A Resolution on Food, Farms, and Democracy
Posted November 11, 2014
Presented at the Congress to Address the First Woman’s Rights Convention
Chicago, IL: March 2014
Earlier this year, I was honored and excited to be included in the culmination of year-long event to update the document produced by the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention. The document — the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions — was itself an attempt to update the 1776 Declaration of Independence, universally recognized as the document that created the United States of America and that led to the document that frames our lives today — the U.S. Constitution (adopted in 1789).
The project was organized by Anne Elizabeth Moore, a Chicago artist, writer, and speaker. I was invited to contribute a resolution on Food, Farms, and Democracy. Here is the detailed report from Anne’s website, including a link to the videotaping of the proceedings. The text of the Resolution is below.
Report of the Congress to Address the First Woman’s Rights Convention Chicago, IL: March 2014
165 years after the creation of the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, a document written in 1848 by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Mary Ann McClintock, Elizabeth W. McClintock, and Jane Hunt and adopted by a committee of slightly over 100 men and women at the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY, hundreds of folks of all ages and genders around the world actively engaged in questions of gender equity in the US found that 12 of the 18 original Sentiments still held true as originally worded.
On March 29, 2014, at the Newberry Library in Chicago, a group came together to discuss the findings of the online poll, and address some deeper problems in the wording of the original that may have contributed to the document’s ineffectiveness as an organizing tool in the 166 intervening years. This group also presented new Resolutions pertinent to ongoing women’s rights and gender justice struggles in the US. The Report of the Congress to Address the First Woman’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls is the result, an updated, revised, and expanded version of the original Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, the original having been created exactly 166 years before.
Watch the CAN-TV documentary of the March 29 Congress at the Newberry Library here. The Resolution on Food, Farms, and Democracy is 90 minutes into the video. (1:30)
Text of Resolution on Food, Farms, and Democracy
Proposed by Debbie L. Hillman (Evanston, Illinois)
Evanston Food Council (co-founder)
Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council (co-founder)
WE ACKNOWLEDGE that the U.S. Constitution was written without all women’s voices and that the words that have framed the birth, mythology, and legal institutions of the U.S. are abstract, outdated, incomplete, and subject to confusion and manipulation.
RESOLVED that all women of the United States meet in councils for 13 moons to formulate amendments to the U.S. Constitution that would articulate
1. The inalienable standing of each human organism in a natural habitat, including the right to Food (basic survival needs — food, air, water, energy), Farms (free access to land, space, education, living skills), and Democracy (self-representation).
2. The inalienable powers and responsibilities of women to promote and defend those rights — for every meal, every person, every season, every generation, every species.
3. The mechanism(s) by which women will implement such powers and responsibilities.