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February 8, 2012

Inbox — Feb. 8, 2012

Letters to the editor

Keeping it Fresh

Thank you to Mayor Fischer and LEO’s J. Christian Walsh for the shout out for the great work being done by New Roots (a 501c3 nonprofit organization) and the Fresh Stop Projects (LEO Weekly, Jan. 25). We do want to clarify that even though we love and support the strong CSA movement in the Louisville area, the Fresh Stops are far from “traditional CSAs.” Fresh Stops are unique, community-driven, fresh local food purchasing cooperatives, located in areas of the city without access to fresh food.

These cooperatives, such as the Shawnee Neighborhood Fresh Stop, have worked together with New Roots to create Food Justice Leadership Development classes. In these classes, leaders come together to better educate ourselves about the root causes of the food apartheid in our city and the dangers of fast and processed “food,” to make our own decisions about which farmers we want to purchase from and what to purchase, and how to run the Fresh Stop. This Fresh Stop operates on a sliding scale, with higher income neighbors subsidizing lower income neighbors, and accepts EBT/food stamps. Unlike a typical CSA, there is no upfront season-long commitment from any one family (only a best guess by the collective), or the typical upfront fee of roughly $600, an amount out of reach for many families in Louisville. Families are free to purchase “shares” in the farmers’ bounties when they want, paying only one week in advance.

We invite the community to learn more and lend support: newrootsproduce.org.

Karyn Moskowitz, Original Highlands

Stop the Madness

Please stop bickering, Occupiers and corporate defenders. You simplify the problem, pound your chests and make big noise, but you don’t offer solutions. No red-blooded American denies hard work, savvy and a bit of luck are the keys to success. The problem is the collusion between people with big money and the people we put in charge of the rules governing money.

The answer is not deciding which ideology is right. It’s in the practical melding of the two. There has to be balance between gajillionaires and just plain folk. Pretty boring stuff, balance. Requires compromise and vigilance, and it won’t yield a titillating murder mystery plot. We need serious checks on Congress, like term limits and campaign finance reform, the real kind. Make American money work more, but not exclusively, for the common American good. And for heaven’s sake, take Congress’ authority to choose the terms of its own employment like retirement and health insurance and give it to someone else.

The first step? Convince our elected officials it is in their best interest to restore balance. Or we can settle into the sofa and flip over to see what the reality stars are doing. One thing is certain: The masses are being squeezed. History teaches that a powerful, fat few become more powerful, fatter and fewer while the overwhelming majority struggle long and hard enough. Well, doesn’t anyone in the office joke, “There are no jobs? Let them win the lottery.”

Christine Bellehelen, Butchertown

Paradise is Not Competition

As I appreciate the “hard work” certain Americans have been able to contribute to our capitalist society, I think it is important to recognize the extremely wealthy are only wealthy because they are dependent on poor people’s labor. Competition does not make us stronger. Competition pits us against each other, which forces communities into campaigns for survival, like Occupy Louisville.

At Women in Transition (WIT), we advocate that shelter is a human right. Any person — job or no job — should have the right to a safe environment. This is not asking for paradise. Housing as a human right is asking for people to live. Democracy does not mean competition. Capitalism means competition. A democracy is a political system, while capitalism is an economic system. Please do not confuse or conflate these two institutions. Democracy means the opposite of competition. Democracy promises liberties to all people. The right for a safe home fits the criteria to actualize a democratic community. As far as working is concerned, there are more working poor than non-working poor; their work is just not valued in order for you to keep your paradise.

Lindsay Gargotto, Old Louisville