Hi everyone,

We had a great integral activism/back to the sack meeting this past Sunday. Along with our normal meditation practice and status updates, we did a talking and listening exercise around the discussion of term limits in NYC. It was fascinating to practice awareness of our own reactions while listening to others talk about their political viewpoint. I noticed what a strong emotional reaction I have to political issues and how hard it is for me to not jump in with my own thoughts and opinions. Just listening can be a difficult thing to do. We came to the conclusion that we should try out some more listening exercises to get a better sense of how we react to both agreeing and disagreeing points of view.

We also reviewed some of the initial research that has been done on plastic bag taxes/bans in other locations. We have not gotten a chance to pull it all together, but the results are looking very interesting. Some “unconfirmed” common themes include: 1) much of the legislation (that we have looked at so far) has been initiated by local city council members or mayors and not by grassroots efforts. 2) Most of the plastic bag taxes/bans have faced opposition from grocery store retail associations and from Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council. For example, the Seattle Times reported on Aug. 29, 2008 that The Coalition to Stop the Seattle Bag Tax (which is made up of Progressive Bag Affiliates and 7-Eleven) have submitted 22,252 signatures to the city in the hopes that voters will overturn the plastic bag tax by taking it to a vote on the 2009 ballot.

Most importantly I need to remind everyone to participate, or to support those who are participating, in One City walk in November which is helping to raise money for the Integral Activism project. We are going to be walking from Central Park to Prospect Park on Saturday November 8th, 2008.

Last but not least, I am also very excited about the “Sit Down, Rise Up” Guest Lecture with Reverend Billy & Savitri Durkee from the Church of Stop Shopping this Wednesday evening (Oct. 29th, 2008) from 7 to 9pm – it’s not too late to RSVP!! Hope to see you there!

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