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Introducing SMART ALEC, and the Rebirth of a Nation’s Democracy,

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After years of exposing the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—the nation’s largest, secretive corporate spin machine and right-wing policy incubator–Matthew Charles Cardinale, the Editor of Atlanta Progressive News, became so fed up, he decided to form a progressive, grassroots, transparent alternative: SMART ALEC.

http://www.smartalec.org

Since 1973, ALEC’s elite task forces of right-wing lawmakers and corporate lobbyists have existed to carefully craft model bills to impose a one-size-fits-all agenda on the states.
Their long-term goals: downsizing government, removing regulations on corporations, and making it harder to hold the economically and politically powerful accountable. Ever wonder where the surge to privatize education, break unions, deregulate major industries, pass voter ID laws, and more comes from? ALEC is the culprit: it has extended its tentacles to everything from education to housing to health policy. Their corporate board and billionaire benefactors (including Tea Party funders Charles and David Koch) are comprised of dozens of corporations who invest millions of dollars a year to write business-friendly legislation to be made into law in statehouses coast to coast, with absolutely no regard for the public interest.

Now headquartered in Portland, Oregon, SMART ALEC offers a completely different agenda – a transparent, grassroots approach to public policy; and it will refocus attention on the battle to loosen the grip of corporate America and renew democracy at the state and local levels.

SMART ALEC stands for State and Municipal Action for Results Today / Agenda for Legislative Empowerment and Collaboration.

SMART ALEC’s first model ordinance is Affordable Housing Impact Statements. This model ordinance was drafted by Cardinale, one of SMART ALEC’s founding members, in 2014, as a law school paper for Gonzaga University.

The Model Ordinance for Affordable Housing Impact Statements offers a unique method for cities and counties to keep track of the impact of lawmakers’ public policy decisions on the affordable housing stock in their jurisdiction. It provides a Scorecard to track estimated changes in terms of numbers of units added and/or subtracted across various income brackets, and comes with a model administrative implementation memo.

SMART ALEC’s policy focus is on affordable housing and environmental policy, and, particularly, on empowering low-income, homeless, and marginalized people to make a meaningful difference in shaping, and advocating for, policy solutions.

Affordable Housing Impact Statements were adopted by the City of Atlanta in November 2015, and are currently under consideration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Albany, New York.

https://www2.municode.com/library/ga/atlanta/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOORENOR_CH54CODE_ARTIINGE#

http://www.citylab.com/housing/2016/01/the-growing-trend-of-affordable-housing-impact-statements/423333/

New Orleans, Louisiana

http://theadvocate.com/news/neworleans/neworleansnews/15714147-184/city-council-looking-at-ideas-to-promote-more-affordable-housing-in-new-orleans

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

http://wesa.fm/post/affordable-housing-initiatives-move-forward-city-council

SMART ALEC is working with elected officials and stakeholders across the country as they consider adopted Affordable Housing Impact Statements. They are developing equitable policy solutions for local replication, and empowering marginalized communities to make a meaningful difference in the democratic process.

http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2016/05/10/apn-editor-co-launches-smart-alec-a-progressive-policy-think-tank/

SMART ALEC hopes to supplement the work of the State Information Exchange (SIX), which primarily focuses on promoting progressive labor-related legislation at the state level. SMART ALEC will focus on affordable housing and the environment, and uniquely focus on municipal and county government.

Currently, SMART ALEC has a Go Fund Me page to raise $100,000 to support the organization’s initial goal, which is to help get Affordable Housing Impact Statements adopted in ten U.S. cities and counties by 2018.

https://www.gofundme.com/SMART_ALEC/

Website:

http://www.smartalec.org

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/state.municipal.action/

Go Fund Me:
https://www.gofundme.com/SMART_ALEC/

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A Progressive, Policy-Oriented Board of Directors

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, SMART ALEC’s founding Board members include Cardinale; Dr. Dwanda Farmer, one of the nation’s few PhDs in Community Development; Barbara Payne, the former Executive Director of the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation; and Christian Seppa, a web designer and progressive activist.

Matthew Charles Cardinale – CEO and Board President
Matthew Charles Cardinale, 34, unique history makes him an important role model for fellow activists. He has some twenty years of advocacy experience, with a specialty in affordable housing policy. His interest in housing advocacy goes back to his experience as a homeless teenager in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from 1995 to 1998, obtaining his first HUD-subsidized apartment at the age of sixteen.
Cardinale is the founder and CEO of Atlanta Progressive News, an online, independent news service, founded in 2005. In its eleventh year of publication, APN has published approximately 2,500 original news articles and blog posts to date. Cardinale has an MPA from the University of New Orleans (2007), an MA in Sociology from U.C. Irvine (2005), and is currently in his third year of law school at Gonzaga University.

In 2012, at the age of thirty, he won a pro se lawsuit that had come before the Supreme Court of Georgia, Cardinale v. City of Atlanta, in which the Court struck down a secret vote taken by the City Council of Atlanta.
He has written several ordinances and resolutions that are currently law in the City of Atlanta, including Affordable Housing Impact Statements.

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An Award-Winning Artist’s Book Shows How College Students Bring The Freedom Of Expressive Art Into Conditions Of Confinement and Learn About Life

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About The Author

Judith Peck, Ed.D. is Professor Emerita of Art, Ramapo College of New Jersey. She is author of several fiction and non-fiction works and a sculptor with work in eighty collections, including the Yale Gallery of Art, the Ghetto Fighters Museum in Israel, libraries, universities, and cultural and religious institutions here and abroad. Dr. Peck holds a doctoral degree from New York University and two master’s degrees from Columbia University. She is the recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and has completed the first draft of a 4th novel about an art therapist who helps solve a school shooting. Judith grew up in Baltimore Maryland. She has four grown children and twelve grandchildren and resides in Mahwah, New Jersey. Images and videos of her sculpture can be viewed at www.jpecksculpture.com.  Descriptions of her books can be seen at www.iapbooks.com

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Dan Perkins 672022

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DAN PERKINS
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Yolanda Nava

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About It’s All in the Frijoles
INTRODUCTION

A legacy of wisdom from and for Latinos

Do you wish you could remember all the words to the childhood songs your grandmother taught you, so you could sing them to your
children? Have you ever found yourself repeating the dichos, or proverbs, your parents used to lecture you with? If you are looking for
a way to get back in touch with your culture, It's All in the Frijoins is the perfect start. A treasure trove of cherished folktales,
lullabies, poems, and dichos. this rich collection of Latino wisdom includes inspiring recollections and anecdotes by well-known and
beloved figures, both past and present—from actor Edward James Olmos and author Isabel Allende to Nobel laureate Octavio Paz and
Saint Teresa de Avila. It's All in the Frijoles is certain to evoke with fondness many a childhood memory of essential teachings
learned from parents and grandparents, including:

El hombre debe ser feo, fuerte, y formal.
A man should be homely, hardy, and honorable.
El consejo de la mujer es poco y el que no lo agarra es loco.
The advice of a woman is very scarce and the person who does not heed it is crazy.

Pueblo dividido pueblo vencido
A people divideod, a people conquered.

It's All in the Frijoles captures and perpetuates the essence of Latino tradition and is destined to become a family treasure that is
passed down from generation to generation. This legacy of wisdom provides food for thought not only for Latinos but also for people
of all other ethnic backgrounds.

Yolanda Nava is an Emmy Award-winning television journalist, newspaper columnist, educator, consultant, and
community leader. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, she has balanced family responsibilities with a career and
broad-based community service. She lives in Southern California.

A FIRESIDE BOOK
Published by Simon & Schuster New Yorj
Cover design by Francine Kass
Cover painting (detail) by Felix Venancio, Photograph © David Lavender Author photograph © Schulman Photo Lab
Author photograph Schuman Photo Lab
VISIT US ONLINE AT www.simon

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