This is the time of year when the compassionate efforts of good people and their publications deserve special recognition. Herewith a holiday shopping list for citizens and causes:
1. Maggie Kuhn, born 73 years ago, battler against ageism and founder of the Gray Panthers, publishes the “Gray Panther Network” quarterly (3700 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104, $3 per year). This tabloid is all about problems and promises of elderly living, struggle against age discrimination and the wit, spirit and wisdom of the remarkable Maggie Kuhn.
2. Dr. Michael Jacobson keeps telling the truth about junk food and nutritional choices in a lively monthly, “Nutrition Action” (Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1755 S St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, $10 per year). Jacobson is the nemesis of the giant food processing and soft drink corporations, and after reading this publication, you’ll know why.
3. Corporate agribusiness spread and its dominating effects on small farmers and consumers are described 12 intermittent times a year in “The Ag Biz Tiller,” published by the San Francisco Study Center, Box 5646, San Francisco, Calif. 94101, $12 per year. The “Tiller” covers the agribusiness power plays that receive little coverage in urban newspapers.
4. David Zwick and his Clean Water Action Project are alert watchdogs for what the federal government is not doing to clean up water pollution and contaminated drinking water. The Project issues “Clean Water Action News” six times a year to cover citizen activities, alternative pollution control technologies and the power politics in Washington. To receive the newsletter, write CWAP, 1341 G St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005 ($15 donation requested).
5. Corporate social sensitivity through shareholder action is chronicled in “The Corporate Examiner,” a fact-packed newsletter issued 11 times a year. In particular the “Examiner” reports on church groups’ shareholder resolutions and activities of multinational corporations. It is available from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y. 10027, $25 per year.
6. Consumer cooperatives are on the upswing as inflation persists. Also under way shortly will be the new Consumer Cooperative Bank to start providing loans and technical assistance to food, housing, repair, health and other co-ops. “Co-op: The Harbinger of Economic Democracy” is a bimonthly journal of the entire cooperative movement with practical advice, news and reflective articles on this form of private enterprise (Box 7293, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48107, $8 per year).
7. Thinking small can be thinking smart, especially when it comes to technology and social organization to solve urban, small-town and rural problems. That is what the Institute for Local Self-Reliance spends its time studying and conveying to its readers through a bimonthly magazine, “Self-Reliance” (1717 18th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, $8 per year).
8. Like a combined time clock, microscope and telescope, the “Bulletin of Atomic Scientists” has been telling like it is about the nuclear arms race, nuclear power and profound environmental hazards. It’s well-written and authoritative. Reading it without becoming more involved requires extraordinary detachment from global urgencies (1020-24E 58th St., Chicago, Ill. 60637, $18 per year).
9. The National Association of Neighborhoods (NAN) reports on the neighborhood organizations in the nation’s cities in the “NAN Bulletin” each month. Follow this growing movement in greater self-government and neighborhood improvement and see how it can relate to your community (1612 20th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, $10 per year).
10. In Albuquerque, Katherine and Peter Montague publish nine times a year “The Workbook,” whose purpose is to provide “people with vital information that can help them assert control over their own lives.” Concise articles and reports about what is going on in all kinds of citizen movements fill this magazine (Southwest Research and Information Center, Box 4524, Albuquerque, N.M. 87106, $10 per year).
A rapidly developing non-profit civic literature is coming of age in this country. For more information write the Commission for the Advancement of Public Interest Organizations (1875 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009), which is publishing a guide to a number of such periodicals.
Taken together they represent a neglected dimension of adult education and an invitation to civic involvement. May they all continue to prosper in the New Year.