Fresno Center for Nonviolence is dedicated to Peace and Social Justice
Dear Friends of the Center:
I waited until now to write this Fall Appeal letter in the hope that my spirits were a bit higher than they were during the days following the mid-term election. No one wanted to discuss it or even begin to understand why progressives turned out in such low numbers. Let’s face it we are in hard economic and political times, not to mention the “health” of our beloved planet. So, I’m going to try and cheer you up with just a few successes in the election – after which I know you’ll get out your checkbooks or donate on line and once again help keep the Center a viable part of the community!
I’m sure Fresnans Against Fracking were really happy to see how well certain locally led ballot initiatives did. Denton, Texas became the first city in Texas to ban fracking. Successful fracking bans passed in California as well. And more than 140 institutions, representing over $50 billion, have committed to Fossil Fuel Divestment.
The handy passing of Propositions 1 and 2 here in the Valley showed real concern about the wellbeing of our water supplies.
With the passage of Proposition 47, it sounds as if Californians are finally getting the message that our justice system is completely broken. Low-level property and drug offenses including theft, and check fraud under $950, as well as personal illicit drug use will be reclassified from felonies to misdemeanors. Because the law will apply retroactively, as many as 10,000 people convicted of these offenses may now be eligible for early release. Let’s hope other states will take notice.
Minimum wage measures passed overwhelmingly in five states: Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Illinois. In California, San Francisco became the second U.S. city to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour; in Oakland, the wage of $9 will be raised to $12.25 starting in March. .
A slew of progressive candidate were elected in Richmond, California in a resounding defeat of corporate power, after a multi-million-dollar opposition campaign funded by Chevron brought national attention to the race but failed to take control of City Hall.
And citizens in dozens of communities voted overwhelmingly for their legislators to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which opened the door for the super-rich and corporations to trample democracy.
“Violence is bred by inequality, nonviolence by equality.” Gandhi
I’ve taken the time to tell you about the above since these are very important victories and
they have been won because of the thousands of activists who have worked ceaselessly over the years towards changes that benefit us all. Though we live in a conservative neighborhood overall, we are not lacking in activist organizations – Peace Fresno; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Central California Criminal Justice Committee; Prison Moratorium Project; Fresno Immigrant Youth in Action; Community Alliance newspaper and Fresno Free College Foundation (KFCF.) All have been started by local activists and have grown in their influence in the Valley. And, I hasten to add, they all meet at our Center for Nonviolence! Your financial support is vital if we are to keep our doors open for the important work that needs to continue if we are to achieve such victories in the Central Valley.
Enclosed is a sheet showing what we’ve done this past year together with a donor form for you to use. You can send us a check or donate on line at www.centerfornonviolence.org. As noted in our spring appeal we changed our donor form a little to include the option of becoming a “sustaining member” – each month an amount would be taken out of your credit card (or your bank). This way we can plan what we do during the year with the knowledge that we have a certain dollar amount coming in each month; $5.00 a month is $60.00 a year, $10.00 a month $120.00 and so on.
For those who are getting this fall appeal letter for the first time, please consider making a donation: large or small, all donations are important to us. As a gift all members get a year’s subscription to the Community Alliance. And if you cannot contribute financially, help by working with us. Consider becoming a Board member!
Our Center’s Board joins me in wishing you a peaceful and joyous holiday season. Sincerely,
Angela Price, Development Director