A Call to Action for December for Pima County/AZ Citizens and Visitors!

The Community Pushes Pima County to Delay a Vote on Monsanto Tax Incentives; What’s Coming Next?

by Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against GMOs

az-daily-star-headline

Headline and photo from the November 23 online version of the Arizona Daily Star

 

The people of Pima County emphatically told the Pima County Board of Supervisors at its board meeting on November 22 that they do not want multinational chemical corporation Monsanto in the Tucson area. A few hundred people attended the meeting, and many held yellow signs that read “Say NO to Monsanto.” There were more than three hours of statements from more than 50 speakers, and virtually everyone who spoke opposed Monsanto’s plans to build a facility in Avra Valley. The eclectic tidal wave of opposition persuaded the board to delay its vote on a tax incentive for Monsanto.

For more coverage of this story, see the Arizona Daily Star article, “Pima County Delays vote on Monsanto Tax Incentives,” and the KGUN 9 news segment, “Outcry Leads Pima Supervisors to Delay Monsanto Decision.”

Grassroots Power

At the meeting, a few children spoke out against the corporation. One woman described Monsanto as a Trojan horse, trying to give gifts now so Pima County would bring in the corporation and then Monsanto would destroy our community from within. Ida Drucilla “Dru” Heaton wore a lei in honor of her Hawaiian heritage and what the Hawaiian people have experienced at the hands of Monsanto.

The collective arguments against Monsanto melded beautifully together and pushed the board away from greenlighting a tax break for Monsanto. Instead, the board unanimously agreed to delay the vote until its meeting on February 21, 2017. The board also agreed that five open public meetings—one in each district—will take place about Monsanto and its proposed plans before that date.

sea-of-yellow-signs-behind-dru-heaton

Photo from video footage on KGUN 9 News

“The beauty of the meeting was how we complimented each other. We had no idea what would be said or who was going to say what and yet it happened. It happened because we all came to together. We need to continue to do that,” said activist Heaton.

And continuing to come together is exactly what we’re going to do.

What You Can Do Now

The board might think that we’re going to forget about Monsanto wanting to push its way into our community between now and February 21. If that’s the case, they couldn’t be more wrong. Here’s what’s coming next:

  1. We are planning a few different food- or coffee-oriented social events during the holiday time. Please stay tuned for announcements about those, and attend as many of them as you can. Our first event is an Organic Coffee & Conversation this Saturday, December 3, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at San Giorgi’s Coffee at 6435 N. Thornydale Road (just north of Orange Grove Road). Please join us. It’s important that you stay up to date on the latest information, and that we network with each other during the festive holiday season, so we can come together in a full-court press in opposition to Monsanto in the coming year.
  2. We’d like to plan as many independent educational events in January and February about Monsanto’s dangerous record and products as possible before the board’s vote, and we need your help to do that. Do you have any connections to schools, churches, or other venues that would allow us to have a community meeting or show a movie about Monsanto’s genetically modified “foods” to more than 50 people? There will be five public meetings about Monsanto in the new year, and we need as many people as possible attending each one of the meetings to let Monsanto know we know about its history of destruction in communities it enters and it is not welcome here. But, let’s be honest: Monsanto will have highly paid public relations people at the public meeting in each district spinning their empty promises about being a business that is focused on sustainable agriculture. It’s very important to educate people about the real truth about Monsanto’s record without the outrageous spin. If you can help us by giving us leads on possible venues, distributing flyers about social or educational events in different parts of town, informing us of news that breaks, or in other ways, please write us at joinus[at]goingagainstgmos[dot]com, and someone in our group will quickly be in touch with you.
  3. As you’re out socializing with friends, family, and co-workers this holiday season, please get them up to speed about what is going on in our community. (Many people still are not aware that Monsanto wants to establish a facility in Avra Valley.)

To help inform them, send them a link to the first Call to Action:

A Call to Action for Pima County and Arizona Citizens and Visitors!

Then send the link to this story and the link to all Stop Monsanto in Pima County citizens-oriented articles.

Also encourage them to sign up for my newsletter; watch the 30-minute video, Molokai MOM: Standing Up to GMO; and follow these Facebook pages: Melissa Diane Smith, Going Against GMOs, High Energy Agriculture, GMO Free Arizona, GMO Free Baja Arizona, and March Against Monsanto Tucson.

You can also buy The Call to Action Special Edition of my Going Against GMOs book for $5.00 off its regular price through the end of the year, or purchase Going Against GMOs in Pima County at a special price of $15.00 at the High Energy Agriculture booth at the Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market on Thursdays, the Oro Valley Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, or the Rillito Farmers’ Market on Sundays.

We have a big job ahead of us in the new year: We do not want Monsanto taking hold in our community and even starting to damage the environment and the health of the people in Pima County the way it did in several Hawaiian islands. The way to fight against that effectively is to educate as many people as possible about the true dangers of Monsanto, pull our resources together, and mobilize our grassroots forces like never before. Please join us at one or more of our social events in December.

Copyright 2016 Melissa Diane Smith

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