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Want to be an Active Advocate? Join an Event Committee or become a Lead. Get involved! Email us at Chicago@OxfamActionCorps.org


Cancun on the Ground: Poor People Losing Twice

DECEMBER 7, 2010, 12:00 PM via Oxfam Action Corps San Fransisco

On the first day of week two of the UNFCCC climate negotiations, things are busy at the Cancunmesse exhibition hall, which is filled with hundreds of booths staffed by NGO, IGO, and national representatives. Among them are antipoverty development organizations such as OxfamWEDO, and CARE who are calling for the establishment of a fair global climate fund that will meet the needs and rights of the world’s most vulnerable communities. They, and scores of other attendees at the conference, believe that climate change poses an unprecedented threat to poor people who are already struggling to sustain their livelihoods and maintain food security, and that women and other marginalized groups are most vulnerable.

Yesterday afternoon at a press briefing titled Funding the Future organized by Oxfam International, six panelists shared their visions and experiences to help set the path to establish a fair global climate fund by week’s end. Top climate negotiators and ministers responsible for actualizing this goal are in Cancun right now and more are flying in this week. Although the first week of talks seems to have shown a fairly positive spirit and willingness to compromise on the part of many countries, a feeling of trepidation is present that the building pressure to make progress regarding emissions cuts and the Kyoto Protocol may result in insufficient time and energy for agreement on the establishment of a fair climate fund. 

So what is this fund and how is it different from what Tim Gore, International Policy Advisor for Oxfam, calls the “spaghetti bowl of different climate financing channels” that currently exists? Well, as outlined in a letter signed by 215 civil society organizations released today at the press briefing, in order for the fund to be legitimate and effective it must:

  • Be established under the authority of the UNFCCC, a legitimate forum where all countries are represented.
  • Have equitable representation for developing countries on the board and not be donor country dominated.
  • Ensure consideration is given to gender and multicultural balance on the board.
  • Guarantee at least 50 percent of the resources of the fund are channeled to adaptation.
  • Be a one-stop shop with the vast majority of climate financing passing through the fund.
  • Ensure that vulnerable communities, especially women and indigenous populations, participate fully in decisions on uses and monitoring at the national level.
"There's a problem with the current system," explained Gore. "We think that the current arrangements for managing climate finances are really broken. They're not delivering the money to those that need it most and can spend it best."

Cate Owren, Program Director for WEDO, noted that, while climate financing is politically challenging, it should not be economically challenging because investments now save money in the future. She also reiterated that design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the fund will be crucial and will help prevent a negative impact on women and marginalized groups. Stories of climate adaptation needs and successes were shared by Alcinda Abreu, Mozambique’s Minister for Coordination of Environmental Affairs. 

The briefing began and ended with the message that the establishment of this fund in Cancun will not only help developing countries adapt to the changing climate and adopt low-carbon development pathways, but also help rebuild trust in the negotiations. While a legally binding climate agreement seems almost certainly not on the cards for this round of negotiations, a fair global climate fund will hopefully produce tangible, concrete outcomes by Friday that addresses the need for both mitigation and adaptation assistance.


Join Chicago Oxfam Action Corps for the Global Health Panel Thursday, November 18 7:00pm


10/10/10, the "Global Work Party."

10/10/10, the "Global Work Party." This one day will be a MASSIVE opportunity to celebrate climate solutions at the local level--and put the pressure on our leaders while doing so.

Join other Chicago area residents who are committed to a sustainable food supply. We'll be taking a biodiesel bus from Chicago to Spence Farm in Livingston County 100 miles south of Chicago. First settled in 1830, you'll be joining the Travis Family; Marty, Kris, and Will, descendants of the original settlers. We'll assist them with harvesting their organic Iroquois corn and sorghum. The farm supplies leading restaurants in Chicago like Frontera Grill and Blackbird with specialty produce and its famous Iroquois corn.

Conventional agriculture accounts from 18 to 30 of all greenhouse gas emissions. Organic and sustainable farms like Spence Farm do not use the chemical and carbon-based inputs of conventional farms and are an important part in solving our climate crisis.

Because the farms are typically family owned and operated, most of the labor is done by hand. The term "Crop Mob" was coined by city dwellers who have an interest in sustainable agriculture and would like to help more than just by going to the farmer's market or joining a CSA. The "Crop Mob" gives the farmer(s) a valuable source of volunteer labor.

You'll need to bring the following for the trip:

Sturdy shoes or boots and a change of socks.
Gardening or work gloves.
A re-fillable water bottle.
A hat & sunscreen
A sweater or light jacket.
Snacks for the trip down and return home.
Money in case you'd like purchase some products from the farm.

Lunch will be provided. A suggested $20 donation is requested to cover the cost of transportation and lunch.

How to Get Involved Planning the Event: If leaving from Chicago, Contact Tom Leavitt at 847-754-0708 for transportation information regarding the biodiesel bus or directions.

Sign up on facebook:

Or at the 350.org Global Work Day Web Site:



Monthly Meeting August 5th

Join Us!
Join us for our Monthly Oxfam Action Corps Meeting. We'll discuss volunteer opportunities and Oxfam America's campaign supporting Food Security and Justice and the UN's Millennium Development Goals on Poverty. 

If you are passionate about helping to create lasting solutions to poverty and injustice and have a heart for service, we'd love for you to join us:

CAFECITO coffee & sandwiches

26 East Congress Parkway, Chicago

312 922 2233

DATE: Thursday, August 5, 2010

TIME: 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
(please stay later to socialize if you wish)


Oxfam America press release:

US Senate pushes off action on climate bill, poor people continue to suffer

Washington, DC -- In reaction to the announcement that climate change legislation is delayed by the United States Senate, perhaps indefinitely, David Waskow, climate change program director of international humanitarian organization Oxfam America, made the following statement:

“It is critical that the US pass legislation to deal with the oil spill and impacts on communities in the Gulf Coast, but the world cannot stand to hear, again, that the Senate will not act on climate change.  While Senators go on their summer break, millions of poor people on the front lines of climate change around the world can’t take a break from the droughts and floods made worse by climate pollution.”

"Without a commitment that the United States will work with other countries to solve the climate challenge and build resilience to its consequences, we cannot move forward globally. All eyes are on the US to show leadership. Failure on this critically important issue is just unacceptable, but the Senate has failed to match the leadership in the House and the Obama Administration has abandoned the helm.”

“Time is ticking away. We urge President Obama to lead and Senators to get back to work determined to deliver legislation that cuts harmful pollution and invests in the resilience of poor communities on the front lines of climate change. ”


Tell your Senators: Don’t Leave Poor People Out of the Climate Bill!

The US Senate is finishing a clean energy and climate change bill – but there is pressure to leave out key provisions such as help for the world’s poorest people to prepare for the effects of climate change.

We can’t let them forget poor people.  Poor communities are hit first – and worst – by climate change. Leaving these provisions out of the bill will leave billions of people in peril from worsening storms, droughts, and floods and undermine the pledge that President Obama made in Copenhagen to help those most affected by climate change.

Send a message to your Senators today and make sure they include support for international communities fighting for survival against climate change.

Click Here to send a message to your Senator:


July Monthly Meeting: Thursday, July 1st

We're moving our meeting north this month to Uncommon Ground on Devon: 1401 West Devon Avenue, Chicago, IL

Join Us!
Plan to attend our Monthly Oxfam Action Corps Meeting. We'll discuss volunteer opportunities and Oxfam America's response to the pending Climate Change Legislation in the Senate. If you are passionate about helping to create lasting solutions to poverty and injustice and have a heart for service, we'd love for you to join us.

DATE: Thursday, July 1, 2010
TIME: 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. (please stay later to socialize if you wish)
LOCATION: Uncommon Ground
1401 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60660
Phone 773-465-9801


Hardest hit: El Salvador

Because of more intense storms, drought, crop failure, and more, the world's poorest people are hardest hit by climate change. According to the World Bank's World Development Report 2010, even if global warming can be limited to just 2ÂșC, between one billion and two billion people may no longer have enough water to meet their needs. Climate adaptation projects, such as sealing water wells to prevent contamination during flooding, are already empowering vulnerable communities to survive – but hundreds of billions of dollars are needed to adequately fund adaptation.
Huge numbers like this are overwhelming. Fortunately, Oxfam's new short video series, called Hardest Hit: Survival strategies from the frontlines of climate change, cuts through the stifling statistics. Take a few minutes to learn from families taking the fight to climate change in El SalvadorEthiopiaLouisiana, and Vietnam. Their stories are both shocking and inspiring, and they make the case for real investment in international climate adaptation projects.


Summer Volunteer Opportunities

Concert and Festival Outreach Volunteer Opportunities. Interested in volunteering or attending? Have an event suggestion? Just let us know
  • July 31st - Elmhurst Green Fest  
  • August 14th -  John Mayer, Tinley Park, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre


Lobby Visit to Illinois Senatorial Delegation on June 2nd

Join us this Wednesday June, 2nd to visit the offices of Senators Richard Durbin and Roland Burris to urge them to support Adaptation Funding in the American Power Act which is now before the senate.  We'll meet in the lobby of the Kluczynski Federal Building at 9:00am on Wednesday, June 2nd.

The address for the Kluczynski Federal Building is:

 230 S. Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60604

We will urge them to act on climate change now.  Innocent people, especially the world’s poorest, are suffering its impacts every day that we fail to act!  

Help us to ask them to move forward on a comprehensive climate and energy solution now that meets the US's global commitments to the world’s most vulnerable people, and to work with Senator Reid right now to push this effort past the finish line.

As advocates for those affected most by climate change, we are deeply concerned that the American Power Act does not begin to fund international adaptation until 2019, and that funding levels are too low.


2010 Chicago Oxfam Action Corps Kick-Off Meeting

Chicago Oxfam Action Corps Summer of Action Kick-off Meeting is Monday, May 24th

Meet fellow Oxfam supporters from Chicago, and kick-off an exciting summer with the Oxfam Action Corps! Jump in to volunteer with the Chicago Oxfam Action Corps or come just to learn more about what we do… This is the opportunity you've been waiting for, and now is your chance. We can’t wait to meet you!

WHAT: Summer of Action Kick-off Meeting

WHEN: Monday, May 24th, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

WHERE: Old St Pat's Church, 2nd Floor Meeting Rooms
711 W Monroe, Chicago, IL

WHY: This meeting will be a gathering of new volunteers (and a few vets) from all parts of Chicago who are interested in making this summer and beyond a forceful effort towards tackling hunger, poverty, and social injustice. Our aim is comprehensive climate legislation that includes adequate funding to help poor communities cope and build resilience to climate impacts! It’s time the U.S. steps up as a leader in the fight against climate change and takes a stand for the world’s most vulnerable communities. And we need YOUR help to accomplish this.

DIRECTIONS: Just off I90/94 at the corner of Monroe and DesPlaines.
Public Transportation: 2 blocks west and 1 block south of Ogilvie Transportation Center & Union Stations.
CTA bus routes 8, 20 & 156 run nearby.
"L" stop at Clinton(Lake St, Green/ Pink line) or Washington (Wells St, Loop).
Street Parking available on DesPlaines & two Pay Parking lots across the street.


World Fair Trade Day Celebration in Chicago
Friday, May 7th
9:00am to 6:00pm
Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago
50 W. Washington Street Chicago, IL

Click Here for Info

Hosted by Chicago Fair Trade


Democracy in Action! Chicago Oxfam Action Corps organizers Thomas Leavitt & Barb Sanders meet Rep Danny Davis
We are asking them to include funds in the Climate Bill coming out of the Senate for people in poor & developing countries to proactively deal with the effects of global climate change.
Lobby day on Capitol Hill. Oxfam Action Corps volunteers from eleven cities across the country will be meeting at the offices of our senators and representatives. to ask them


30th Annual Good Friday Walk for Justice. Fri, April 2nd - Noon to 3:00pm. The walk begins at Plaza - Northeast corner of Michigan & Congess Avenues. For more info go to www.8thdaycenter.org


It's World Water Day. Check out the unshaken campaign for Haiti ☛ http://bit.ly/aTznba

WWD 2010: Clean Water for a Healthy World

Every year, 1,500 cubic kilometres of wastewater are produced globally. While waste and wastewater can be reused productively for energy and irrigation, it usually is not. In developing countries 80 percent of all waste is being discharged untreated, because of lack of regulations and resources. And population and industrial growth add new sources of pollution and increased demand for clean water to the equation. Human and environmental health, drinking and agricultural water supplies for the present and future are at stake, still water pollution rarely warrants mention as a pressing issue.

To do something about that UN-Water has chosen Clean Water for a Healthy World as theme for World Water Day 2010. The overall goal of the World Water Day on 22 March 2010 campaign is to raise the profile of water quality at the political level so that water quality considerations are made alongside those of water quantity.

UNEP has responsibility for taking the lead in 2010, UN-Water announced at a session during the Stockholm World Water Week in August 2009. Keep an eye on their site



Help for Haiti Benefit Party

The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader String Band

Tom & Jackie with Dulce Cesar at the Help for Haiti Benefit Party on March 4th at Greenheart Shop Chicago


2010 Chicago Oxfam Action Corps

Concerned about poverty and hunger on a global scale, but not sure how to make a difference at the local level? Volunteer with the Oxfam Action Corps and help to change the big picture, starting with your community. Fight poverty and gain advocacy skills with the Oxfam Action Corps. Apply by February 15!


Hope for Haiti NOW

Oxfam was selected as one of the seven aid agencies that will receive funds from George Clooney’s telethon! The telethon, “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” will be televised on all major networks tomorrow, Friday January 22nd at 8pm ET.

Shakira, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Hudson and many more artists will be part of the show.

Gather friends and family and host a telethon-viewing house party! And don't forget to call in!


Write a Letter to the Editor

Given the media’s extensive coverage of the situation in Haiti, you can make a difference by writing a letter to the editor of your hometown newspaper, asking readers to do their part by contributing to relief efforts and calling for a brighter future for Haiti.

If you can write a LTE please email chicago@oxfamactioncorps.org and let us know! You can also email us if you need any talking points. Please see oxfamamerica.org for a lot of info and easy ways to make a contribution.


Make A Call Tomorrow!

As you may know, climate legislation has been stalled in the Senate for months. But now, with the health care debate subsiding, it's time to show the Senate that there is significant public support to pass climate legislation this year.

Our first action in 2010 will be tomorrow, Tuesday, January 12th. Thousands have already pledged to call their senators. But we still need your voice!

Sign up today to call your senators during business hours:


With your help, we can send a strong message to the Senate on the eve of the 2010 campaign season: We won't stand by idly while you sacrifice our future to political expediency or wealthy lobbyists. Together, we will flood every single Senate office with phone calls and let them know that without their support for a bold climate bill they shouldn't be expecting our support in this year's election or elections to come.

Register now and you'll receive special instructions for your calls. Two calls to your senators will be a fast, easy, and effective way to let your voice be heard. Sign up today to make your calls.


International Womens Week

Do you or anyone you know have an interest in attending International Women’s week in DC? It will be March 8-10. We are recruiting Sisters on the Planet Ambassadors throughout the nation to attend, 2 from each state. Email us at chicago@oxfamactioncorps.org if you had any suggestions on people we could recruit in the state to become an Ambassador and attend the event for Illinois. Oxfam will be paying for their transportation there. We are looking for Faith Leaders, Business Owners, Community Leaders, Academics, possibly local elected officials. Drop us a line!

First Person: Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty

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