The Women and Gender Studies Activism class at Binghamton University is announcing to the media that we will be having an open, public speak out in support of Fund Essential Menstruation legislation on December 7th at city hall at 6:30pm during the scheduled city council meeting.. We have written a proposed legislation titled Fund Essential Menstruation (FEM) Hygiene Act 2016. See their Facebook Page for more info.
Our mission statement is as follows: One of the most difficult things about being homeless is being a person who menstruates. There is no single “rulebook” guiding homeless people to the resources they need. Not every person has the privilege of reaching into their purse and grabbing a sanitary napkin. Without access to these sanitary items, they are susceptible to a range of health challenges including, but not limited to, yeast and bacterial infections and toxic shock syndrome.
Therefore, we are proposing legislation entitled, Fund Essential Menstruation (FEM) Hygiene Products Act 2016, requiring the city of Binghamton to provide feminine menstrual products in all city owned public facilities. Menstrual hygiene products should be included alongside the other sanitary items currently provided by the city of Binghamton in its public facilities.
If Binghamton City Council passes this legislation, we will be one of the first cities in the country to provide sanitary items for free.
Dear RiverRead Books supporters,
We have just sent a press release to the media announcing the closure of RiverRead Books effective January 31, 2017.
We are heartbroken to say the least. When Pat, Jane and I sat down to plan the store and order the 10,000 books needed to offer a good selection, we had stars in our eyes and were so excited to be creating this great ‘third place’. We took almost an entire year to plan, design and order for the store. We wanted to do it just right. To this day, we still get comments from locals and visitors from away, about the beauty and atmosphere of our store and the great selection. Our plan was to offer a gathering place for all things literary and artsy, a place to share ideas and converse with the community. Well, we did just that … in eight years we held almost 900 events. Planning those events was important because we wanted to offer something for everyone. We wanted to highlight the very talented local authors, to give them a chance to share their words with those who might never have known about their books. We hosted monthly poetry open mikes, facilitated by the ever faithful J. Barrett Wolf, to whom we own a great debt of gratitude. We enjoyed hosting musicians once or twice a month for everyone’s listening pleasure and we ALWAYS hosted a new visual artist every month. We designed the store with a gallery wall specifically for that purpose! We wanted people to drop in, browse the stacks, have a cup of coffee (or warm cider), ask some questions, compare notes and in general, share our enthusiasm for books. Due to limited space, we needed to curate carefully … to be sure to offer titles to cover all interests. And we established ourselves as the ‘go to’ place for ordering books.
When we moved into the store, the surrounding area was pretty sad. Although the Riverwalk was completed, it was underutilized. The old Fair Store became empty when the county employees who had temporary offices there returned to the newly refurbished County buildings. We were visited daily by homeless people living out of shopping carts and on benches on the Riverwalk. We became involved several times when someone was stricken with illness or were huddled in the cold. We collected bottles and cans for them. As the city has changed and more shelters were offered, the homeless moved on and the city began to host events at the Peacemaker’s Stage. Every other month or so there were some very nice events there. Downtown has been transformed with all of the new student housing and eateries and we are happy and proud to have been a part of that. Even though it didn't work out for us, we hope people will make an extra effort on behalf of all those who have taken a chance on downtown and support businesses, new and old, by spending their dollars locally. We will miss having the store and for that matter, the entire bookselling community, other booksellers, authors and publishing reps. But most of all, we will miss the people who came in regularly and visited with us. We will miss you each and every day.
A number of constituencies have reported an increase in the number of people fearful about the outcome of the election of Donald Trump. Muslims have reported incidents of harassment of women wearing hijabs. The Gay Help Line reports increased calls from people fearful and experiencing harassment. Immigrants who came to the US as children are fearful that they will be deported to countries that they have no memory of. Gay couples with children are inquiring about second parent adoption in case gay marriage is overturned. Fears about the loss of affordable insurance are rampant.
Locally, Citizen Action had 100 people at their first meeting and is scheduling several meetings to create an infrastructure that will create a rapid response to the incidents that are sure to come with a Trump presidency. The next meeting is Wednesday December 7 at 6:00 pm at First Pres Church 42 Chenango St. Binghamton.
Nationally, a "Million Women March" will be held Jan 21st in Washington DC and in several other cities. For more information see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_lsTTIlJff6anpUaUdoYWUwVU0/view.
The Bridge received notice that a chapter of the Pink Pistols is opening locally. It is part of a national organization that teaches those "who feel vulnerable how to legally and safely defend themselves and their loved ones with a handgun." They also offer unarmed self defense classes for women, LGBTQ and others who are interested. More info:
Gov. Cuomo also made this statement:
"Hate crimes have spiked across the country and this state has not been spared. This week, fliers glorifying the KKK were found distributed on cars in Suffolk County. Last week in Allegany County, a softball field dugout was defaced with the words “Make America White Again,” accompanied by a spray-painted swastika. These are just a few examples. My administration has launched a number of investigations into hate crimes targeting minorities and immigrants. and immigrants." He announced a new hotline: "Residents who have experienced bias-motivated threats, harassment or discrimination are encouraged to call our toll-free hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. If you want to report a crime or fear for your safety, call 911 immediately."
Stay strong and keep involved!
VINES and First Ward Action Council partner to build new garden on Front Street
New garden location is 250 Front Street Binghamton, within the Binghamton Gateway Homes community
VINES and First Ward Action Council are partnering to build a community garden in the Binghamton Gateway Homes Community, at 250 Front Street. Volunteers came together November 19th to construct raised bed gardens and fill them with soil and compost. A community garden is developed and managed by community members to provide space for people to grow their own food. The Front Street Community Garden will have 20 raised garden beds available 2017 growing season for a $20 rental fee. Priority for garden plot sign-ups will go to those living on Front St and the surrounding side streets.
Anyone interested in renting a bed at the garden or in helping to build the garden is encouraged to come to the Saturday workday. To sign-up to volunteer please call/text us at 607-205-8108 or email us at email@example.com or rsvp on facebook. Light refreshments and lunch will be provided.
Photo: Some of the dozens of volunteers that helped construct the garden.
After the Election and Beyond: Join us at this planning meeting WE NEED YOU!
Our Pledge to Resist
Photo: Mural by Nathan Reese
The Dept of Public Art is offering 4 X 8' and 2 X 4' mural panels to people or businesses who want to display them. Last year 30 panels were painted at Mural Fest 2015 and most of them have been placed on boarded up buildings as a way to improve the appearance in blighted neighborhoods. Eleven of them, on a food theme, were placed on a building on Chenango St. which is now being renovated into a Deli and Pizza Shop, so these are now available. Seven panels have been placed in community gardens--Liberty St. Garden, Roosevelt School Garden and Laurel Garden.
At the 2016 Mural Fest at Cheri Lindsey Park, another 16 panels were painted, most of them in a smaller format for ease in transport and placement. The panels are available for posting in Binghamton or any other area in Broome County. To request a panel contact DPA at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos of available panels can be viewed at http://binghamtonbridge.org/image the image gallery on this site, and choose dept of public art in the pull down menu.
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