Saturday, December 13, 2008
MICHAEL POLLAN for U.S. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
WHAT: Get Pollan appointed United States Secretary of Agriculture
HOW: Through our U.S. Representatives and Senators
1. PLEASE CALL your Representative and two Senators. Ask for the Agriculture Aide. Speak to the Aide (leave a message if you have to) and say:
"My name is _____ and I live in your district. I want to see Michael Pollan appointed Secretary of Agriculture. I respectfully request that Representative______ [Senator_____] contact Mr. Obama and ask him to appoint Michael Pollan Secretary of Agriculture. Pollan's unique understanding of Agriculture makes him the best choice for Secretary. In his open letter to the next "Farmer in Chief," published in the New York Times magazine (on October 12), Mr. Pollan shows his understanding of the deep connections between farming and health, our economy, our environment and our national security.
I will be extremely dissatisfied if Mr. Obama appoints anyone other than Mr. Pollan as Secretary of Agriculture.
Thank you for speaking with me.
2. Please follow up your phone call with a fax (faxes are more effective than emails).
Your Representative: http://www.house.gov/
Your Senators: http://senate.gov/
BACKGROUND: A huge bi-partisan movement of support to appoint Pollan for Secretary has been gaining momentum, with almost 8000 signatures on the petition so far (sign the petition: www.pollanforsecretaryofagriculture.com/ ). An internet search on Pollan + Secretary yielded 168,000 results.
Why do we want Michael Pollan as Secretary of Agriculture? Pollan, in his best-selling books "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food," in his open letter to Obama--the next "Farmer in Chief," (http://www.michaelpollan.com/article.php?id=97 ), in many other writings and in his life, has lifted the rock on the agricultural-industrial system. Through his academic lectures and papers, published books and articles Mr. Pollan has proven capable of gathering wide-ranging research, organizing it into a coherent whole and reaching non-biased conclusions. This research has provided him a unique understanding of the history, development, and contemporary practices of U.S. Agriculture and its relationship to the health of the citizens of The United States. He is singularly qualified to identify inefficiencies and present improvements in production, nutrition, and our problematic reliance on petroleum and petro-chemical based fertilizers, for the benefit of food producers and consumers both.
President Elect Obama says that he is for change. Let us make sure it happens.
Our U.S. legislators influence Cabinet appointments and through them we can reach President Elect Obama.
Please call your legislators TODAY.
See www.pollanforsecretaryofagriculture.com/ for more information and to sign the petition.
(The 111th Congress will be sworn in January 6, 2009. Please contact both if your representation will be changing. (www.congress.org/election/guide )
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT Blane Friest, lobbyist for the movement: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pollan for Secretary of Agriculture
RE: WEBSITE LAUNCHED; LOBBYIST AND PUBLICIST APPOINTED
RELEASE DATE: IMMEDIATELY
DATE: DECEMBER 12, 2008
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Blane Friest/917-418-8625
Pollan for Secretary of Agriculture launches new website (www.PollanforSecretaryofAgriculture.org), appoints Blane Friest lobbyist and media representative.
WASHINGTON D.C.--President-elect Barack Obama’s selection for Secretary of Agriculture has a new twist, thanks to a burgeoning grass-roots petition campaign endorsing Washington outsider Michael Pollan for the post.
Pollan, author of runaway New York Times bestseller Omnivore’s Dilemma, NYT journalist, and unofficial guru of the local, non-industrial food movement, framed his agenda most recently in his essay ‘Farmer In Chief’ published in the NYT Magazine, the Big Idea being:
“Most of the problems our food system faces today are because of its reliance on fossil fuels, and to the extent that our policies wring the oil out of the system and replace it with the energy of the sun, those policies will simultaneously improve the state of our health, our environment and our security.”
Now boasting 8,000 signatures, the petition and a new website (www.PollanforSecretaryofAgriculture.org) are the brainchild of lobbyist and media representative Blane Friest. Featured on WNYC, the nation’s largest public radio station and on Bill Moyers Journal, Pollan and the petition effort are gaining credible buzz among the nation’s media outlets. A Facebook Group now approaching 4000 members has also been formed independently by another Pollan devotee, Bryan Giglio.
Pollan’s reluctance to throw his hat in the ring has caused many in the blogosphere to question the validity of the campaign, but Friest remains resolute,
“In the Moyers interview he begins by saying he knows his limitations and doesn’t consider himself a viable candidate for the position. He then spends the next 45 minutes eloquently proving precisely why he’s the right one for the job. It’s not necessary to have a politician or bureaucrat as Secretary, but someone who knows the players well enough to hire the right people to write policy while maintaining oversight of the direction of the agency. Pollan is that person.”
The petition reads in part,
“Mr. Pollan has … a unique understanding of the history, development, and contemporary practices of U.S. Agriculture and its relationship to the health of the citizens of The United States. He is singularly qualified to identify inefficiencies and present improvements in production, nutrition, and our problematic reliance on petroleum and petro-chemical based fertilizers, for the benefit of food producers and consumers both.”
The complete petition and position statement are at www.PollanforSecretaryofAgriculture.org.
Pollan for Secretary of Agriculture
Thursday, November 13, 2008
For the past twenty years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture, gardens, drugs, and architecture. Pollan is the author, most recently, of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. His previous book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award for best food writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Pollan's previous book, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, was also a New York Times bestseller, received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon.com. He is also the author of A Place of My Own (1997) and Second Nature (1991). A contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine since 1987, his writing has received numerous awards, including the James Beard Award for best magazine series in 2003; the John Burroughs prize (for the best natural history essay in 1997); the QPB New Vision Award (for his first book, Second Nature); the 2000 Reuters-I.U.C.N. Global Award for Environmental Journalism for his reporting on genetically modified crops; and the 2003 Humane Society of the United States’ Genesis Award for his writing on animal agriculture. His essays have appeared in many anthologies, including Best American Essays (the 1990 and 2003 editions), Best American Science Writing (2004), and the Norton Book of Nature Writing. In addition to publishing regularly in the New York Times Magazine, his articles have appeared in Harper’s (where he served for many years as executive editor), Mother Jones, Gourmet, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, Gardens Illustrated, and House & Garden. In 2003, Pollan was appointed the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and the director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism. In addition to teaching, he lectures widely on food, agriculture, and gardening. Pollan, who was born in 1955, grew up on Long Island, and was educated at Bennington College, Oxford University, and Columbia University, from which he received a Master’s in English. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer, and their son, Isaac. His website is www.michaelpollan.com.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
To: President-Elect Barack Obama
We citizens of The United States of America request the appointment of Michael Pollan to the Office of Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America.
Through his academic lectures and papers, published books and articles Mr. Pollan has proven capable of gathering wide-ranging research, organizing it into a coherent whole and reaching non-biased conclusions. This research has provided him a unique understanding of the history, development, and contemporary practices of U.S. Agriculture and its relationship to the health of the citizens of The United States. He is singularly qualified to identify inefficiencies and present improvements in production, nutrition, and our problematic reliance on petroleum and petro-chemical based fertilizers, for the benefit of food producers and consumers both. As an academic and journalist, Mr. Pollan is free of the type of conflicts of interest rampant in the current administration which have led to abysmal performance and deficient oversight of industry at the expense of the people.
It is our belief that this scholarly approach coupled with his unique ability to synergize and coherently communicate to a wide audience makes Mr. Pollan the best choice for Secretary of Agriculture in an administration whose stated goals include affordable health and healthcare for the citizens of this nation and wholesale change from the practices of the Bush administration.
Please refer to http://www.michaelpollan.com/speak.htm for Mr. Pollan’s full biography and Curriculum Vitae.