Big moves at ILSR – New victories and new staff

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Self-Reliance in the News
Coming to a curb near you: Compost collection
Community-Owned Internet, Long Targeted by ALEC and Big Telecom, Under Fire in Georgia
New Podcast Series on Local Energy in the U.S.
Telecom Firms Seek to Curb Publicly Funded Web Services
Crowdfunding Clean Energy
Battle of the Boxes
Proponents Hope Marketplace Fairness Act Will Collect Billions in Unpaid Online Taxes
Do Big Cities Avoid Muni Broadband?
Why Are There No Big Cities with Municipal Broadband Networks?

 

Happy spring! In this edition of Localism Works read on for landmark victories in our fight against Walmart and big telecom and meet our new staff.

We are pleased to introduce the newest member of the ILSR team Nicola Chin. Nicola serves as our new Director of Strategy and Development and will oversee our fundraising and strategic planning. With Nicola on our team we see an exciting future and new opportunities as we approach our 40th anniversary. Read more about our dynamic new staffer.

Screenshot from Democracy Now! interview

Watch Christopher Mitchell’s Interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!
While delivering the keynote speech at this year’s Freedom to Connect conference, Christopher Mitchell appeared onDemocracy Now! He joined host Amy Goodman and Catharine Rice of SEATOA to talk about community owned networks and how large cable and telecommunications giants are trying to stop them. Watch the interview.

We're Open sign

Survey Finds Independent Businesses Benefit from “Buy Local First” Campaigns, But Challenges Loom
ILSR’s annual survey has found that independent businesses experienced solid revenue growth in 2012, buoyed in part by “buy local first” initiatives. But the survey also documented challenges facing independent businesses, most notably an increase in “showrooming” and competition from online retailers, tax and subsidy policies that favor their big competitors, difficulty obtaining loans, and a customer base still reeling from the recession.
 Read more.

VICTORY!

New York Coalition Scores Victory Over Walmart
ILSR is proud to have contributed to the work of a broad coalition of groups that succeeded in getting Walmart to back away from its campaign to unroll supercenters across New York City. We’re still working to make long-term policy changes that will limit the proliferation of large chains like Walmart and strengthen the city’s independent businesses. Read more about the victory here.

ILSR Helps Defeat Potentially Damaging Telecommunications Legislation in Georgia
As in years past, heavy lobbying from the telecommunications industry prompted introduction of HB 282 in the Georgia General Assembly. ILSR was instrumental in defeating this legislation that would have prevented existing networks from expanding and prevented other communities from providing connectivity options to their citizens. In addition to coverage on MuniNetworks.org, ILSR created the “Monopoly Magnate” cartoon, which spread quickly online to bring the bill to national attention. HB 282 was defeated by a vote of 94-70 on the House floor. Read more.

Map comparing solar resources in US, Germany, and Spain

Germany Has More Solar Power Because Everyone Wins
Suddenly everyone knows about Germany’s solar power dominance because Fox Newsheads suggested that the country is a sunny, tropical paradise.  Since the gafe most media folks have latched on to the “Germans pay a lot extra” meme.  Germans do, and are perfectly happy with it, but that’s still not the story. The real reason Germany dominates in solar (and wind) is their commitment to democratizing energy. Read more.

Muninetwork map

View the Updated Community Network Map
We recently updated ourCommunity Network Map, which now documents over 340 communities that offer some form of telecommunications networks. The map is an important resource for communities investigating the possibility of their own investment in networks, for community groups seeking better connectivity options, the media, and for policy makers as they make important decisions about connectivity.
 See the map here.

Example of an indoor grow system

First-of-its-Kind Farming System Coming to Atlanta
As a result of our assistance, the Atlanta-based City of Refuge will install an onsite, first-of-its-kind aquaponic farming system. This system will produce organic plants and fish that will help COR reduce the costs of serving 20,000 meals per month.  It will also provide hands-on jobs and skills training for COR’s clients.Read more.

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