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EVANSTON, IL Pop-up Newsletter: May is a busy month — deadlines, local foods, peace

May is a busy, busy month. Even in a non-pandemic year, farmers and gardeners are working 10-, 12-, 14-hour days. Teachers, students, parents, and school officials are intensely focused on final exams and graduation. The Illinois General Assembly is wrapping up a legislative session. And then there’s always breaking news. Here’s some deadline alerts and other current information for Evanstonians. I hope it’s useful.

To: Evanston voters, media, officials, political groups, businesses, activists
Residents in my neighborhood (Nichols Neighbors)
Some non-Evanston voters with Evanston connections & interests

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1. DEADLINE, May 20: Resolution to block sale of bombs to Israel
2. DEADLINE, May 20: Sign-up for Thumbelina CSA (weekly box of local food)
3. DEADLINE, May 20 or 21: Pembroke Township — defeat Illinois bill promoting pipeline over farming
4. Free Peace Summit by CAPA Student Network (May 22 & 23)
5. Local food systems: Guidance on using ARP funds 

1. DEADLINE, May 20:  
Resolution to block sale of bombs to Israel

U.S. House of Representatives
— BREAKING Story by Alex Kane, Jewish Currents: New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is introducing a resolution that would block a current sale & shipment of bombs to Israel.
— Alex Kane Twitter thread with details of May 20 deadline.
— Other progressive U.S. Reps are co-sponsoring.

I have called our Congresswoman (and my neighbor) Jan Schakowsky to co-sponsor the bill.
Her office phone numbers are: 
–DC office 202/225-2111
–Chicago office 773/506-7100
–Glenview office 847/328-3409
I got right through to Glenview office.

For the record:
I am a 70-year old lifelong Chicagoan and secular Jew with family in Israel.
I believe this resolution is a game-changer along the lines of this quote: 
“…one day the woman who thinks will speak to us again, and everywhere there will be peace.”
— Paula Gunn Allen, Laguna Pueblo
The full quote is copied below and on my Twitter timeline.

2. DEADLINE, May 20: Sign-up for new CSA
Weekly box of fresh local food

Pick-up in central Evanston
June 3 – Sept. 30 (Thursdays)
Prepay for full season: $828.23

Thumbelina CSA
Group of Midwest farmers & other vendors

Note: I first learned about Thumbelina CSA from an ad in the EvanstonRoundtable.
Local advertising works! Especially if it’s for local people & products.

3. DEADLINE, May 20: Pembroke Township (Illinois bill)
Gas pipeline or Black heritage farming

It looks like the Illinois Senate will vote on this bill on Friday (May 21).
I have asked our State Senator Laura Fine to vote NO on this bill (SB2393).

As you can see on the bill page, the sponsors have added a couple amendments regarding 
— public meetings
— designating Pembroke Township (and other locations) as hardship areas.
I believe these amendments indicate that the sponsors are getting pushback on this bill.

Here’s Senator Fine’s contact info:
— Phone: 847/998-1717
— Email:

Here’s the background from a previous newsletter, along with an UPDATE and some additional resources:
ILLINOIS ACTION ALERT:  Pembroke Township 2021 — gas pipeline or regenerative agriculture? or ???

Thanks to Clare Tallon Ruen (Environmental Justice group, Citizens Greener Evanston) for sending this messaging on the Pembroke bill (IEC stands for Illinois Environmental Council; I don’t know what ICJC stands for):
This bill would provide a guaranteed contract to Nicor Gas to build natural gas infrastructure in Pembroke Township.  This area has been a historic and important home to many black farmers in Illinois (only 2% of Illinois farmers are black) who are concerned about how this will impact these important lands and community.  IEC and ICJC are supporting Blacks in Green and local community residents that are calling for an authentic community process with a review of all available options to residents (for example, Nicor gas, another provider, energy efficiency options or other technology, or other sources of power) as well as consumer protections.

4. Free Virtual PEACE SUMMIT 
Chicago Area Peace Action (CAPA)

Student Network 
DePaul U., Loyola U., U. of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)
May 22 & 23

Overview & registration: Organizing Towards Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution
Detailed agenda: 2nd Annual Peace Summit

Many of you know CAPA as the North Short Peace Initiative (NPSI), founded in 1978 and still based in Evanston. Thanks to Catherine Buntin, long-time CAPA activist, for sending this info.

Guidance on using ARP funds

On the national Food Policy Networks listserv (supporting food policy councils), there has been some very useful sharing about how to use ARP funds (American Rescue Plan) to strengthen local food systems.
Anyone can join: FPN listserv
Or check out the other resources on the FPN website.

One of the best contributions re ARP funds is a 2-page “tool” (fact sheet) from the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative, along with an explainer webpage about the ARP funds. Thanks to Brittany Peats, who sent in this information:
“I wanted to share the tool that we put together for advocates to talk with their municipal leaders about funding projects to strengthen the food system. The webpage that explains the tool also includes some background on the funds.”

about “the force of the women who speak and work and write” the last paragraph reads:

“Through all the centuries of war and death and cultural and psychic destruction have endured the women who raise the children and tend the fires, who pass long the tales and the traditions, who weep and bury the dead, who are the dead, and who never forget. There are always the women, who make pots and weave baskets, who fashion clothes and cheer their children on at powwow, who make fry bread and piki bread, and corn soup and chili stew, who dance and sing and remember and hold within their hearts the dream of their ancient peoples–that one day the woman who thinks will speak to us again, and everywhere there will be peace.  Meanwhile we tell the stories and write the books and trade tales of anger and woe and stories of fun and scandal and laugh over all manner of things that happen every day. We watch and we wait.”

Where I Come from is Like This
Essay by Paula Gunn Allen
Originally published in 1986 in Face to Face; Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism, and Awakening
Edited by Linda Hogan and Brenda Peterson