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22%

22%

22% of New Yorkers have to choose between food and medical care. – City Harvest

Just thought you might want to know.

-Cara

Downtown Brooklyn

Downtown Brooklyn

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 10th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots that didn’t make the cut.

This is Downtown Brooklyn where I work as the IT Phenomenon for a few community organizations in the area. This photograph is of a banner promoting  Downtown Brooklyn for its great shopping experience in front of the many empty storefronts for rent. Except for a tax center and a hair braiding place that are thriving downtown businesses.

The silhouette of the bike rider is implying that Downtown it is bike friendly I presume. I will admit that hey have put up more places to lock up your bikes, but then the street vendors don’t let you use them. They installed these newly art designed bike racks and the vendors lean or sit on them and no one stops them,  so it’s pointless. This not unlike the bike lanes on the street side always blocked by Lincoln Town Cars. Bike paths should always be between the sidewalk and parked cars for the safety of all. Come on!

If you’d like a better understanding of Downtown Brooklyn you can also check out the runners up for today at, Day 10 – Getting Down(town).

-Cara

Guess what I am doing tomorrow…

the-human

Human Countdown: Climate Wake Up Call

On Sunday,  September 20th, 2009, people of all walks of life will come together in New York’s Central Park for a bold creative action to tell world leaders that the TIME TO ACT is RUNNING OUT. More than 2,000 people will form a moving human sculpture of our world in a race against time—a massive, living Earth and Hourglass to be picked up by the media worldwide.

On the cusp of the UN climate summit, our Human Countdown will urgently call for a fair, ambitious, and binding new climate treaty, and launch global actions for Climate Week NYC and the Tck Tck Tck Global Climate Wake Up Call.

We will assemble in two groups. The first group forms the living Earth and convenes at 9am in the morning to rehearse the movements. All others come at 1pm to form the hourglass. We will perform the Human Countdown together at mid-afternoon, hear from notable national and international speakers, and conclude by 4pm.

We need a global climate treaty. This is the time, this is the place to make history – we need YOU to join the HUMAN Countdown! All are welcome!

The goal is to show our leaders that time is running out to act on global warming. Video of the image we create will be broadcast the next night at The Age of Stupid global film premiere and delivered to world leaders.

Come to the Wollman Ice Rink in Central Park (Southern end of central park by 6th Ave) this Sunday at 12.30pm.

Click here to RSVP [I found all this stuff thanks to AVAAZ:

http://www.avaaz.org/new_york_climate_action

While action on climate is always urgent, this is an especially important moment for public action. This December in Copenhagen, world leaders will meet to negotiate a new global treaty to avert a climate catastrophe.

This is going to be awesome.

-Cara

You can also sign a petition supporting a clean energy economy.

Good times.

-Cara

ONE

Wednesday is hump day, the day that separates where your work week starts from when you work week ends. I thought what a perfect day to take a break and do something quick and easy that will make a positive difference. This day will be reserved for petitions and causes.

Our first lucky “Hump Day” winner is ONE. I first heard of these guys reading Ben and Jerry’s email newsletter. They have partnered with the organization to gain more exposer for their cause. What ONE does is raise public awareness about the issues of global poverty, hunger, disease and efforts to fight such problems in the world’s poorest countries.

In their own words, “ONE believes that allocating more of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs like health, education, clean water and food would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation in the world’s poorest countries.

ONE is nonpartisan; there’s only one side in the fight against global AIDS and extreme poverty. Working on the ground in communities, colleges and churches across the United States, ONE members both educate and ask America’s leaders to increase efforts to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty, from the U.S. budget and presidential elections to specific legislation on debt cancellation, increasing effective international assistance, making trade fair, and fighting corruption.

They have a lot on their plate and much work to do, so what you can do to help is click on this link and sign the ONE Declaration and have you voice heard. It is super easy. If you want to do more you can visit ONE’s “Take Action” page and spread the word, volunteer, shop to support the cause, etc.

One person can make a difference, so do.

-Cara

Reason 89 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

Handling livestock these days is risky business, not the least because humans are increasingly contracting diseases from the animals: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Nipah virus, bird flu, and SARS are a few examples. “Exotic,” and often endangered, animal cuisine provides the conduit for a global pandemic. In China, wet markets display caged and invariably sickly creatures, such as cobras, civet cats, and anteaters, for consumers who want that “taste of the wild.” In Africa, the bushmeat trade is blamed for the spread of Ebola and AIDS.

In New York City something we have a lot of is homeless. You see them everywhere, on the stairs of churches, in the subways, reading the paper in the park, having lengthy discourse with each other about current events I know nothing of… I was reading an article about ways to help out homeless people on Charity.org yesterday and one idea was simple, give them restaurant gift certificates so they have a meal in their pocket whenever they want it.

I don’t really agree with the places they suggested you buy the gift certificates from, as all of them were fast, junk food spots. I am a real believer that garbage in, equals garbage out. If you give people food that makes them more tired and depressed, how is that really helpful? I decided to see if I could find national chain restaurants you can buy gift cards from that have higher nutritional value food. It would be a way for the homeless to get food that not only feeds their body, but uplifts their mind and spirit as well. It is important for us to help others to achieve true happiness, as all energy is infinitely connected.

A site I found to purchase restaurant gift certificates at is Restaurant.com. The service they offer is to purchase restaurant gift cards online, using a local restaurant search engine [via zip codes]. They are BBBOnLine members which means they will always resolve any complaints by consumers. They offer a $10 gift card for $3 or a $25 gift card for $10. That’s cool.

Yummy

I also discovered that at most grocery stores you can buy gift cards at the store [or order them online]. I did some research and created a list of gift card links to grocery stores around the country. I like this idea as it gives someone back the freedom to choose what they want.

Here’s the list:

  1. Publix [This store is mostly in the Southeast I think. It was my store growing up in Miami.]
  2. Winn-Dixie [Which used to only be in the Southeast when I was growing up too, but now they are everywhere…I think.]
  3. Food Lion [I know nothing about these guys! :) ]
  4. Jewel-Osco [My old grocery store in Chicago. I think I still have a Jewel-Osco shirt. :P]
  5. Shaws [This store has everything!!!]
  6. Stop & Shop [This guys are all over the Northeast.]

That’s all I have for now. If you know other grocery stores that offer gift cards let me know and I’ll add them.

Food For Free!!!

-Cara

Well not just paper, you’ll also need a printer, an envelope and one stamp. That is not a lot to help end world hunger.

What am I talking about…?

“In September 2000, the 189 countries of the United Nations unanimously agreed to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty,” specifically hunger and the “major diseases that afflict humanity.”

To accomplish this great objective would be expensive, and the price was later estimated at about $195 billion a year. It would be very difficult for this amount of money to be raised by private charities or individuals. It would require the combined efforts of governments throughout the world to do it.

Countries Agree to 0.7% in International Aid

In the March 2002 Monterrey Conference, 22 of the world’s wealthiest countries (listed above) agreed to make “concrete efforts” towards the goal of each giving 0.7 per cent of their national income as aid to the poorest countries. This conference was attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, U.S. President George Bush, French President Jacques Chirac, and many other world leaders.

In the September 2002 Johannesburg Summit, these same 22 counties re-affirmed their commitment to reach the 0.7% goal. This would provide enough money to raise the $195 billion per year.

Why the 0.7% Agreement?

The countries made this agreement because they realized that it was hard for each country on its own to give a consistent, minimum level of aid each year. Despite good intentions, a country would find that the aid it wanted to give was eaten away by competing political interests, concern about budget deficits, “problems at home,” “problems abroad,” and so on. So they agreed to a minimal, flat rate that each country could afford each year regardless of its current political or economic state.

The 0.7% figure may sound complicated, but it is actually quite simple. You take the total income earned by all the people in the country and then the government gives 0.7% (seven tenths of one percent) of that as aid. Or to look at it another way: for every $100 earned in the country, the country gives 70 cents in aid.

COUNTRY For each $100 earned in the country, how much is donated in aid Aid as % of income How close the country is to reaching the 0.7% goal
Sweden 103 cents 1.03 Already reached goal
Luxembourg 89 cents 0.89 Already reached goal
Norway 89 cents 0.89 Already reached goal
Netherlands 81 cents 0.81 Already reached goal
Denmark 80 cents 0.80 Already reached goal
Ireland 53 cents 0.53 Scheduled to reach in 2012
United Kingdom 52 cents 0.52 Scheduled to reach in 2013
Belgium 50 cents 0.50 Scheduled to reach in 2010
Austria 48 cents 0.48 Scheduled to reach in 2015
France 47 cents 0.47 Scheduled to reach in 2012
Switzerland 39 cents 0.39 No schedule yet
Finland 39 cents 0.39 Scheduled to reach in 2010
Germany 36 cents 0.36 Scheduled to reach in 2014
Spain 32 cents 0.32 Scheduled to reach in 2012
Canada 30 cents 0.30 No schedule yet
Australia 30 cents 0.30 No schedule yet
New Zealand 27 cents 0.27 No schedule yet
Japan 25 cents 0.25 No schedule yet
Portugal 21 cents 0.21 Scheduled to reach in 2015
Italy 20 cents 0.20 Scheduled to reach in 2015
United States 17 cents 0.17 No schedule yet
Greece 16 cents 0.16 Scheduled to reach in 2015

Source: OECD. The figures for 2007 are due out in April 2008.

How are the countries doing?

As the chart above shows, five countries have already met the goal to give 0.7% of their income in international aid: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.In 2002 and 2003, five other countries set up a schedule to give 0.7%: Belgium, Ireland, Finland, France, and Spain.In July 2004, the United Kingdom set up a schedule to give 0.7%.In April 2005, Germany set up a schedule to give 0.7%.In May 2005, Austria, Greece, Italy, and Portugal set up a schedule to give 0.7%.

It was not easy for many of the countries to set up a schedule to reach the 0.7% goal. In some cases, such as Britain and Germany, it took the combined effort of many thousands of citizens writing and petitioning their government to get it done.

The remaining six countries

Only six countries have not yet set up a schedule to give 0.7%. These are Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States. To raise the $195 billion a year, these six will need to reach the goal.These six countries are all democracies. All that is necessary for them to reach the 0.7% goal is for enough of their citizens to show their support. “

Sources: UN Millennium Project, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), The End of Poverty (Jeffrey D. Sachs), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

I got all this information above from poverty.com. I have bought into the first-web-site-I-see-I-believe drama before and been made a fool of, so this time I decided to do some research. Here is what I found out on the United Nations’ web site about what went down at the Monterrey Conference pertaing to eradicating poverty. More specifically what President Bush said America would do to help eradicate said poverty. You can read that part here and decide for yourself what he said. I’m not here to incite political debates, I’m just trying to figure out what I need to do to make the world a little bit better…which brings me back to the one piece of paper, a printer, an envelope and one stamp…

This is the link for a letter to send to your specific country’s leader, either encouraging then to keep their word [i.e.- America, Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, and New Zealand] or to tell them they rock for making and sticking to their commitment! All you have to do is click on your country, hit print, fold, put in envelope, address [so you will also need a pen], lick, stamp, send…no more poverty…sweet.

I will mail mine tomorrow.

I’m out.

-Cara

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