Starting on Earth Day (April 22) and running into May, our cohesive group of citizens who oppose Monsanto in Pima County – now known as the Toxin-Free Pima County Coalition, a chapter of GMO Free Arizona – will hold a series of educational events in Tucson and Marana.
Call to Action This Week: Tell the Pima Community College Board Members and the Marana Unified School District Board Members to Say No to Monsanto!
After Monsanto dropped its bid to get a tax break from Pima County, a quartet of women—Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt and GMO Free Arizona co-founder Rachel Linden along with farmer Anne Loftfield and Going Against GMOs author Melissa Diane Smith—held several successful events: a Stand Up Against Monsanto Public Forum on February 19 and a Rally and Press Conference before a dozen or so powerful statements were made at the Board of Supervisors meeting on February 21. Supervisor Richard Elias, who has spoken out against Monsanto since the beginning, also spoke at the rally. You can see some of the coverage of these events at the following links:
Although Monsanto dropped the payment in lieu of taxes (tax break) proposal, it is still expected to apply for a foreign trade zone status. Receiving foreign trade zone status would give Monsanto advantages we do not want it to have, so we need to generate massive public input against Monsanto’s application being approved. We will reveal more details about how to oppose as soon as Monsanto files its application.
We have two big Calls to Action this week—not to the Board of Supervisors, but to governing boards of two educational institutions in Pima County. The Pima County supervisors’ involvement in Monsanto’s foreign trade zone application is off the table now, but both the Pima Community College Governing Board and the Marana Unified School District are still considering options having to do with Monsanto. That means we need to write these board members or speak to them in person at their board meetings this week.
The news is a victory for Pima County taxpayers whose tax dollars won’t be used to support what has often been dubbed the most evil corporation in the world. But Monsanto said it still plans to build its greenhouse in Avra Valley without tax help. That means grassroots opposition to Monsanto continues and will simply enter a new phase.
If you’d like to know why so many people don’t trust Monsanto, don’t miss a wonderful opportunity this weekend to learn from nationally known non-GMO activist Zen Honeycutt, founder of Moms Across America, who has special knowledge about Monsanto. Honeycutt will be the featured speaker covering the latest news on Glyphosate (Roundup) testing, the Monsanto Tribunal at the Hague, and Monsanto shareholder meetings at a Stand Up Against Monsanto Lecture and Public Forum from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. this Sunday, February 19, 2017 at the Oro Valley Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive.
I, farmer Anne Loftfield, and Rachel Linden of GMO Free Arizona will be additional speakers at the event and will cover the latest news and details about Phase 2 of our opposition to Monsanto in our community. See the Facebook page about this event, and be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to get your questions answered and to learn information you won’t hear elsewhere.
A Call to Action: Follow This Calendar to Participate in All Important Events Feb. 14 – 21, 2017
The momentum of the movement of everyday citizens against Monsanto in Pima County has been building for months. Large, often standing-room-only crowds attended public meetings about Monsanto. Educational events have been consistently packed. A showing of SEED: The Untold Story was close to sold out – with almost 500 people! – at The Loft Cinema on Super Bowl Sunday!
Now, it all boils down to this week. Next Tuesday, February 21, the Pima County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on whether or not to give Monsanto foreign trade zone status and a tax break, and a large group of concerned citizens in concert with GMO Free Arizona have a week of action planned to say a collective NO to the supervisors about that idea.
Bill McDorman, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance and former Director of Native Seeds/SEARCH, is a key subject in the film documentary, SEED: The Untold Story, which will be showing at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway in Tucson, this Sunday, February 5th, at 2 pm — be sure to come early starting at 12:30 pm on the patio to get more information about the grassroots movement against Monsanto — and McDorman will lead a discussion following the film. Don’t miss this special event!
McDorman wrote the following letter to urge the Pima County Board of Supervisors not to support Monsanto’s application for Foreign Trade Zone status for its property in Avra Valley. Please share the letter far and wide, and encourage other leaders in organizations and businesses to write letters to the Board of Supervisors or, better yet, to attend and speak at the all-important Feb. 21 board meeting!
Pima County residents were given less than a week’s notice about the “public” meetings about Monsanto, but that didn’t matter. Five meetings took place in the time frame of just 11 days, but that didn’t hold people back either. Grassroots efforts, with help from some of our national non-profit organization partners, got the word out about the meetings, and the community did a fabulous job of responding! All five meetings were very well attended, and a few were packed with standing-room-only crowds. At each meeting, roughly 90 percent of the crowd was against Monsanto, and people came with powerful statements, pointed questions, colorful signs, and a lot of passion!
View the photos in this photo gallery from the District 2 (Supervisor Ramon Valadez’s) meeting on Thursday, January 19, 2017. You can click on each photo to see a larger image of it. The photo of the large crowd at the meeting was taken by Amira Van Winkle. All others photos are ©James F. Palka. Many thanks to both for capturing the flavor of what went on in the last meeting — a meeting that mainstream media didn’t even cover.
We need this same “Say No to Monsanto” community response at the February 7th and February 21st Pima County Board of Supervisors meetings at 9 am at 130 W. Congress Street!! Please make plans now to come out and join us to give us overflow crowds at these two meetings! The meetings are our times to powerfully stand up to the supervisors, come with creative signs that get the supervisors’ attention, and tell them all the reasons they should say NO to a tax break for Monsanto! Consider skipping school or work for half a day to join people from many different walks of life who want to protect Pima County against Monsanto! Then let’s blow the supervisors away with the amount of people who show up, speak up, and say no to Monsanto!!
Need to get up to speed on Monsanto’s plans in Pima County and on what we can do about them? Be sure to attend “What You Need to Know about GMOs & Pesticides: The Local Movement Against These Threats to Our Health” at the Hoff Building at 425 East 7th Street (behind the Food Conspiracy Co-op) this Sunday, January 15, at 3 pm. It will be the first info session on this topic in the 4th Avenue area of Tucson, and the last information session before public meetings about Monsanto in Pima County take place for Districts 3, 5, and 2 next week.