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Ballot for Board of Directors CGS – Action Network

Citizens for Global Solutions

According to the bylaws of the Citizens for Global Solutions Action Network (CGS-AN), the members elect the Directors to the Board for a 3 year term.  A brief bio of all candidates is found at the end of this blog.  If you are ready to vote you can click here and vote electronically.

To be a voting member, you must have paid your $25 dues to the CGS-AN in the past 12 months.  To confirm this you can log-in to this website and check the “My Donations” tab on your personal home page.  If you need to pay your dues, you can do so by clicking here.

This ballot was created by soliciting nominations from the grassroots leaders and other members and is recommended by the CGS-AN Board.  Voting members may add to the proposed ballot the name(s) of other candidates by submitting a petition with the signatures of 4 other voting members. Petitions with signatures must be submitted to the Leadership Committee no later than June 1, 2017.  All Board candidates must be paid members who support the vision and mission of CGS, are willing to work to help raise funds for CGS, and agree to behave according to the organizational values.  The vision, mission and organizational values can be found at http://globalsolutions.org/about.

Here are brief bios for the candidates:

Jordan Bankhead, MS

CGS Remembers Betty Taylor (1923-2017)

Betty Taylor
Citizens for Global Solutions is very indebted to many activists who contributed much to making the World Federalist Association (WFA) and the Campaign for U.N. Reform CUNR) influential organizations that flourished from the end of World War II until 2003 when they were merged to form Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS).  CGS regrets that we probably have not sufficiently honored many of these now deceased members from the past.
 
Nevertheless we are glad now to honor two of them, Betty and Howard Taylor of Akron/Stow, Ohio on the occasion of Betty's death April 10, 2017 at the age of 93.  Howard died September 16, 2006.  Married in 1944, they had three children--Bruce, Susan, and Karen.  From the beginning of the world federalist movement in 1947 they became leaders locally and nationally.   Betty was Akron WFA chapter president for decades.  Both were active in the Campaign for U.N. Reform and worked with elected officials friendly to our aims.  Betty later served on the Steering Committee of the World Federalist Institute (WFI).
 
Betty was also active in the local UN Association, the Akron Peace Council, and the League of Women Voters as well as doing her volunteer work on behalf of local artists.  Howard and Betty were honored with the "Arts Alive" Volunteer Award by the Akron Area Arts Alliance in 2003.  
 
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations in Betty’s name be made to Summit Artspace (which Betty and Howard helped to found), 140 East Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44308, or to Citizens for Global Solutions Education Fund, Memorial Gift Program, PO Box 15256, Washington, DC 20003.

Development in the Digital Age

The biggest impacts often come from the seemingly smallest technological advancements: food-ordering apps, instagram, Pokemon Go. They not only make something rapidly accessible, but they do so in a way that highlights its huge role in our lives (or makes it a huge role in our lives). The same can be seen all over the world, but with arguably higher stakes. You open up the paper pull up your news app and see stories of other apps that are helping prevent deforestation through geo-tag reporting, improving democracy by disseminating knowledge and creating transparency in elections, mapping violence, and bringing mobile bank to rural villages.

Clearly, technology can not only solve problems, but also it can empower people. One study found that by “bringing internet access to the 4.1 billion people in the world who do not have it would increase global economic output by $6.7 trillion…, raising 500 million people out of poverty.” Yet, even if the world can overcome the barrier of affordable internet access, how do we guarantee that the gains are felt equally, by everyone? Unsurprisingly, a “report said the benefits of rapid digital expansion had been skewed towards the better-off and the more highly skilled, who were better able to take advantage of the new technologies.”

Signs of Hope Inside CGS

Donna with her new grandchild

I have become the chair of Citizens for Global Solutions Action Network at a difficult time.  It was very difficult to lay off our dedicated staff at the beginning of May.  But it became clear to all the members of both Boards (Citizens for Global Solutions Education Fund and Citizens for Global Solutions Action Network) that we didn’t have a choice.  Financially we couldn’t afford their salaries.  Some of our employees had been with us a very long time.  The decision and the process were painful.  It has been like losing dear friends.

So now we enter a new phase in the life of Citizens for Global Solutions.  We are now a volunteer-led, volunteer-run organization.  We hope to hire staff and interns again in the future, but for the time being we are looking for a few good volunteers.

So why should you, our members, our colleagues, our friends, our donors, our volunteers stick with us?  I believe there are many signs of the times that point to hope for our organization and our world.  This blog will share hopeful signs within our organization:

A New Direction for Our Organization

CGS National Offices in Washington, DC

Dear Citizens for Global Solutions friends, members and supporters,

The boards of Citizens for Global Solutions are excited to announce a new direction for the organization -- one that reflects our current resource capacities and some difficult but realistic decisions by our volunteer leadership.

Opportunities lie ahead of us, and we feel these changes will allow us to take advantage of them.

Earlier this month, the boards agreed to transition to a volunteer-run association. Our current staff is moving on to new opportunities. Over the next year our boards and trustees will oversee renovation of our national offices into housing for young interns.

We are maintaining our issue-driven website and social media, our advocacy and educational efforts, and our commitment to donors and activists. 

We will leverage our new partnership with the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance in support of several urgently needed global reforms, and several chapters will participate again in the Global Week of Action this October. 

Nationally and locally, our activists will continue educating and advocating for solutions to climate change, mass atrocities, and nuclear proliferation. As always, these efforts come together to ensure our goal of a democratically governed world, which remains an inspiring vision for many.

Great American Write-In: The Convention on the Rights of the Child

As his last term comes to an end, supporters and critics alike have asked, what will President Barack Obama’s legacy be? While President Obama has given the United States a renewed respect in the international scene, by far the most lasting action Obama can take is to allow us to finally ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The CRC is by far the most widely accepted human rights instrument in history. But anti-treaty groups have succeeded in politicizing even this one—an international agreement that would protect children everywhere. By not ratifying it, the U.S. is embarrassingly removed from legitimate stances we take on the rights of children.

Earlier this month, the South Orange County Chapter of CGS joined an event to raise awareness of this treaty and collect signatures to petition President Obama to support this treaty and give the United States international credibility to defend children’s rights.

Karen Stone organized a table at the Great American Write-In, which allowed visitors to attend and write to their representatives about issues important to them. The chapter board funded their table, while the CGS chapter provided information about the CRC as well as some sample writings that could inspire others to write to the White House in support of the treaty. As Karen explains,

I always like to have a petition, because it's easy to ask people if they would like to sign our petition...and then very simply say what it is about. It gets people to stop, look and sign! Theyare more likely to pick up our literature and engage in conversation.

Welcoming Ari Back to CGS

Having returned to her native DC after almost two years working in Southeast Asia, Arielle (Ari) Weaver has joined Citizens for Global Solutions as the Outreach and Events Manager mid-January of this year. She may be our newest staff member, but this isn’t her first time working at CGS.

Arielle started her career at National Geographic, but wanting to focus more intently on advocacy and international affairs, she joined CGS in early 2012. As the Government Relations Research Associate, she helped with our Congressional Report Card and 2012 Annual Meeting, and quickly was promoted to the Edward Rawson Fellowship by the end of the year. From there, having a focus on our membership activities and online advocacy, Arielle was promoted again to Membership and Outreach Coordinator.

With adventure calling, Arielle moved to Thailand in the spring of 2014 to teach English. She also taught refugee children on the weekends and mentored college-aged women through a Thailand-based nonprofit.

The Debate on Banning Trump

Donald Trump https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

The United Kingdom has been one of America’s closest allies for over 200 years. Yet the British Parliament recently engaged in a debate on banning a possible U.S. presidential candidate.

On Monday, January 18th, in response to a grassroots petition signed by over 574,000 British citizens, members of Parliament discussed whether Donald Trump should be permitted entry into the United Kingdom due to his consistent use of hate speech and possible influence on preexisting radical groups in the country.

The debate even touched on whether Trump’s message could be considered terrorism itself. Tulip Siddiq of the Labour party stated,

His words are not comical, his words are not funny. His words are poisonous.

She along with other Muslim members of Parliament spoke on personal experiences of bigotry due to the rhetoric spurred by Trump’s speeches.

Those against the ban questioned whether it would cause more harm than good; banning Trump could possibly increase his popularity among his supporters both in the UK and the U.S. They also argued, somewhat ironically, that the debate itself is fueling Trump’s publicity. Other arguments included the difficulties that could arise if Trump is indeed elected President. Imposing a ban could make foreign policy conversations between each country very difficult.

Crossing Cultural and Linguistic Boundaries: International Volunteer Day

Peace Corps volunteers work in the Gambia to create sustainable gardens http://passport.peacecorps.gov/2015/08/06/photo-essay-climate-smart-permagardening-in-the-gambia/

Founded on the values of solidarity and mutual trust, volunteerism transcends all cultural, linguistic and geographic boundaries. By giving their time and skills without expectations of material reward, volunteers themselves are uplifted by a singular sense of purpose.     --UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

December 5 has been selected as the International Volunteer Day by a 1985 UN General Assembly resolution. This year, Volunteer Day comes as government representatives and NGO volunteers are meeting in Paris to develop a new international climate agreement at COP 21.  The NGO representatives are fewer in number than originally planned due to the recent Paris attacks and consequent tightened security. However, those that are present are doubly active as world media attention focuses on the conference and its outcome.

As with all major UN conferences, negotiations among governments have been going on for two years with a good deal of input from NGO representatives. At the Paris stage, there is a preliminary “Final Document and Action Plan” of some 30 pages with a good number of square brackets around words or sentences on which there is no agreement. Negotiations concern making the document shorter so that the main ideas will stand out better and to remove square brackets. If a suitable word is not found, often the whole sentence will be dropped.

On this National Day of Giving

This year, GivingTuesday is arriving  just in time.

We're seeing four million refugees fleeing Syria; 38 million people worldwide internally displaced from war, terror, and suppression in 2014 alone; barrel bombs dropped on civilians by their own government; and countless other atrocities.

Now, under great pressure from the spread of terrorism, extreme weather, unrestrained war and huge migration flows across the globe, leaders from around the world are catching up to our vision of a well-governed world.

Citizens for Global Solutions has been invited to join global policy leaders in promoting crucial United Nations reforms, reforms that can prevent the triumph of terrorism, the cataclysm of global warming, or even World War III.

On Tuesday, December 1, Citizens for Global Solutions is participating in GivingTuesday, a day where people all across our nation come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to support the worthy causes in which they believe. 

We invite and encourage you to join the movement and to support Citizens for Global Solutions’ efforts to create a movement for crucial global governance initiatives before the window of opportunity closes.