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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.

  • Help end world hunger
  • Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Rochester, NY Focus

    UPCOMING EVENT: Community-Wide Summit for Educational Change March 11 and 12

    The Community Education Task Force (CETF), Coalition for Common Sense in Education (CCSE), Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), and Metro Justice (MJ) -- known collectively as Parent and Community Groups for Educational Change --- in conjunction with the Rochester Teachers Association, Rochester Association of Paraprofessionals, Board of Education Nonteaching Employees and the Association of Administrators of Rochester, have been working to bring together a broad-based group of community leaders. They are hosting a Community-Wide Education Summit in March to build on existing momentum toward the development of an ongoing movement for educational change and improvement in the Rochester city schools. The summit will begin Friday evening, March 11 followed by a full day of work on Saturday, March 12.

    The Friday evening welcoming plenary will feature former Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson, Jr. and Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford, Vice Chancellor Emeritus, New York State Board of Regents. It will begin at 6pm in the East High School Forum room.

    Saturday’s agenda (8:30am – 5pm at Rochester Plaza Hotel) will emphasize focused working sessions organized around eight Principles for Fundamental Educational Change developed by the CETF as a starting place for the summit’s work. Morning registration will be accompanied by light breakfast and lunch will feature reflections from distinguished guests. Collaborating groups have convened a broad representation of Rochester parents, students, educators, and community leaders to develop the agenda for the summit.

    Organizers aim to launch a movement to fundamentally change education in Rochester . They anticipate a large turnout of parents, students, educators and other community members who will be asked to identify a focus area of interest to them (one of the CETF’s eight Principles for Change) and to collaborate intensively with others interested in that focus. Each group will be asked to propose two short-term and two long-term goals for fundamentally improving education in city schools. The work will not end there: participants will be invited to join ongoing efforts to implement those goals.

    All summit events are free and open to the public. Ongoing new co-sponsorships for the summit are welcomed. Checks or money orders are tax deductable and should be made out to Leadership For Reform Institute/CETF, and mailed to PO Box 15604 , Rochester , NY 14615 .

    The Community Education Task Force is a group of parents, grandparents, students, educators and community activists working for community-led, fundamental educational change in Rochester . The group meets every Tuesday at 5:30 PM at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 350 Chili Ave. For more information 585 317-2367

    NY-26 Special Election Update: Here are some articles on what is going on in NY-26 after holier-than-thou Republican Chris Lee was caught sending reevaling photos of himself to women on Craigslist. Let's get one thing straight. People do these sorts of things. The problem arises when a politician acts like his shit don't stink then lays a load right in public. Republicans love to talk about morality, but very few of them walk the walk. The scandal was less about sexuality than it was about hypocrisy.

    Here are some articles on the topic: (I rough chronological order)

    NY-26: hypocritical Rep. Chris Lee poses shirtless for Craigslist...more: NY-26: Gawker provides evidence Lee sought affairs with two transsexual women, one a prostitute....Now it isn't any of my business what Chris Lee does with other consenting adults, but you CAN'T behave like a holier-than-thou Republican and get away with this kind of stuff. The hypocrisy is too much for any political career.

    NY-26: Lee resigns, so what now?

    The Republican field narrows: NY-26: Republican prospects making way for Corwin

    The Democratic field remains unclear: NY-26: Powers opts out...Why Konst is the best choice for the 26th...NY-26: Another View On Konst

    NY-26: Are We About to See A Repeat of NY-23?...the Teabagger vs. Moderate civil war is still dividing the Republican Party and this may be another battlefield.

    Current TV, founded by Al Gore, includes some of the best journalism in America today. In particular their Vanguard series is amazing and should not be missed by ANYONE who wants to know in depth coverage of some of the major stories in the world.

    In most areas Current TV is available on:
    DIRECTV Channel 358
    DISH Network Channel 196
    Comcast Digital: Channel 107
    AT&T U-Verse: Channel 189

    Check out their program schedule here.

    Blogging Rochester, NY:

    Rochester Turning is a people-powered, progressive blogging community in the Rochester, NY area. We believe in clean air, water, politics, money, business, energy, and human rights. Our goal is to promote progressive candidates and movements in the Greater Rochester region.

    IndyMedia Rochester: Independent Media for the Rochester area.

    The Moderate Urban Champion: Headquartered in Rochester, NY. Dedicated to pointing up optimism regarding 21st century Urban Living. Will focus on efficiency issues such as mass-transit, energy, and urban development. Check back for travel guides/reviews of other Great American Cities.


    It has becoming increasingly clear that New York politics is corrupt and inefficient almost across the board. Almost every single political party, whether Republicans, Conservatives, Indpendence Party, Teabaggers (their name for themselves), Democratic Party or Working Families Party, has been tainted by corruption. So far only the Greens seem fairly clean.

    Simply put, this state is messed up politically. That is not to say there aren't some very good elected officials out there. People like NYC Comptroller John Liu, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Assemblyman Jim Brennan, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, etc. are excellent people who I am proud to support. But for each of these good folk there are people like the recently indicted Espadas, Hiram "the slasher" Monserrate, Clarence Norman, David Yassky, Diane Gordon, "Public" Advocate Bill de Blasio, Assemblyman Vito Lopez, City Councilman Steve Levin, State Senator John Sampson...all corrupt as hell or scandals waiting to happen.

    So what do you and I do as proud Progressive Democrats? Well, one of the top organizations in NY State fighting for reform is the The Brennan Center for Justice. I recommend them as a resource for all Reform-minded New Yorkers.

    The latest from the Brennan Center:

    In an effort to change the way the business is run in Albany, the Brennan Center for Justice, Citizens Union, Common Cause/NY, League of Women Voters of New York State, and New York Public Interest Research Group sent the following letters to members of the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate, outlining the specific rules reforms each chamber can take to make New York's Legislature more democratic, transparent, and accountable.

    Letter to New York State Assembly Members

    Letter to New York State Senators

    Let's hope the call for reform starts to take root before NY State becomes as infamous for corruption as Chicago and Louisiana have.


    Wal-Mart is trying hard to expand in New York State. But the opposition, even in places like Staten Island, remains strong. WalMart has upped the stakes by buying tons of advertising time in the New York market claiming they create jobs...which is true in a way, but what they don't tell you is that they DESTROY good jobs and replace them with lower paying jobs with little or no benefits.

    Here's the latest on Wal-Mart and why communities across the state are opposing them:

    Grocery Workers and Store Owners Slam Wal-mart for Killing Small Businesses

    Walmart Will Hurt New York Neighborhoods: Business Leader Says Keep Megastore Out

    Wal-Mart’s PR Buzz Kill: Wal-Mart Kills Jobs

    More Elected Officials Announce Their Opposition to Wal-mart

    Let's protect small businesses and good jobs. Keep WalMart from expanding in New York State.

    Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. From the ballot box to the classroom, the thousands of dedicated workers, organizers, leaders and members who make up the NAACP continue to fight for social justice for all Americans.

    Rochester Branch
    PO BOX 31456
    Rochester, NY 14603

    Rochester Iraq Veterans Against the War
    The Voice of our Veterans the Republicans refuse to listen to.

    Click here for more info.

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    Rochester Chapter
    P.O. Box 92613 Rochester, New York 14692

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.

    We meet the first Monday of each month (except December) at 7:15 PM at the First Unitarian Church, 220 S. Winton Rd., Rochester, NY.


    An informal, inclusive progressive social group. Raise your spirits
    while you raise your glass, and share ideas while you share a pitcher.
    Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place
    to talk politics. You don't need to be a policy expert and this isn't a
    book club - just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent
    frustration and hang out in an environment where it's not taboo to talk

    Rochester, New York
    * Every Thursday, 8:00-10:00 pm
    * Monty's Korner, 355 East Ave
    * Hosted by Tom Tucker and Tracy Logan, rochester (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Potluck for Progressives Rochester:

    Join us for a community dinner. Everyone is welcome. Bring a dish to pass & your own place setting. Enjoy the bounty that others bring as well.

    Downtown United Presbyterian Church
    121 North Fitzhugh Street @ 5:30pm
    Across from Rochester City Hall.
    Free parking in the City Hall parking lot.

    At each Potluck we highlight a different Progressive organization and/or activist, talk about our successes, exchange ideas, help each other overcome challenges and/or plan actions together.

    The Potluck for Progressives, founded by members of the Rochester chapter of the Alliance for Democracy, has been bringing committed activists together to break bread & coordinate action on a regular basis for the past several years with the goal of building a large progressive coalition in Rochester.

    Activists who have a wide range of experience & who's concerns span the entire spectrum from environmental issues to social & economic justice find common ground in the dream of building a powerful local coalition here in our community. Every time we meet together we take another step towards our goal.

    To get involved, email here: info@RochesterAlliance.org

    Green Drinks - Rochester Chapter
    Every Fourth Thursday, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
    Where: Tap & Mallet.at 381 Gregory St. Rochester, NY 585.473.0503

    DescriptionGreen Drinks - Rochester Chapter Every month people who work in green business meet up for libations at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. We have a lively mixture of people from academia, government and business. It's a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organising network. Every Fourth Thursday, 6:00-7:30 PM. Tap & Mallet at 381 Gregory St. Rochester, NY 585.473.0503 In association with US Green Building Council. The event is FREE, with no need to register. http://www.ceinfo.org/ugbn/events.php

    Progressive Democrats of Genesee Valley

    Join us in forming a progressive coalition within the Democratic Party. Serving the 28th and 29th Congressional Districts of New York, Progressive Democrats of Genesee Valley is working to expand the Democratic Party by promoting progressive ideals and creating a voice for progressive solutions within the Party. As an activist network in the Greater Rochester, New York area for progressive causes, we are dedicated to reaching out to progressives within and without the Party to promote:

    * Government that works for people
    * Sustainable policies
    * Campaign reform
    * Peaceful solutions

    We want a Democratic Party that stands for peace, fair trade, universal health care, clean elections, a clean environment and economic justice.

    You can help. Join our e-mail list info@pdagv.org or become a member today.

    Alternative Energy in Rochester:

    Rochester Solar Technologies Solar and wind power for Rochester, NY

    Rochester Solar Technologies is a Rochester New York based solar and wind renewable energy company. As a division of O'Connell Electric Company Inc. one of the largest electrical companies in New York, we are growing and expanding the renewable energy sector to meet our customer’s needs. Rochester Solar Technologies and O'Connell Electric are members of NECA and the IBEW. We have also been in the electrical industry since 1911.

    We specialize in solar electric installations and service. We also offer consultation for on-grid and off-grid applications in New York State. As an international resource for sustainable energy products, we are making the connections between green power USA, and the renewable energy market in Canada.

    See for yourself: Green Buildings 2009 tour Rochester New York

    Click here to estimate which size system is right for you.

    Click here for more information and to find out how you can begin generating energy.

    Here is a Food Co-op in Rochester, NY:

    Abundance Cooperative Market
    62 Marshall Street
    Rochester, New York 14607
    Phone: (585) 454-2667
    FAX: (585) 454-0343

    Open to the public 7 days a week, Abundance Cooperative Market is Rochester, New York’s only community-owned natural grocery store. We are located at 62 Marshall Street off Monroe Avenue, just 2 blocks from Strong Children’s Museum, with convenient access to I-490, the Inner Loop, and Downtown. Free WI-FI too!

    Abundance product selection promotes healthy and sustainable food practices. We offer a wide selection of grocery items (with many vegan & gluten free options) including; bulk goods, fresh organic produce, housewares, health and nutritional supplements, natural body care products, books, gifts, and our own fresh and organic, eat-in deli.

    They also have a good list of classes.

    Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture (GVOCSA) is a member organization of consumers in the Genesee Valley area of New York, in and around the city of Rochester.

    We contract with Peacework Farm Newark, Wayne County, NY for shares of main season organic vegetables and herbs and with Blue Heron Farm in Lodi, Seneca County, for organic winter shares. We also special-order items such as berries, apples, wine, and maple syrup from other New York producers during the main season. Another local farm that raises livestock using sustainable methods is often present at our main season distributions selling meat and eggs and delivering items members have previously ordered. A cooperative bakery also delivers pre-ordered bread and other items to our members on specific distribution dates. During the main season, Peacework Farm offers extra produce for sale on a weekly basis, if and when it's available. During a good growing year, Peacework also has bulk quantities of certain vegetables for sale for canning, freezing, and winter storage.

    GVOCSA's distribution site is the warehouse/parking lot area of Abundance Cooperative Market at 62 Marshall Street between Monroe Avenue and Broadway in Rochester. During the main season, we distribute shares on Thursday and Sunday evenings. When you sign up, you choose the pick-up day that's best for you and keep that day throughout the season. The main season runs for 26 weeks from mid-May to mid-November (see News & Events at left for specific dates). Winter shares are contracted separately from the main season membership. Winter share distributions occur every other week from January to March, also in the Abundance warehouse.

    GREEN BUSINESSES IN THE ROCHESTER AREA: These are some of the best local businesses around. Taken from the Green America Green Pages

    Recycle for cash: cell phones, inkjet, laser cartridges. Fundraising programs for nonprofits, schools, associations, businesses, municipalities, individuals now helping any veteran groups. Free shipping. Make money being green.
    Phone: (877)348-5319

    Elite Green Cleaning
    A premier green residential cleaning service featuring all-natural, nontoxic, and aromatherapy products to provide families a healthy home environment and help protect the environment.
    Phone: (585)317-5960
    25 Coleridge Rd.
    Rochester, NY 14609

    Eden Home Cleaning, Inc.
    Luxury green residential cleaning service in the Greater Rochester, New York area.
    Phone: (585)278-2887
    330 Mantiou Beach Rd.
    Hilton, NY 14468

    Marilyn Anderson/Pro Arte Maya
    Prints, notecards, and coloring book honoring Guatemalan Maya arts traditions. Helps support Pro Arte Maya Education Project for children in Guatemala.
    Phone: (585)271-4374
    34 Nicholson St.
    Rochester, NY 14620-2110



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