Courage California in the News

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California just entered its fourth year in record-breaking drought, but that hasn't stopped food and beverage giant Nestlé from drawing water from multiple reserves in the state to make its bottled water.
If Nestlé, which operates three of five statewide water bottling operations in Southern California, does not shut down, the group, called Courage Campaign, wants the State Water Resources Control Board to step in and close the bottling operations. “Taking the groundwater, packaging it and selling it is not a good use of water,” said Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the Courage Campaign.
One group, Courage Campaign, last month launched an online petition in response to recent news coverage, demanding that Nestle stop bottling water in California during the drought. "Every time someone signs the petition, it deploys an email to Nestle and also to the water board," said Eddie Kurtz executive director of the Los Angeles-Calif.-based advocacy group. More than 135,000 people have signed. "At a certain point, we cap them and then we send a group email at the end of the day so that they don't mark us as spam."
An advocacy group is accusing Nestlé of taking advantage of California’s dwindling supply of water. The California-based nonprofit Courage Campaign started an online petition about two weeks ago, demanding Nestlé stop “bottling the scarce resource straight from the heart of California’s drought and selling it for profit.”
“We’re using this moment and Nestlé to organize opposition to certainly any sort of ground water in California being bottled for sale. [It] just doesn’t make any sense in this drought,” said Eddie Kurtz executive director of State Water Resources Control Board chair Felicia Marcus warns against pulling the plug on bottled water, even though she agrees that there are reasons that bottled water is problematic. She points out that bottled water is useful for the communities that don’t have tap water available to drink. “There are environmental waste reasons. There’s the fact that tap water meets stricter standards in some ways and mostly you have a lot of communities that are paying for water out the tap and drinking bottled water because of marketing, when the water from the tap is perfectly fine,” Marcus said.
The Nestle Corporation has come under fire recently for bottling and selling water during one of the most severe droughts in Western North American history. Here's the kicker, though: what they're doing is perfectly legal.
California actually tried to revoke a portion of Morongo’s license to use water from Millard Canyon starting in 2003; the tribe successfully fought that action. But with the drought and the water restrictions, the debate has restarted. Last week, the Courage Campaign, an online progressive group with 900,000 members, petitioned the state Water Resources Control Board to stop Nestlé’s bottling operations statewide.
Nestlé is wading into what may be the purest form of water risk. A unit of the $243 billion Swiss food and drinks giant is facing populist protests for bottling and selling perfectly good water in Canada and drought-stricken California.
The San Francisco Chronicle will host a gala dinner Tuesday to present its new Visionary of the Year Award to one of 13 nominees. Most of the nominees are worthy of the honor. But the selection of Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson as a candidate for a visionary award requires a willful blindness on the part of the nominating committee. Just a few weeks ago, for the second time in as many years, slammed Kaiser for violating California laws by forcing thousands of patients to endure lengthy, illegal waits for basic mental health care.
After a federal judge overturned President Barack Obama’s 2013 order extending overtime pay to domestic workers, Gov. Jerry Brown rescinded his hard-fought deal with California’s In-Home Supportive Services employees that promised to cover overtime, travel and wait time costs. Home health aides have since launched a renewed campaign against the governor, calling for equality with other workers. Their latest protest gives them their own day in court: a mock tribunal putting California on trial for its treatment of in-home caregivers. Former state Senate candidate Sandra Fluke and Paul Song, executive chairman of the Courage Campaign, are among the “jurors” for the event, 12:30 p.m on the north steps of the Capitol, which is organized by the United Domestic Workers of America.


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