups for those who like to socialize with fellow Liberals:

    Austin, Texas
    * Every Tuesday, 6:30 pm onward
    * The Dog and Duck Pub, 406 W 17th St (at Guadalupe)
    * Hosted by Ben Andrews, austin (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Corpus Christi, Texas
    * Third Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm onward
    * Cassidy's Irish Pub, 601 N Water St
    * Hosted by Teresa Klein and Jim Klein, corpuschristi (at) drinkingliberally.org

    * Second Friday of each month, 6:00 pm onward
    * The Stoneleigh P, 2926 Maple Ave (at Wolf across from the historic Stoneleigh Hotel)
    * Check out our blog for announcements of Eating Liberally, Screening Liberally, Drinking Coffee Liberally and other nonsmoker-friendly gatherings. Also, please "friend" us at MySpace.com/DallasDrinkingLiberally.
    * Hosted by Melissa Morgan, dallas (at) drinkingliberally.org

    * Third Thursday of each month, 6pm until 8pm
    * The Quarter, 15201 Addison Rd (next to Sambuca)
    * http://www.myspace.com/addisondl
    * There is road construction! However, Addison Rd is now re-opened in both directions for the time being.
    * Hosted by John McClelland and Erica Stockbridge, addison (at) drinkingliberally.org

    * First and third Wednesday of each month, 6:30 pm onward
    * Esparza's Tequila Factory and Grill, 3314 Harwood Rd, Bedford
    * Hosted by Kathleen Thompson and Todd Hill, midcities (at) drinkingliberally.org

    El Paso, Texas
    * Third Tuesday of each month, 6:00 pm to 8:00pm
    * Hemmingways, 214 Cincinnati Ave
    * Hosted by Michael Apodaca and Lily Ruiz, elpaso (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Houston, Texas
    * First Thursday of each month, 7 PM onward
    * Dog House Tavern, 2517 Bagby St
    * Visit or post on the Houston forum: http://drinkingliberally.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=6
    * Hosted by David Robertson, houston (at) drinkingliberally.org

    New Braunfels, Texas

    * Third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm onward
    * The Black Whale, On the Plaza in Downtown New Braunfels
    * Hosted by Steve Woolbert and Greg Woodall, newbraunfels (at) drinkingliberally.org

    San Antonio, Texas
    * Second and fourth Thursday of each month, 6:00 pm onward
    * The Cove, 606 W Cypress St (The Cove is located just west of San Pedro, where Cypress runs into Fredericksburg.)
    * Hosted by Bill Livermore, Livi Bogrand and Ned Allen, sanantonio (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Waxahachie, Texas
    * Every Thursday, 6:30 pm
    * Library Lounge, downstairs in the Rogers Hotel, 100 E Main St (Take the elevator or stairs from lobby)
    * Location changes from time to time. Be on the email for updates!
    * Food available; no smoking. Conversation-friendly environment!
    * Hosted by Nathalie Guyol, waxahachie (at) drinkingliberally.org


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