1. Changes to Andyland activism section
2. Air quality news


Andyland's activism section has been reworked.  In order
to maintain the focus on art at, political activist 
news and information is being housed at the address. 
Much of the ongoing work is organizing existing materials 
(and hopefully people!), but there are new articles and updates, too.  
The site currently includes numerous directories for information on 
topics from the environment, to labor struggles, to media analysis.  
It should be noted that these tools are interactive: you can add to the 
database of links to related sites.  

Various information has been added about the Linux 
operating system.  Although not a traditional category for
activism, there is reason to believe that monopolies like
Microsoft are not good for the freedom of information.
Andyland wants to contribute to the surprisingly strong
body of online information about Linux, so that it can emerge
successfully as a viable alternative to Microsoft operating
systems.  In short, is committed to providing news, links,
information, and inspiration for activists.  


Air Quality

In June of 1999, I received an email concerning budgetary
allotments for clean burning buses. I believe that state
representative Tom Duane was responsible for sending it, but in
any case, it urged people to contact their public representatives
about the issue, providing addresses and further information. 

Because air quality is an issue that concerns me, I took some time
to draft a letter and sent it to several important politicians,
including George Pataki, governor of New York. Since then, I have
received fairly detailed responses from the governor's assistants,
from the office of the Mayor of New York City, and from officials at
the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The letters indicate that 
steps are being taken to improve the emissions of city owned buses 
using either compressed natural gas or newer, cleaner-burning diesel 
engines. The detail of these response letters also indicates either that 
many people have written about the topic, or
that letters written to state and local officials are still being read for
their content (whereas my experience with letters to the president
and many national senators has been that the responses are very
formulaic and irrelevant.) 

On October 14, 1999, it was reported on WNYE radio that the
governor is pushing for legislation to clean up New York's
air--putting air quality on the conservative agenda for the first time
ever, to my knowledge. Although it is impossible to trace the chain
of influence that has led to this move, I think it is an encouraging
sign that contacting your public officials can work. 

Andy Deck


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