Farewell Despina

By Tracie Onstad Bills, Executive Director, California Resource Recovery Association, 6/6/2022

Despina Kreatsoulas, CRRA Director of Events and past Director of Administration, passed away Saturday, June 4, 2022 after battling terminal cancer. This is an incredible loss for CRRA, for her family and for the many others with whom she shared her passion for life.

Despina was incredibly proud of her Greek heritage. Each year she would travel to Greece, often twice a year for a week or two, while she worked full-time for CRRA. I think we can all say that she did not miss a beat. For the CRRA community, Despina’s competence, persistence and caring were evident each day. She uniquely and effectively helped make CRRA the strong, vibrant organization that it is today.

Despina was also co-founder of Politismos Museum of Greek History, an on-line museum that also hosts pop-up exhibits, lectures and children’s programs. In lieu of flowers, the family humbly requests a memorial donation to:

The Politismos Museum of Greek History
c/o The Hellenic Museum of Michigan
67 E. Kirby St.
Detroit, MI 48202

Member’s Appreciation Picnic – September 17, 11am – 3pm

Saturday, September 17, 2022, 11am – 3pm, at East Bay Regional Parks’  Lake Temescal Streamside Picnic Area, 6502 Broadway Terrace, Oakland, CA. Directions

Join us for a day of BBQ, lawn games, networking, frisbee and more! Family, kids, friends and dogs welcome!

The event is free to members – NCRA will provide all food and drink!  Non-members are encouraged to chip in $5; no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

RSVP by 9/10/22.

Need a ride? We can help, just let us know.

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NCRA Bills Support May Update

By Doug Brooms, ZWAC Co-Chair
The NCRA Advocacy Webpage “2022 Legislation” has been updated, as of 5/08/22. As a member of the Clean Seas Lobby Coalition, NCRA is a signatory to support letters for least 12 Bills.

Among CalRecycle’s Priority Bills, at least 18 Bills are no longer listed and presumed inactive. Another 7 Bills have been deemed as insufficient interest to NCRA. That leaves some 21 Assembly Bills and 19 Senate Bills remaining of potential interest to NCRA, mostly for support. Some are still scheduled for committee hearings, but most have been placed in the respective Appropriations Committee Suspense File. The Senate Appropriations Suspense File Hearing date is 5/19/22, and likely the same as for the Assembly Suspense File Hearing.

For a concise description of the Appropriations Committee deliberations, here is one of 12 paragraphs taken from Indivisible’s 2019 The California Legislature 101:

Appropriations committee: After passing policy committee, bills go the Appropriations Committee which analyze the fiscal impact of the bill. All bills which have a fiscal note of more than $150,000 in the Assembly and $50,000 in the Senate (this is most bills) are referred to something known as the Appropriations Suspense File. Once bills go the suspense file, legislators lobby the chair of the Appropriations Committee to take their bills “off suspense.” This process is secretive with no public visibility. In the suspenseful suspense file hearing, all the chosen bills are pulled off suspense, voted on, and passed. The others are left on the suspense file to die.

A more elucidating 2021 article is Understanding How A California Bill Dies Without Public Debate (thanks Valerie).

The number of CalRecycle Priority Bills that will be taken off of Suspense and allowed to advance, likely will be of a smaller more manageable number from which to finally select candidates for NCRA support. As always, anyone is welcome to share recommendations and to assist with drafting position letters. Thanks for considering.

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NCRA DEI Training Summary –  Session 1

By Portia Sinnott, NCRA Executive Director, 4/15/2022

Holistic Underground, the NCRA DEI consultants and the DEI Committee, recently hosted two well received leadership trainings. More than 20 NCRA members took part in session 1 and about 14 in Session 2. (The YouTube links are available from the office. ) These 2.5 hour engaging and interactive sessions were designed to assist NCRA in:

    • Hosting an inclusive and welcoming Recycling Update that demonstrates our commitment to equity
    • Developing better JEDI skills and cultural competency
    • Building a more diverse membership by fostering an inclusive environment

The first session was focused on tools including a framework for navigating change, an introduction to the principles and terminology of JEDI – justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, a methodology for becoming more inclusive communicators, a framework for moving beyond unconscious bias and tools and best practices for creating inclusive spaces.

Courageous Conversations
I particularly liked the Red Lens/Green Lens breakout exercise that utilized the affirmation above.

But first, I would like take a moment to introduce a simple yet effective approach designed to make sure everyone has a voice – introverts as well as extroverts. Before each exercise we spent 2 minutes journaling focused on questions related to the exercise. For example:

1) How can the Green Lens help you navigate your Unconscious Bias?
2) How can this support you to foster more equity and inclusion in this field?

Then when we went into discussion and breakouts we all were better prepared to share in a more succinct matter.

Green Lens
The Green Lens is a way of seeing and communicating by Dr. Maria Nemeth. Basically it can help you take a pause and listen more respectfully when someone is irritating or disagreeable. Conversely, the Red Lens is the opposite – how to listen disrespectfully. Please check them out above.

For Next Time: Moving Beyond Unconscious Bias
We would like everyone to review
the 4-page Three Steps To Moving Beyond Unconscious Bias, with idea of getting a dialog going about the article. Please download and then let us know what you thought of it. Please do not share without with Holistic Undergrounds’ permission.

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