Saturday, March 16, 2024

CD4 Special Election Update

Forwarded Message fron  Lisa Chollet - CD4 Chair <>


March 15th, 2024

CONTACT: Karin Asensio

Colorado Democratic Party Announces CD4 Special Convention Forum & Meeting

DENVER– The Colorado Democratic Party announced today that the meeting of the CD4 Special Convention to select its nominee for the June 25, 2024, Special Election will be held on April 1, 2024, at 5:30pm. The rules and function of the Special Convention are outlined on the Colorado Democratic Party's website at this link.

The CD4 Special Convention will be held virtually over Zoom and streamed live for the public on YouTube. CD4 has 21 counties within it, and the virtual option helps people save time and money on travel, gas costs, child care, and also helps people avoid having to take time off of work to participate in this important process

CDP welcomes recommendations for questions to ask of the candidates during the forum portion of the meeting by 5pm on March 31, 2024. Questions can be submitted here.

"Eastern Colorado deserves to have strong representation in Congress, something it's suffered a drought of during Ken Buck's tenure. Buck, an architect of the extremist wing of the Republican Party, has spent most of his career planning his next Sunday show appearance rather than getting things done. This is an opportunity for a fresh start and the state will be better off for it," said Shad Murib, Chair, Colorado Democratic Party

"We believe in making sure the economy is fair for everyone, not just folks on the Front Range. For too long, Ken Buck and the Republican Party have catered more to what the Washington D.C. power brokers want all while leaving our farmers, ranchers, and teachers behind and voiceless. We look forward to giving voters a real choice not just in this Special Election but also in November," said Lisa Chollet, CD4 Chair, Colorado Democratic Party.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Check-In & Registration (5:30pm)
  • Introduction and Candidate Forum (6:00pm)
  • Forum will be moderated by Shad Murib, Chair, Colorado Democratic Party and Lisa Chollet, CD4 Chair, Colorado Democratic Party
  • Candidates will have two minutes for an opening statement
  • Candidate order will be determined by alphabetical order using their last name and will rotate throughout the forum
  • Each candidate will be asked the same question by the moderator and will have one minute to respond
  • CDP will time candidates and mute them upon time with a visual signal for a :10 second warning
  • Audience Questions must be submitted in advance and will be chosen and asked by the moderator
  • Each candidate will have one minute for a closing statement
  • No cross-examination by candidates will be allowed
  • The forum will be broadcast live for the public on YouTube alongside the rest of the CD4 Special Convention, and registered press will join via Zoom
  • Establishment of Quorum & Gavel (~6:40pm)
  • Nomination of Candidates
  • Candidate Statements
  • Each candidate will receive 3 minutes to provide remarks
  • Nominators will have 1 minute and seconders will have :30 Either the nominator or seconder is required to be a member of the CD4 Central Committee
  • Vote
  • Adjournment



Monday, October 16, 2023

The Hamas-Israel War: What Can Be Discussed?


The Hamas-Israel War: What Can Be Discussed?

By David Corn  October 11, 2023

Rockets fired from Gaza by Hamas into Israel on October 7, 2023. Mahmoud Issa/AP.

Rockets fired from Gaza by Hamas into Israel on October 7, 2023. Mahmoud Issa/AP 

I don't often write about the Middle East. It can be a tough subject to take on. Over decades, the pro-Israel lobby has forged in mainstream circles a hard-to-crack Israel-can-do-no-wrong posture. And criticism of Israel is often met with charges of antisemitism and, for Jews who dare proceed down this route, the libel of being a self-hating member of the tribe. But the horrendous violence of the past few days cannot be avoided. So...

There's an old saying: Truth is the first casualty of war. In close competition is perspective. The heinous Hamas attack on Israel this weekend was a condemnable war crime. The deliberate targeting of civilians is terrorism and warrants denunciation from all quarters. Hours into the assault, I spoke with an American activist who has long been fighting for Palestinian rights, and she was in a state of anger and shock, horrified by the massacres and fearful this would create an insurmountable obstacle to the Palestinian cause. "Why would they do this?" she asked. How, she wondered, could we now have a rational discourse about the root causes of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and how to resolve it—even though this bloodshed demonstrated the need for a resolution.

Yes, in the immediate aftermath of an abominable and inhumane action, what were the prospects for any debate other than how best should Israel strike back—admittedly, an important and justifiable conversation, albeit narrow and unlikely a path to lasting peace? The barbarity from Hamas, an extremist group that calls for the annihilation of Israel, would drown out much else. I shared my friend's dismay. Extreme events understandably prompt extreme reactions. Nuance and historical context—needed not to excuse this evil act but to understand it—would be suppressed by the voices of rage and retribution. (Remember 9/11?) Yet some day we will have to move beyond that.

Without drawing any moral equivalencies, we need to clearly see the issues at hand. On MSNBC, Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of the ADL (which does a commendable job of tracking antisemitism), angrily complained that the world for years has "allowed the dehumanization of Israelis," as if that was the only driving element of this conflict. But Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant, while calling for a "complete siege" of the Gaza strip that would deny all its 2 million residents food, water, electricity, and fuel, declared, "We are fighting human animals, and we act accordingly." He was referring to Hamas, but he did not differentiate between Hamas and the Palestinian civilians who will face a crushing humanitarian crisis under such conditions. When CNN host Jake Tapper asked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) about the "innocent people of Gaza" who have been killed or harmed by the Israeli bombing strikes, Rubio remarked, "I don't think there's any way Israel can be expected to coexist or find some diplomatic offramp with these savages…You can't coexist. They have to be eradicated. And you've pointed out the very difficult challenge ahead—this is going to be incredibly painful. This is going to be incredibly difficult and it's going to be horrifying—the price to pay." Rubio might have only had Hamas in mind, but his comments had a genocidal tone.

Each side has been dehumanized by the other. Only a nihilistic framework of dehumanization could allow Hamas terrorists to commit the mass murder of civilians—including teenagers, children, and the elderly—at a rave or a school or a family home. And—again, not to suggest a moral equivalence—the Israeli blockade of Gaza and its treatment of Palestinians is also a form of dehumanization.

That latter characterization is difficult for some of the more vociferous supporters of Israel to hear or acknowledge. But human rights groups have soundly denounced the Israeli government for the blockade that has turned Gaza into what Human Rights Watch calls an "open-air prison." Read the reports. It's brutal stuff. Amnesty International last year declared, "Israel's continuing oppressive and discriminatory system of governing Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) constituted a system of apartheid, and Israeli officials committed the crime of apartheid under international law." It released a report stating that:

Israel was imposing an institutionalized regime of oppression and domination against the Palestinian people wherever it exercised control over their rights, fragmenting and segregating Palestinian citizens of Israel, residents of the OPT and Palestinian refugees denied the right of return. Through massive seizures of land and property, unlawful killings, infliction of serious injuries, forcible transfers, arbitrary restrictions on freedom of movement, and denial of nationality, among other inhuman or inhumane acts, Israeli officials would be responsible for the crime against humanity of apartheid, which falls under the jurisdiction of the [International Criminal Court].

Human Rights Watch issued a similar statement:

Israel's sweeping restrictions on…Gaza deprive its more than two million residents of opportunities to better their lives... The closure has devastated the economy in Gaza, contributed to fragmentation of the Palestinian people, and forms part of Israeli authorities' crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution against millions of Palestinians.

Is it wrong to bring up such matters at this point, as Israeli missile strikes wreak devastation on Gaza and its residents and as Hamas lobs rockets at civilian targets in Israel and threatens to execute the hostages it has taken? When one expert appeared on MSNBC and talked about the "context" and noted that Israel was an occupying power that had violated international law and Palestinian rights, a Daily Caller commentator blasted the network for being antisemitic. Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, some American leftists have allowed their support for Palestinian rights to blind them to Hamas' villainy. The New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed a pro-Palestinian rally held in Times Square where participants expressed support for the Hamas attack. In similar fashion, the Connecticut DSA hailed Hamas for launching "an unprecedent anti-colonial struggle" and for "standing tall against apartheid," pledging "solidarity." No one who professes to be a champion of peace, justice, and democracy should cheer on the slaughter of innocents.

It seems obvious that we should be able to decry the murderous actions of Hamas and criticize Israel's treatment of Palestinians (and US support for those policies). The either/or is what damns this conflict to seemingly infinite cycles of violence.

Such a perspective does exist in Israel. Look at two recent columns in Haaretz that raised the root cause topic, even as the attacks within Israel continued. Columnist Gideon Levy wrote:

Behind all this lies Israeli arrogance; the idea that we can do whatever we like, that we'll never pay the price and be punished for it. We'll carry on undisturbed.

We'll arrest, kill, harass, dispossess and protect the settlers busy with their pogroms. We'll visit Joseph's Tomb, Othniel's Tomb and Joshua's Altar in the Palestinian territories, and of course the Temple Mount – over 5,000 Jews on Sukkot alone.

We'll fire at innocent people, take out people's eyes and smash their faces, expel, confiscate, rob, grab people from their beds, carry out ethnic cleansing and of course continue with the unbelievable siege of the Gaza Strip, and everything will be all right…

A few hundred armed Palestinians breached the barrier and invaded Israel in a way no Israeli imagined was possible. A few hundred people proved that it's impossible to imprison 2 million people forever without paying a cruel price.

Columnist Amira Hass, an Israeli who lived in Gaza in the 1990s and now resides in the West Bank, expressed similar sentiments:

In a few days Israelis went through what Palestinians have experienced as a matter of routine for decades, and are still experiencing—military incursions, death, cruelty, slain children, bodies piled up in the road, siege, fear, anxiety over loved ones, captivity, being targets of vengeance, indiscriminate lethal fire at both those involved in the fighting (soldiers) and the uninvolved (civilians), a position of inferiority, destruction of buildings, ruined holidays or celebrations, weakness and helplessness in the face of all-powerful armed men, and searing humiliation.

Therefore, this must be said once again—we told you so. Ongoing oppression and injustice explode at unexpected times and places. Bloodshed knows no borders.

Hass criticized the Western governments that "raced to voice support for Israel while ignoring Israel's structural violence and cruelty, and the context of the Palestinian people's ongoing dispossession from their land."

If Israelis can voice such concerns, certainly we can. Hamas, which does not seek a settlement that would allow Israel to exist, acted in what it perceived as its own self-interest. Was its immediate motive to sabotage the potential normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia? To trigger an uprising? To provoke a regional war? To serve other goals? Whatever the reason for this reprehensible attack, Hamas' horrendous actions have dealt a major blow to efforts in Israel, the United States, and elsewhere to expand the conversation about the Israel-Palestinian conflict beyond reflexive support for the Israeli government. This assault will probably empower extremists on each side and indeed undermine those peacefully seeking justice for Palestinians.

It's a simple proposition: Israelis deserve security and Palestinians deserve rights. Any conversation aimed at ending this conflict must cover both. Even during a time of bloodshed. In fact, especially during a time of bloodshed.

Got anything to say about this item—or anything else? Email me at


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Saturday, June 17, 2023

Gathering the Farmers Union family

Issue 604 ~ June 16, 2023

Every couple of years, National Farmers Union gathers the staff and leadership of our state divisions for our State-to-State Forum. This year, the State-to-State Forum took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota where attendees heard from a variety of speakers and participated in breakout presentations.  

Keynote Speaker Zephyr Teachout talked to attendees about her work on competition in the economy and how Farmers Union is leading the fight against corporate consolidation with the Fairness for Farmers campaign, and paid homage to our rich history. 

State-to-State participants also had the opportunity to attend a farm tour at Shrader's Farm in Nerstrand. Following the farm tour, we made our way to Keepsake Cidery in Dundas for another tour and dinner.  

Kicking off the second day of State-to-State, participants had the choice of attending one of three breakout sessions. One focused on engaging with 4H and FFA chapters in states, another discussed social media strategy, and the final session talked about Farmers Union's involvement and leadership in several local meat processing projects. 

New Food Safety Blog Series

Read the first installment of ten blog posts authored by food safety expert and former NFU Food Safety Trainer, Billy Mitchell. Our first post highlights an aerated static composting system out of Savannah, Georgia: Code of Return Compost.  

Calling All Farmers Union Members! 

We want to feature YOU! Respond to the form below to be featured in a member spotlight on Farmers Union social media feeds and newsletters.

Respond Here

New Podcast Episode: "Diving Into Ponics Systems with Sean Fogarty" 

Have you ever pondered ponics? Dive into the world of aqua and hydroponics with our latest episode of the Food Safety Dish! We interviewed ponics & food safety expert, Sean Fogarty from NECAFS to get the dish. Tune in to hear all about these systems, how food safety risks change, and how you might begin to start a ponics system of your own! 

Listen Here!

Iowa Farmers Union COVER Act Info Session

Register Here

Fairness for Farmers Highlight

We're glad to have anti-trust champion Zephyr Teachout on our side in the fight against monopoly power. Are you with us?


Save the Date: Fly-In 2023 

Washington, DC from September 11-13, 2023! A longtime Farmers Union tradition, the Fly-In is an opportunity for Farmers Union members from around the country to gather in the nation's capital, speak directly with their elected representatives in the House and Senate, and engage with federal agencies like the USDA.  


As Congress works toward the 2023 Farm Bill, Fly-In will be a great opportunity to talk to federal officials when agriculture is top of mind in D.C.  


Learn more about last year's policy priorities and advocacy tips at the link below. Updates on 2023 Fly-In will be posted there in the weeks to come! You can also contact your state Farmers Union division for more information on signing up to attend. 


Learn more here! 

Spanish Language Food Safety Training: Train the Trainer (PSR 101)

On June 27th, Food Safety CTS will be hosting a Train the Trainer event in Spanish for producers, managers, and agriculture professionals. This virtual class is free, registration can be found here.  


If you have questions about the training, please contact 

A PDF of this document can be found here.

Signup Extended to July 14 for PARP and ERP-2 Disaster Programs 

USDA has extended the application deadline for the Emergency Relief Program Phase 2 (ERP-2) and the Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP). These two programs are intended to fill gaps that were left from previous assistance efforts, and provide financial assistance to producers who suffered losses due to natural disasters in 2020 or 2021 or lost revenue due to the pandemic in 2020. 


Check out the links above or visit your local Farm Service Agency Office for more information. 


The U.S. just had its worst day of wildfire smoke on record

The Verge

Read it here

Bringing Oats Back to American Farms

Civil Eats

Read it here

Walmart's Olathe meat-packing plant reflects a change in the packing, and sale of beef

Harvest Public Media

Read it here

Kansas Master Farmer families emphasize community service

Farm Progress

Read it here

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