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Advocacy News, January 2024

advocacy news

This month, we have a couple of updates about the Farm Bill and the Connecticut Environmental Rights Amendment.


The Farm Bill

Yes, we are still working on a Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill includes policies affecting agriculture and so much more. Nutrition programs in the Farm Bill feed 41 million people in this country. Nature-based solutions to climate change must start with more sustainable farming and soil health practices on the 52% of American land that is used for agriculture.

The Farm Bill remains in limbo and funding for nutrition and conservation programs are in doubt. Budget cutting is in fashion, and these two parts of the Farm Bill are likely to get cut.

That’s why the seven NOFA state chapters and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardners Association are mobilizing our membership to demand full funding for nutrition and conservation programs in the next Farm Bill. We have launched a new petition for you to sign online and at the winter conferences to keep the pressure on for as long as it takes to get a new bill. You can sign that petition, here.

We are calling on Congress to pass a farm bill that maintains the $20 Billion Inflation Reduction Act funding for conservation programming. The four main conservation programs funded by the IRA support climate-smart organic practices such as cover cropping and conservation crop rotation, practices that build soil health and increase crop yields. The results amount to a triple win: farms reduce greenhouse gas emissions while removing carbon from the atmosphere,  increasing yields and thus the bottom line. These voluntary programs have been vastly underfunded and thousands of farmers have applied and been rejected for lack of funding in the past.

We are also calling on Congress to sustain public investments in SNAP and other nutrition programs for low-income children and seniors. It is our belief that access to affordable, nutritious food is a human right. Supplemental funding of nutrition programs during COVID greatly reduced poverty and food insecurity, especially in households with children, the elderly, or those with disabilities.

Please sign the petition and call your Senators and Representatives.


Connecticut Environmental Rights Amendment

CT NOFA and our coalition of over 40 organizations are pressing forward with the CT Environmental Rights Amendment, talking with Senator Mae Flexer about bringing the amendment to the Government Administration and Elections Committee (where it would need to go anyway at some point, as a resolution to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot).

We have built up a base of grassroots support, with close to 800 people on our email list and over 500 people signing the petition to Sen. Flexer and her co-chair on GAE, Rep. Matt Blumenthal. I delivered the petition in person to Sen. Flexer at a meeting in her district, and I emailed the petition to Rep. Flexer in December.

Time to get educated and inspired for the next legislative session!

Get the recording of Training #1: To build up the knowledge and skills of our activists, we had an excellent training with Maya van Rossum, the national leader of the movement for Green Amendments (including the CT ERA). She explained the basics of Green Amendments and went through the important aspects of the CT Environmental Rights Amendment, and followed it up with an extensive Q&A session.  Sign up here to get the link to the recording. And don’t forget that van Rossum will be the keynote speaker at our upcoming winter conference, which we hope you’ll attend.

Sign up for Training #2: January 24, 6:30 – 7:30 pm on Zoom. Now we will build on that basic knowledge with a training where we will learn from the experts about the most effective and compelling ways to share your story and advocate for your environmental rights. Because we will be sharing our own stories, this online training will not be recorded. Sign up here: bit.ly/CTTraining2

Also join us and our coalition at this march: March to Keep CT’s Climate Promise, Feb. 2, noon, starting at the Old State House, (meet at the plaza behind the Old State House), 800 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103. Activists from 20 organizations will be marching to advocate action on climate. Sign up here to march, and spread the word!

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