(Beyond Pesticides, March 3, 2009) National radio commentator, writer and author Jim Hightower will be speaking at the 27th National Pesticide Forum, Bridge to an Organic Future: Opportunities for health and the environment, April 3-4, 2009 in Carrboro, NC. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Mr. Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. His talk at the Forum is called, “Putting ‘Progress’ Back In Progressive: The route to social justice, fair
food and a sustainable environment.”
In his latest book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, America’s most irascible and hilarious curmudgeon turns a kind and benevolent eye toward brave, hardy, and hardworking souls around the country who have found ways to break free from corporate tentacles; redefine success in business, politics, and life in general; and blaze new pathways toward a richer and happier way of life, from the farmers’ cooperative that said “NO!” to Wal-Mart and thrived to the economists who got into the coffee business by accident and turned the entire industry on its ear.
Jim Hightower was raised in Denison, Texas, in a family of small business people, tenant farmers, and working folks. A graduate of the University of North Texas, he worked in Washington as legislative aide to Sen. Ralph Yarborough of Texas; he then co-founded the Agribusiness Accountability Project, a public interest project that focused on corporate power in the food economy; and he was national coordinator of the 1976 “Fred Harris for President” campaign. Mr. Hightower then returned to his home state, where he became editor of the feisty biweekly, The Texas Observer. He served as director of the Texas Consumer Association before running for statewide office and being elected to two terms as Texas Agriculture Commissioner (1983-1991).
During the 90’s, Jim Hightower became known as “America’s most popular populist,” developing his radio commentaries, hosting two radio talk shows, writing books, launching his newsletter, giving fiery speeches coast to coast, and otherwise speaking out for the American majority that’s being locked out economically and politically by the elites.
As political columnist Molly Ivins said, “If Will Rogers and Mother Jones had a baby, Jim Hightower would be that rambunctious child — mad as hell, with a sense of humor.”
Each month, he publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown,” which has received both the Alternative Press Award and the Independent Press Association Award for best national newsletter. He also broadcasts daily radio commentaries that are carried in more than 150 commercial and public stations, on the web, and on Radio for Peace International.
Mr. Hightower is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos.
Jim has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. He is a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, spreading the message of progressive populism all across the American grassroots.
Attending the Forum
Beyond Pesticides’ 27th National Pesticide Forum, Bridge to an Organic Future: Opportunities for health and the environment, will be held April 3-4, 2009 at the Century Center in Carrboro, NC. Jim Hightower’s talk will take place on Saturday, April 4 at 7:00pm at the Community Church in Chapel Hill, about two miles from the Century Center. Shuttle service for Forum participants will be provided.
This national environmental conference, co-sponsored by Toxic Free North Carolina, will also feature panel discussions, workshops and talks by Baldemar Velasquez, president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), AFL-CIO, and Philip and Alice Shabecoff, authors of the new book Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children. Register online, members $65, non-members $75, students $35.