Membership Update September 2014
Many of you have received this via the postal mail. We are sending electronically for those who are not in our mailing database. Thank you very much for responding:
Dear WESPAC friends and supporters,
Thank you very much for your support of WESPAC over the past year.
Your membership contribution has allowed us to provide the space and support for over a dozen high school and college student interns as they develop their skills and become the next generation of agents for progressive social change.
These students have come from White Plains High School, Croton Harmon High School, Purchase College, Pace University, Boston University and the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute. They have joined us as we have marched to highlight racialized and militarized policing, to ban fracking in New York and close down Indian Point, to end the ongoing illegal Israeli Occupation of Palestinian land and the siege of Gaza, to ban the use of weaponized drones, and to support Indigenous Peoples in their struggle for land and treaty rights. We have also worked with young farmers and farmers of color to support a more local, sustainable and fair food system. We continue to promote Community Supported Agriculture and connect people across the county who believe fresh, local quality produce is a basic human right for all.
We are proud of the role we continue to play as an essential hub of progressive organizing and a resource center where folks come together to learn from each other and work together for a more just and peaceful world. We need your support to make this cherished community institution stronger! The only way we can continue our work is with your help. We ask you please to renew your membership with WESPAC. Dues are $100 per person per calendar year or $50 for students and fixed income. No one is turned away for lack of funds. Volunteer hours are welcome in lieu of payment and can be arranged with the office. Please make your tax-deductible contribution today via the PayPal button at wespac.org or by check. We are asking that all dues be received by September 30th.
Our next general meeting will take place on Monday, September 15th at 6pm at the Mapleton Conference Center (52 North Broadway) and will include important updates about our work and ways that folks can get involved. We welcome your input and participation in this work. Please also save the date for our annual meeting of members where we will vote for our Board of Directors: Monday, October 20th at 6pm at the Mapleton Center. We have new candidates this year including Roger Drew, Ema Froning and Guisela Marroquin and will be sending out more information soon electronically. Thank you for supporting our work. Together we can and are changing the world.
For the WESPAC Community,
Teresa Delgado, WESPAC Board Chair and Nada Khader, WESPAC Director
PS. Please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!
www.wespac.org Facebook: Explore WESPAC Twitter: @WESPAC_NY
Sample of WESPAC’s 2014 Highlights (full list available on request)
WESPAC Celebrates 40 years!
2014 marks WESPAC’s 40th year of existence! Our 40th anniversary gala celebration in April 2014 was a huge success with over 170 people in attendance. It was the most successful gala for WESPAC in over 13 years. Honorees included WESPAC’s founder Connie Hogarth who gave a riveting speech summarizing our 40 years.
Increased Social Media & Traditional Media Presence
WESPAC has launched a strategic social media campaign this past year, using Facebook and Twitter. Our posts on social media have been viewed by literally thousands of people, in our region and worldwide. We have also increased our visibility through traditional media. Our work has been highlighted dozens of times over the past year in newspapers, blogs, radio and television channels.
Combating Racialized Policing & The New Jim Crow
In February 2014, WESPAC hosted ‘The New Jim Crow’ Kick-Off event at Mapleton Conference Center, hosted with many local partner organizations. Approximately 80 people attended and the night featured lively small group discussions. This event was the kick-off for 10 discussion groups across Westchester County using the book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” as a discussion piece. In August 2014 WESPAC partnered with the Committee for Justice to host a rally in Peekskill for Mike Brown, the Black teenager killed by police in Ferguson, MO. The rally called for national attention to unjust police killings.
Economic Justice & Labor Solidarity
In February and April 2014, Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 1103, WESPAC and other partner groups organized a press conference and a town hall meeting to oppose the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a ‘free trade’ bill with potentially devastating impacts on labor, human rights and the environment, which was being rushed through the U.S. Congress. Our work led to an important coalition victory as our local Congresspeople agreed to oppose Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As a result of community pressure, the TPP vote has been delayed.
WESPAC supported the 9 workers who were unjustly fired from Mrs. Green’s in Mt. Kisco for attempting to unionize. We supported UFCW Local 1500 as the picketed alongside the workers; WESPAC members attended the picket line a half dozen times, and promoted the cause of the workers via social media. We were so happy when the workers regained their jobs, with full back pay, in July 2014.
Food Justice & Environmental Justice (full report available on request)
In celebration of Black History Month, WESPAC organized “Soul Food Justice: From Slavery to Black Power.” Approximately 60 people attended this night of discussion and cultural sharing. WESPAC supported the campaign targeting Assemblymember David Buchwald to support a statewide GMO labeling bill. Community Organizer Tarin Gonzalez spoke at a rally in April outside of Buchwald’s office and published a letter in the Journal News targeting Buchwald. We were happy that Buchwald changed his position. WESPAC also organized buses to Albany to fight fracking.
Palestine Solidarity (full report available on request)
WESPAC and partners organized a rally in August 2014 to stand in solidarity with civilians during the Israeli attack on Gaza. Approximately 200 people from all over Westchester County came out to the vigil to say end the Gaza blockade, end the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Land and end US military aid to Israel.
Please see our website for our community view piece published in the Journal News: “Not All New Yorkers stand behind Israel in conflict” published August 17, 2014.