2018 Regional Call to Action Conference in Golden, CO

Written By Call To Action


September 11, 2018


Focus Areas:

Schedule of events:

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9 am Blessing and Opening Prayer, Gemma Lockhart, and Lakota

Welcome from Ashley Panelli, Steve Mendoza, Michael Alcazar, Rosemary Lytle, Noe Orgaz, and Marie Venner (IPL, CTA, CCLC, DSA, NAACP, Poor People’s Campaign, Working Families, and more)

9:15 am Chuck Kutscher, NREL, The Race to Zero Carbon (40 min plus 10 min Q&A).  Charles F. (Chuck) Kutscher is a Fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, a joint institute between the CU-Boulder and NREL, a NREL center director just retired this year,  who has worked in the field of renewable energy for over four decades, leading research in solar heating and cooling, building energy efficiency, solar industrial process heat, geothermal power, and concentrating solar power.  Fellow and former Chair of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and chaired national solar energy conferences in 2006 & 2012, led the ASES study, Tackling Climate Change in the U.S., a 200 pp report on how we can greatly reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 2030.

10:15  Cristian Solano-Córdova, The Intersectionality Of Climate And The Immigrant Crisis; American Policy Around The Globe, Forced Migration And Refugeeism, And The Violence Of Rules Preventing Migration Of People Marginalized By American Foreign Policy From Coming To America To Attempt To Survive.  Solano-Córdova is a Denver native, born in Chihuahua, Mexico and a graduate of George Washington High School in Denver.  Solano-Córdova is a proud dreamer and began working for the immigrant community in 2015 when he ran and won an election to become a student body president at Metropolitan State University Denver, running on a platform of ending sexual violence on campus, ensuring access to low income students, and informing the administration about undocumented student issues.  After his work for undocumented students at Auraria Campus, he worked for immigrant communities at the Mental Health Center of Denver, but yearned for a more direct role. Solano-Córdova joined the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) team in 2017 as Communications Manager.  Having benefited from the ASSET (Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow) tuition equity law for undocumented college students that CIRC had a hand in passing, he feels working for CIRC is his way of paying that forward. Solano-Córdova continues his education and plans on one day becoming a medical doctor or public health advocate after his work for the immigrant justice movement in Colorado. cristian@coloradoimmigrant.org

10:45 BREAK

11 (Live from Oakland) Crystal Huang on Energy Democracy Examples Nationwide. Crystal is lead staff for the The Energy Democracy National Tour 2018, an effort to promote work being done by communities around the US, positive and effective solutions led by local communities, taking into their own hands the work of building a cleaner and more equitable future, developing and controlling renewable energy resources to meet pressing human needs and empower their communities.  Energy Democracy: Advancing Equity in Clean Energy Solutions strengthens, weaves together, and expands the various strands and networks of our movements.

11:30 NAACP & GridAlternatives – April Valdez and Brittany Heller from Grid Alternatives.  April Valdez works as the Workforce and Programs Assistant at GRID Alternatives Colorado. She is a graduate of GRID Colorado’s first Solar Training Academy and focused on the Workforce Development and Outreach Departments in her SolarCorps year.  Her work is focused on enabling underserved communities to get solar and shel hopes to develop innovative programs that connect her new passion for renewable energy with her longtime passion for positive community engagement. Her guiding goal is to meaningfully educate people, especially youth, on how they can be involved with the renewable energy transition.  Ms. Valdez previous non-profit work included Denver’s Inner City Parish and Servicios De La Raza.    Brittany Heller has worked in the solar industry in multiple states, in the SE and with the Americorp SolarCorp Construction Fellowship, building a wide portfolio of solar projects all benefiting low-income families.  In addition to managing Workforce & Volunteer Programs, Brittany holds two NABCEP certifications – PV Installation Professional and PV Technical Sales. She was awarded the NABCEP Women in Solar Scholarship from the Georgia Solar Energy Association.

Rosemary Lytle (Chair, NAACP CO-MT-WY).  Rosemary’s dedication to public service was born out of her grandparents’ struggles in Jim Crow’s Mississippi, lessons from their involvement in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, their successes in Gary, Ind., and her family’s insistence to give back generously to the communities that embraced them.  Her personal mantra is one Mandela used too:  “Each one, reach one. It’s an African proverb. It’s about the legacy of giving back, even if you don’t do it on a huge scale — pull someone up with you. Make sure the effort continues, everyone bringing someone else along. That’s what women should do, elders should do. And it’s how people who are not of color can stand up for racial justice. To see it happening — it’s so exciting.” Lytle is also the executive director of a fledgling nonprofit, Positive Impact Colorado, which helps people re-enter the community after serving prison terms.

12:30 LUNCH

1:30 Keynote:  Nathan SchneiderEverything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy. The origins of the next radical economy is rooted in a tradition that has empowered people for centuries and is now making a comeback.  Professor at CU-Boulder, Occupy and cooperatives activist, Nathan has written a book each on cooperative business, God and the Occupy movement, and edited one on the internet. His articles are featured in variety of publications—like The Nation, Harper’s, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vice, YES!, America, and The Catholic Worker.  He is interested in platform cooperativism and helping to build democracy and an internet of ownership  Nathan will speak about cooperatives in Colorado and the Universal Destination of Goods.

2:15 BREAK


  • Alec TsoucatosExtractive and Exclusive vs Regenerative and Inclusive Economics.  Alec is a 40-year professor of Economics and in retirement one of the most popular speakers in the Oster Institute of Lifelong Learning.  He will also address Universal Basic Income, the thought of Henry George, and other topics.
  • Libby Comeaux (1 hr, with discussion) ), Agriculture Generated Capitalism Generated Ecological Crisis,  Reviewing the writings of Lisi Krall, looking toward regenerative local food systems.  Libby is a retiring lawyer and co-member in the Loretto Community, met Lisi Krall when Lisi was addressing a Loretto conference on Sacred Economics. Libby is using this opportunity to clarify her understanding of Lisi’s analysis of Big Ag as the beginning of capitalism. It also drove the end of Industrial Ag – that’s a 10,000 year journey – and one of the sparks of the emerging conversation about a local food shift. Not as something for an elite group of foodies, but as a survival strategy for all of us as the climate crisis hits, neighborhood by neighborhood.
  • Clean Energy Solution Pathways (1 hr)
    • RJ Harrington, Straight Talk On Shifting To Electric Vehicles, Making The Calculus, Harrington is President and CEO of Sustainable Action Consulting PBC, and Director of Business Development d/b/a National Car Charging, LLC.  dealing with integrated with on-site generation combined with Microgrid Controller Applications and Battery Storage Systems. RJ works with teams to promote all solutions to an economy free of fossil fuels.  He was Executive Director of Clean Energy Action (CEA), the Policy Director for the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) and has worked in the solar industry for several years in a variety of roles.  RJ was raised on a dairy farm in Central Pennsylvania and the sun, wind and earth were undoubtedly instrumental in the regenerative operation of the family business.
    • Ken Regelson, Energy Freedom: Why Electricity Choice May Be Essential to Getting to Cost-Effective 100% (or darn close) Renewables.  (30 min)  Ken is the founder of EnergyShouldBe.org – a non-profit that uses short, clear, credible videos to move people from vision to action on energy. These videos have been viewed more than 18,000 times. He is an energy analyst, frequent public speaker, video content creator, and an energy future policy advocate.  Ken has been active in RenewablesYES.org,  EmpowerOurFuture.org, and now EnergyFreedomCO.org and has been successful in many political campaigns to move Boulder’s electricity system to a future worth having and far less reliant on fossils. Ken has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute.

3:45 PLENARY – Getting to the Just, Clean Future We Need:

  • Meral Sarper – Pueblo – EJ and economic justice and RF100
  • Bill Ellard – Ft. Collins, PRPA 100% resolution and pathway
  • Denver100×30 effort (potentially Monica H., Sierra Club)
  • Tyrone Newsom and Mary Rodriguez – Elyria Swansea
  • Pam Jiner – Montbello citizen transit
  • Kamau and/or Patti? – TogetherCO ballot initiatives
  • Megan Meyer – Greeley/Bella Romero Fracking
  • Julia Williams – 2500 foot setback, JeffCO 350
  • RF100 Statewide introduction?

4:45 Art! Tyrone Newsom, Intersectionality, Homelessness, Race,  Air Pollution In The I-70 Corridor, Newsom is a spoken word artist, activist, and survivor.  He has refused to be defeated by the most polluted zip code in America, a severe auto accident, epilepsy, incidents of homelessness, or the struggles of being a biracial bisexual man in America.  Newsom was born in Oshkosh WI, and moved to Colorado in 2016.  He is active in various progressive movements and activism causes and campaigns, always showing up to support those seeking justice and inclusion.  His poetry opens the heart to truths too long ignored, and inspires us all to something more.

5 PM  Michael Alcazar – Integrated Planning

followed by Gratitude for the Day, Blessing, and Diner in Gathering Space on the Patio


6:30 or 7 pm? Tink Tinker“Postcolonial and Post-Discovery: What Happens Next?”  Dr. Tink Tinker on liberation and why Christian understandings of Jesus and God clash with American Indian worldviews.  Dr. Tinker is an enrolled member of the Osage (ni-u-kon’ska wa-zha-zha) Nation and has been an activist in urban American Indian communities for many years. He joined the faculty of Iliff School of Theology in 1985 and, as Professor of American Indian Cultures and Religious Traditions.  Dr. Tinker is committed to a scholarly endeavor that takes seriously both the liberation of the Indian peoples from their historic oppression as colonized communities and the liberation of White Americans, the historic colonizers and oppressors of Indian peoples.



9 am Steve Mendoza, The Economic Reality Underlying Our Destructions, And The Poor People’s Campaign As  A Unifying Movement To Achieve Systemic Change,  Mendoza is the son of immigrants from Mexico, and the first generation of his family to attend and graduate from college. He is a full-time public school teacher, and a full-time activist. He has worked on several political campaigns and ballot initiatives, and is now focused on trying to build power to address the “big picture” issues. He works with The Poor People’s Campaign, the Movement for a People’s Party, the Democratic Socialists of America, Working Families, and Our Revolution.

9:30 Lisa M. Calderón MLS, JD, EdD, Sustainable Ecologies And Their Connection With Criminal Justice Reform,Calderón is an educator, justice reform advocate, community facilitator and social justice organizer involved with several community-based initiatives including as Co-Chair of the Colorado Latino Forum. She advocates for more opportunities for marginalized women, low-income communities, youth of color, and justice involved people. She has taught in academia for over 15 years in the areas of Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, Sociology, and Criminal Justice.  Calderón has over 20 years of facilitation experience in the areas of inclusiveness, gender and racial equity, and ethical communication. She holds a Masters degree, law degree, and a doctorate in education. Her opinions are frequently profiled in the media, and she has obtained several awards for inspirational leadership for her work serving the community.

10 am (45 min. presentations)

  • John Lodenkamper, The Time/Money Nexus,  Lodenkamper is a Quaker retired from a career in the international metals business, offering consulting and sales for a large variety of metals and specialized in recycling metallurgical “wastes” and “by-products.”  In retirement he is promoting a sustainable global economy, especially from a materials standpoint, as we are also reaching “peaks” there.  There is a global need to reduce environmental degradation from the extraction and use of non-renewable resources. John has been participating in the Quaker Institute for the Future (QIF) http://www.quakerinstitute.org/ , where he is a board member.  He is currently working with a small team to produce a QIF Focus Book titled TOWARD A LIFE-CENTERED ECONOMY: Restructuring the Money-Centered Economy.
  • Leslie Glustrom, The New Cost and Energy Supply Picture and Accountability Questions in the Transition. (45 min) Leslie Glustrom is a biochemist and manager who has spent over 30 years working at the interface of science and society in a variety of roles including science writing, teaching, policy analysis. Her involvement in climate change and clean energy issues is driven by the fact that there is only one planet we know of that sustains the miracle known as life. Leslie has kept track of Xcel and PUC dockets for 15 years as an active member and leader of the Colorado activist community.  She is a founding member of Clean Energy Action and has assisted states across the country on the fossil fuel transition.  She was a co-author of the 2011 Harvard study on the True Cost Accounting of Coal.  Reports are available on the CEA website.

10:45 – 11:30

  • Rhiannon Gallagher, Climate Change Sucks. Now What? How To Live in Climate Grief With Hope and Resilience, Gallagher is a lifelong Coloradan, a wife, and a mother.  She is the founder of Parents for the Planet, a support group for planet caregivers. She works as a user experience and business process consultant.

Her passion is telling the stories that keep people from feeling helpless or overwhelmed by climate change.  She highlights actions, innovations, and positive momentum, helping people to be hopeful and empowered.  Gallagher is a Climate Reality Leader, is on the board of Colorado Interfaith Power and Light, and is the North American Coordinator for Project 54, which educates the citizens of developing nations about climate change.  She is also the founder of the Thank You Brigade, which brings gratitude to scientists and others in normally thankless professions.

  • Rachael Smallwood, Grassroots Organizing In Your Neighborhood, Smallwood is a caregiver and leader of Arvadans for Progressive Action – became gigantic.  You can start wherever.  Only mildly politically active, she felt an urge to do more in the aftermath of the 2016 election. She was hopeful that 7 people would come to APA’s first meeting. . . and 50 people showed up! Since then, there has been a whirlwind of learning by the seat of her pants, and she’s excited to share what she’s learned with you. (½ hour)
  • Brian Loma, The Slavery Of Plastics and People.  Brian Loma is a 3rd generation Latino citizen is focused on the global impacts of plastic consumption on both the food supply, the human body and global climate change.  He started removing trash and recyclable materials from highways and backroads as a kid and at 18 he opened his first company, a waste metal collection operation diverting metals from landfills for use in local manufacturing.  At the Auraria campus, Brian started local clean ups of the Cherry Creek in partnership with the Denver Park District. As president of the Water Association of Student Stewards Urban Program, he founded a career fair for environmental science student now in its 5th year.  His work on campus he was honored with the ‘Espiritu de Altzan’, awarded to a single Latino student per year.  After graduation, Brian spent 3 years in the South Pacific studying the issues with end point consumption of manufactured goods, plastic pollution and the consumption of water transported across the globe.  He worked with local governments and faith communities in Fiji and the Samoas to examine shifts in consumption practices to protect local soil, waterways and the long term impacts of plastic on the body.  Brian is an active member of Occupy Denver and has been working on the 2500 foot setback measure.  He’s currently working on a system to recycle plastic and remanufacture it into rainwater collection systems via a portable recycling and manufacturing system.
  • Kevin CrossShowing What Is And Isn’t Adequate To Address The Climate Crisis Workshop, Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate, presenting the new CO2-climate calculator at the summit.  Kevin is working with FCSG’s Science Advisor, Scott Denning, to update the CO2-Climate calculator, a tool can be used to cut through the notion that 26% x 2025 and 80% x 2050 are anywhere close to what’s needed to address the climate crisis.  http://fcsg.fccan.org/content/co2-and-climate-calculator-1.

10 am – 11:30 WORKSHOPS

Scott BrownHow The Principles And Practices Of Restorative Justice Can Be Used To Address Harm And Change The Systems That Perpetuate Injustice.  Scott will give an overview of the key elements of restorative justice and offer an experiential exploration of the possibilities in addressing climate justice. The session will be an invitation into personal and community-level empowerment, providing a taste of the mindset and tools that can lead to an era of more effective and transformational activism.

Caroline Savery, RMFU and Colorado Cooperatives Study Circle, Cooperatives Training — Two Sessions:  Building Cooperative Awareness and Understanding Cooperative BusinessCaroline Savery is an author, educator, creator and coach/consultant to start-up co-ops. She has supported numerous start-up worker and food co-ops in the Denver area, partnering with RMFU Co-op Development Center since 2014. She is a cofounder of Cosmos.coop, a start-up platform co-op designed for generative exchanges between creatives and their allies, and is a cofounder of the Colorado Co-ops Study Circle and the Colorado Solidarity Fund (an investment club providing financing to co-ops).   These two courses combine for a comprehensive Co-ops 101. If you are interested in deepening your co-op knowledge, possibly creating a co-op, or taking more classes, let Caroline know!  The curricula consists of six modules: 1) Building Co-op awareness, 2) Understanding Cooperative Business, 3) Co-Business Deeper Dive/Nuts & Bolts, 4) Steps to Starting a Co-op, 6) Test Your Knowledge – Create a (Mock) Co-op.  Access at RMFU Urban Co-ops Curricula.  Caroline shares:  Social and economic inequity is an indisputable cause of our degraded environmental conditions. It stands to reason that allowing for equity and “enoughness” to be practiced among all people and allowing all people equitable opportunity to engage in their communities and environments, would begin to reset this balance.  Our current system doesn’t (and perhaps can’t) afford us equity; rather, it keeps us in a state of survival, enslaved to its mechanisms for our livelihoods, with limited mobility between classes/castes.  When people own their labor and ability to produce they build their own wealth and community wealth and most importantly, people have more control over their lives.  Co-ops are a means to practice self-determination, democratic decision-making, and meaningful work/collaboration on addressing community needs. These are all things that individuals and communities need in order to “recover and repair” from the damages of capitalism, and make alternatives viable. Co-ops remain a small part of the U.S. economy, due to a variety of barriers in education, practice, access to financing, etc. But people are demanding alternatives to the status quo, and co-ops represent an attractive option… if we can learn to make them work!  Co-op principles and practices align with ecosocial sustainability principles and practices; thus co-ops are, by design, a more sustainable business model than the prevailing norms.

10 am – 11:30 Building Cooperative Awareness.  What is cooperation? What is cooperative economics, what are some forms of it, and how does it show up in our lives? Why do people practice cooperative economics–especially people organizing to improve their own social and economic condition? What is a co-op and how does it work? Learn about the diverse history of co-op organizing in our society. This course is designed for people who are new to co-ops and looking to gain context and information for continued study.


WORKSHOP 12:30 – 2 pm Understanding Cooperative Business.  This course  looks at co-op business in more depth, and explores: What does it really mean to be a co-op? What are the different types of co-ops and how do they function? What is the difference between a co-op and a traditional business, or a nonprofit? What makes co-ops special? This class covers all the basics about what co-op business is and what makes it special.

12:30  PRESENTATIONS, 1 short workshop and 2 all afternoon workshops

  • Paul Sutton, DU Professor, Well-being Economy for All Angle on Climate Change, inequality, happiness, cities,paul.sutton@du.edu
  • Milt Hetrick, First Universalist – Ethical and Practical Considerations:  How They Got to Zero at First Universalist Church.  Milt Hetrick, engineer and Green Team member at First Universalist Unitarian church will talk about “Why” First Universalist made the transition to 100% clean energy (ethics/morality/spirituality) and “How” they managed to muster the congregational will to make it happen (education, economics, enthusiasm) .   He’ll discuss the scientific and technological aspects of “What” we did next spring.
  • David Carlson, (1 hr, with discussion) Resistance, Spirituality, And Hope, David Carlson has a Dept of Agriculture background and is the longtime coordinator of the Iliff Ecology, Ethics, Economics Forum.
  • Harry Gregory, Another Look at Tax and Dividend.  Harry is the former statewide director of The Climate Mobilization and represents TCM and System Change Not Climate Change as part of the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate.  He also serves as CCLC representative to the Colorado Renewable Energy Society Policy and Legislative Analysis Committee.  Harry is also involved in the Energy and Environmental Initiative for the  Colorado Democratic Party.  He reminds us:  “If we do not do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable.” ~ Re:Imagining Change, Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning.  And from Winston Churchill:  “It is no use saying we are doing our best. We have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”
  • Blake Angelo, Angelo is the Principal (school) at Angelo Consulting, Former Manager of Food System Development at City and County of Denver Government, Former Consultant at Conservation Impact & Nonprofit Impact, Former Urban Agriculture at CSU Extension, Former Director at Beanstalk, and studied Health Systems Management and Policy at Colorado School of Public Health, Finance at Colorado State University, Ecology at University of Colorado Boulder.
  • David Braden, Living Systems Institute, a permaculture project just down the street from the Jefferson Unitarian Church, utilizing deep mulch, food forest techniques and other aspects of permaculture food system design.


Noe Orgaz, Conocimento, An Intersectional Leadership Training On Optimizing Our Potential And Healing Mother Earth,Orgaz is a Community Organizer at Conservation Colorado.  In his current position, Orgaz ensures Latinos are included in the conservation efforts to protect Colorado’s land air and water. Prior to moving to Colorado, Orgaz worked for YouthBuild, as leadership coordinator Orgaz supported YouthBuild programs throughout California to ensure student success.  Orgaz is Mexican, a son to an immigrant mother; Orgaz is one of seven siblings. He witnessed his mom struggle to raise all her children. While in high school, Orgaz had a hard time; at 16 years old, he became a father.  Soon after, he dropped out of school and began working full time to support his new family.  Growing up Orgaz struggled to find good mentors to teach him about his identity.  Motivated to learn, Orgaz visited Chiapas, Mexico. There he learned about the Zapatistas and restorative justice. Orgaz began to share this practice in schools and juvenile hall.  He has a passion for justice and pushes every day to fight for the right of people of color.  Today, Orgaz continues to fight for people’s rights and continues to build leaders.

CLOSING KEYNOTE:  Sara Jolena Sequoia Wolcott, M.Div., Connecting Threads, Sensing Patterns and Paths Forward. History, Eco-Spirituality, and Property Systems. Founding Director and Educator,  Sequoia Samanvaya LLC. Union Theological Seminary graduate.

Food and party on the patio!  Elizabeth Hildetz playing!

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