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The Justice & Peace eWeekly is a weekly survey of upcoming events, local news and activism opportunities. Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might be interested.

 


Week of August 17, 2020


 

Groups Call for Council Accountability in
Police Accountability

 

City Council Asked to Emphasize People of Color for Board

Citizens Project urged city residents to call members of the City Council to insure that the proposed police accountability commission adequately reflects participation of people of color. PPJPC Executive Director Gabriel Cordova, an applicant for the board who is still under consideration, said that he fully supports pressure on the council to insure the fairness of the process. Below is the August 12 appeal from Citizens Project:
 
As City Council moves forward with the Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission, we must continue to advocate for a commission that prioritizes applicants who are most impacted by police violence: the Black and Brown community, those who live in Southeast Colorado Springs. Furthermore, we must ensure that those selected for the commission are unbiased for or against law enforcement. 
City Council received over 800 applications for this committee, they have now created a short list of just over 100 from which they will choose 11 community members. The Colorado Springs Independent recently obtained this short list through a records request, revealing that many chosen do not represent the communities most impacted by police violence. Most disturbing is that Colorado Springs City Council has not articulated ANY criteria by which they are making their recommendations. Individual councilmembers will simply put forth the people that they like (or know), perpetuating the current power structure, virtually guaranteeing that the usual voices of privilege keep power.
We must make sure that City Council does not favor applicants (those who are white, from less diverse zip codes, and those law enforcement involved) who are furthest away from the impact of this commission.
Call City Council and tell them you support:
  1. Prioritizing people of color and those from areas most impacted by police brutality, such as Southeast Colorado Springs to serve on this commission
  2. Enumerating the criteria they are using to recommend commission members to ensure a diverse group of people and those with bias are not selected.
Colorado Springs City Council Members:
All Council
allcouncil@springsgov.com
 
Richard Skorman
President, District 3
(719) 385-5470 
richard.skorman@coloradosprings.gov
Bill Murray, At-Large
(719) 385-5485 
bill.murray@coloradosprings.gov
Tom Strand, At-Large
(719) 385-5486
tom.strand@coloradosprings.gov
Wayne Williams, At-Large
(719) 385-7720
wayne.williams@coloradosprings.gov
Yolanda Avila, District 4
(719) 385-5492
yolanda.avila@coloradosprings.gov
Jill Gaebler, District 5
(719) 385-5483
jill.gaebler@coloradosprings.gov
David Geislinger, District 2
(719) 385-5493
david.geislinger@coloradosprings.gov
Don Knight, District 1
(719) 385-5487
don.knight@coloradosprings.gov
Andres Pico, District 6
(719) 385-5491 
andy.pico@coloradosprings.gov
 
 

White House Withdraws Pendley's Name for BLM

The White House on Saturday abruptly dropped the nomination of William Pendley to be head of the Bureau of Land Management, a federal branch of the Interior Department that is shifting its headquarters from Washington to Grand Junction. In the past few days, it became clear that even the president’s biggest supporters in Congress would not support Pendley. He is the former executive director of the ultra-conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation in Lakewood, and an advocate of privatizing all federal wilderness and grazing lands. In a statement, the campaign of former Gov. John Hickenlooper called Pendley “a racist and climate-change denier,” and said he wanted to sell off all federal public land in Colorado.



 

City Council Rejects Calls to Put Plastic-Bag Fee on November Ballot

Colorado Springs City Council rejected last week by a 6-3 vote a proposal by Council Member Yolanda Avila to place an initiative on the city ballot in November for a deposit on plastic bags. The proposed ten-cent fee would have cut down on pollution, while serving as a new revenue stream for the city. Those opposed said that a pandemic was no time to propose a ballot measure seeking new fees. Council member Jill Gaebler said that many supermarket chains already were phasing out plastic bags, and she did not think a fee would change shoppers’ behaviors. In response, Council Member Bill Murray, who supported the ballot measure, said that the council was “shooting down too many ideas before offering alternatives.”

 

RAWtools Offers "Taking Stock" as a YouTube/Facebook Resource Following June 28 Debut

RAWtools debuted its new poetry video, “Taking Stock: Loaded Words and Bullet Points” in late June to rave reviews. The video features local poets reading works on issues of gun violence. The video was directed and produced by Mary Sprunger-Froese and Lauren Weaver, and includes poems from Jonathan Andujar, former Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Susan Peiffer, NAACP activist Rosemary Lytle, and PPJPC Chair Loring Wirbel.  The video is now on YouTube for viewing at any time, you can find it here: https://youtu.be/8t16wRcVHa4
 

New Webinar on Hybrid Warfare

About Face: Veterans Against the War and World Without War partnered in late March to present a webinar that is now available for viewing online. “The Age of Hybrid Warfare” is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/gZK40p10MOA. You can also check out the PowerPoint slides that go with the webinar at tiny.cc/wij4nz.  This seminar looks at the creation of “permanent war” environments when economic warfare, “lawfare,” cyberwar, and other methods augment traditional avenues of armed conflict.
 

PPJPC/PPLD Fall Plans Begin With Library's "Ruth and the Green Book" Puppet Show, Available for Viewing Beginning Sept. 12

We’ve dropped mention of emerging plans for a series of youth events, held in conjunction with Pikes Peak Library District, to meld 2020 Peace Camp themes with All Pikes Peak Reads. We are looking for Peace Camp alumni and other teen participants to review and discuss books on racial justice, as well as to prepare online programs for younger children. Events will take place through the fall alongside PPLD’s own events. The first PPLD event will be a puppet show from an Atlanta-based group around the picture book, “Ruth and the Green Book.” This will be a virtual YouTube event beginning Sept. 12, through the month of September, that families will sign up for. Here’s PPLD’s initial information on the puppet show – registration starts Aug. 15, and only one person need register for a family.

The Center for Puppetry Arts presents a live action and puppet rendition of Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s children’s story, Ruth and The Green Book. Ruth and her parents travel south to visit family but encounter many people who are unfriendly to black travelers along the way. This lively production brings understanding and enlightenment about an oppressive era in US history. 

Registration begins August 15. Please register only one person for this program and we will send you a link to view the puppet show online.
 

 

Active for Justice Podcast Covers Plowshares Nuns' March 5 Speech

 

 Thanks to Greg, Dave, Rick, and everyone at Studio 809 (who are currently on a virus semi-sabbatical) for editing the presentation Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert gave at All Souls Church on March 5. We were lucky to host the sisters for several events prior to the quarantine being enacted locally. We have also listed the latest two Peak Environment podcasts of Studio 809 below, though it may be a few weeks before additional podcasts are added.

Plowshares Podcast here:
http://studio809radio.com/active-justice-yes-humanity-mar-05-2020/

 

ACLU Launches Campaign for Dismantling DHS; GAO Claims DHS Directors Serve Illegally; DHS Secretly Sends ICE Detainees to Teller County

The American Civil Liberties Union picked a good week to launch a national campaign to dismantle the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an anachronistic executive-branch agency formed in the wake of Sept. 11. On Friday, August 14, the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report saying that neither Acting DHS Director Chad Wolf nor Deputy Director Ken Cuccinelli had been legally appointed. Under the Vacancy Reform Act, they are ineligible to run DHS, the GAO said. DHS utterly rejected the findings, and Wolf and Cuccinelli said they had no intention of resigning.

The DHS status had immediate impacts in southern Colorado. On August 14, eight federal detainees of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, a unit of DHS), who had been transferred from the Aurora ICE Detention Center to the Teller County Jail, began a hunger strike demanding to be transferred back to Aurora. Without the diligent work of Casa de Paz in Aurora, this transfer might never have been known, since ICE handles its treatments of detainees in total secrecy.

PPJPC stands with ACLU in its bold but necessary demand. ICE reform is important, but is not enough. It is time to dismantle the entire DHS agency, and its ICE component, and begin a re-examination of homeland security and immigration policy. As the GAO says, DHS leadership is illegal on its face. To help the Teller County ICE detainees, please call the Teller County Jail in Divide, (719) 687-7770 or the Teller County Sheriff's Office at (719) 687-9652, to demand their transfer.

 

PPJPC Seeks Interest for Officers of Board

While we at PPJPC identified potential board members at our Feb. 29 annual meeting, we are seeking your help as we reconstitute post-quarantine. If you are interested in nominating yourself or someone else to a board position, contact us at info@ppjpc.org or media@ppjpc.org. After double-checking with candidates, we will send out a slate of board candidates for member approval.
 

Peak Environment Podcast 59 Examines Regional Sustainability

 

Studio 809’s Peak Environment has released the second of two podcasts featuring Konrad Schlarbaum of Green Cities Coalition. Schlarbaum, the sustainability coordinator at Pikes Peak Community College, talks about “Updating the Regional Sustainability Plan.” How can we improve the Pikes Peak Region 2030 Plan?  Schlarbaum lays out his suggestions.

You can find Podcast 59 here:
http://studio809radio.com/pe-ppr2030-updating/

Podcast 58 covers a presentation Schlarbaum made Feb. 8 at the Pikes Peak Foodshed Forum, on local food and indigenous roots. The podcast also features keynote speaker Michael Alcazar.

You can find Podcast 58 here:
http://studio809radio.com/indigenous-land-management/

 
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