Tuesday January 17th 2017

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Business for Democracy and ASBC Lead Effort to Overturn Citizens United v. FEC

The Business for Democracy Campaign, which the American Sustainable Business Council is spearheading in partnership with Free Speech for People is tackling the compelling issue of corporate contributions to political campaigns.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision on January 21, 2010 allows corporations to spend unlimited funds to support or oppose candidates for political office, overturning campaign finance laws in place for decades. The Business for Democracy campaign is an initiative of business leaders and their companies who believe this ruling is in direct conflict with American democratic principles and a serious threat to good government. The campaign supports the four members of the Supreme Court and the 80 percent of Americans who disagree with the decision (Washington Post poll, Feb. 17, 2010).

If you'd like your business to join this effort, you can sign the statement of support here or here.

Social Venture Network Update

Now is the Time: Create the World You Want to Live in

Join us for Social Venture Network’s 2008 Annual Member Gathering, where our members will reconnect and share ideas about how we can work together to create a better, more livable world. Learn more at www.svn.org/spring2008.

Hear the True Confessions of SVN’ers Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm and Lisa Lorimer of Vermont Bread Company, along with ATB Financial’s Dave Mowat at the inaugural launch of Social Venture Institute (SVI) in Toronto, Canada. Presented by Renewal Partners, SVN, and Tides Canada Foundation, SVI is a three-day conference for CEOs and leaders of established small businesses and nonprofit enterprises. Please contact Maria Malcolm for more information about the program at [email protected] or 604-844-7474 x603, or apply at www.renewalpartners.com/svitoronto.html. And Save the Dates for SVI Hollyhock, September 10-14, 2008.

Members in Action
John WoodMaking Waves While Making “Room”
In January, CNN’s Asieh Namder interviewed Room to Read’s founder and CEO John Wood about his decision to leave Microsoft to bring the life-long gift of education to children in the developing world. Click here to watch the video. More about Room to Read at www.roomtoread.org.

MicroCredit(Micro)Credit Where Credit is Due
SVN Member Jonathan Lewis reports that MicroCredit Enterprises’ annual invitation-only Study Mission recently completed a week-long series of visits to microfinance ventures in the most rural sections of Guatemala. Sold out for the third consecutive year, 27 MicroCredit Enterprises existing and potential guarantors met with indigenous Mayan women who, thanks to small micro-business loans, are earning enough money to take care of their children. More about MicroCredit Enterprises’ work at www.mcenterprises.org.

Adina for LifeThe Good Juice
Adina For Life, led by Greg Steltenpohl, has introduced an all-organic, Fair Trade, ready-to-drink coffee line in the US. The new line is sourced only from co-ops that have community sustainability as a core operating principle and their product lines are now over 80% organic. In addition, the company operates a vegetable diesel-powered promotion bus that does environmental education on road trips, campuses and parking lots. Adina pioneered a sustainable village program in Senegal for women Hibiscus growers and now provides employment year-round for crafts production using recycled materials. More at www.adinaworld.com.

Toni NeubauerREAD About it
READ Global continues to make headlines, this time with a $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries Initiative. The grant will allow READ to double the number of libraries and triple the number of countries in which it operates, in order to touch approximately two million people in the next three years, and doubling of villages in Asia with Library internet access. READ founder Toni Neubauer was also recently featured on Social Edge, a global online community sponsored by the Skoll Foundation, where she discussed how READ has survived and flourished in Nepal in the midst of political and social turmoil. Find out more about READ at www.readnepal.org.

State of Green BusinessReporting from the Green Front
SVN Member and GreenBiz.com founder Joel Makower recently released the ground-breaking “State of Green Business” report, which has received great mainstream press coverage. The report finds that despite the increased attention to companies going green, business still isn’t making much of a dent in major environmental problems. US companies as a whole are making progress in eight out of 20 environmental categories tracked in the study, while losing ground in two categories and treading water in ten others. The report has received coverage in the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, USA Today, and Wired. Download your copy at www.stateofgreenbusiness.com.

United for a Fair Economy Releases State of the Dream 2008: Foreclosed
For many, the American Dream means owning a home. Yet for many people of color, the American dream has become a nightmare. United for a Fair Economy’s new report, Foreclosed: State of the Dream 2008, issued on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, finds that due to racial bias, people of color are being hit especially hard by the current subprime lending crisis. The report estimates the total loss of wealth for people of color to be between $164 billion and $213 billion for subprime loans taken during the past eight years. The subprime mortgage crisis affects whole communities negatively, spilling over to increasing amounts of abandoned houses, increased crime, devaluation of neighboring houses, and erosion of the tax base. Since 2004, UFE’s Responsible Wealth project has filed a shareholder resolution asking Wells Fargo bank to stop pushing subprime loans disproportionately on its black and Latino customers. If you own Wells Fargo shares and would like to participate, please contact SVN member Mike Lapham at [email protected] Click here to download the report.

Kopali OrganicsSuccessful Snacking
Kopali Organics, led by SVN member Zak Zaidman, is now in national distribution. Kopali’s products are in Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats stores everywhere across the US, with the result that Kopali now has ten “supergood superfood” organic and fair trade snacks in hundreds of stores. Learn more about Kopali and check out their new look at www.kopaliorganics.com.

Van Jones

Judy Wicks

Asking and Telling
Van Jones of Green for All and Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and Judy Wicks of White Dog Café have both been honored as subjects of portraits. The project, by artist Robert Shetterly, is to find great Americans from throughout US history who have “spoken the truth,” and to combine their images with their words. Learn more about the project at www.americanswhotellthetruth.org.

Green Exchange Parties On
On January 16th, Green Exchange hosted the first of many “GX Connects” events in Chicago, an evening designed to bring members of the green business community together to meet, mix and mingle. The response was tremendous, the food delicious (provided by organic caterer and SVN member Greg Christian) and the networking went on late into the evening. Green Exchange is committed to providing opportunities for tenants to share resources and contacts in order to foster the success of everyone involved. GX Connects is one of many forthcoming events designed to achieve this goal. More on Green Exchange at www.greenexchange.com.

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