Tag Archives: featured

High Holiday Season

19 November 2017


Dear Friends and Colleagues: November heralds the beginning of a traditional high holiday season and the beginning of the end of 2017. Here in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving, that awkwardly homespun holiday that commemorates a mythological warm and fuzzy breaking of bread between early European settlers and the indigenous peoples of a new […]

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Still I Kneel

19 October 2017

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Dear Friends and Colleagues: I kneel, in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and all those demonstrating support for the issue of ending the killing of black men, women and children while in police custody. My family boasts generations of soldiers in the U.S. military services. My father, my uncle, and my brother served proudly in the […]

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Undeniable Human Spirit

21 September 2017

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Dear Friends and Colleagues: Wednesday, September 27th I have been asked to speak at a discussion hosted by the Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB) on the subjects of SNAP and the 2018 Farm Bill, because, yes, despite the immediate environmental, political and economic challenges, we have to continue advocacy and organizing to effect just […]

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What’s in a Name?

4 September 2017

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Dear Friends and Colleagues: Last November, in Long Beach California, my mother’s children and grandchildren gathered at a neighborhood elementary school to witness a ceremony formally changing the school’s name in her honor. Olivia Nieto Herrera was an amazing woman, but of course, to me she was just, mom. Her achievements included partnering with Rep. […]

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O Captain! My Captain!

3 August 2017

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Dear Friends and Colleagues: When Walt Whitman wrote his poem about the death of President Abraham Lincoln, he captured the sorrow and depth of loss in a nation torn asunder by the clash of cultures and a bloody war that marred the country in 1865. We have not lost our captain, but I fear this […]

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Your New Normal is Vigilance…

9 July 2017

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Dear Friends and Colleagues: I’ve been on something of a hiatus, spending time in the Santa Barbara/Carpinteria/Rincon area writing and attending the Santa Barbara Writers Conference (SBWC). It was an adventure-filled two weeks about which I will write elsewhere. During that time I pretty much ignored the news and didn’t turn on a television set, […]

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You Can’t Make this Stuff Up…

25 May 2017

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Dear Friends and Colleagues, When I was growing up one of the ongoing discussions we school children had was, “How could the people in Germany not do something to stop Adolph Hitler and the horrible things he did in World War II? All the atrocities he perpetuated inside and outside of the country?” In the […]

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Bluster and a Path Forward

4 May 2017

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Dear Friends and colleagues: OMG, when he juts his chin out he even looks like Mussolini… The brouhaha around the new President’s first 100 day is as fake as his patriotism, as evidenced by this birthday card to Melania Trump, complete with a U.S. flag with all of thirty-nine stars. Sometimes a prop is just […]

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He Said What?

7 March 2017

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Reflecting on the first weeks of a new White House administration is not new for many of us. However, by any standard or measurement we are in new territory with the Trump administration. And, after just one month it’s all still new and shiny—the emotions, the outrage, the passion and never ending surprise executive orders. For […]

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The New Gilded Age…Robber Barons Redux

6 February 2017

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  My Dear Colleagues and Friends: Now that Rex Tillerson is Secretary of State, we need to keep watch on how long until the sanctions on Russia are lifted. Tillerson’s previous job was C.E.O. of ExxonMobil, where the world’s largest gas and oil corporation invested in 63.6 million acres of potential assets in Russia that […]

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Did you hear the one about…?

13 December 2016

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My Dear Colleagues and Friends: Growing up, I was spellbound by the images of “carpet baggers” and Tammany Hall “fat cats” I saw pictured in history books in my elementary and junior high school history classes. Of course, that was back in the ‘50s and early ‘60s, when California was ranked first or near there […]

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Food, Power, Politics & Climate Change

1 November 2016

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Dear Friends and Colleagues: This is one of the more difficult messages I have tried to write for CFJC. Over the past four weeks I have repeatedly contacted Courtney to say that I wasn’t happy with what I’d written, and ask her to wait another week to send the message out. The problem is that […]

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