2. (2012 October) News: Save the Date for CGO 2013

On August 6-10, 2013, the Council of Georgist Organizations will present its 2013 Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The theme will be 100 YEARS OF LVT IN PENNSYLVANIA.

The CGO is actively seeking ideas for potential programs. Among the ideas currently under consideration is a bus tour of Alliquippa and Clairton. If you have ideas or would like to present, please contact CGO president Dan Sullivan at director@savingcommunities.org as soon as possible.

1. (2012 September) News: CGO Updates

Congratulations to Bill Batt, who was presented with a special award for his volunteer efforts on behalf the CGO Conference Programming Team at the 2012 CGO Conference banquet.

Also at the recent conference in Harrisburg, the Council of Georgist Organizations awarded veteran Henry George Institute Instructor, Gil Herman, of Stamford CT, its Economic Justice Award for 2012. Gil joins past award winners: Nicholas Rosen (2011), Al Katzenberger (2010), Dan Sullivan (2009), Alanna Hartzok (2008), Mike Curtis (2007), Josh Vincent (2005), Mason Gaffney (2004), Harry Pollard (2003), John Fisher (2002): Claude & Dian Arnold, John & Nadine Stoner, Everett & Mildred Gross (all three couples in 2000). The Award which was begun in 1999 at the Gaithersburg, MD conference honors the work of the activists and educators and organizations. The first honorees were Steve Cord and Walt Rybeck It is presented annually at the CGO’s Conference Banquet. Each award is unique because the color of Henry George’s tie is changed every year.

The CGO Execom is accepting nominations for its 2013 award until December 15, 2012. Please send your nominations — including your reasons why your nominee should be selected — to: CGO Secretary, Paul Justus at pjustus5000@yahoo.com.

Presentations are needed for the 2013 CGO Conference. The conference theme will be “100 Years of Land Value Taxation in Pennsylvania”. There will be at least two concurrent sessions during most of the duration of the conference. If you have a topic you would like to present or a speaker nomination, please contact Dan Sullivan, CGO President at director@savingcommunities.org no later than October 15, 2012. Those selected to present will be notified no later than January 1, 2013.

 

2. (2012 August) News: CGO Conference

32nd Annual Conference of the Council of Georgist Organizations
An Effective Role for Every Georgist

The thirty-second annual conference of the Council of Georgist Organizations was held from July 30 to August 3, 2012 at the Camp Hill Radisson in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Attendees were greeted with a rousing and inspiring welcome from Mayor Linda Thompson.

The 2012 conference was largely an internal conference with many concurrent sessions repeating over the course of the conference in groups of three at any one time. These sessions featured passionate presentations from Alanna Hartzok, who spoke about her Light Rights Online Course and proclaimed that she would go to jail fighting for land value and other issues that she believes in, as well as from Jacob Shwartz-Lucas and Edward Miller, who despite poor hotel Wi-Fi managed to incite participants to be more deeply involved in social media. Lindy Davies was an able substitute for Mason Gaffney when he and Canadian Erich Jacoby-Hawkins discussed sales taxes, tax evasion and market distortion in Canada. Erich also gave an insightful presentation on how Georgists can make the best use of Wikipedia. Although the conference turnout was small compared to previous conferences, there was a significant number of dedicated newcomers who made valuable contributions to the proceedings.

Conference organizer and newly elected CGO President, Dan Sullivan, along with his programming team performed miracles when several invited speakers did not show up to debate the property tax. Fortunately, Dan was able to get former Pittsburgh City Council member and current Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Auditor General, Jack Wagner, to drive from Pittsburgh to speak about Pittsburgh and land tax.

 

The 2012 hospitality suite was dynamic and was the scene of much eating and networking thanks to Osamu Uehara who brought nearly his whole kitchen with him. Osamu made fresh dips each evening including guacamole and hummus and for the sweet-tooth s’mores.

 

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Wednesday’s bus trip featured Josh Vincent showing conference participants the before and after effects of LVT in Harrisburg. Thursday evening’s banquet speaker was the Honorable Stephen Reed, former Harrisburg mayor, who explained to conference participants how LVT changed Harrisburg for the better. Reed exhorted Georgists keep their message present in today’s world. Reed received an enthusiastic standing ovation, and Banquet MC Ted Gwartney thanked Reed and said it was the best banquet speech so far in CGO history.

RSF was on hand with a large selection of books for sale and other materials for free. Contact books@schalkenbach.org for the new mini-catalogue of “Special Offers” that was distributed to all conference participants.

Next year’s conference will be held from August 6 to 10, 2013 when the Council will be in Pittsburgh to celebrate one hundred years of land value taxation in Pennsylvania.

(Compiled by Sue Walton, Dan Sullivan, Mark Sullivan and Ted Gwartney.)

2. (June 2012) News: US land speculators

US land speculators see lucre in solar projects The conventional media sometimes cover the reform of tapping natural values for public benefit while de-taxing our efforts. To keep up to date, visit The Progress Report daily. Here is one of the latest articles: A new bubble on US rural land? A new reform of ownership from UK conservatives? Could the two trends converge? “UK Progressive Conservatives support a Land Tax” http://www.progress.org/2012/solarsit.htm To establish a shared frame of reference for a discussion about how to solve economic issues with friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers, try sending them the progress.org link.