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Vibrant public spaces increase our physical activity.  (Photo by Dan Burden/Blue Zones)

Boosting Health In Everyone's Hometown

July 25, 2017 | By Jay Walljasper

 

Good health means more than good medical care. 

Many other things affect how long we live and how healthy we feel—conditions in our housing and neighborhoods, the social and physical environment of our communities, economic opportunities and the levels of stress in our lives. 

According to a landmark University of Wisconsin study, the state of our overall health is attributable to four major factors:

• 20 percent—access to and quality of clinical health care

Image courtesy of the Great Lakes Commons

New Toolkit to Promote Water Commmons

July 24, 2017

The Great Lakes Commons has recently released their Charter Toolkit. Rooted in the Commons Charter Declaration, this toolkit can support people, communities, and campaigns collaborating on protecting and caring for the Great Lakes.

The Charter Toolkit includes:

Tonetta Graham, an leader in the Strawberry Mansions neighborhood, sees Civic Commons as a way to bring investment to low-income areas without gentrification. 

Philadelphia Spreads Opportunity to All Corners of City

July 21, 2017 | By Jay Walljasper

For decades the “Philadelphia Story” was about steady economic decline.  That story is being rewritten today as many Americans rediscover the advantages of cities—inviting public spaces, rich cultural diversity and a creative environment that fertilizes start-ups and attracts talent. 

From Our Next 4 Years' video "Why Save the Affordable Care Act?"

Video Zeroes in on What's at Stake with Obamacare

July 21, 2017 | By Jay Walljasper

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would represent a serious retreat for social justice and basic human decency in the United States.  Alarmed by this step backward, artist and BMC alum Tona Wilson joined Our Next 4 Years, a team of animators volunteering their skills to make short videos on health care and other important issues of the Age of Trump.

This one, with a score composed by Jeremy Mage, zeroes in about what repeal of Obamacare really means.

From Our Next 4 Years' video "Why Save the Affordable Care Act?"

Video Zeroes in on What's at Stake with Obamacare

July 21, 2017 | By Jay Walljasper

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would represent a serious retreat for social justice and basic human decency in the United States.  Alarmed by this step backward, artist and BMC alum Tona Wilson joined Our Next 4 Years, a team of animators volunteering their skills to make short videos on health care and other important issues of the Age of Trump.

This one, with a score composed by Jeremy Mage, zeroes in about what repeal of Obamacare really means.

From Our Next 4 Years' video "Why Save the Affordable Care Act?"

Video Zeroes in on What's at Stake with Obamacare

July 21, 2017 | By Jay Walljasper

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would represent a serious retreat for social justice and basic human decency in the United States.  Alarmed by this step backward, artist and BMC alum Tona Wilson joined Our Next 4 Years, a team of animators volunteering their skills to make short videos on health care and other important issues of the Age of Trump.

This one, with a score composed by Jeremy Mage, zeroes in about what repeal of Obamacare really means.

(Photo by Roadside Pictures under a Creative Commons license.)

What a Wealthy Heir Learned from Mobile Home residents

July 21, 2017

Have you ever lived in a mobile home? Not me. Until the age of 24, I had never set foot in one. But two years later, I’d been inside hundreds. My first job out of college was to work with mobile home owners who rented their home sites in private parks around New England. The goal was to help them organize and buy their parks as resident-owned cooperatives.

(Photo by Roadside Pictures under a Creative Commons license.)

What a Wealthy Heir Learned from Mobile Home residents

July 21, 2017

Have you ever lived in a mobile home? Not me. Until the age of 24, I had never set foot in one. But two years later, I’d been inside hundreds. My first job out of college was to work with mobile home owners who rented their home sites in private parks around New England. The goal was to help them organize and buy their parks as resident-owned cooperatives.

(By Wally Gobetz under a Creative Commons license)

A More Equitable Economy Exists Right Next Door

July 21, 2017 | By Jay Walljasper
  • Business owners gather at an elegant Montreal event center to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a large-scale economic partnership. The former chief of Quebec’s largest bank is the guest of honor.
  • Sidewalks bustle with people walking in and out of homes, offices, bank, pharmacy, workout studio and coffee shop at Montreal’s Technopole Angus— a development that already sports 56 business with 2500 employees and will eventually encompass a million-square-feet of real estate.

(By Wally Gobetz under a Creative Commons license)

A More Equitable Economy Exists Right Next Door

July 21, 2017 | By Jay Walljasper
  • Business owners gather at an elegant Montreal event center to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a large-scale economic partnership. The former chief of Quebec’s largest bank is the guest of honor.
  • Sidewalks bustle with people walking in and out of homes, offices, bank, pharmacy, workout studio and coffee shop at Montreal’s Technopole Angus— a development that already sports 56 business with 2500 employees and will eventually encompass a million-square-feet of real estate.

Taking a stroll in Birmingham.  (Photo by Nick Sims)

The Positive Power of Walking

June 27, 2017 | By Jay Walljasper

Many things leap to mind when someone mentions walking: fitness, fun, fresh air, relaxation, friends and maybe your most comfortable pair of shoes.  But a word that rarely arises is “power”.

That will begin to change after the 2017 National Walking Summit (held in St. Paul, Minnesota September 13-15), which is themed “Vital and Vibrant Communities—The Power of Walkability”.

Photo by Morning Calm Weekly New under a Creative Commons license

Pentagon Budget: Corruption Disguised as Patriotism

November 12, 2016 | By David Morris

In October 2015, when he was a very, very long shot for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump the businessman promised to make the military “much stronger than it is right now” without increasing military spending. “But you know what?” he declared,  “We can do it for less.”

Photo by Theresa Thompson under a Creative Commons license

America's Long (and Unfinished) Road to Democracy

November 12, 2016 | By David Morris

The founding fathers minced no words about their distrust of the masses.

Solutions for Inequality from a One-Percenter

November 12, 2016 | By Jay Walljasper

Chuck Collins, a former OTC board member, has devoted most of his life to the cause of making the American economy more fair.  As co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good and co-author (with Bill Gates Sr.) of Wealth and Common Wealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes, he’s a leading advocate that people who have benefited so handsomely from America’s economic system owe the nation so

Jonathan Tasini with Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail.

Political Revolution Marches on in New Podcast

November 12, 2016 | By Jay Walljasper

Jonathan Tasini—who was a national surrogate for  the Bernie Sanders campaign and author of the book The Essential Bernie Sanders—recently launched a new Podcast: The Working Life.  He describes it as,  “the political revolution delivered to you every week: politics, work, the economy, the voices of real workers (a segment devoted to workers and their jobs is going to be Studs Terkel-like…look it up if you don’t know the name), Robber Barons, corporate power, greed…you know, the light stuff. Plus, sports!”

Photo by Kathy under a Creative Commons license

Young People Sue US Over Climate Change

November 12, 2016

On November 10, the federal court in Eugene, Oregon decided in favor of 21 youth plaintiffs in their “groundbreaking” constitutional climate lawsuit against President Obama, numerous federal agencies, and the fossil fuel industry. U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken completely rejected all arguments to dismiss raised by the federal government and fossil fuel industry, determining that the young plaintiffs’ constitutional and public trust claims could proceed.

How One Farm is Reinventing Agriculture for a Brighter Future

November 11, 2016 | By Jay Walljasper

Old MacDonald of E-I-E-I-O fame would feel right at home on Essex Farm, a 600-acre spread in upstate New York where the future of American agriculture is being radically reconceived. 

For the past 60 years, farmers have been encouraged, seduced and coerced by agribusiness and federal policies to become ever more specialized.  So it’s surprising to walk through a modern farmyard and hear a moo-moo here and an oink-oink there, and see 50 different kinds of vegetables growing in the fields. 

Photo by Dan Burden/Blue Zones

Walking Picks Up Speed

November 11, 2016

As life grows ever more challenging, with concerns about health and the future nagging at us, one solution can be as simple as taking a walk.

Kids walking to school in Riceville, Iowa

America’s Walking Renaissance

November 11, 2016 | By Jay Walljasper

Get a free pdf download of a new book detailing the best tips and strategies to help Americans walk more, and highlighting unexpected success stories across the country. The book chronicles how the walking movement is gaining ground all across the country—in suburbs and small towns as well as big cities and college towns: