Community Projects

Current

BR Community Radio WHYR 96.9 FM

Our non- profit non-commercial listener-supported community radio station primarily comprising locally-produced programs featuring local voices! We need your involvement and support. Please consider proposing a radio show, volunteering your time and energy, or providing financial support. Support locally-run community-owned independent media and help build this community resource! For more information, see http://www.whyr.org/.










Community Events & Progressive Reads

We send out a weekly e-blast of local, progressive community events as well as articles on local and national topics of interest to progressives. Visit our home page to join our email list and click here to learn more.


Progressive Socials

We convene informal gatherings at a local watering hole of folks in our extended network. Check the online calendar to find out when and where our next P.S. will be, and click here to learn more.


Community Riffs

Community Riffs are an exchange of questions & responses between BR progressives for the purpose of sharing with each other how we think, live, and feel, what we know, and how we engage with our community. Learn more or view past Riffs.


Restaurant Rating Project

Starting in February of 2011 the Baton Rouge Progressive Network started work on a local restaurant rating project. This project is designed to rate Baton Rouge restaurants in the categories of sustainability, localism, and environmental impact. Currently BRPN is working with the local environmental group EcoPods to establish the rating criteria. In the past months, both groups have worked together to establish a baseline rating system as well as organizing several assessment-focused restaurant tours.

Plastic Grocery Bag Initiative

Beginning in January of 2011, the Baton Rouge Progressive Network teamed up with the Environmental Conservation Organization at LSU (ECO) and another local sustainability group, EcoPods, to take a crack at reducing the use of disposable grocery bags. We took a look at the numbers and discovered that Americans discard approximately 100 billion plastic grocery bags every year. Nationally, only about 2% of that number gets recycled. The statistics may improve by a factor of ten for paper bags, but that still means we’re using an estimated 10 billion bags annually. Several municipalities have either outlawed plastic grocery bags or are presently considering legislation to do so or to heavily tax them to reduce use. We decided it would be a good starting point to engage in an education campaign and at least ask consumers to consider whether they really need a bag at all or else to bring their own reusable fabric bags from home. 

Another component of this initiative is to inform retail establishments and consumers of existing laws regarding grocery bags. For example, many grocery, convenience or liquor store clerks will tell customers that they are required to have a bag for purchases of alcoholic beverages. Our organizational partnership obtained an opinion letter from the East Baton Rouge Parish Attorney’s office that states unambiguously that no such ordinance exists in our city. We are in the process of sending copies of this letter to various retail chains to request that they inform their employees that if patrons wish to use that handle on their six-pack or liter “handle” of alcohol rather than a superfluous bag to transport their purchase to their car, they are well within their rights to do so. It’s a simple thing, but it’s nevertheless a start and may help reduce the waste stream by thousands of bags across the city every single day if citizens/customers comply.

You can 
read more about this initiative...




Past

Progressive Film Series

The Baton Rouge Progressive Network collaborated with Slow Food, BRASS, and ECO at LSU to host our first film series in Baton Rouge. From September 22 to November 16 of 2010, we featured three documentary films that focused on progressive issues – local food, transportation/bikes, and oil/water. The films were shown in LSU’s school of Energy Coast & Environment in the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium. The films were very well attended and often a lively discussion ensued afterward. Another film series is scheduled for the fall of this year, 2011 and it is free and open to the public.


Collaboration with Tyrus Thomas C.A.T.C.H. foundation and BR Youth Coalition

In the summer of 2010 the Baton Rouge Progressive Network initiated two workshops facilitated by the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition (BRYC) with the the Tyrus Thomas Inc. C.A.T.C.H. foundation. In these sessions BRYC's Daniel Kahn illustrated to the group of 9th graders the importance of a positive goal oriented attitude to academic success. The following week, a group of students from the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition shared their stories of endurance and academic success with the group of 9th graders.


Lobbying 101 Workshop

On Saturday, March 20, 2010, from 3 – 4:30p, BRPN hosted a lobbying workshop at the River Center Library in downtown Baton Rouge. Entitled, “Spring Into Action: Lobbying for Progressive Change,” the workshop was attended by approximately 30 local citizens. Attendees heard from veteran lobbyist Darryl Hunt and District 61 State Representative Micheal Jackson. Guests came away with a much stronger sense of what it takes to get progressive issues passed at the Louisiana legislature and improved fluency in the language of effective citizen lobbying. We got very positive feedback and significant interest in a repeat performance of this essential grass-roots workshop. The follow-up to this popular workshop is being planned for sometime in the second half of May 2011. Stay tuned…


Congressional Forum

On Tuesday March 4, 2008 at the D. Jensen Holliday Memorial Forum in the Old Journalism Building on the campus of Louisiana State University, the Baton Rouge Progressive Network invited the public to attend a forum for candidates in the race for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District. BRPN co-hosted the event with several groups including: The Bienville House Center for Peace and Justice, LSU’s Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs, College Democrats at LSU, the Society for Political Interest and Networking, the LSU English Department, and the LSU Law School Democrats. The forum was moderated by LSU English professor Dr. Irvin Peckham.

This event was designed to give the public an opportunity to pose general questions and questions of interest to the progressive community directly to the candidates in advance of Louisiana’s special election on March 8, 2008. Participating candidates included Democrats Joe Delatte, Jason Decuir, Michael Jackson and Andy Kopplin, as well as Independent Ashley Casey and Republican Michael Cloonan. There was a lively debate on substantive issues before a standing room only crowd.

BRPN looks forward to organizing similarly styled forams in future election cycles.


Interested in getting involved with a current project? Email info@brprogress.net to learn how to
get involved or propose a community project.