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As the city’s Equity Office says, “Austin has a long history of systemic racism and racial inequity that continues today.” That’s why we apply an equity lens to everyday reporting, writing stories that investigate the intersection of equity and the outdoors, climate change, and even the food that we eat.

Sierra Club Happenings!

Hi everyone, I’m Brittany Dawn McAllister, and I’ve recently signed on to do Student Outreach with the Lonestar Chapter of the Sierra Club.

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Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch on September 7

How can children learn and grow to their full potential when the food pictured here is what we feed them in schools? They simply can’t.

This fall, the Child Nutrition Act is up for reauthorization. This Act provides the governance for several child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program. The National School Lunch Program supplies 30 million school children with lunch every school day. For many of these children, the meals they receive at school provide the majority of their nutrition during the school year.

The upcoming reauthorization process provides the opportunity to make postive changes for both children and the environment. The guidelines in the Child Nutrition Act can be amended to include firm guidelines for healthy, nutritious food for our children rather than the aptly named and all too available junk food. The already-created-but-never-funded Farm to Schools Programs can also, finally, receive funding to purchase food produced locally, thus reducing carbon emissions caused by transportation and ensuring children have access to produce while it is still tasty and full of nutrients.

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Mayor’s Community Cabinet features Austin EcoNetwork founder

Austin EcoNetwork subscribers and partners just gained a formal voice at the table with the inclusion of our very own Chief Inspiration Officer Brandi Clark being invited to serve on City of Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s Community Cabinet.

Yesterday’s Statesman’s blog ( and today’s print edition featured the announcement of this Cabinet. The blog cites Mark Nathan, Leffingwell’s chief of staff, as saying that the mayor will want to know what issues and projects the group members are working on.

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Leadership Council: Shaping Austin’s EcoMovement


Austin EcoNetwork has been around for over six years but we have only recently become a website. In case you aren’t familiar, here’s a very short history:

In 2003 I wrote a letter inviting dozens of environmental community leaders to a meeting to explore what we could do to collectively be more successful as sustainability advocates by communicating, cooperating, and collaborating more.

Approximately 45 of Austin’s leading nonprofit, government, business, and community leaders participated in that initial meeting held at Casa de Luz.

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ACTION necessary! August 6th Public Hearing at City Council

Dear Eco-Change Exchange Supporter, SPEAK UP THIS THURSDAY for ECO-CHANGE! AUGUST 6th at 5:30 PM at City Hall Teach-In, Budget Briefing, and Public Hearing

Why You Should Come: 1. Our “ROAD MAP FOR CHANGE” will be delivered to the City Council. It is based on our work at the Eco-Change Exchange Event and additional analysis of city policy and budget. The more people there on THIS THURSDAY, August 6th, the more seriously our City Council Members will take our priorities. The Road Map for Change spells out exactly what we want our elected officials to do! Be a part of it! 2. You Can Speak at the First PUBLIC BUDGET HEARINGS beginning at 6:00 PM.

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Eco-Change Exchange Reflections and Results

Beloved Community:

On June 25, 2009, over 40 Austin Environmental groups hosted an Eco-Change Exchange community forum to welcome our new Mayor and City Council members. During the opening reception participants enjoyed delicious, local, organic food provided by Barr Mansion as they milled among the closely packed table displays by environmental groups. Later council chambers buzzed with conversation about how to make Austin a leader among sustainable cities. The evening ended with a reading of a “Letter from the Future” written by the mayor of Austin in 2109. The letter thanked the visionary and dedicated participants of the Eco-Change Exchange for setting in motion changes that led to a beautiful, sustainable reality for people in 2109.

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40+ Environmental Groups Invite City Leaders & Public for an
Thursday, June 25, 2009
5:30-9pm at City Hall

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