BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER
January / February 2007 www.bpmnews.org
Vlume 16, Numbe 1
Published Bi-Monthly by theSacramento Community for Peace & JusticeP.O. Box 162998, Sacramento,CA 95816(Use addresses below for correspondence)
JacquelineDiaz, JoAnn Fuller, SethSandronsky
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Ellen Schwartz andDale Crandall-Bear
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On the cover
Local youth in the Alpha Academy at CosumnesRiver College. Photo:Seth Sandronsky
Jacqueline Diaz, Coordinating Editor for this issue
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It is a new year. We have a new Congress, anew Deense Secretary, new agendas, someresh aces in the political landscape andthe chance or a resh start at deeating oldproblems—and thereare many o them.In this issue o
,many writers shareideas or approach-ing some o these oldproblems—the warin Iraq, classism, civilrights, human rights, civil liberties, social jus-tice—by oering new inormation, highlight-ing opportunities or activism or calling orsome personal reection.Also in this issue are quotes rom Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. in honor o Black His-tory Month. Tese quotes should serve as areminder o King’s mission, vision and aware-ness o the awed US economic and politi-cal system. King’s goals were not bound torace relations alone, but were instead keenly inormed by the relationships and intersec-tions between race and class, culture andpolicy in the US and abroad.Overall, King’s vision required uncon- ventional thinking, a willingness to embracechange and ensuredthat the guidingorce at the head o progressive actionremain the goal o peace and well-beingor others. It is notan easy vision toachieve, but ideal to consider.So let’s consider where the US is headed.Right now, it doesn’t seem too peaceul. In hisarticle, “Out Now” (centerold), Je Kravitzconsiders the US role in Iraq, while Dorothy and Richard Wake (page 5) take a look at thechanging political climate post-Novemberelections. Sacramento Media Group’s Char-lene Jones gives the 411 on the threat to “NetNeutrality” in the new congressional year(page 7) as Dan Bacher shows just how out o hand US government spying has gotten herein Sacramento (page 13).But it is not just about legislative politicsor scandal. Our ocus really remains on thepeople aected. Paolo Bassi discusses accessto aordable home ownership (page 3); SethSandronsky shows how one area programis reaching out to black youth (page 1) andMaggie Coulter and Brigitte Jaensch describesome tough realities about what is happen-ing to people in the current Iraq war (pages8-9) and Israeli/Palestinian conict (page14). Read these articles, and consider howwe can move in a better direction. Answerthe question: How can we support and osterpositive action in our community, in the USor abroad?In this new year, let something inormyou. Let something inspire you. Let some-thing enrage or propel you towards positiveaction. Be encouraged by truth and the prom-ise o our young people. Te theme or thisissue is “A Dierent World is Possible”, butthis is only true i we can imagine it to be soand work or the changes required.
I still remember the aernoon over 15 years ago(!) when the rst subscription to the new versiono
Because People Matter
appeared in my mail-box. We, the new editors—a small group o olksrom dierent peace and justice groups—wereso gratied. None o us haddone a newspaper beore andwe had been up most o thenight putting out our rstissue. But with that check in hand, we had that i youbuild it they will come eel-ing. We had hoped the new
would ll a need inSacramento, and we took that rst quick responseas a sign.Now, a decade and a hal later, with many thousands o hours o work by hundreds o longand short term unpaid volunteers, you’d haveto say
has become a (minor) institution inSacramento and the surrounding areas.I like to say
is the non-Fox news, and
has always challenged the ocial lies anddistortions that dominate corporate media. Tus
readers through the years have had muchneeded ino about NAFA and school privatiza-tion and Aghanistan and Iraq, or peak oil, theliving wage, Palestine, the Zapatistas, Venezuela,9/11, Social Security, abortion rights, genetically engineered ood, local union campaigns, anddepleted uranium—to name just a ew rom along list.I’d also like to say that no matter how awulsome o the news we have printed is, it has,unortunately, always turned out to be true. Ournews, in general, is the bad news and the goodnews is that the bad news is getting out and peo-ple are acting to change things. A dierent worldis possible! o this end,
has worked hard toadvance the eorts and issues o local progressiveactivist groups.Tat’s why I eel condent in asking or yoursupport.
gets around town through a net-work o dedicated volunteers who take awkwardbundles to your neighborhood caé, library, orstore. We want this wonderul crew to keep work-ing, but we also want to try to reach out morewidely in our growing area through a new com-mercial distributor.We need some new subscriptions (coupon onpage 2) to help us expand our circle o inuence.I you’re a subscriber already, then send
toa riend or relative—eitherto support or bedevil them.But you don’t have to sub-scribe; you can continue topick up
at your usualplace—and, to say thanksor all those ree papers, justsend a contribution to 40321st St, Sacramento, 95814.Every bit helps!Te election showed that many people haveawakened rom their propaganda-induced igno-rance. In the ace o the most powerul mind con-trol system in history, we progressives have donean amazing thing: we’ve brought a traumatizedand ear-mongered country to reject not only this war, but to question military responses ingeneral. Progressive media (see
’s back page)has been a big part o this turn-around. So pleasehelp us grow.Te Chinese book o wisdom, the I Ching,says: “Many people ail on the verge o succeed-ing. So attend to the ending as you do to thebeginning.” Many o us may be eeling worndown by six years o determined opposition tothis unresponsive, despotic, dangerous Bushregime. Even so, now it’s time or everybody totake a deep breath and move at least one morestep orward rom wherever they are right now.oward justice. oward peace.
In MemoriamRuth Holbrook
As we prepared to go to press, thestaf o
Because People Matter
wassaddened to learn o the death o Ruth Holbrook, a tireless activistor our community, labor, peaceand justice. Ruth died on Decem-ber 1, ater a 3
year battle withbreast cancer. A memorial servicewill be held on Saturday, Jan 20,1pm. Central Labor Council, 2840El Centro Rd, Sacramento.For more inormation, please callGeorge McAdow, 456-9282.
A New Year for Change
“In this new year, let somethinginorm you. Let somethinginspire you. Let somethingenrage or propel you towardspositive action.”
HELP BPM expand its circle o infuence
By Jeanie Keltner, editor-at-large
“BPM has alwayschallenged the ociallies and distortions thatdominate corporatemedia.”
A web site at last!
www.bpmnews.org is finally up, with the September-October, 2006, November-December, 2006, and as soon as we go to press, January-February 2007 issues of
Because People Matter
Back issues will be added as your intrepid production staff of one has the time. Check thewebsite for deadlines and submission guidelines, links to local event calendars, and more.
Other things you can do:
Call Congress: 800-828-0498, 800-459-1887or 800-614-2803.Wear a peace button (get them at the Sunday Farmers Market at W and 8th in Sacramento).Put a peace sign in your window.Pick up two or three
s next time andgive them to riends or volunteer to help distrib-ute (call 422 1787 or more ino).Get on Peace Action’s email list to be notiedo speakers and marches—and then come out!•••••