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Astraea Foundation, Inc.
June 12, 2009

A great organization. They fund struggling, grassroots LGBT organizations around the world, and they earned four stars from Charity Navigator. I find the stories of the organizations they fund very moving. Here's one of those stories, from an Astraea postcard: "When Selly Thiam saw the front page of the Chicago paper, she realized it was the first time she'd seen a story about an African lesbian. FannyAnn Eddy, founder and director of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, had been murdered. The news shook Selly deeply. Then a conversation with a friend of FannyAnn's changed her life. "I believe our silence allowed her to be murdered," Notisha Massaquoi told Selly, "She was so out and so public, speaking at the United Nations for the rights of queer Africans, and she was out there by herself." Selly quit her teaching job and launched None on Record...[w]ith funding from Astraea." None on Record is "continuing FannyAnn's struggle for the safety and freedom of all QLGBT Africans."

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Homophobia enables those filled with fear and hate to exorcise both on the innocent. Astraea fights back. With more money it could liberate many more people around the world to live full and loved lives, thereby healing themselves and their societies.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public & Gave money a while ago, intend to do so again.

Transportation Alternatives, Inc.
April 25, 2009

Transportation Alternatives (TA) has shown me how to make my city more livable, how to become a "livable city" advocate in my community, and how to reimagine this country's urban space as a whole. I never realized before that there has been a massive misallocation of public space on our city streets, and that we can reclaim that space. In my neighborhood (New York City's Upper West Side) 75% of residents do not own cars, only 10% of residents drive to work, and yet three out of four residents live within two blocks of a congested road, with the resulting emissions that increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and childhood leukemia. In addition, between 1995 - 2005 fifty-three pedestrians were killed in crashes with cars on the Upper West Side. TA has taught me to see these statistics as part of an unacceptable urban planning status quo that is within my power to change. I participated in a design charrette where residents examined our neighborhood's street infrastructure and described the changes we want to make it more pedestrian friendly, environmentally friendly, and by extension safe, quiet, and welcoming. I am now advocating to make those changes a reality with my local community board, and by organizing my synagogue members to (hopefully) make a proposal to the City's Department of Transportation. TA's expertise, beautifully illustrated web pages (www.streetfilms.org) and efficient tenacious staff have helped me and other "complete streets advocates" propose traffic calming changes in our neighborhood which have already begun to happen. TA is helping me and my neighbors reclaim our neighborhood and transform our city, and in the process challenge the status quo across the nation.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

revitalize the main street economy, reduce heart disease and lung cancer rates and overcome childhood obesity by pedestrianizing major streets, creating a bicycle infrastructure (so that 35% of population cycled to work a la Copenhagen), and bringing the concept of "complete streets" to fruition across the nation.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I attended city council hearings, met with a community board representative, trained members of my synagogue, and participated in a design charrette.