the Eleven April/2010
cherry blossom edition

Cherry Blossoms in DC
Hello Hello - Olah Olah - Bon Jour Bon Jour - Konichi-wa Konichi-wa wa wa! 

Welcome to the April 2010 edition of my e-letter The Eleven!

If this is your first newsletter from me, welcome - I will review what's been up for me for the past month and make a call to action on something I think is important. If you'd like to unsubscribe, feel free to click the button at the bottom of this e-mail.  

It's been a great month! What's got me juiced lately besides the budding spring trees and flowers is my recent lobbying visitto Washington, DC and our Wileywareopen house a couple weeks ago. Eecole and I also took a mini-vacation to Harbin Hot Springsand the nearby NW California Coast which was dreamy. Also, I've been learning a lot lately which has been exciting. Through client referrals I've met some new folks who are up to some very interesting things. These people are all listed on my client list, and include:

Maiden Spirit and Peace Warriors (PDX) - two groups that are leading young people through coming of age ceremonies and
YeaCamp(PDXand Santa Cruz): a camp where teenagers learn activism  

With the over-information flow we're all experiencing lately I think I'll keep this brief, and if you'd like to know more about anything I'm sharing, please follow the links I'm providing or write medirectly. 
Action Time!

I attended Population Connection's Capitol Hill Days this past weekend in Washington, DC. This was probably my 5th or 6th visit for this purpose in the last 10 years and it always moves me to hear from and be surrounded by people whose activism includes a concern about the size of the planet's human population. This year we were treated to a collection of very interesting speakers from Planned Parenthood, The Earth Policy Institute, National Geographic Magazine, Intrahealth, Pathfinder, Ipas and others.  We also got a chance to lobby Congress on two issues. 

The Global Gag Rule (also known as the Mexico City Policy) has been a political football since the Reagan years. Each president when they come into office either applies the gag rule to international family planning providers, or rescinds it (in the case of Obama). The gag rule makes it difficult for providers of family planning in the world to do their job, basically. We lobbied for The Global Democracy Promotion Act, which would make it impossible for a President of either party to apply the gag rule in the future. This legislation has passed the Senate in the past, and a large coalition of organizations is working to pass this legislation this year. If you'd like to help by contacting your legislators, please click here, and spread the word. Once family planning organizations know that the gag rule is no more they can plan long-term for womens' health in the developing world.  

The second part of our lobbying effort was to ask Congress to increase their international family planning spending from $718 million to $1 billion in the next appropriations bill on the subject. The US is still at 1995 levels in our allocation for this important support for women and their families in the 3rd world. There are 215 million women in the world who would like to be able to space when they have children and also those who want to have smaller families - this is called unmet need. It's actually also a problem in the US. So, again, if you think women and men should have easy access to contraception and reproductive healthcare, in general, please click hereto take a quick action to send that message to your representatives in Congress. Thanks for supporting my work on this issue, too!

While we were in DC, we heard a presentation by Janet Larsen of the Earth Policy Institute. She also provided us each with a copy of Lester Brown's latest edition of Plan B 4.0 I'm reading it now, and next to The Long Emergency, it's my newest favorite book. If you're interested in the health of the planet, this is a book you won't want to miss. Also, I believe it's available as a free download.

Plan B 4.0

Wileyware Logo tiny
Well, by now you know that I'm a big fan of Wileyware.  Both because my friend, Marcia Wiley, is the artist behind this, but also because I just love the glasses and think they're lovely to drink from.  So, to support the effort of making Wileyware a household name, and having fun, we hosted a Wileyware open house a couple weeks ago.  It was a great weekend and also Saturday night's party gave our band a chance to play our second gig which was a lot of fun.
Pictures from Saturday's open house here
Pictures from Sunday's open house here
Thanks to everyone who stopped by and YES!, we'll be doing this again!

I'm trying to figure out how to get Wileywareinto wedding registries. If you have any ideas on how to make that happen, and/or are interested in helping me promote this glassware, let me know (there may be some Wileyware in your future :)
Got Sunflower Seeds?

Got sunflower seeds to plant?  Thanks to local farmers Edie, Brian and Richard, I've got seeds available for you this year.  Please send me your mailing address if you'd like to receive some, or stop by! 

If you feel the world is unraveling a bit, as I do, and would like a pep talk on how to weather the storm, please read my recent note to the world on this topic.

Finally, in the interest of learning about alternative currencies, we're showing The Money Fix, at our home on 4/20. The filmmaker, Alan Rosenblith will be attending and I look forward to a great discussion after the film. 7pm.

Albert in DC


Albert Kaufman
Albertideation Medium

For laughs I've been enjoying the humorous videos of Auto Tune the News