HOW TO TAKE POWER
by Paul Glover Founder of 18 community organizations and campaigns.
HOW TO TAKE POWER Paul Glover author is founder of Ithaca HOURS local currency, Citizen Planners of Los Angeles, Philadelphia Orchard Project, League of Uninsured Voters, Health Democracy, and a dozen more organizations. He also started successful campaigns to prevent highways, shopping malls and suburbanization. These have been the subject of over 2,000 new stories nationally and globally. Author of several books, editor of several newspapers and newsletters, Glover has taught urban studies at Temple University, and now consults for community economic development. __________________________________________________________ "No one in the world has done a better job in defining local solutions-that are simple, empowering, and fun-- for seemingly intractable global problems than Paul Glover. He offers powerful, proven, and participatory tools for communities to begin solving their piece of the national... crisis." --Michael Shuman, author of "Going Local," "Technology for the Common Good," "The SmallMart Revolution," and other books. He is co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies. “One of our best bioregional writers.” --Kirkpatrick Sale, author of Human Scale, Dwellers in the Land: The Bioregional Vision, The Green Revolution, Rebels Against the Future, The Conquest of Paradise, Power Shift, and SDS “[This] is the latest in long list of things he has done that seem too hard for anyone to pull off. He once walked from Boston to San Diego, a trip that took six and a half months. In Ithaca, which is all hills and valleys, he rode his bicycle everywhere, in all weather.” --New York Times “The growth of such exciting new community schemes as Ithaca’s HOURS... Illustrates the way the corporate economy has marginalized so many that these people have erected alternative economic schemes. As masses of people are abandoned to joblessness, these will become key ingredients in survival strategies for hundreds of millions. While creating these survival schemes we must dismantle the powers of the global corporations that have made such changes necessary.” --The Nation
© 2012 by Greenplanners ISBN 978-0-9822634-3-3
CONTENTS 2 •! Introduction Prepare for the Best 3 • Right to the Point Types of Organizers Types of Power Types of Action 4 •! Three Basic Strategies 1. Community Magic Act Parallel Authority Starting an!Organization How to Promote Your Plan 2. Give Peace a Chance 3. The Art of the Threat Preparing the Threat Delivering the Threat 9 •! How Elites Resist Change 10 •! Breaking Law to Repair Law 11 •! Forgiveness 11 •!Occupy America America's Constitution Revived: We Confront and We Build A Green Agenda Big Problems Need Little Solutions City Hall is Owned by Wall Street Time for Millennials to Take Control: The Joy of Revolution Essential Rebellions Time for Boomers to Roar: Middle Class to Mutual Class 15 •!Control of Money Seize Wall Street Labor: the New Gold Standard Recipe for Successful Local Currency The Economy Should Be Fun Regional Stock Exchanges
20 •! Control of Jobs Deep Green Jobs Neighborhood Industry Your Dream Job Green Labor Administration The People’s Stimulus (federal) Green Jobs Budget (local) 24 • Control of Business Mutual Enterprise Tools of the Future 25 • Control of Land Land Trusts Eminent Domain 25 •! Control of Food City Fruitful From Food Co-op to Food Corp 27 •! Control of Health Care League of Uninsured Voters (LUV) 28 • Control of Education Student Debt Who Owns Your University? Create Debt-free Schools 29 • Control of Housing Equitable Development Extreme Neighborhood Makeover Beyond LEED 30 • Control of Fuel 31 •! Control of Transport 31 •! Control of Media 32 •! Control of Government Run for It: You Can Win Local Elections 32 •! Control of Police Praise Police Department 33 •! Control of War & Peace 34 •! Control of the Future Predicting History Visions and Plans
INTRODUCTION: ! POWER: You need it.! Power decides who lives well and who struggles. Power decides what is legal and what's a crime. And ultimately, power decides who lives longer and who dies sooner. !!! What is power?! Who has it?! How did they get it?! How do you get it from them?! Can you share it?! How do you use it? !!! This book describes how to confront abusive power successfully.! But protesting greed and injustice is just a start. We champion the creative actions anyone can take to make American communities strong again, to set good examples for this nation and its states. We’ll look at visions, too. You can’t fully take power unless you know where you want to take it.
Big Problems Need Bold Solutions
Whether Left-wing or Right-wing, Americans are united. We all want a secure job, more money, good sex, reliable health care, lower energy costs, pleasant housing, healthy food, smart schools, safe streets, vacations, retirement, respect. We also agree that our country has serious problems. We’re fed up with wasted taxes, rising prices, high crime, drugs, layoffs, foreclosure and debt, costly insurance, endless wars, corrupt bankers and politicians, traffic jams, rotting bridges, crumbling schools. Fifty years ago America stood alone on top of the world. Americans had most of the world’s best jobs and cars. We had the strongest money-- our wages bought the coolest toys, warmest homes and cheapest food. The minimum wage bought six gallons of gasoline. We lived longest of any people. Today many other countries have more manufacturing jobs and stronger money for better quality goods, better education and health care, tastier food and longer lives. That’s because Wall Street has sent our jobs overseas and shifted taxes from corporations to us. So career bureaucrats are laid off; young professionals with good jobs study budget cuts; college students wonder who's hiring; retirees count pennies. Those of us determined to restore America’s greatness can’t wait for Congress or governors. It’s up to us to take control of jobs, money, and health care.
Prepare for the Best
The United States of America is full of wonderful people, including you, and every problem here can be fixed. This sounds ridiculous, of course, to those flooded by tragic TV news. Or struggling to live amid gunfire. Or fighting City Hall or depression or illness or landlord or bank or boss. Even so, every American neighborhood will be revived. Grassroots networks are forming to bring tens of millions new jobs and billions of fresh cash to our nation’s roughest places. We have the humanity, technology and wealth to make America work again, and that you’re essential. Liberals and conservatives need to climb from ideological trenches to embrace a national project that makes life easier for us all. My book declares respect for healthy national pride and specific conservative values (family, community, personal initiative, small business and efficient government), while promoting specific liberal values (mutual aid, social justice, nonviolence and green economies). As usual, the future will be different. Peak Oil, global
warming, de-industrialization, the declining dollar, population growth and limits to U.S. military power are combining to end cheap fuel, cheap food, cheap homes, cheap consumer goods and cheap land.Americans are now forced to build a far better world because the alternative is a far worse world. Mere competent management of decline will not carry us safely beyond severe change. Normal is gone.
“Rebuilding America’s cities, suburbs, and farms will fully employ the next ten generations of construction workers, scientists and artists.” The good news is that modern challenges require us to rebuild America, entirely. Every stick and brick. All skills can serve new plans and technologies. The better news is that rebuilding America’s cities, suburbs, and farms will fully employ the next ten generations of construction workers, scientists and artists. We will fill factories, too, making modern tools that cut our costs of housing and fuel. We’ll thereby cut crime to a fraction, since jobs fight crime. We’ll empower the poor to prove their capabilities, while generating trillions of dollars of profit. We’ll erase the national debt. We’ll restore national pride. The best news is that rebuilding America will create cities that are a joy to live in, whose children are happy and safe. Earthquake-proof, tornado-proof, flood-proof, droughtproof, nuke-proof, famine-proof. And beautiful. Our cities will be the model for the world.
“Such an orderly process will take decades, requiring trillions of dollars investment for peace rather than war.” Imagine that, 20 years from now, America’s regional economies enable everyone to work a few hours creatively daily, then relax with family and friends to enjoy top-quality local healthy food. To enjoy clean low-cost warm housing, clean and safe transport, high-quality handcrafted clothes and household goods. To enjoy creating and playing together, growing up and growing old in supportive neighborhoods where everyone is valuable. And to do this while replenishing rather than depleting the planet. Looking far enough ahead, towards the adulthood of your children, there will be little oil but we will be warm. There will be few cars but we will go faster to places more delightful. The most secure housing will be built substantially underground. Cities will grow much of their own food.
“This is not capitalism, not socialism, but mutual enterprise.” Pretty wild, right? But entirely realistic. Not a pipe dream. Another world is happening. Amid the worst daily news, thousands of organizations and businesses, millions of homeowners and tenants are preparing the harvest. Many know they are part of a movement seldom noted by media; others work alone. Some take large risks; others go slow. Rather than stare at gloom, they fix it. They see a future that works. Therefore this book suggests a 200-year plan that unlocks America’s more festive destiny. It answers such questions as "What jobs are being created?," “How will we live,” What are the tools of such a future?,” and “How do I get started?” This book looks at challenges, next steps, and effective examples. It introduces practical techniques you can use to both confront and build, to promote the America you prefer. Most examples feature my own initiatives during the past 40 years, inventing programs that shift power to communities.
Some Personal Notes
During my first decade of organizing I simply reacted against bad things, joining with others to resist war and environmental damage. I became effective at starting campaigns to stop destructive multimillion-dollar projects. Fighting destructive authority is essential, to oppose immediate threats to liberty and land. But gradually I realized that it would be far more powerful, and more fun, to establish programs that would keep Them busy reacting to Us. Local actions appealed to me, since we could take power locally without depending on state and federal action. Through drama and novelty we'd magnify our impact, setting good examples for other regions. But where to begin? Over 30 years ago, by age 30, having confronted powerful institutions, written many articles and read many books, I sought time to consider my new path. Therefore, I walked across the United States, entirely on foot, through forests, fields, over mountains and desert, from Boston to San Diego. For 28 weeks I crossed forests and deserts, exposed to animals and storms. Decent generous Americans offered me food and housing. Throughout rural America I found crowds escaping city crowds, by crowding remote places. This reinforced my commitment to the rebuilding of cities so that people would prefer to live efficiently within them, instead of destroying wild places.
Soon after reaching Los Angeles, I launched the group Citizen Planners, rallying good people to move L.A. greenward. Members were recruited through my essay Los Angeles: A History of the Future. It was the first attempt to systematically describe how an American metropolis could rebuild toward balance with nature. Most utopian visions describe wonderful places floating beyond reach. By contrast, this practical orderly scenario will take decades. Since that hike I’ve started 18 organizations in three cities, to test these proposals. You’ll strongly agree or disagree with some of them. They’re deliberately radical, like the conditions we face. Most disturb comfortable work habits, ancient traditions and sacred hierarchies. They raise community power above corporate power, to expand democracy. And they rely on average people to become leaders. Yet they open new doors. They help us get ready for the next economy, and get there quick. They make life easy. They are fun. Whether rich or poor, graduated or streetwise, you have good ideas, too— bring 'em on. This book explains how you can make good things happen, starting where you live, with whomever you know and whatever you know Thanks to our Constitution and Bill of Rights, you’re authorized to begin.
RIGHT TO THE POINT !!!
Power starts with you.! Personal conviction and commitment by pioneers is the foundation of any social movement. Rather than merely griping about “Them”-- the greedy and violent Others-- we become responsible for confronting and building. !!! Community organizers are motivated to promote the dignity of the nation, the beauty of people and planet.! They don't tolerate injustice.! History depends more on such common folks than on presidents and generals.! Democracy works because of their generosity. !!! Often your ideas and actions will be welcomed by the general public, and occasionally by authorities.!! When done well, you'll be exhilarated as hell, and respected by many who have benefitted by your courage. Frequently, though, social change is resisted by vested interests.! Even so, the greatest obstacle to social change is not greed but public indifference, skepticism, cynicism, fear. !!! Others will welcome your leadership and courage. But regardless, we are Americans, we act on our principles. Is the USA the Land of the Free?! Only if we make it so.! Are we the Home of the Brave?! Only if we are.! Martin Luther King said it this way, "Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?'! Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?'! Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?'! But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?'!! And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right."! Changing the world has always been a big challenge.! It's the most fun too.! Success requires willingness to risk personal comfort for the sake of society, for children, for the future.! Decades ago, the organizer Saul Alinsky became effective at enabling industrial workers to get what they needed.! His unorthodox methods showed how the little guys get big by getting together.! His book Reveille for Radicals has been condemned by conservatives, but his tactics can be used by anybody to advance any goal.
TYPES OF ORGANIZERS
!!! Everyone is a community organizer.! You've already organized something: a family meal, a workweek, vacation, church social, maybe even a get-out-the-vote campaign or demonstration.! We're all part of some network and we all help connect people.! All organizing skills are needed, basic or fancy, such as listeners,! artists, web developers, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, writers, speakers, healers, preachers, inventors, investors, entrepreneurs, donors, saints or statesmen.! Everyone has something to contribute. !!! !There are many styles of organizing. Manifestos, press conferences, videos, protests, costumes, theatre, door-to-door, websites, blogs, pickets, takeovers, blockades, committees, congresses, consensus! For my part, whenever I've seen a need I've set the table, and the public brings the feast.
TYPES OF POWER
!!! There are several types of power.! Consider which types you need, to advance your visions. The more of these powers you can combine to serve your plans the likelier you'll take root.! But start with what you have.! It will grow. !!! There's formal power, and there's informal power.! Formal power is governmental (courts, legislatures, elections, military,
regulatory), financial (cash, loans, stocks, bonds), technological (central electric plants and grid), educational (standards and credentials).! Formal power usually takes the form of officiallooking sheets of paper, but paper is ultimately backed by brute force: threats to foreclose, repossess, confiscate, sue, arrest, jail, bomb, disconnect, excommunicate, execute. !!! Informal clout relies instead on voluntary influence.! You've heard the sayings "the power of a good example," "knowledge is power,"! "power in numbers," "spiritual power."! There's also the power of language, of ideas, of music and art, celebrity, health, sex, media, networks (especially the internet), imagination and unity. !!! As well, natural resources! like oil, gold, metals, farmland and water embody powers that cause armies to march, and empires to rise or fall. !!! "Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." -- Frederick Douglass,
TYPES OF ACTION
!!! Your greatest leverage for change rises from your nonviolent campaign to define orderly change.! That's ideal idealism.! Iâ€™ll emphasize legal nonviolent strategies!and plans because killing is permanent, and once killing starts it multiplies. !!! But perhaps you are impatient for power.! When your family or community are about to be crushed, you'll likelier consider the full range of urgent actions; from legal to illegal, from nonviolent to violent. Sometimes you'll need complete immediate revolution-- whereby all power shifts from Them to You, and everything is suddenly entirely different. !!! !The alternative to systematically and nonviolently rebuilding America is not pretty.! When nonviolent protest fails to secure homes, food, health care and jobs, history shows that rebellions take what is needed.! Rather than watch their children die of hunger or disease, the poor sooner or later rebel to survive.! Playgrounds of wealth are invaded by desperate masses seeking food and shelter.! !!! !!! Some will justify violence against property, when that property is about to do great harm.! Violence against humans or other animals is a terrible last resort.! Governments demand a monopoly on violence and punish freelance violence.! But Americans have repeatedly used violence-- to establish the United States, free slaves, gain the 8-hour workday. !!! Since violent acts can backfire badly, it's better to confront a problem earlier, while legal and nonviolent tactics can prevail.! These enable your creative alternative to be enacted. !!! Nonviolent illegal action, like civil disobedience, has a long respected role in social change.! Civil disobedience has been an essential part of gaining civil rights.! It can be used to gain moral force, which adds political leverage. ! ! !People resort to this when they realize that, when they follow the proper channels, they're channeled to dead ends.! Most laws are made in the streets, by outspoken demand, then ratified by legislation. ! !Lawbreaking is sometimes justified by invoking the "Necessity Defense," which asserts the necessity of breaking a law to prevent even greater harm.! For many, obedience to higher laws is superior to uncivil obedience. ! !We Americans have our rights to speak and assemble, to trial by peers, to carry arms, to worship any god any way, to vote and to revolt, because millions have taken these risks.! All current laws began by breaking old laws.! Our Bill of Rights began when English nobles confronted the King to demand
trials by jury, then when jurors risked their lives to defy the King's verdict. !! Then the following happen: armies of police are dispatched to crush endless uprisings.! Civil liberties are extinguished.! Rich and poor alike live in a police state.! Costs of police and prisons rise beyond reach.! Brutal dictators arise to punish dissent.! They drag their nation into foreign wars and civil wars.! Rich and poor die in bombings, kidnappings, famines, epidemics.! Revolution overthrows dictators, then is corrupted.! ! ! !! This historic cycle is so common that wiser cultures ritually balance wealth.! The Kwakiutl Indians of the Pacific Northwest honored the rich only when they threw huge parties to give everything away.! When the rich had nothing left they were fed and honored.! The Bible says that since God owns all land (Leviticus 25:23), a Jubilee is required every 50 years, to return all land and forgive debts (Leviticus 25:10-34). The Bible forbade charging interest to the poor, or selling them food for profit (Leviticus 25:35-37). !!! !!! !Greed will exist as long as some people are fearful they have too little.! Where money is god, greed is infinite.! Those worst afflicted by greed will shove everyone else off the cliff to get their fair share, which is everything.! We can't abolish greed, but teach it better habits.! Greed for beauty, for example, can be good. !!! This book is therefore the best friend both rich and poor have, because its nonviolent proposals will enable some people to be wealthy within a society where everyone has enough. _______________________________________________
THREE BASIC STRATEGIES: !!! 1)! COMMUNITY MAGIC ACT.! Proposing new ways of meeting needs is more powerful than opposing. Whatâ€™s your idea of a good society? What will it look like? Establish local and regional models that prove humans can work together to make society better rather than worse.! These will show that the public is prepared to use power responsibly-- that we do not need to depend on destructive forces.! This is the high road, essential but not sufficient.! !!! 2) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE.! Without compromising your goals, offer a carrot to authorities.! Show how they can benefit by helping lead or by yielding. This reassures the general public that you are constructive and!reasonable, even when your offer is declined. !!! 3)! THE ART OF THE THREAT.! Most of us prefer to be polite.! It's nicer to be nice.! But it is very impolite to quietly tolerate injustice.!! So wave a stick.! You have more power than you think, when you carry an effective threat.!One can confront individuals politely, while making institutions tremble.! You can legally threaten to nonviolently sink their company or project.
Let's take a closer look:
1.! COMMUNITY MAGIC ACT
Who are the powerful?! Who are world leaders?! You are.! You can make the rules that rule the rulers.! All nations and businesses and revolutions began around a kitchen table, campfire or keyboard.! !!! Sometimes, to shape progress, we just drop a note into the suggestion box.! Most often, though, we need to prepare a longer campaign.!! We must define what we are for, and how we will achieve it. The purpose of an organization is to rally those who will help and be helped. !!! Organizers feel the pulse, proceed on a hunch, make a plan, take a chance.! They learn, by trial and error, when to speak and when to listen, when to push and when to wait, when to lead and when to follow. Start seeking help to promote a cause and you get magic: people join who are team players or loose cannons.! All offer something necessary.
!!! When urgent needs are resisted, citizens can combine formal and informal power by asserting parallel authority. !!! In America you can, with more courage than cash, legally create your own money, courtroom, religion, health plan, radio station, commission, militia, legislation, foreign policy, political party, labor union, or bank.! Multiply such grassroots groups by thousands and you have real democracy.! I call this underthrowing the government. !!! Here are some personal experiences: !!! 1.! Need money?! Print your own.! In the MONEY chapter I'll describe the local currency I developed for Ithaca, New York.! It's legal because it doesn't look like dollars.! But millions of dollars worth have been traded. !!! 2.! Can't afford health insurance?! Start your own nonprofit health co-op.! I started the Ithaca Health Alliance, whose members paid $100/YEAR to be reimbursed for 12 categories of everyday medical emergency.! They own their own free clinic.! See HEALTH chapter. !!! 3.! Are you being ignored by City Hall? When bureaucrats neglected our plan for bike lanes, I started the Bicycle Planning Commission.!! Giving yourselves official titles gets their attention.! The mayor soon brought the renegade Commission into City Hall, with official status and budget.! See TRANSPORTATION chapter. !!! 4.! When a major university was about to build a $2 million
incinerator that would have sprayed dioxins that cause birth defects and cancer, I created a media campaign that contributed to its swift abandonment.. !!! 5.! Do transportation planners threaten to plunge an elevated four-lane highway into your town's heart?! You can bring it to a halt, even when all major employers and officials have endorsed it. !!! 6.! Several doctors visiting Dr. Patch Adams' Gesundheit! Institute said that in their countries they were not permitted to clown for children in hospitals, because they were not 'official' clowns.! So I invented the Gesundheit! Institute of Clownology, made official colorful credentials to be signed by Patch.! They worked.! See HEALTH chapter. !!! 7.! A friend and her boyfriend were turned away from a fancy restaurant because he was not wearing a tie.! Since I lived nearby they came asking to borrow a tie.! I had none, so I cut blue cardboard into the shape of a tie.! It worked. !!! 8.! Police patrol sniffing for rotten things people do.! So I started a police department whose deputies issued citations when they saw people doing good things, like "waiting for a friend."! Several people said they framed their citation.! See POLICE chapter. !!! 9.! Investors pour money into Wall Street, where many companies damage communities and nature.! So I drafted the Philadelphia Regional & Independent Stock Exchange (PRAISE) to gather capital of all kinds for eco-development.! See BUSINESS chapter. !!! 10.! When the local daily and weekly papers repeatedly printed last-minute lies about our preferred candidates, I created an email news broadcast.! With 8,000 locals enrolled-half the households-- we were prepared to rebut lies.! See MEDIA/CULTURE chapter. !!! 11.! Depending on the two major political parties is like tolerating just two TV channels. Start your own political party to spotlight your ideas.! Done right, you can scare RepDems and get concessions.! See GOVERNMENT chapter. !!! 12.! Want to magnify your voice?! The media and public may ignore just another protest march.! But they are drawn like fruit flies to novelty.! With some creativity you can bring the world's attention to your cause.! We'll make you famous in the MEDIA chapter.
!!! As a community organizer, you! can start or join groups that fill gaps, on behalf of community, ecology and social justice. Whatever you believe, there are some who agree. Begin with who is ready to begin.! I find the people who are excited to make good change, then I gradually move on. Being a leader means knowing when to lead and when to follow.! Sometimes I stay until the board makes it clear they own the organization-- I become happy to be outvoted-- reassured that the group will continue without me.! I've followed other leaders and been inspired by them at least as much as they have looked to me. I'll elaborate on these in the chapters that follow.
CHECKLIST FOR STARTING AN ORGANIZATION OR BUSINESS
!!! 1.! MAKE A PLAN.! Begin by deciding what basic need you'll serve.! Will your group be local, statewide, national, global?! Sketch a simple plan for meeting the need, based on the skills and resources of potential members. !!! Give your group a name.! Then make a website.! To make the name easy to remember, invent a clear acronym.! I've started PRAISE, NESTS, POP, LUV. If you're a nonprofit, incorporation is optional.
2.! MEET REAL NEEDS.! Like food, housing, heating, healing, jobs.! Really meet the needs, rather than merely meeting about them.! When people are fed, housed, heated, healed or employed they will fight beside you and fund you.! Make a list of benefits to members and to the larger community. !!! 3.! GO BOLD.! What are your big headlines?! What images grab the eye and pull?! Put these together above the fine print.! There are so many public causes competing for attention that clear direct talk distinguishes your message.!! We'll look closer at this below. !!! When attacked, respond based on your values and the public's needs.! Be proud of the names they call you-- do not mumble appeasing demurrals.! !!! 4.! MAKE FRIENDS. !Make a list of groups that seem likely to agree with some part of your plan.! Start to contact them.! Don't be surprised by surprises: some likely opponents will help; some likely allies may yawn.! You'll develop generic flyers, but each of these groups deserves a special appeal.! Following pages show samples of focused outreach.! Begin with who is ready to begin.! Keep the doors open--! I have repeatedly worked alongside people I've earlier battled, when interests overlap. !!! Distribute literature personally in public places, to get feedback.! Answering questions sharpens your pitch.! You can best speak the language of the public by tabling, to explain your plan and answer questions.! This process develops a crisp efficient rap, enabling you to speak to the press in 15 second bites, 30 seconds and one minute.! It's good to be able to talk like a lawyer, a saint, a news broadcaster, a street tough, or suburbanite. !!! Announce a time and place for the first public meeting. Issue a press release about the meeting, the group, and its purpose. !!! 5.! TRAVEL LIGHT.! The more you own or owe, the more you are controlled.! Fancy offices, fancy equipment, fancy salaries require steady income from foundations and large donors, who prefer polite advocacy.! That requires compromise.! So decide what you really need, diversify your income, reduce your dependence on dollars. !!! Your! mission will thrive by relying on informal, in-kind income for office space, food and transit.! There's lots of free office equipment available.! Publish a newsletter and sell ads.! Print your own credits.! Barter with members and customers. !!! When your networks are strong enough, you might employ someone primarily through donated apartment, health care, local food, bicycle,! movies. !!! Pricey membership and events repel the people you most need.! The public must be able to afford to participate. !!! Bylaws are thus strongly recommended which stipulate a maximum wage for employees that's not more than twice the region's livable wage.! This will ensure that employees are hired who are more attracted to the mission than to money.!! You want people who are excited to make life better for all. !!! 6.! STICK TOGETHER.! Within any group there will inevitably be misunderstanding, disagreement, power struggles, romances.! Once! I served on a board of directors who loved our mission and each another, until state officials pushed us into combat mode.! So cultivate love and teamwork, but be ready to agree to disagree.! !!! Better than exploding and becoming enemies, subdivide into two or more related organizations, then form a coalition.! This allows divergent strategies to complement rather than frustrate.
!!! 7.! DECENTRALIZE AUTHORITY.! Relying on one great leader makes the group vulnerable to burnout, betrayal, assassination.! Remember that everyone contains creative genius and that an ultimate goal of all activism is a society where that genius is celebrated.! Therefore, cultivate several media spokespersons.! The most powerful whistleblower of all time was not Julian Assange of Wikileaks, but the global network Anonymous. !!! 8.! SURF THE CURVE.! New conditions and new information require new plans.! Successful social movements nimbly adjust tactics (short range action) and strategy (big picture) to run rings around bureaucracy. !!! 9.! BE HONEST.!! Otherwise, why bother?! Try to be a personal example of the values you promote.! This is tough. !!! 10.! BE FUN.! Whether opposing genocide or planting gardens, people need to party.
HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR PLAN
!!! NOVELTY.! What is different about your plan than any other?! Advertisers call this the Unique Selling Proposition, and it applies as much to organizing social change as to selling cars.! The difference is that while advertisers hype junk, you're offering genuine benefit. !!! When starting the Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP), for example, I didn't say merely "We're planting some fruit trees."! I raised a stunning vision of orchards everywhere, with dynamic economic and social benefits.! We were not just another garden club, but a movement to reconstruct Philly's economy and culture.! I posted a critique of vacant land use; asserting that creating jobs feeding people is more urgent land use than condos.! So within eight months we were featured by a half page article in the New York Times' Real Estate section. !!! Likewise, starting the Patch Adams Free Clinic carried the combined novelties of Patch Adams'! name, solar-powered earth-sheltered design, training for healing,! farming and selfhelp. !!! DRAMA: How does your plan contrast with official plans?! When promoting simple bridges as an alternative to a 4-lane highway, my cartoon posters were headlined "Why New Rte 96 is a Bad Idea" and by contrast "Why Plan A Bridges are a Good Idea."! The League of Uninsured Voters (LUV) rallies the most powerrless Americans to confront the most powerful, and to take that power from them.
!!! MEDIA:! Just as media can pump you up or deflate your program, you'll discover the power to make others famous or infamous.!! Through Ithaca HOURS local currency, housewives, small businesses, politicians, bigshots and little kids took their turns on national and global TV.!! I provided media with strategic lists of particpants to interview, to reinforce local loyalty to the program.! For example, the Italian couple interviewed on Italian TV about their pizza shop were seen by their relatives in Italy. !!! Keep in mind that, when speaking with media, if reporters like you they'll report favorably even if they! don''t favor your idea.! A reporter from a major newspaper was so relentlessly skeptical that I realized he had some personal problem.! So we got drunk and talked about his hard times.! He opened up, then wrote respectfully. !!! Send press releases for every milestone: membership goal, major endorsement, proven benefits and testimonials. !!! Reach out via social media and YouTube, but rely on! the neighborhood festivals and grapevine, meetings, regular media, graphs, flags, banners, movies, articles, unusual actions, testimonials, endorsements.! !!! And if it can't be a cartoon it can't be a social movement.! Simplifying your message to a cartoon reaches the broadest audiences.! I've included several of! my cartoons in most chapters. BENEFITS: !!!! Just as with commercial advertising, social change needs to appeal to our natural needs for love and sex, belonging, prestige, safety, adventure, family and pleasure. !!! Here's a sample list of why a neighborhood might welcome a new free clinic: !!! BENEFITS
* Quick access to free primary care: !!! medical, dental, optical + referrals * Green jobs training * Youth programs * Fresh food and farmers' market * Meeting spaces * Recreation areas: basketball, volleyball, soccer * Picnic areas * Pageant areas, Flea market * Spinoff customers for !!! neighborhood businesses * Community trade and barter network * Safer streets: defensible space * Investment in land trusts * Volunteers for the above * Media sees neighborhood problems & solutions * Spirit of hope, power, fun NATURAL ALLIES: !!! Here's a short list of some likely and unlikely allies.! The full list is far longer. !!! artists (musicians, dancers, writers, painters), African-American organizations, alternative/holistic healers, anarchists, anti-poverty organizations, peace organizations, blogs, Chambers of Commerce, child advocacy groups, cities, civic associations, churches, mosques, synagogs, conservatives, college grads, consumer advocates: PIRG, counties, doctors, downtown business associations, festivals & events, food co-op, Greens, homeowners' associations, immigrant aid, conservatives, liberals, Libertarians, libraries, listserves, medical centers, medical societies, newspapers, neighborhood organizations, radio, service workers, Latino groups, small business associations, tax relief organizations, TV, unions.
LETTERS TO EDITORS: !!! Show confidence by writing concisely and authoritatively.! There's a tendency when attacked to defend at length, but be briefer than your attacker.! Simpler words reach more readers. Likewise, humorous and ironic (but not sarcastic) usually work better than raw anger.! Challenge clearly, promote clearly.! Blunt is better. Samples on my webpage.
2.! GIVE PEACE A CHANCE
! ! !Occasionally, Goliath and David share interests.! Crocodiles and lions declare truce at shrinking water holes. Little wrasse fish feed by cleaning barracuda teeth.! Lemons become lemonade.! Win/Win. !! So look for a way to convert an enemy into an asset.! Invite them to enjoy giving you power.! Win/Win can be rare, but it's worth a shot.! Saves your energy for the most urgent fights.! Such as when your antagonist is going to drain the town lake tomorrow. !!! Usually you'll collide with corporations that want what you have, because they want everything.! Yet it seems to me that the rich can get as much money from making the world safer and more beautiful for their children, rather than surrounding their children with wars, prisons and poisons. !!! Let's therefore invite them to help Americans reduce the cost of living, and of government, by investing in neighborhoods directly. Rather than merely servicing and controlling neighborhoods, institutions would gradually transfer economic power and land to them, through genuinely nonprofit mutual aid systems.! These allow neighbors to purchase high-quality, low-cost building supplies, insulation, paint, housewares, plants, health care, solar panels, food. Neighborhood land trusts and sweat equity stabilize housing prices and expand ownership. As living costs decline, discretionary income expands, feeding neighborhood enterprises.! !!! More about them in the JOBS chapter.
Some successful win/win examples.
1.!!! We wanted our local hospital to give discounts to members of our health co-op, and we wanted them to accept community currency.! The right time to ask arrived when the
community currency.! The right time to ask arrived when the hospital had just canceled their contract with Blue Cross, and an outsider medical system invaded their territory. They also wanted to promote their holistic Pain Center among many locals who were relying on holistic modalities.! So they joined us after a couple discussions.! They've since gotten lots of good press and free advertising, as the hometown hospital that accepts local currency. 2.! The Chamber of Commerce sought credibility with local small businesses and nonprofit organizations.! Our community currency sought credibility with certain mainstream businesses.! By joining the Chamber, notwithstanding its antiunion and anti-environmental policies, we each gained standing among one anothers' members.! We became a restraining influence on their anti-labor declarations, while inviting them to describe to media the environmental benefits of shopping locally.! Meanwhile, they got millions of dollars worth of free tourist publicity worldwide. !! Collaboration differs from compromise to the extent that you maintain financial independence,and readiness to speak out regardless of reaction.! When publishing a newspaper editorial against Wal-Mart I invited pro-Wal-Mart advertisers to cancel their ads, but they did not. 3.! The Patch Adams Free Clinic sought free land, neighborhood acceptance, and building permits for its solar earth-sheltered health center.! Here's a sample flyer:
WIN! WIN! WIN The Patch Adams Clinic benefits ALL of us:
Taxpayers Local Medicaid expenses reduce as low-income folks own their own preventive care. Businesses Less taxes for subsidizing indigent care means more that can be spent with you. !Philadelphia can become more famous for solutions than for crime. Sick and Injured Quicker care, more time for care, less paperwork. Doctors and Healers More time for care, community credits, less paperwork, sincere gratitude. Rich and Poor The rich will live in a safer, healthier world. The poor will more easily advance. Powerful and Powerless The powerful will find fewer hassles managing the costs of dysfunction.! The powerless will become proud contributors to society. Conservatives and Liberals Strong Americans mean a stronger America. Co-op care extends care to all. Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans,Young & Old. Several institutional adjustments are therefore needed to facilitate healthy transitions: !!! MAJOR EMPLOYERS would embrace job sharing and flextime, and consider the benefits to themselves and society of six-hour days without reduced pay. Kellogg's thrived on this basis for 54 years. All employers would end racial bias in hiring and invest in workers as assets (even as friends) rather than as costs. Research shows that labor productivity and yearly business growth are highest in countries where income is most equal (Economist 11/5/94 p.21).
!!! TRICKLE DOWN NEEDS BUBBLE UP: America's dominant model for economic development is skyscrapers and condos, gentrifying, prisons and wars. !!! America's income gap hobbles all of us, by requiring higher taxes to control crime; to subsidize housing, heating and electric; to fund Medicaid and Food Stamps. !!! At the same time, billions of dollars of wealth bleeds yearly from America's economy, lost to contracts to firms abroad. Were we to retain this money and reduce the basic costs of living, lower-income residents would have more money with which to purchase goods and services. !!! Purchasing from regional suppliers is essential to! economic progress! Unit costs reduce as regional green manufacturing expands. !!! GOVERNMENT power to shop locally and hire locals is a major economic engine.! Municipal and state ownership of vacant lands and buildings, gives regulators great power to empower neighborhoods.!! Building codes can be amended to encourage greywater systems, compost toilets and solar envelope zoning.! Government expands green tax credits rather than tax breaks, bailouts and below-cost sale of raw materials.! !!! Many local governments are catching on to better kinds of job development. They've quit chasing! franchises. St. Paul, Minnesota, for example, started a Homegrown Economy Project. Eugene, Oregon hosts the Buy Oregon project, which finds local contractors to bid for regional manufacturing subcontracts.! The New Economy Project of Littleton, Colorado built economic development from inside. Their research showed that 90% of new jobs are created by local business.! The federal study "Local Economic Development Tools" concluded that expansion of local firms through import replacement programs can generate ten times more jobs than imported capital. !!! BANKERS would open branches in poor neighborhoods and learn that small loans are actually likelier to be fully and promptly repaid. !India's Grameen Bank has proven the superior safety of small loans to low-income people. This requires an end to racial and class bias in lending. !!! SCHOOLS would become exciting again by teaching all students how to become powerful community managers and creators of jobs, as well as active union and co-op members, rather than obedient drones. !!! MEDIA would use their cultural power to inspire trust and enthusiasm for the future, rather than fear and dread. !!! PLANNING DEPARTMENTS would become public resource and innovation centers, welcoming new ideas, promoting equitable development. _______________________________________________
3.! THE ART OF THE THREAT
!!! Business and government can be powerful forces for good, but often block progress.! Their reflex is to grow and dominate.! When authorities stand against you, you'll need to take decisive action. !!! You can help them, as above, and you can hurt them.! Your nonviolent threats promote nonviolent alternatives to violent conditions that others might otherwise violently overthrow. !!! Nonviolence is extremely powerful and preferable.! But let's be clear-- marches, speeches, petitions and conferences are not by themselves a revolution.! They blow off steam but do not take power, unless accompanied by powerful enforceable threats.! That means they'll cause significant embarassment, loss of money or votes.! When watching one
million march! in New York City against nuclear weapons, Defense Secretary Alexander Haig said,! "Let them march all they want, as long as they pay their taxes." !!! Moral arguments and superior plans are essential but greed often ignores them, without threat.! And 'Hope' is another word for Weak-- we 'hope' the powerful will listen to reason and be nice to us.! However,! it rarely works that way.! Win/win strategies, without some threat, often lead to loss.! Even genuinely nice corporate managers are just part of the machine.! Behind all diplomacy must be an effective threat. So take the high road but use studded tires.! You prefer friendly resolution beneficial to all but are ready and willing to slam dunk. !!! Never overtly threaten violence.! It scares away friends and emboldens opponents.! Yet capacity for violence is the unstated bottom line.! Mahatma Gandhi was not executed by the British, because they feared the revenge of the masses.! And note Henry Kissinger's reply to Richard Nixon when Nixon proposed martial law in 1973.! "Mr. President, the American people won't tolerate martial law, and the American people are armed." !!! Attack values and ideas, not humans. It's more effective, too.! When opponents like you, they lose the determination that personal grudge drives.! They can sooner admit defeat.! And they'll actually respect you for knowing the game, even while angry at you for winning.
PREPARING THE THREAT
!!! Assess the situation.! What do they desire, and what do they need?! That's their vulnerability.! Then pick your fight, select your target.! ! !!! Here are examples of your leverage: !!! 1)! You can threaten corporate revenue.! They crave money.! When you touch their wallet you'll touch their heart.! Where do they get their money?! From customers, government, bankers,! investors, mafia, alumni, community donors, foundations, inventory, lawsuits, pensions, real estate, taxes, tourists, and theft. !!! Find out who owns them.! Start by searching nasdaq.com.! Enter their company symbol and look at "detailed institutional holdings."! Prominent owners of nearly all stocks include largest oil companies, drug companies, tobacco and media companies, and! major banks.! Some nonprofit groups buy a couple shares so they can introduce tough shareholder resolutions at annual meetings. !!! Find out who they own: go after weaker subsidiaries. !!! Find out where their markets and customer base are strongest and weakest. !!! Find out where they get their raw materials. !!! 2)! Corporate reputation. Profits! can be challenged with boycotts, demonstrations, divestment, safety. !! 3)! Authority.! Some folks crave authority even more than money.! From presidents to petty bureaucrats, they like to be "deciders." !!! 4)! Personal reputation.! The toughest among them seldom care what the public cares about them, but they care what their golf buddies and children think.! Some of these folks are surprising susceptible to criticism and ridicule.
!!! 5)! Personal employment.! They need to effectively defend the corporate bottom line.!! Remember, though, evicting a dictator or legislator or CEO is powerful only when it sets the stage for implementation of your plans.! Otherwise, it just changes faces, not policies. !!! 6)! Luxury.! Their toys are extensions of their egos.! Their car is their second skin.! Their yacht is paradise. !!! 7)! Liberty.! They own lawyers and even judges.! That's why there are few millionaires in jail.! That's why tobacco is allowed to kill 440,000 Americans yearly, while trillions were spent to not find Osama bin Laden.
DELIVERING THE THREAT
Your threat will have more impact if they hear about what you're planning from a third party rather than from your group directly.! It reveals that something ominous is happening beyond their control, that your group is resolute, and that they'll need to negotiate to prevent serious damage. When to Negotiate: Negotiate only from strength, never as mere petitioners or protesters.! Never believe politicians, corporate flacks or advertisers, even when they are occasionally sincere.! No matter how reasonable or likable, they are mere tranquilizers for corporate domination.! When you doze they will bulldoze.! Negotiate only when beneficial, not just to be nice.! For example, after our anti-highway group had clearly won, City Hall asked us to join a committee to negotiate, giving our group official status.! They were like beggars offering us dirt, but our group, over my objection, accepted their offer.! This revived the debate.! The argument continued 13 years before we won.! The decisive threat, finally, was to waste DOT's budget, forever draining resources from higher priority projects and construction companies. Where to Meet: their turf or your turf or neutral turf.! Official places where they're officials.! If you meet at their offices, get there early and sit in their official chairs.! Better to meet on your turf or neutral grounds.! Get agreements in writing then watch them like hawks. When to declare victory:! Define success.! Know when to declare victory. Win and lose gracefully, to lay groundwork for next challenges. _______________________________________________
How Elites Resist Change !!!Whenever grassroots activists challenge destructive Big Money, or their elected puppets, they face a sequence of resistance which generally goes like this: 1. IGNORE YOU: "This is not worth discussion."!! You have invited them to fix the problem quietly.! They refuse.! So go to the press. 2 "AGREE" BUT NEGLECT: "We care about (animals/good pay/trees/human rights) and you can be sure we'll take care of this matter." Nothing substantial follows.! The greedy will pretend to care about community, nature, peace, jobs, babies or kitties, only to the extent that common people prevent them from stealing.! Turn your back on these corporations and your jobs get exported, your homes get foreclosed, your children are sent to war and forests converted to condos. 3. TELL YOU YOU'VE BEEN RUDE AND ACT HURT: "We think you're being irresponsible, and unfair to us; we work very hard here on difficult questions, and you don't
understand the realities of this situation."!! Just say it back to them.! You have a right to your opinion. 4. RIDICULE YOU: "Apparently you eco-beanies think you know more than the experts, all of whom have decades of experience in this field. Perhaps you'd like to calculate the transverse extrapolated trajectories of anastomized regurgitant."!! Reassert your facts and values.! Yours are superior when they support community and nature. 5. CALL YOU BAD NAMES: Rulers have scared the public from social change by growling at anarchists, communists, Catholics, Irish, Blacks, Chinese, Muslims, and now terrorists.! Long ago at a Chamber of Commerce meeting a businessman shouted at me "You're a communist!"! Replying as though this were a schoolyard taunt I said "No, YOU'RE a communist!"! He laughed, and we shook hands. 6. KICK UPSTAIRS: to higher level authority, like an Environmental Impact Statement or survey: "An expert panel has concluded that when rich people get richer, the poor benefit."!! Hired experts will conclude what they're hired to conclude. 7. KICK DOWNSTAIRS: We can't proceed without the agreement of all parties. You'll have to argue it among yourselves."!! This is divide and conquer: jobs vs. environment, middle class vs. poor, whites vs. blacks, men vs. women, pedestrians vs. bicyclists, etc. 8. CREATE COMMITTEE AND APPOINT YOU: "It's time we establish an orderly procedure for considering these questions, so that your concerns will be properly considered and implemented."! This is a great way to pull your teeth.! You're asked to "compromise" or "be reasonable."!! As a deliberate outsider you need not be polite. 9. BUY LEADERS: "You've become so well known to us that we think you deserve employment with our firm."!! Also known as co-opting. 10. LIE: "Today America's heroic Air Force pilots dropped cluster bombs to protect the freedom of children on the ground." Nazis believed that "people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it." 11. LEGISLATE: "We have lobbied to enact laws to protect this rare deer in such a manner to protect our profits."!! You need to draft your own law and plans. 12. THREATEN to sue, sanction, expel, arrest, jail, kill: "You have three minutes to leave the building, then we'll arrest/shoot."!! Their lawsuits to intimidate dissent are called SLAPP suits: Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.! Some states punish SLAPP suits. 13. YIELD, THEN WAIT: They give up, temporarily.! "Let them take over. After a while they'll self-destruct."!! You need to be ready to show you can serve the public better. ! !ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOU HAVE A RIGHT AND A DUTY TO PROMOTE YOUR VALUES AND TO CONTRIBUTE FORCEFULLY AND NONVIOLENTLY TO PUBLIC DISCUSSION. THOSE WHO TELL YOU OTHERWISE ARE "ANTI-AMERICAN. ________________________________________________
BREAKING THE LAW TO REPAIR THE LAW ! ! Good laws are good for society.! They rise from the people to require fairness.! That's what American laws are for.! That's the American Way.
Ever since Liberty and Justice for All were made Constitutional, many federal, state, or local laws were enacted that defy Americanism. !!! However, tyranny is the natural order, which only fierce public demand controls.! Laws overwhelmingly protect the rich from the poor, more than protecting the poor from the rich.
!! Though lawbreaking is a last resort, most of the following laws were changed by being broken.
o Owning slaves and whipping them. o Hiring little boys in coal mines and working them 12 hours/day. o Hiring little girls in textile mills and working them 12 hours/day. o Working adult laborers 14 hours/day, 7 days/week. o Prohibiting Jews, Irish, Chinese, Italians, or Blacks from living in white neighborhoods. o Prohibiting blacks from marrying, swimming, drinking, eating, or learning with whites. o Prohibiting teaching African-Americans to read. o Permitting public hangings. o Permitting dangerous working conditions. o Permitting massacres of Native Americans. o Permitting imprisonment for debt. o Prohibiting non-property-owners from voting. o Prohibiting women from voting. o Prohibiting women from wearing bathing suits that showed ankles or knees. o Prohibiting teaching about birth control. o Prohibiting teaching about Evolution. o Prohibiting neighborhood radio stations. o Prohibiting criticism of the President. o Prohibiting criticism of foreign policy. o Prohibiting shopping on Sundays. o Prohibiting kissing. o Prohibiting dancing. o Prohibiting beer or liquor sales or use.
Some laws continue the tradition of anti-American legislation:
o Permitting pre-emptive wars. o Permitting warmaking without Congressional approval. o Permitting destruction of water by industry, fracking, clearcutting, sewage overflow, fertilizers. o Permitting imprisonment without trial. o Permitting cruel or unusual punishment. o Prohibiting paroled felons from voting. o Prohibiting Americans from pooling funds to share health costs. o Prohibiting unionizing. o Prohibiting criticism of food products. o Permitting tobacco while prohibiting marijuana. o Permitting unlimited election campaign contributions. o Permitting torture. o Permitting carcinogens in food and water. o Permitting poisoning of rivers. o Permitting clearcutting of forests. o Permitting nuclear power. o Permitting vivisection. o Permitting usury o Permitting corporate job theft to offshore. o Permitting eminent domain for private benefits. o Permitting corporate ownership of public airways. o Restricting demonstrations to "protest zones." ________________________________________________
!!! Since we've all acted like major jerks, some time or other, we're alive today because people remembered they've been jerks too, and forgave us.! That our species continues is tribute to the billions of invisible daily decencies that override the millions of daily insults. !!! Seems to me that when people are trusted and told they're good, we'll often try to act better.! And when we feel respected socially, and safe economically, we're less quick to lash out. !!! Therefore community organizations can make it easier for people to respect and help each other, than to hurt one another.! !!!! Within such communities of mutual aid, when serious social mistakes are made they are usually less frequent and less tragic.! Let's assume that very bad stuff will always happen.! Humans will dish it out and take it.! But, retreated to safe distances and surrounded by restraining hands, forgiveness heals us all. ________________________________________________
OCCUPY AMERICA U.S. Constitution Revived: We Confront and We Build
The American people demand control of CONGRESS.! Summary eviction is imposed on any official accepting corporate bribes, directly or indirectly. The American people demand control of ELECTIONS.! End the Commission on Presidential Debates.! End paid campaign advertising.! Enable all candidates polling 1%+ free air time and equal debate time. Establish Proportional Representation and Instant Runoff Voting. The American people demand control of America's MONEY.! Issue money debt-free rather than via the Federal Reserve, in quantities sufficient for real needs of the general public. The American people demand control of JOBS.! Establish the Green Labor Administration (GLAD) public works program, to employ millions rebuilding America's cities, towns, forests and farms. The American people demand control of EDUCATION.! Learning beneficial skills is a human right and a social necessity.! There shall be no financial impediment. The American people demand control of LAND and FOOD.! Private property is our sacred right to use American land, not to destroy it.! When urban land is idle while Americans starve, it shall be transferred to nonprofit! farms and orchards.! Welfare to agribusiness shall end.! GMOs shall be labeled or prohibited.! Ultimately, the land is the law of the land. The American people demand control of HOUSING.! All submerged mortgages shall be canceled, and such housing shall be returned to evicted owners or the homeless. The American people demand control of HEALTH CARE.! Every American shall receive the best health care, made available by transfer of funds from military to medical purposes.! Medical schools shall be expanded to train more family doctors, and shall respect holistic modalities.
Nonprofit self-financing health co-ops shall be permitted, to establish a national network that controls costs. The American people demand control of TRANSPORTATION.! Federal and state funding shall shift from automobiles to railways and bicycle paths. The American people demand control of MEDIA.! Return public airways to non-commercial subscriber-based service. The American people demand control of the MILITARY.! Most personnel shall be redeployed to stateside civilian service repairing infrastructure, to defend America from rotting bridges, fuel waste, water and air pollution, deforestation and soil loss. The American people demand control of POLICE.! The reforms above will make policing safer and easier, because jobs fight crime..! Require all police to receive college diplomas, free of student debt, focused upon nonviolent conflict resolution.
A Green Agenda The following proposals are offered to the Occupy movement, to restore this American republic to control by its full electorate; to free its markets for the employment and enjoyment of all workers; to transfer control of money to its public and to establish responsible banking; to secure homes from seizure; to assure quality education and medical care for all; to refresh America's soil, water and air for the health of endless generations; and to rebuild its cities toward balance with nature. American cities are ready to become among the most beautiful and enjoyable on earth.! Theyâ€™re fully capable of being models for the human future.! Theyâ€™re also ready to become hell on earth, due to rocketing fuel and food prices. We're being forced to think outside the box because, with the collapse of fossil fuel, there will be no box to think inside.! Since normalcy is no longer practical we'll choose either to rebuild our cities or be bystanders at its decline.! Within thirty years American cities will be either green cities or ghost towns. So let's imagine an America that works well with one tenth the oil and natural gas.! Prepare to laugh at some of these suggestions.! Then prepare to work.! Rebuilding our country so it secures and delights all of us, and our children, will require hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Assuming that we will not be able to bring cheap food from California and Mexico, or even from Iowa, we'll need to grow much of our food inside and around cities. Urban orchards and gardens can fill our neighborhoods.! Assuming that heating and air conditioning homes with gas, oil and electric becomes too costly (nuclear processing depends on fossil fuel and there's just a 20-year domestic uranium supply ), we'll need to superinsulate our houses.! Since even with best insulation current housing will still leak costly fuels, we'll need to build entirely new housing that's earth sheltered, needing no fuel to heat and cool.
Assuming that cars will cost too much to fuel, even fuelefficient cars, we can put streets to better use when cars are gone.! We can fill the streets with trollies again and bicycles, and wild mosaic pathways too, even using them for gardens and playgrounds. Assuming that fuel costs for filtering water and pumping it to homes, then cleaning it after use, will make water too costly to poop into, we'll need to replace flush toilets with idiot-proof waterless toilets.! These are National Sanitation Foundationapproved, converting humanure into safe, sweet-smelling garden soil.! When our rivers are no longer poisoned by poop, fish will return and be edible.! We will be able to swim with them.! Capturing rooftop rain in barrels and cisterns further reduces water pumping loads. Assuming that more of us will be unable to afford health insurance, we'll need to create our own nonprofit co-op health plans.! Assuming that local government will not have enough money to expand the free clinic system, we'll need to create our own member-owned free clinics. !!! Assuming that dollars with which we buy food and fuel and housing and health care continue to lose value, we'll need to print our own inflation-proof money that's backed by neighborhood and business networks providing local skills, tools and time.Assuming that global markets continue to invest in wars, prisons, stripmines, clearcutting, junk food and cars, we'll need to create our own regional stock exchanges which reward investment in the processes above. Assuming that media continue to emphasize that people are violent more than kindly, that it's risky to trust one another, and that we are not capable of organizing our own neighborhoods to make cities beautiful, then we will need to create our own media. Assuming that government will be unable to raise taxes enough to maintain crumbling centralized infrastructure, we'll need to create neighborhoods that thrive on decentralized technologies.! These would be powerful neighborhoods combining all the above whose residents are homeowners; whose homes are superinsulated and solarized; whose lands generate food and jobs; whose vacant buildings become microindustries; whose preventive health care is provided through co-op mini-clinics; whose humanure and leaves are sanitized and recycled onsite; whose trash is feedstock for new industry; whose streets are greenspace; whose schools teach neighborhood management; whose talents are celebrated; whose networks of mutual aid are backed by local currencies; whose people are proud and sufficient.! Such neighborhoods need fewer government services for police, courts, jails, streets, trash, sewage; and less government subsidy for food, fuel, housing, medical care and mental health. These bold notions have proven practical at small scales in various cities.! Welcoming them all to our city, through respectful and orderly transitions, will set an example for the world and make the future fun.!
Four Great Tasks
1.! Rebuild housing for maximum energy efficiency. 2.! Rebuild transit to liberate the city from cars. 3.! Convert to waterless toilets to end water abuse. 4.! Plant orchards and gardens for food security.
BIG Need Problems LITTLE Solutions
City Hall is Owned by Wall Street Your cityâ€™s real power brokers are bankers, insurance companies, real estate developers, universities, and casinos.! They dominate City policy to protect their interests. They define the boundaries of reform. ---The Occupy movement can raise demands upon any City to reduce Wall Street's control, while making City Hall serve social justice, create jobs, and heal the environment. GREEN JOB CREATION: Employ Americans though systems of community-based barter credits and abandoned housing transfer, to manufacture and install residential energy efficiencies, to remove excess paving, to install neighborhood gardens and orchards, and to provide health services.! Accept these credits for part payment of property and sales taxes.! Foreclose abandoned factories, then transfer them to local nonprofit organizations prepared to use them for green technologies and health services. PENSIONS AND SAVINGS: Demand that cities divest pension holdings in insurance companies and student loan banks (like Chase and Wells Fargo), and move City accounts to community-based banks and credit unions. !Endorse a regional stock exchange. REAL ESTATE SALES: Require that transfer taxes go to a community fund for weatherization in lowest-income neighborhoods.! End tax abatements for new construction of commercial, industrial or other business properties. VACANT LAND USE: Require that City-owned vacant land in lowest-income neighborhoods be made available for organic farms, gardens, greenhouses and orchards on long-term lease with first option to buy. BUILDING PERMITS: Allow architectural innovation for earth-sheltered housing, straw bale housing, compost toilets and greywater, etc. FREE CLINICS: Donate City-owned land and buildings to nonprofit groups establishing free clinics and health co-ops according to grassroots standards. DECARCERATE: Decriminalize such victimless crimes as marijuana possession.! END FORECLOSURES: Cease evictions from foreclosed residential properties. IMMIGRATION REFORM: End police collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which harrasses residents of color.
air pollution animal/plant extinctions child abuse child labor corporate greed crime (street & corporate) debt (personal & national) deforestation domestic violence divorce drugs (legal & illegal) farm & soil loss food shortage fuel shortage global warming incinerators job loss landfills media monopoly medical costs oil spills overpopulation ozone depletion pesticides political corruption poverty racism sexism sprawl traffic jams war water pollution weapons sales
barter bicycles bioregionalism citizen diplomacy co-housing compost toilets credit unions farmer's markets health funds hemp fiber independent media land reform local currencies local stock markets military conversion naturopathy neighborhood industry organic farms permaculture precycling proportional voting recycling solar power sweat equity trollies TV turnoff union democracy wind power worker ownership & YOU!
Time for Millennials to Take Control: The Joy of Revolution
The ultimate revolution creates cities as beautiful as our children, who deserve cities as beautiful as they are. Our parents or grandparents--! baby boomers-- were raised in luxury by hardworking parents.! During the Sixties, boomers rebelled against war, materialism, greed and environmental destruction.! Then most gave up and joined the consumer parade.! Good people, they wanted to enjoy life, raise kids, fly the flag and feel normal.! They committed their lives to mortgages and cars, made investments, bought you hamburgers and vacations.! But their neglect to prepare a new American way of life, after the 1974 oil embargo, leaves you with fewer jobs, higher fuel prices, tougher mortgages, weak dollars, student debt, national debt, crummy cars, narrow ballot choices, poison rivers, bulging prisons, barren soils, costlier food and health care, higher taxes to pay for their old age, no Social Security or Medicare for your own future, and shorter lives.! They've given you everything but a society and a planet.
Typically, younger generations learn from wise elders, then gradually take power.! Today, however, because their elders have stripmined America, Gen X and Gen Y leaders need to rebuild their futures and their childrens' futures.! Young leaders can completely and joyfully defy nearly everything normal, to make America's cities more beautiful, secure, creative and fair than any the world has seen.! We'll take risks, to invent new systems that serve us: green jobs, solar power, community money, nonprofit co-operative health care, energy efficient housing, urban orchards and farms, independent media.! As Obama says, "Change comes not from the top down but from the bottom up."! That's you, on the bottom, pushing forward. Culture, law, technology, money and jobs will follow.! But they won't follow without being shoved.! Corporate headquarters fly big flags, but when forced to choose between public benefit and profit they will choose profit, regardless of the damage to America or Americans. Most of America's institutions have become vastly antiAmerican, in fact, existing primarily for maximum bucks.! For example, health insurers are not in business primarily to give us peace of mind. Mortgages are not issued primarily to shelter us.! Commercial banks do not exist primarily to keep our money safe.! Electric companies do not exist primarily to brighten our lives. Gas companies do not exist primarily to keep us warm.! Grocery stores do not operate primarily to nourish us.! School districts do not operate primarily to excite children about learning and prepare them to create the best communities they can imagine.! Prisons do not operate primarily to deter crime or prepare people to return to society.! Government does not exist primarily to balance competing interests or fairly distribute resources.! The military does not exist primarily to defend America from invasion.! Television shows do not broadcast primarily to entertain us.! News media do not exist primarily to help us comprehend our world and become effective citizens.! These institutions exist to keep themselves alive, make some people rich, and control the rest of us. Currently, they employ millions of us to weaken America.! So Millennials can choose: live twisted to screw everybody else, live small to hide, or live big to build a healthy world.! Some new college graduates will become managers of America's continued decline.! But history will honor those who enact radically healthy communities.
Several profound shifts are needed, to create a green and just civilization. They require courage.! They give life. 1.! LIVE FREE.! Want freedom?! Live simply, so that you can simply live.! You don't own stuff-- stuff owns you.! Consumers are consumed by advertising.! Turn off TV, rely on independent media.! Reside and work where you don't need a car.! Travel light.! Bike instead.! Live non-taxably.!! Create art, music, dance, theatre.! As Benjamin Franklin said, "They who would give up essential liberty for a little security deserve neither." 2.!LIVE HEALTHY. Eating healthy food and exercising are acts of rebellion.! Check labels: high fructose corn syrup causes diabetes and obesity.! Eating factory-farmed meat is the fastest way to get sick and fat while destroying the planet.! New veggie recipes taste and chew better than flesh. 3.!GET A MISSION BEFORE A CAREER.! What do you want to contribute to life and Earth?! The world needs you to do that.! And you do too-- you'll revolt or be interns forever.! Don't wait for business or government to give you a job.! Create your own green jobs helping each other.
Learn from life directly:! "If you want to truly understand something, try to change it," says social psychologist Kurt Lewin. 4.!OWN YOUR FUTURE: MAKE SAFETY NETS.! Washington and Wall Street have ripped you off.! When you're old, government help will be gone.! So get together and create local and regional safety nets the American way.! Create your own nonprofit health insurance and free clinics.! Member-owned grassroots co-operatives empower us to directly meet basic needs:! food, fuel, housing, heating and healing.! These create jobs that serve people, community and the environment.! They efficiently fix problems and make life easier.! They prove wealth rises from networks, not dollars.! Begin with a few friends.! Every big thing started small.! As Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." 5.!STUDENT LOANS.! Ordinarily, people should repay loans.! But you have no moral obligation to repay student loans.! Why?! The game is rigged: irresponsible bankers who lent you the money defaulted and got bailed out by the federal government.! They spent your future on their mansions.! Your greater moral obligation therefore is to provide your best skills to family and planet.! Do not chain your life to bad work to repay student loans.! Loan defaulters don't go to jail.! Common debtors are not able to purchase homes or cars in their name. Rich debtors are rewarded by Congress.! Remember, many countries provide free college education, to keep society smart. 6.!FEED COMMUNITIES, STARVE CORPORATIONS. Shopping is Voting.! So buy local goods and trade with one another.!! Rather than serving Wall Street we'll serve each other.! Some of you will inherit money or win the lottery.! Please start and invest in local stock exchanges. Ask your parents to move their money to Main Street. Create your own ecology money, your own justice system. 7.!UNDERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT. !When it becomes illegal to fix society, follow your conscience, not law.! Remember that all social progress, to end intolerable injustice, comes through rebellion.! Defying bad law started the United States, ended slavery, gained votes for women and the eighthour workday, social security and civil rights.! So civil disobedience is All-American.! Thoreau also said, "In a constitutional republic like the United States, people often think that the proper response to an unjust law is to try to use the political process to change the law, to obey and respect the law until it is changed. But if the law is itself clearly unjust, and the lawmaking process is not designed to quickly obliterate such unjust laws, then the law deserves no respect and it should be broken."! Antislavery leader Frederick Douglass put it bluntly, "Power concedes nothing without demand."!! As Thomas Jefferson declared,!"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion." 8.!START LAND REFORM.! Private property is more sacred in this country than any religion.! Owning property gives the privilege to use land, but not to destroy community and nature. During the Great Depression, when bankers crushed small farms, union organizer Mother Jones told farmers, "Raise less corn and more hell." ! 9.!THE BEST PART: NEW CITIES.! Ultimate nonviolent revolution follows the power of good examples.! Tools of the future include urban orchards, light rail, bike paths, health co-ops, compost toilets, and earth-bermed earthships that need no fossil fuel. Put them together and we'll have cities as beautiful as our children. Glover is a boomer who has taught at Temple University
Time for Boomers to Roar:
From the Middle Class to the Mutual Class
Americans have the tools and money to create an America where all workers are employed, whose every square mile is beautiful; whose cities are safe playgrounds for children; whose food is fresh and affordable; whose waters are clean from sea to crystal sea.! An America run by Americans for Americans is fully capable of reconstructing all homes so they're earthquake-proof, hurricane-proof, tornado-proof, flood-proof, drought-proof, fireproof, and bank-proof.! When Americans take control, we build an America where it's easy to stay healthy and to get healed; where costs of living get smaller and our lives get bigger. ! What blocks these goals?! Both Us and Them.! On the one hand, all of America's institutions have become too big to change.! Like sumo wrestlers in a basketball game, they move too slow.! Big Government, Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Finance, Big Agriculture, Big Highway, Big Education, Big Military, Big Prison, Big Police, Big Poverty-- these feed on disaster and control.! They no longer exist primarily to fix problems, but to grow. Then on the other hand, millions of us are employed by these institutions to enforce the past.! Millions of us depend on their stocks.! Many of us watch their commercials and obey their laws.! Many prefer dull safety to risky action, even to save America.! We drive straight, even when the road curves. Therefore the American economy wallows like a car stuck deep in mud with an elephant sitting on the roof, dragged by a lazy donkey, going nowhere but deeper. As a result, the Middle Class dream has become a burden sinking millions through mortgage, insurance, utilities, tuition, credit card fees, cars and fashion.! Consumerism by liberals and conservatives alike has depleted America's essential resources and our national sovereignty.
The next American generations will never achieve Middle Class excess.! That standard merely rubs it in.! Fortunately, though, Boomers and Millennials can become a prosperous Mutual Class by starting genuinely nonprofit mutual aid systems that enable them to live well by sharing resources.! Such programs were widespread and successful one hundred years ago. Through them we create millions of jobs that revive our neighborhoods.! We give ourselves raises by lowering prices.! And all our current skills are employed while we enjoy new talents. Young and old, we will become the government as we create these regional food systems and regional stock exchanges, establish green co-housing programs and green labor administrations, reduce dependence on fossil fuels toward zero, replace automobile space with train and bike space, convert vacant urban land into greenhouses and orchards, develop cooperative health plans and clinics, issue our own education credentials and our own community money. Such local systems prepare us to take power by creating parallel authority.! By taking power together we regain time for creative individuality.! We move from dependence to ownership. The Mutual Class will also pioneer Mutual Enterprise-local businesses committed to community, ecology, and social justice. Let's look at a sample Mutual Day.! We start with sex and music, then breakfast.! We walk or bike to work, four days per week.! After three hours work, we return home for a long lunch and sex, or we eat with co-workers: we discuss work plans, utility and durability of product, marketing, sales, prices and wages.! Then two more hours of work.! We have time and energy for an afternoon stroll or game, then prepare dinner, make music, make love (Why so much sex?! Because we're relaxed).! We finish with an evening stroll in our beautiful neighborhood. To achieve such better dreams, Americans must at the same time confront anti-American institutions.! Laws that forbid urgent change are a cage for us to die in.! Regulations must be broken when they! block American liberation from debt, layoffs, foreclosure and bankruptcy, earthquakes, tornados, floods, heat waves, cold snaps, blackouts and traffic jams. Yet the most direct path to deflate bad authority is to withdraw personal dependence.! Time to leave the car in the mud and get back on track.! Use train, bike or feet rather than car.! Shop less and shop local.! Move your money into a local bank or credit union.! Insulate your housing.! Be a creator, not a consumer.! Eat less meat or none.! Have one or fewer children. The next America will look entirely different than the one we know.! We'll have fun building it and our grandchildren will thank us.! America went to the moon.! Now America will go to the future. DETAILS: See BUSINESS. ________________________________________________
Control of money is more important to democracy than voting. That's because, to a large extent, control of money decides where jobs are available and for how long. Control of money decides who owns land and what gets built. Control of money decides most everything. Money is the root of all.
Seize Wall Street
We need to do more than Occupy Wall Street. !We need to take it over.
1.! Start REGIONAL STOCK EXCHANGES to gather capital of all kinds for green jobs and green cities. 2.! MOVE OUR MONEY into communty banks and credit unions.! Require that they host REVOLVING LOAN FUNDS for low-interest or interest-free loans to green jobs, green cities, organic farms and clean fuels. 3.! PRINT OUR OWN MONEY backed by our labor, skills, tools, and land. 4.! CONNECT to health co-ops, insulation, bicycling, walking, trollies and trains, urban orchards, local stores rather than chains. 5. DISCONNECT from utility grids, cars and highways, crooked elections, wars. 6.! LET RAGE TRICKLE UP.! The rich claim they don't need us (Atlas Shrugged).! As we do the above, we prove we don't need them either.
!! *! When you need money, print it. Several types of community currency will put millions of dollars worth of local paper cash and other credits into our greening sector. Microloans (up to $20,000) can be made interest-free. Who backs this money? You are the bank, you are the treasury, and you are the treasure. !!! *! Co-operative plans, whose members pool small amounts of money, reduce expenses for housing, childcare, electricity and dinner. A health co-op will cover an increasing range of everyday emergencies for small annual membership payments, ultimately enabling members to hire their own doctors and start their own free clinics. !!! *!The Peopleâ€™s Insulation Factory (PIF) exemplifies import replacement: manufacturing goods here from local recycled materials, while hiring citizens with the least formal education. Americaâ€™s green economy will value us as neighbors and citizens, rather than as consumers. We'll revive the American Dream-- to earn enough money from one job to raise a child, to feed and clothe ourselves well, and travel. We'll have work that's creative and interesting. We'll have something greater than jobs and money. We'll work enthusiastically, by putting love at the center of commerce.
The Economy Should Be Fun
America already has an impressive variety of financial players rebuilding damaged neighborhood economies from the ground up: credit unions, community development corporations, green banks, churches, green businesses. The best of these are laying the foundations of sustainable local wealth: energy efficiencies, local food and fuel, water conservation, alternatives to the automobile, nonprofit housing, local manufacture and trade. Thousands of grassroots jobs are being invented by citizens dedicated to ecology and social justice. We're building an economy that connects people, rather than controls them. Even so, bolder financial institutions are needed, to allow the public direct authority over money, trade, investment, interest rates and land use. Let's consider some examples of new local programs slated to begin. !!! *! Regional & Independent Stock Exchange (RAISE) brings together capital of all kinds for local eco-development. The rich profit by empowering, rather than dominating, the poor. The Securities & Ecologies Commission (SEC) counts local economic progress by specific local measures of environmental and social justice. !!! *! The Fund for Ecological Living (FEL) lowers basic living costs by pumping tax-deductible donations for green tools into lowest-income districts. This creates jobs owned and controlled by neighbors. It encourages equitable development: strengthening rather than displacing long-time residents.
Labor: the New Gold Standard
Twenty years ago I started printing money.! Soon after, residents of Ithaca, New York, began exchanging colorful cash featuring children, waterfalls, trollies and bugs.! Since then, millions of dollars worth of Ithaca HOURS have been traded by thousands of individuals and over 500 businesses. HOURS have proven a flexible unit of exchange, strengthening local businesses, creating jobs, and enlarging sales tax revenue. !Each HOUR is valued at $10/hour, or one hour of basic labor. !Professionals may request multiple HOURS per hour of work, or trade them equitably. !HOURS weren't intended to replace dollars, but to replace lack of dollars. Today, however, while much of America tilts beyond chronic recession into early depression, it is time to begin an orderly national transition from dollars to HOURS.! This profound heresy becomes perhaps inevitable, since dollars have become tokens of unrepayable debt.! And, bluntly,
they're a tool with which speculators gamble our jobs and homes. By contrast, HOURS are as steady as the clock, because minutes neither expand nor contract.! HOURS when properly issued represent basic labor that produces real goods and services.! As Adam Smith said, "Labor was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things." Federal Reserve Notes are shrinking as well because, like all national currencies, dollars are in debt to nature.! Feeding our treasure-to-trash economy, they spur degradation of the essential resources upon which commerce depends. HOURS!would be issued primarily through the proposed Green Labor Adminstration (GLAD), a nonprofit nongovernmental WPA. ! They'd!stimulate the less instantly profitable green markets that big investors have too long avoided: energy-efficiency and retrofit, solar and wind, urban agriculture, co-op health care, and transit. Just like national currencies, HOUR commerce requires constant networking, with sharp calibration of issuance, to balance circulation. Gold itself, still the most admired store of value, is not capable of transacting the needs of seven billion humans.!
Total world supply is a sixty-foot cube.! Sooner or later, as soaring populations compete for declining farmland, gold would become worthless because it is not food. Meanwhile, supplemental HOUR cash honors skills neglected by the formal economy, stimulating new enterprise and creating new jobs.! HOURS revive deflated sectors when issued through regional credit systems, community banks and credit unions, community-based stock exchanges and family farms; and lent interest-free to small businesses.! They thereby strengthen the dollar.! Just as healthy lungs depend on millions of healthy air sacs, macroeconomies depend ultimately upon the vigor of village and neighborhood economies. Our Chinese creditors would approve America's transition to HOURS.! Their People's Bank sent representatives to Ithaca who soon received approval from then-Premier Zhu Rongji to start HOUR systems.! Time Banking also has its foot in this door, worldwide. HOURS ease America's path toward sensible renewal. Putting HOURS to work, and ourselves as well, invites us to repair civilization.! Times change, money changes.! Thinking outside the box will become common, as the box dissolves.
A Recipe for Successful
2. DESIGN CREDIBLE MONEY. Make it look both majestic and cheerful, to reflect your community’s best spirit. Feature the most widely respected monuments of nature, buildings, and people. One Ithaca note celebrates children; another displays its bioregional bug. Use as many colors as you can afford, then add an anti-counterfeit device. Ithaca has used local handmade paper made of local weed fiber but recently settled on 50/50 hemp/cotton. Design professionally-- cash is an emblem of community pride. 3. BE EVERYWHERE. Prepare for everyone in the region to understand and embrace this money, such that it can purchase everything, whether listed in the directory or not. This means broadcasting an email newsletter, publishing a newspaper (at least quarterly), sending press releases, blogging, cartooning, gathering testimonials, writing songs, hosting events and contests, managing a booth at festivals, perhaps a cable or radio show. Do what you enjoy; do what you can. By 1999, Ithaca HOURS became negotiable with thousands of individuals and over 500 businesses, including a bank, the medical center, the public library, plenty food, clothes, housing, healing, movies, restaurants, bowling. The directory contained more categories than the Yellow Pages. We even created our own local nonprofit health insurance. Imagine millions of dollars worth circulating, to stimulate new enterprise, as dollars fade. 4. BE EASY TO USE. Local money should be at least as easy to use as national money, not harder. No punitive “demurrage” stamps-- inflation is demurrage enough. No expiration dates-- inspire spending instead by emphasizing the benefits to each and all of keeping it moving. Hungry people want food, not paper, so hard times can speed circulation. Get ready to issue interest-free loans. The interest you earn is community interest-- your greater capability to hire and help one another. Start with small loans to reliable businesses and individuals. Make grants to groups. 5. BE HONEST AND OPEN. All records of currency disbursement are displayed online and/or upon request. Limit the quantity issued for administration (office, staff, etc) to 5% of total, to restrain inflation.
Printing local money sets the table for a feast provided by your city or town.! Here are my suggested ingredients for spicing local trade with local cash. 1. HIRE A NETWORKER. During the past 15 years, nearly 100 American community currencies have come and gone. Ithaca’s HOURS became huge because, during their first eight years, they could rely on a full-time Networker to constantly promote, facilitate and troubleshoot circulation. Lots of talking and listening. Just as national currencies have armies of brokers helping money move, local currencies need at least one paid Networker. Your volunteer core group-- your Municipal Reserve Board-may soon realize that they’ve created a labor-intensive local institution, like a food co-op or credit union. Playing Monopoly is easier than building anti-Monopoly. Reduce your need to pay the Networker with dollars, by finding someone to donate housing. Then find others to donate harvest, health care, entertainment.
6. BE PROUDLY POLITICAL. Local folks from all political backgrounds find common ground using local cash. But local money is a great way to introduce new people to the practicality of green economics and solidarity. I enjoyed arguing with local conservatives, then shaking hands on the power we both gain trading our money. Hey, weâ€™re creating jobs without clearcutting, prisons, taxes and war! You can make it likelier that your money is spent for grassroots eco-development by publishing articles that reinforce these values. By contrast with global markets, our marketplaces are real places where we become friends, lovers, and political allies. __________________________________________________
Regional & Independent Stock Exchanges (RAISE): Investing in Community
Everybody wants more money so they can enjoy life, send kids to college and retire well. To achieve these, over 40% of American households have invested in stocks and bonds. But Wall Street is risky and even destructive. Bull markets lure the middle class to bet heavily then, often, their money dissolves. $1,000 worth of Nortel stock within one year fell to $13.00. Enron's $1,000 suddenly became $41; Worldcom lost $995 of the thousand. These collapses can't be controlled: the watchdog workload of the Securities & Exchange Commission grew by 80% between 1991-2000 while staff grew just 20%. Even when the market's rising, only 3% of trading is essentials like food and fuel. Warmaking, prisons, and traffic accidents are profitable, while neighborhoods and family farms fail. Likewise it has been assumed that, for construction to thrive, our cities must build taller, must consume vast hinterlands, must yield to everwider highways and ever-more cars, and must spread across forests and fields. Although tragedies such as pollution, crime, famine, epidemics and war are profitable for some sectors, they cripple longrange market expansion. All commerce depends on replenishment of soils, fresh water, minerals and fuels. Where's a safer place to invest? Many now realize that unless the global economy is based on a world of stable communities amid healthy environments, trading stable currencies, then bank accounts are just worthless big numbers. Getting reliably rich means investing regionally. We can bring our pensions and savings home to rebuild America, starting where we live. Local wealth will make our towns outstanding places to raise kids and retire, providing steady friends, child care and home care; vacations & fun; healthy food, water & air; civic beauty; least crime. Investors large and small can systematically create community enterprises that provide us retirement equities transferable to other communities with affiliated programs. Creating these communities, to ensure our personal security within a safer world, requires new kinds of investment, managed by people we trust and control-- fellow residents whose homes and jobs depend on local business development. New green programs are beginning which will retain wealth locally, stimulate thousands of creative jobs, meet all basic needs, share power with lowerincome residents, repair the environment, and distinguish American cities as among the most robust in the world. The vitality of any market demands capitalization of microenterprise innovation-- many largest corporations started in kitchens or garages. Zero-interest community currency microloans, too small for commercial lenders, can help start or expand promising new small businesses. Simultaneously, new local money opens new local markets for these businesses.
How could we raise this money without relying on gambling or taxes? Regional and Independent Stock Exchanges (RAISE) will enable a wide range of private investors to invest safely locally to build genuine wealth and security. Everyone, rich and poor, has some type of capital required-- skills, tools, time, topsoil, property, cash. RAISE pools this capital, defines program RFPs, issues bonds and negotiables, vets contractors, provides grants and loans to the businesses described below, monitors program progress, redeems bonds by issuing business notes, defines the transferability of bonds.
HERE ARE THE DETAILS:
GUIDING PRINCIPLES? This Mutual Enterprise System retains and expands wealth to provide jobs that clean the environment. It converts capital into harmless and beneficial work. It provides basic benefits for all, and special benefits for investors. It transfers technological and economic power to lower-income residents, building relevant skills. Public benefit is personal benefit, whether we're rich or poor. HOW IS PRAISE DIFFERENT than a standard stock market or Community Development Corporation? * investments may be made with other than dollars * repays with regional bonds/notes redeemable for services and goods * repays investors and donors both * pays half of interest in advance * elects seats on the Exchange by community rather than by purchase or appointment * businesses are selected which rely on technologies manageable by neighborhoods rather than centralized expertise/machinery, and which reduce pollution * businesses are selected which transfer economic power to community v. agencies which help the poor stay poor * relies on community-based market indicators set by the Securities and Ecologies Commission (SEC) rather than narrower profit/loss measures * monetizes tools, skills, crops, soil, volunteer hours, labor hours, development rights transferred (incentive for buyer as well as seller).
negawatts, restraint of childbirth, locally-made warranty * regulates transfers of negotiables/bonds among the PRAISE programs as services become available.
WHAT DO INVESTORS GET? Transferable equity in community enterprises that provide secure sources of food, fuel, housing. Interest earned is community interest, in order to provide investors immediate return, fun, food, health, housing, keys to city, gratitude, inheritance, retirement security, in the form of negotiables, bonds, services, goods. WHAT COMPANIES? Energy conservation is the foundation of economic development. Millions of dollars yearly kept locally, not paid to utilities, is money which can be spent here to stimulate new enterprises and jobs that serve our broader aims. Other basics, like food, water, housing, health care and transportation are top priorities. FUEL Insulation: countywide would cut our heating/cooling bills by over 80%, giving us discretionary income to support local businesses & farms, thus creating new jobs & strengthening local culture. The foundation of economic development. * Superwindows are translucent walls with R20 and higher. * Cogeneration uses nearly all of wasted natural gas and heat. * Retrofit walls and attics reduce heating/cooling bills by 80%. * Energy co-ops: solar, wind, hydro * Urban Woodlot/Forest * Depaving FOOD grown locally converts harvests into pasta, canned goods & dehydrated. Food Processing Center: expands local agriculture by enabling farmers to grow for more than the seasonal market. * Bulk Food Center sells the above below commercial rates * Edible Parks and orchards invite free harvest. WATER * Waterless Toilets: replace toxic sewage sludge w/clean, sweetsmelling fertilizer. No more pooping into clean water. * Water Recharge Basins insulate us from drought. TRANSPORT Trollies: connecting neighborhoods car-free. More than transportation, ultralight rail cars can be handcrafted w/inlay wood, stained glass, neon Liberty Bell, musicians on board. Big boost to tourism & transit. * Bike lanes & paths would allow us to move safely without traffic jams & pollution. They permit emergency vehicles to move freely. * Bicycle HPUV manufacture * Street Reclamation HOUSING: Ownership stabilizes neighborhoods, strengthens community participation. Co-housing & Retirement Co-ops: makes life less costly, more energy-efficient and friendly. JOBS & TRADE * Import Replacement Center: barter, trade, bank: connects regional skills & tools to create flexible manufacturing networks that capture contracts. * Re-Use Center & Warehouse capture useful goods and materials that would be tossed into dumps. * Re-Manufacturing Center utilizes component parts from nonreusable items * Incubator for community-based ecological enterprises reduces operating costs for each enterprise * Retail outlets for prototypes test markets the above * Dream Come True Job Center connects people to the regional resources that make our wildest hopes real. HEALTH CARE Alternative healing center rely on natural strength and remedies to promote wellness, prevent illness, and revive. * Health Co-op allows us to self-insure, keeping $50 million/year insurance payments in this county instead of wasting it on HMOs. * Medical/dental clinic co-op/s provide free care for low-income residents. EDUCATION * Teaching the above refines and spreads these processes * Community meeting spaces for congresses ensure fullest public participation CULTURE/TOURISM Art: mosaics, murals * Theatre , Music, Poetry
HOW IS PRAISE STRUCTURED? Guided by an elected board of directors subject to referenda initiated by investors and community. Management is organized so that community directly intervenes, expertise is rotated rather than entrenched, new expertise develops reflecting ever-changing circumstances, main incentive is service. * each shareholder has one vote regardless of investment size * each community member has one vote * democratically elected boards * Celebrate citizens' right to referendum, recall and congress (special meetings). Constrain tendency of any organization to become bureaucratized and ingrown, serving staff more than the public. Staff must agree to set examples: to be paid regional credits, live simply, compensated by continual revolution * Local woodlots and wetland larger than 440 ft.sq. have total 25% of votes on any proposal to cut or drain them. They vote no on such proposals.
EACH BUSINESS AGREES TO THE FOLLOWING:
1. maximum salary 2 times lowest paid. Maximum pay 2 times livable wage. Management and staff are motivated by mission, satisfied with right livelihood, paid in-kind & regional credits 2. employees must reside within the community 3. local sourcing fror, raw materials, design, labor to maximum possible 4. adaptive re-use of buildings. No new footprint or paving expansion. 5. redeem PRAISE stock 6. one vote per resident stockholder 7. one vote per resident 8. board term limits: former voting members invited to remain as elders 9. subject to shareholder and community right to referendum 10. businesses can borrow against the general fund and repay it as donated in sequence or sell services 11. provide public accounting of credits issued 12. redistribute to PRAISE upon dissolution 13. links to related programs worldwide Each business could operate with separate 501(c)3. But under PRAISE umbrella 1. coordinate skills, tools, staffs, urban land use 2. share grants, attract investors 3. issue/redeem credits interchangeably among themselves to broaden return on investment and attraction of bonds 4. gain greater cultural impact as part of larger process: 5. share powers of CDC in PA
HOW IS PROGRESS MEASURED?
The SECURITIES & ECOLOGIES COMMISSION (SEC) defines, valuates, and compiles indicators of local economic health, including such measures as: small farm base, soil depth & rainfall; shopping locally; population stability, birth rate & age distribution; insulation & fireproofing; solar, wind & hydro generation; bike & transit useage; employment & crime. Creates a monthly index based on the above. GOVERNMENT RELATIONS: gradually taking over certain government functions on a nonprofit direct democratic basis; volunteers earning community equity replace taxes collected by force. To the extent gov't approval has been mandated to establish, fund and regulate, it's essential to have public officials and staff who welcome changes of these types. PRAISE seeks to elect citizens who will provide supportive interface with state/federal. CONCLUSION: Through RAISE investment, regions foster fully democratic intentional communities where privacy and ownership are secured, while social spaces are plentiful. Most citizens participate as neighbors in mutual aid associations which entitle them to free and low cost health care, fresh local organic food, living in homes which are so well insulated that costs for heating and cooling are mild. Americans are able to get around town on foot, by bike, trolley, buses. Streets become safe and quiet but for children playing. Mosaic walkways and murals surround. Rivers become so clean again that theyâ€™re full of fish. Taken together, these will allow us to relax in a beautiful community, raising the standard of living while lowering the cost of living.
WHAT'S A GREEN JOB?
Green jobs make life easier for everyone by reducing the costs of fuel, food and housing. Green work expands America's economy by reducing waste of resources and wealth. Green work repairs soil, water and air, making these cleaner and healthier. There are hundreds of kinds of green work. Some of the jobs offered here are deep green jobs; some are pale green. Deep green jobs create genuine alternatives to resource depletion-- trains, bicycles, solar and passive solar, tree-free paper, organic fibers, compost toilets, urban agriculture, and so on. These prove that billions of humans can enjoy this planet while repairing it. Pale green jobs reduce damage to the environment but continue it-- like fuel-efficient cars, low-flush toilets, 'clean' coal. We need and respect these transitional technologies. But most normal tools of civilization need to be gradually replaced by tools serving the future. All skills can be adapted to green enterprise.
Deep Green Labor
The green jobs movement parades as many green hues as any forest, ranging from deep green work to pale green employment. All green work expands the economy by reducing waste of resources, workers and wealth. Green jobs make life easier for everyone by reducing the costs of fuel, food, and housing. Green work repairs soil, water and air, making these cleaner and healthier. Looking deeper, green jobs can also build profound solutions to resource depletion, by expanding use of green technologies: passive solar HVAC, trains, bicycles, superwindows, deconstruction and depaving, rainwater catchment and solar distillation, earth shelters, cellulose insulation, tree-free paper, compost toilets and greywater systems, urban farms and orchards, edible landscaping, greenhousing, solar windowboxes and solar water heaters, green roofs and white roofs. These humble tools prove that billions of humans can enjoy this planet while repairing it. All American cities are today chained to crumbling and costly centralized grids -- sewers, freeways, power plants. Deep green technologies can gradually supplant these grey, outdated systems. Reliance on fossil fuel can be reduced toward zero, shrinking taxes by avoiding repair fees. Liz Robinson, whose Energy Coordinating Agency last year trained over 600 Philadelphians to insulate and weatherize, says, "You're going to be shocked how big these efforts are. The tipping point in Philadelphia is very exciting to see. Efficiencies are the cleanest, safest, most labor-intensive, and cheapest sources of energy." Philadelphia projects a doubling of green jobs as workers are employed in areas such as weatherization, green infrastructure and other industries that have the potential for growth and career-track, family-supporting jobs.
Yet the deepest green jobs do even more than sharply cut fossil fuel dependence, and provide more than a paycheck. They serve the broader social mission to shift economic power
PATRIOT ECO-GOALS (PEGS)
200,000,000 berry bushes 160,000,000 superwindows 140,000,000 fruit trees 120,000,000 solar electric panels 100,000,000 solar hot water heaters 80,000,000 biodigester toilets 60,000,000 green roofs w/rainwater barrels 10,000,000 ecolonies 1,000,000 neighborhood gardens 400,000 community land trusts 100,000 local currencies 80,000 miles of bicycle paths 40,000 miles of ultralight trolley 10,000 farmers markets 50% trolley & bus commuting 30% bicycle commuting 20% pedestrian commuting
toward lower-income neighborhoods. They replace the Poverty Industry (charity, police, courts, jails) with worker-owned neighborhood light industries. They enable low-skilled neighbors to employ one another to create work that lowers their living expenses. Exemplary of such grassroots enterprise are Chicago's Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation and the City of Cleveland. They grow fresh hydroponic vegetables, perform brownfield remediation, photovoltaic installation, weatherization, and operate a waterconserving nontoxic laundry. Back home in!Kensington, the Emerald Street Urban Farm sells fresh greens to neighbors while hosting the Earthship Project, featuring an earth-sheltered greenhouse made from neighborhood discards. Project RISE facilitates green business starts among exoffenders and at-risk youth. Says director Bernadine Hawes, "The vision should be based on what the population being served sees, and not just on the standards and traditions of the professional business development community." John Churchville, green jobs planner for the American Cities Foundation, agrees. "The mind switch from seeking a job to creating a green business has the potential to single-handedly bring our entire nation back from the brink of economic ruin. Building a green economy that has the capacity to employ the majority of Americaâ€™s unemployed and underemployed residents will be critical for our future thriving as a city." This is a big job, since the United States hosts 25 million unemployed, the world's highest incarceration rate, plus thousands of abandoned factories and shopping malls.
Funding this Future
Even so, America is wealthy in this poverty, because deep green jobs that fix the above rise from vacant lots and vacant lives, from Americans hungry for dinner and hungry for respect. Our empty lots invite planting, and our old houses need laborintensive retrofit or deconstruction. There are tons of vagrant bricks and tires, discarded pallets and newspapers that are feedstock for simple energy-efficient neighborhood industry.
Addressing loss of factory jobs during the previous decades, Leanne Krueger-Braneky, Director of the Sustainable Business Network says, "the time is right for a fresh, invigorating and equitable conversation about local sustainable manufacturing. The Workforce Investment Board suggests that "most clean economy jobs will require literacy in math, science and computer literacy. The best way to make sure that ex-offenders and unemployed residents can get access to those jobs is for them to upgrade those foundational skills." These important skills particularly serve the higher-tech corporate green jobs that might some day hire a some thousands of jobless. However, as Green For All founder Van Jones says, "There should be a moral principle there that says, let's green the ghetto first. Let's go to those communities where they have the least ability to pay for that retrofit and make sure they get that help, make sure they get that support. And give the young people standing on those corners the opportunity to put down those handguns and pick up some caulking guns and be a part of the solution." By his standard, the most urgent task is not to employ a few hundred people in solar/wind factories, paying them so well they can become grander consumers, but to create useful work for all idle Philadelphians, so they're warm and fed and respected without resorting to crime. Thus there are are two prime scenarios for greening the city and its economy. The first relies on wealthy consumers to stimulate markets for solar and wind products. Their purchases gradually lower the unit price for everyone else. This is how telephone and home computer markets expanded. In this scenario, lower-income workers go to factories to make solar panels for wealthier homes, then return to their modest homes, which lack solar electric or even good insulation. The second scenario generates jobs, capital and use of alternate technologies directly within the neighborhoods most needing lower fuel and food bills. This follows more the Henry Ford model-- expanding the market by getting the product into the hands of workers. How do we pay for their green labor? Since investment in deep green enterprise will be less immediately profitable, bolder financial institutions are needed to expand neighborhood authority over money, trade, investment, interest rates and land use. Paths are clearing through which the rich profit by empowering, rather than dominating, the poor. For example, the Lancaster Stock Exchange (LanX) gathers capital for regional ecodevelopment. • Permaculture Credit Union of Santa Fe, NM, makes loans for solar heating, PV systems, weatherization, rainwater collection, resource conservation, organic farming and gardening. • Portland, Oregon, sponsors "Financial Tools for Neighborhood Businesses." • Community Land Trusts facilitate "equitable development," to strengthen rather than displace long-time residents. • Lower wages paid by modest start-ups can be supplemented by mutual aid systems, whose members pool small amounts of money to reduce expenses for housing, childcare, medicine, electricity and meals. Of course, there's more to capital than dollars, euros, pesos or yen. Green jobs can be capitalized by regional credit systems that redirect dollar equivalents toward greening. Philadelphia's Equal Dollars foster connections that spark new businesses. Ithaca (NY) HOURS assert that labor is the new gold standard -- millions have been traded since 1991. HOUR microloans are made interest-free. Who backs such money? We are the bank, we are the treasury, and we are the treasure.
The deepest green jobs aim to entirely rebuild American cities toward balance with nature. This is the explicit intent of "Deep Green Cities: Fulfilling the Green Jobs Promise," a new book by the California Construction Academy. Ecocity Builders envisions "the global rebuilding of cities and towns based on ecological principles."! The group Carfree Cities declares "We can convert existing cities to the carfree model over a period of decades. Venice, Italy, is an oasis of peace despite being one of the densest urban areas on earth." Deepest imaginable green is "Los Angeles: A History of the Future," which portrays America's car capitol thriving without cars or streets, where millions reside in passive solar earth-sheltered "ecolonies" amid massive orchards linked with bikepaths and rail. Take your pick. On every scale, there's plenty of green work to be done.
America has lost millions of manufacturing jobs. Workermanaged green factories can restore our industrial prominence. These can be organized and run by workers, solar-powered for health and quiet, producing all the useful goods we need for a much better American Way. By decentralizing industries to neighborhood control, products can be made with pride and skill. Production schedules and product design could suit local resources. Recycling processes could be developed for all materials. Operating expenses and living costs are reduced by interneighborhood exchange of such goods as tools, pottery, bikes, glassware, clothing, solar equipment and furniture. Industry has been the noisiest and ugliest part of cities. By rescaling and soundproofing industries for neighborhood life, they can blend with urban beauty. Insofar as beauty contributes to social harmony, beauty is practical. Philadelphia can learn to luxuriate in the necessities before the necessities become luxuries. In societies whose goods are crafted more is appreciated, less is consumed. This kind of priority gives us a short work day amid pastimes worthy -of leisure: romping, playing, sunbathing, musicmaking, storytelling, meditation, inventing, dancing, exploring, exercising, learning. Such an industrial base thrives on peace rather than war. Relying on regional raw materials makes us independent of foreign supplies, ending the competition for these which has caused most war.
Here are examples:
Interneighborhoood enterprise, neighborhood enterprise, household and personal enterprise can be organized and run by workers, solar-powered for health and quiet, producing all the useful goods we need for a much better American Way. WATER TRANSIT Rainwater barrels, filters, valves Cargo bicycles and carriers Carousel biodigester - frames - fiberglass - chains (recycled plastic) - cables and sheathing - nuts & bolts & bearings - panniers - pvc substitute Bikepaths - shovels and carts - paving Green roof understories - shade arbors - drains - rest areas and fountains - flashing Walkways - sealant - mosaic: tile, glazing, kiln - microfab - shade arbors - sopradrain - rest areas and fountains Depaving Ultralight rail - recycling machines - steel, alloys - grinders - woodwork (stations, cars) - pickaxes - stained glass (“) - electric motors
ENERGY Insulation - newsprint - fly ash - boron - weatherstripping - caulk Solar electric arrays Solar hot water - glazing - boxes (metal, wood) Thermal windows - glazing - frames - argon Windowbox heat grabbers FOOD Greenhouses - glazing - framing
- tubing - misters Cultivators Mulchers Irrigation, drip - tubing - valves Orchardry - pruning shears - shovels Processing - bottles, jars, buckets - cookers - canners - dehydrators HEALTH Swabs Surgical tools
HOUSING Cement Rebar Lumber, recycled CLOTHING Sewing machines Threads Cloth Tires, recycled for shoes HOUSEWARES Clay Ceramics Wood Steatite FINANCE Treefree paper (local currency) Ceramic (local coins)
ARTS Musical instruments - strings - percussion - winds Stained glass Paint Paper, tree free Theatre settings,costumes RECREATION - game balls (soccer, basket) COMMUNICATIONS - radio - internet
Green Labor Administration (GLAD)
Do you like your job? Lots of people do, and lots don't. Most people probably want to move along to something more rewarding, or different, but they haven't thought clearly about what they really want. Or they don't think it's possible. These days many of us feel lucky to have any job at all. More than 3,000,000 well-paid U.S. jobs are lost yearly, replaced by lower-paid grunt work. Today the nation's largest employer is a temp agency. For the millions with dull jobs, life is frustrating. Our dreams have been crushed under stacks of bills. Our creativity is bottled up, or drowned in a bottle. Frustrated people often become cynical and abusive. When steady employers drop us, we're expected to shuffle to the employment office, check help wanted ads, retrain and relocate. We're not usually taught how to do what we really want to do. • What would your dream job be? Be specific-no limits. • What responsibilities would you have? • Would you work alone or with others? • How many hours of work? Of play? • What satisfactions would it give? • Would your business be your own, or a co-op or partnership? • What income would you need? What would you own? • How would you live? What kind of house and community? • What resources/tools/and skills do you need? • What personal/social/and financial limits are in your way? • What can you get by bartering and relying on local resources? Remember, you're creating more than a job. Together we're creating better ways of living, and a community network that allows us to help each other get the life we really want.
During the first Great Depression (1929-1938), the federal government employed millions to plant forests and build hydroelectric dams. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) restarted the economy while repairing the environment. The federal government saved capitalism by saving labor. Sudden full employment, as weapons makers and soldiers, began in World War 2. Quickly following the war, America was fully employed manufacturing consumer goods rather than weapons. Today’s imperative is to rebuild America’s cities and towns toward maximum energy efficiency. To streamline this, GLAD will network government legislation, venture capital, local manufacture, small business, nonprofit services, mutual aid systems, and the informal economy. The greening of America, and our lives, requires coordinated actions by businesses, government, financiers, churches, colleges, schools, nonprofit groups, and each of us personally. Yet, to fully restore this country, benefiting everyone, we’ll need as well new collaborations which network, articulate, and promote the genius of the poor, and the informal economy. The green economy will flourish when the talents of the poor meet the generosity of the rich. An independent green switchboard is needed which connects everyone. It will make green action swifter and easier. GLAD is entrepreneurial insofar as it incubates green businesses and organizations, and drafts legislation to open new doors. GLAD is nongovernmental so that it can propose boldest notions and cross political boundaries. And GLAD is nonprofit so that it can attract investors willing to empower the poor, while attracting employees who live green lives. By reaching to all communities to inventory, broadcast, finance and celebrate new initiatives and resources, GLAD converts us into resources for one another. MISSION: 1. Employ the greatest number of Americans to prepare this country to thrive with less fuel. Most urgent are heating and eating. 2. Lower the costs of living by reducing dependence on costly fuels and imported food by:
• Planting orchards and gardens so neighborhoods feed themselves • Installing deep insulation and superwindows to reduce heating loads & clean water and air •!Depaving vacant parking lots to reduce heat island cooling costs • Installing green/white roofs to reduce cooling loads • Installing biodigester toilets to reduce water use & treatment costs • Expanding transit GOVERNMENT Because there are not enough dollars to hire the dozens of millions needed to rebuild this country, workers will be paid partly with regional sweat equity credits backed by public/private lands and services, and redeemable for basic needs. These credits include: Tax credits, Land credits, Home purchase credits, Home repair credits, Food via contract with urban farms, Medical care, Child care, Transit, Recreation/Entertainment. LEGISLATION To facilitate these changes, cities will provide relevant incentives: • Vacant Lot Act • Depaving Tax Credit •!Vacant Paving Tax •!Depaving Tax Credit
LOCAL GREEN BUDGET
! ! ! !Yes, the lottery is a tax on desperation. But when Powerball hit $193 million, I made a list of how I'd spend them. Then I compared my list with how most winners spend- for megamansions, olympic pools, week-long beer blasts, investments in destructive multinationals. So I bought one ticket, because I'd invest in my city to seed the following enterprises, to create thousands of green jobs: * PEOPLE’S INSULATION FACTORY (PIF) Superinsulation made of local newsprint would cut our heating/cooling bills by over 80%, giving us discretionary income to support local businesses & farms, thus creating new jobs & strengthening local culture. The foundation of economic development. $10 milllion. *!PUBLIC ELECTRIC SUN CO-OP (PESCO) to generate rooftop electricity, while retaining wealth locally. $12 million. *!GRASSROOTS HEALTH CO-OP to allow thousands of members to self-insure, keeping billions/year insurance payments in this county instead of wasting it on HMOs. $18 million. *!DENTAL CLINICS member-owned by low-income residents, to provide free care. $14 million. *!MASSAGE ARMY to provide free chair massages citywide every day for 10 years. $5 million. *!ECOLONIES and EARTHSHIPS create mixed-use, lowincome, multifamily dwellings which need no fossil fuel for heating and cooling. $35 million. *!HOMEOWNER REVOLVING LOAN FUND interest-free, to transfer rental homes to co-op owners. Removes housing from the speculative market by attaching limited equity riders. These co-ops would provide child/elder care & other neighborhood services. $15 million. *!LAND TRUSTS purchase vacant lots for ecolonies, removing them from speculative market. $15 million. *!PHILADELPHIA ORCHARD PROJECT (POP) to plant vacant lots for fruit and nut harvest. $10 million. *!FOOD PROCESSING & STORAGE CENTERS to convert neighborhood organic harvests into pasta, canned goods & dehydrated stock. Expands local agriculture by enabling farmers to grow for more than the seasonal market. $8 million.
*!FARMERS MARKETS to sell the above below commercial rates. $4 million. *!PROUD OF ORGANIC PHILADELPHIA (POOP) replaces toxic sewage sludge w/clean, sweet smelling fertilizer via aerated waterless toilets. No more pooping into clean water. $10 million. *!BIKEPATHS allow us to move safely without traffic jams & pollution. They permit emergency vehicles to move freely. $5 million. * REGIONAL & INDEPENDENT STOCK EXCHANGE (RISE) to connect regional skills & tools to create flexible manufacturing networks that capture contracts. $2 million. * FUND FOR ECOLOGICAL LIVING (FEL) makes taxdeductible donations to install green tools in lowest-income neighborhoods. $10 million. * LOCAL CURRENCY could donate community currency atcost to local government & nonprofits, enabling millions of dollars of services to be provided without raising taxes & without paying interest on bonds. HOURS would be welcome everywhere when government agrees to accept them for tax payment. $2 million. * DREAM-COME-TRUE GREEN JOB CENTERS to connect residents to the regional resources that make our wildest hopes real. $2 million. *!MOSAIC SIDEWALKS would spread wonder & color underfoot (local plants, animals, fantasies) employing dozens of local artists. $2 million. * MUSICIANS EVERYWHERE would provide acoustic accompaniment in hospitals, parks, aboard trollies, at bus stops. $3 million. *!JUGGLERS, CLOWNS, PUPPETEERS? how could I leave them out? $2 million. *!NEIGHBORHOOD ENTERPRISE SCHOOLTEACHERS (NESTS) to reward and credential neighbor adults for teaching neighbor children. $5 million. * Together, these will allow us to relax in a beautiful, exciting community, raising the standard of living while lowering the cost of living & setting examples for the nation. * How would you spend lottery winnings? If you win, call me- let's have some real fun. By taking power we fulfill this list without the lottery. _______________________________________________
THE PEOPLE’S STIMULUS
Here’s a sample budget for spending $300 billion over 5 years. That’s 2% of current federal budget. Not a handout to bankers but a stimulus for grassroots enterprise. (in billions) .05 Green Labor Administration (GLAD) coordinates, compiles, researches, reports staff: 250 employees @$20K/yr x 5yrs= $25M office/supplies: web: $250,000 .75 Americash: National HOUR money staff: 100 employees @ $20K/yr x 5 yrs= $10M networkers: 2,000 employees @ $20K/yr x 5 yrs= $200M printing: $100K marketing: $500,000 1.20 community currencies (1,290) & directories $500K/yr x 40 large cities x 5yrs= $20M; $250K/yr x 100 midlarge cities x 5yrs=$25M; $100K/yr x 500 small cities x 5yrs=$50M; $50K/yr x 500 rural x5yrs=$25M networkers: 9,000 @ @$20K/yr x 5yrs=$900M printing cash: $20M printing directories (& replacing trees): $5M x5yrs=$25M web: (link w/Americash): $250K 1 regional stock exchanges largest 50 MSAs x $2M=$100M; next 100 largest MSAs x $1.5M=$150M; next 500 largest MSAs x $1M=$500M; 500 rural x $500K=$250M
.5 American Health Alliance (AHA!): clearinghouse, resource interconnector, legal assistance staff: web: 30 regional health co-ops: 10,000 according to standards at healthdemocracy.org/legislation.html seed money: 28B = $2.8M each staff: 20,000 @ $20K/yr x 5yrs= $2B volunteers: sweat equity 35 Patch Adams free clinics: distributed as MSAs, all passive solar earth-sheltered 8 Massage Army staff: 16K @ 200hrs/yr @ $50/hr= $10Kyr ea. x 5yrs=$8B 50 Rail: intraurban light revive old grades: $33B for 10 systems expand existing: $15B for 30 metro systems heritage trollies (stained glass, inlay) $2B 12 Progressive Street Reclamation drafting and design $.05B depaving and material re-use $3B trees, greenhousing and raised bed gardening $6B kiosks, playgrounds, basketball, picnic benches $1B mosaic walkways-- permeable $1.5B emergency vehicle tracks-- permeable $.45B 5 Bike paths rights-of-way $1B permeable paving (crushed red gravel) $3B furniture (benches, lockers, shelters) $.5B shade trees $.5B 10 Compost toilets (carousel type) labor manufacture deliver install monitor/troubleshoot materials fiberglass cylinders, bearings, seats, vents, solar heaters
BUSINESS MUTUAL ENTERPRISE: Here's Where Good Jobs Come From
Regions make themselves rich and powerful primarily by recycling their wealth, to magnify it. That means retaining talents, skills, and money of local people in the community as much as possible, networking the community to take care of itself to the maximum extent practical. Here are some of the ways this is done: Business Incubators are buildings containing equipment shared by small new businesses, to reduce start-up costs. Buy-Local Campaigns promote social and economic benefits of shopping for locally-produced goods, at locally-owned stores. Co-Housing provides shared community spaces for child care, gardens, cooking and recreation, to make life friendlier and easier. Community Development Corporations are citizen groups with power of government, to initiate programs for business, housing, transit, etc. Community Development Credit Unions are member-owned banks that invest most money back to the neighborhoods from where deposits came. Community Foundations make grants to local groups. Community Insulation Initiatives bulk buy energy-efficient equipment.
recycle plumbing and existing units -minus $.2B equipment and tools facilities Land Trusts orchards land purchase trees and berry bushes mulch and fertilizer greenhousing, outbuildings and nurseries tools labor equipment and tools ecolonies 30,000 x $2M each =$60B housing 3 million labor (neighbors, prospective residents, community build, sweat equity design (earthship) materials land/zoning equipment and tools Insulation residential community centers Solar boxes labor materials lumber sheet metal glazing black paint, matte screws and fittings tools Music education (El Sistema) teachers, acilities instruments food
Community Reinvestment Agencies are local groups which make sure local banks invest locally, without racial bias. Community-Supported Agriculture brings cityfolk to work on farms in exchange for fresh, low-cost food. Eco-Indicators are relied on to measure whether the local economy is improving for all, or merely enriching an elite. Eco-Industrial Parks exemplify manufacturing of basic useful goods with recycled materials and zero pollution. Farmer's Markets enable farmers and craftspeople to sell directly to local people. Farmland Retention groups advocate public policy that promotes and protects local farming. Flexible Manufacturing Networks combine the skills and tools of several local manufacturers to enable them jointly to get a manufacturing contract. Food and Fuel Co-ops coordinate bulk buying of food, fuels, solar equipment, windmills and insulation by neighbors, to reduce unit costs and gain policy leverage. Housing Co-ops remove housing from the speculative market, enabling occupants to resell their units with specified limits to profit. Import Replacement Programs connect regional businesses and individuals to supply each other, rather than depending on imports. Industrial Retention Initiatives are carrot-andstick programs seeking to keep industry from closing or moving away. Land Trusts purchase local land to protect it, usually from suburbanization. They buy housing to remove it from the profit system. Local Currencies are local paper money which adds to local money supply, raises minimum wage, promotes job creation, friendly trade, local business. Local Insurance Companies (locally-owned insurers which invest all premiums regionally). including locally-controlled nonprofit health financing co-ops.
Local Pension Funds are locally-originated and controlled, much of whose capital is dedicated to local investment. Local Stock Exchanges gather capital of all kinds for ecodevelopment. Local Tax Credits reduce local fees on organic farms, solar and wind energy, realizing that tax reductions will be returned via high sales tax revenues. Materials Re-use Centers disassemble and stockpile components of discards, for resale and re-manufacturing. New buildings are constucted ecologically, using non-rainforest woods. Microlending makes small loans at low interest, in order to help new small businesses form. Military-to-Domestic Conversions retrofit vacated military bases or weapons factories for non-military jobs and production. Revolving Loan Funds make money available at zero- or low-interest for specified purposes when prior loans are repaid. Smart Growth is land use planning that restrains sprawl and relies on regional business rather than chains. Government invents new rules to facilitate this shift. Corporations are evaluated for their commitment to the environment and fair pay. Socially Responsible Investing is the practice of selecting stocks and bonds according to their environmental and/or social effects. Trading Posts are storefronts which enable the public to trade without cash. Worker Ownership Networks support transfer of business ownership to employees. As local wealth increases through these programs, there is more money available for producing goods and services that feed the transition from dependence to strength. It's important to note that local and regional self-reliance do not isolate communities. They give them added capability to reach to each other, with ecological export industry and travel. The above examples, again, are among the hundreds of types of programs that give citizens genuine democratic power-- in the marketplace-- where it counts.
PEDESTRIAN PLEASURE because it’s the healthiest, most energy-efficient and sociable method for moving people. Busy streets are safer at night. We choose Neighborhood Watch or neighborhood watch TV. PAVEMENT RECYCLER because we need to release city land to breathe and produce food and retain stormwater. SOLAR & WIND POWER because oil is disappearing, becoming costly, destroys the environment and is fought for. Decentralized fuels restore democracy and global stability. The Carousel bioreactor is emptied from twice yearly to once every four years. It converts humanure into clean, sweet-smelling garden soil. SOLAR-POWERED SCOOTERS because they’re the most space-efficient and energy-efficient method for carrying individuals and heavy loads longer distances within the city. TRAINS & TROLLEYS because rail is the most energyefficient method of carrying heaviest cargos and large numbers of people. They guide and concentrate where humans settle, rather than promote sprawl. UNDERGROUND AND EARTH-BERMED HOUSING (ECOLONY) because heating and cooling without fossil fuels will become necessary. _______________________________________________
One way to make land available for public benefit is to start land trusts.! The trust removes land from the speculative market, stabilizing land value, restraining corporate use and keeping occupany affordable. A conservancy is a land trust dedicated to preserving open space. When corporate land is vacant 5+ years, especially when arrears in taxes, it should be transforme to orchards, gardens, parks and green housing. Start now: take unused property by "adverse possession."! After several years of “open and notorious” use of vacant land or buildings one may claim ownership.
Tools of the Future
The following technologies exemplify maximum energy efficiency, maximum recyclable parts, least waste, least contamination, most local control, simplicity of use by young and old, strong and weak. There are many financial, legal, bureaucratic, cultural and political reasons why these will be resisted. When proposing change, ridicule is inevitable. And there is articulate, well-reasoned hostility to any change. But there will arise more compelling reasons why these will be installed. BAMBOO because we need to replace tree wood, plastic & steel piping BICYCLES & PEDAL POWER because it’s the cleanest, most space-efficient and energy-efficient method of moving individuals and small loads short distances. COMPOST TOILETS because we can’t continue to poop into clean water. KENAF PAPER because paper made from trees wastes forests and fuels. Kenaf serves as ground cover, soil penetrator, nitrogen fixer, water retainer, soil stabilizer, paper pulp. NON-PVC PIPING because dioxins are among humanity’s most toxic inventions. ORCHARDS & BERRIES because we need to produce more food within the city with less intensive manual labor, and to bioremediate soil.
Everything we hope to achieve, have and enjoy would be shaken from our grasp, without the miracle of seeds unfolding into food, far from where we live. Are you on the road to success? Take food with you. Whether we eat from silver plates or tin cups, three times daily or three times weekly, we will eat or die. Fortunately, enough food is brought to your city to fill
City Hall every night. While we sleep milions of trucks deliver billions of pounds to thousands of wholesale and supermarket warehouses. Fruits and vegetables reach us from California's Imperial and San Joaquin Valleys, from Florida, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Mexico and Central and South America. Local milk and eggs refrigerate here with slaughtered western steer. Fish from the Pacific and Atlantic flop ashore. The system never rests, delivering the greatest variety of eats for the least paycheck, any place on earth. From high above, our machines and trucks and toilers would look like blood cells racing through an athlete. We are fed so well we can live preoccupied with careers, romance, God, homes, sex, families and thrills. As the cartoon shows, metals and fuels forge tools which raise food. The food we buy has survived bugs, birds, weeds, diseases, erosion, drought, flood, poison, harvest, storage, trimming, crushing, mixing, cooking, packaging, spoilage, more storage, and transport to wholesalers and then markets, to be swallowed by us. But there are problems in heaven. American cities have become armies camped far from their sources of supply, using distant natural resources faster than these renew. For example, although Los Angeles was once the greatest garden in the world, producing more food between 1910 and 1950 than any county in the United States, it now imports most food from hundreds and thousands of miles away. Gigantic local orchards, farmlands and grasslands were paved for the region's latest crop: people. Every day thousands additional Americans arrive, each wanting as much food as you, yet each day eight square miles of agricultural land is destroyed for suburbs, shopping centers and stripmines. Costlier fertilizers and deadlier pesticides are needed to pump more food from overworked dirt. Twentysix square miles of topsoil fly or float away daily. At the same time, America sells grains abroad, trying to feed nations which have preceded us toward agricultural ruin. More hunger is served by less land every day.
Relax, though, don't eat faster. We are not riding a spoon to the mouth of doom. You're doing your part to help the world by one or more of these changes: You're eating less meat, so that grains are fed to humans, and animals do not suffer. You're shopping for regional labels, rather than eating food hauled cross-country. You're growing some of your own food. You recycle kitchen scraps into your garden. you're buying bulk when you can, looking for food value rather than packaging. You ask your grocer to stock organic fruits and vegetables. You support small farms by spending at farmer's markets. You plant fruit trees rather than ornamentals. You control retail sales by joining or starting a buying club or coop. You're having a good time without wasting metals, plastic, oil, paper and electricity. You have one or fewer children, and adopt the rest. Cities and towns are starting to plant edible parks, to link building codes and development options to urban agriculture, to fund food preservation centers, turn clean sludge into fertilizer, establish land trusts and agricultural zones, and give tax breaks to greenhouses. Some states buy farming rights to agricultural land threatened with suburbanization. These and related can be done at the insistence of citizens. There are many organizations working to grow healthy food systems, providing money, information and encouragement for all who want to heal the earth. Even large factory farms are beginning to learn the benefits of non-toxic pest control, drip irrigation, green manure, mulching, intercropping, rotation and genetic diversity. The time is ripe.
Securing an American Future
Changes in food and fuel supply and distribution will bring changes in our personal lives, corporate goals and legal contracts. Some changes will be easy, others hard. All are opportunities for living better. Sooner, rather than later, developers will lose the right to destroy topsoil that could feed thousands of Americans for hundreds of years, merely to house suburbanites. But their skills will be needed to rebuild Ithaca toward balance with nature. These new laws, organizations and personal styles show understanding that, no matter how super our computers, we will never invent substitutes for food, water and air, that our nation will progress or erode with its soil, that ultimately the land is the law of the land.
The City Fruitful
. â€œYou can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you can't count the number of apples in a seed." Fruits and nuts are better suited for urban agriculture than ground crops, because trees produce healthy fruits from contaminated soils. They bring toxins up the trunk but not into food. Moreover, tending trees is less laborious than raising vegetables. The next America will welcome orchards and gardens where cars now pass and park. Housing will consolidate to allow roofs and yards to bloom. At full flower, urban acres will be 50% edible (producing much of its own food), 20% habitable (with more people than today), 10% commercial (factories, markets, storage), 10% wild or unusable, 5% recreational (playing fields, playgrounds, amphitheaters), 5% mobile (trollies, bikepaths, pedways). This enormous change will be gradual and systematic, providing basic security and causing less disturbance than would trying to avoid change. Though food is assumed to grow outside cities, there are several reasons why food must be grown in cities and why, in fact, cities need to be rebuilt to make space for crops amid people. 1) SECURITY: Food does not grow on shelves or live in vending machines. It comes from distant soils, which are diminishing, and is owned by remote companies. We are more secure when we own and control food, in our neighborhoods. 2) ENERGY-EFFICIENCY: Oil and natural gas shortages will raise food prices, because agribusiness relies heavily on fossil fuels for planting, fertilizing, cultivating, harvest, processing, and distribution. 3) ENVIRONMENT: Air will become cleaner and fragrant, greenhouse gases will reduce, ground-level ozone will form less rapidly, stormwater will be absorbed, groundwater will be filtered, less packaging will be trashed. 4) SOCIAL: Neighborhood labor will generate more jobs and less crime, neighbors will know and trust one another, children will enjoy playgrounds and be connected to a safe and beautiful community. 5) PERSONAL: Weâ€™ll have greater mental and physical health, make new friends. To accommodate this transformation, several broad changes begin. â€˘ housing is rebuilt as ecolonies which consolidate residential space.
• soil is decontaminated • water is retained for irrigation •!sewerage is reformed • irrigation is efficient • harvest is processed • harvest is stored • transit is expanded Urban orchards have a long history. For example, Southern California was once known as the Orange Empire, hosting 100 million orange trees, just 60 years ago. Orchards 15 miles long and 8 miles wide spread across the basin. In 1910, the walnuts of southern California had a total value greater than all other nuts grown in the United States. The cities of Walnut, Pomona (Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards), Gardena, Hawthorne, Bell Gardens and Orange recall those years. Even within the City of Los Angeles, assuming orchards on two-thirds of the 50% total acres allocated to crops, we could plant 67 million food trees. That’s 22 trees per resident. In Pasadena nearby, the Dervaes family grows 6,000 lbs/year of 350 varieties of foods on a lot just 66’ x 132’. In Austin, Texas, TreeFolks Urban Orchard Project plants orchards and teaches planting skills to neighbors and schoolchildren. In India, one quarter of all city trees yield fruit. Prague and Stockholm fill open space with apple, pear and plum trees. And over in Philadelphia, without knowing how to plant a tree, I started the Philly Orchard Project. Began by making a display, went to public parks, collected names and emails of supporters, found board of directors, To date, POP has planted over 25 orchards. To promote POP, I broadcast the following manifesto:
From Food Co-op to Food Corp
The Woodstock Generation started food co-ops in the 70s to provide healthy food cheap, by pooling labor. They confronted capitalism, hierarchy, and agribusiness' abuses of human health, labor, nature and animals. They sought community control of capital, for local benefit. As the Boomers aged they became America's landowners, landlords, executives and investors. Their food co-ops likewise gradually gentrified, becoming New Age convenience stores less committed to low prices, bulk food staples, whole foods, non-corporate brands, member labor, member committees. Food co-ops became job machines whose greatest priority is the payroll. Today, co-op wealth leaves town when 401(k) retirement plans plow staff benefits into global stock markets. Likewise, sales of corporate organic brands such as Hain (Bearitos) send local cash to Monsanto, ExxonMobil, WalMart, Citicorp and McDonalds. This has been done in the name of "professionalization," to ensure co-op survival in a capitalist world. There is a difference between professionalization and corporatization, however. Co-op Grocer magazine promotes corporate "industry standards" and the costly consultants who reinforce these. They endorse "Policy Governance," which explicitly disparages membership committees. It also requires the co-op board of directors to "speak with one voice," blocking minority board views. Such governance relegates directors to broad discussion of goals and values. Meanwhile their General Managers must interpret lofty goals narrowly, as payroll pressures grow. Co-op Boomers have thus abandoned their children and grandchildren to a brutal debt-ridden economy with depleted
natural resources, without truly affordable safety nets for food, health and finance. While Boomers fade and drain Social Security, Busters will need to revive genuine co-op traditions to meet their needs. They can professionalize without corporatizing. This means their new co-ops will stay lean and green, by hiring only those who live simply-- more excited by mission than money. New co-ops will need to avoid mortgages and slash utility bills by rehabbing marginal properties with member labor and deep insulation; relying on community credits and barter; stocking low-markup bulk staples grown regionally; starting affiliate health co-ops, housing co-ops, revolving loan funds, and regional stock exchanges. These mutual aid programs, and community solidarity, will be their social security. _______________________________________________
Healthy Rebellion: League of Uninsured Voters (LUV)
For 99 years the campaign for universal health coverage has relied on conferences, panel discussions, petitions and rallies.! These vent moral indignation but lack power.! Today, 51 million Americans without medical insurance and 30 million Americans paying for inadequate coverage will not get prompt affordable health care through polite legal means. That's because Congress and insurance companies are now significantly owned by multinational investment firms.! Thus policy is made in remote board rooms that maximize profit and minimize people.! These stuffed suits and their puppets have no concern for suffering Americans, slick advertisements notwithstanding. Therefore, to take effective control of medical care, the uninsured and our allies have begun organizing to damage the profitability of insurance investments, while building a new American health system. The League of Uninsured Voters (LUV) embraces the American tradition of rowdy confrontation that ended slavery, gained votes for women, won the eight-hour workday, pressed for social security, demanded civil rights, secured AIDS funding, and established the nation.! Through LUV, we uninsured take leadership to expand Medicare to all.! Liberal campaigns need our initiative, because moral indignation is less powerful than desperation.! Our successful confrontations require calculating the needs and vulnerabilities of of insurers and their investors, in order to frustrate them until we win.! There are several ways to
damage profitability.! Foremost, our liberal allies can withdraw money from stock markets and move it into regional economies and local banks-- especially into special funds for weatherization, solar power, local farms, microlending. The largest stockholders of medical insurance include Microsoft, Google, Apple, Chevron, Exxon, Cisco Systems, Pfizer, Merck, Bank of America.! Such divestment is necessary for ending medical apartheid. Members of LUV do not petition Congress.! We do not send them our signatures; we send them our medical bills. We enclose these with the note, "You voted against expanding Medicare, so you pay it."! Likewise we send our medical bills to HMOs with the note "Your company lobbied against expanding Medicare, so you pay it."! Millions of such letters yearly will clog the system. When your family, friends or community are being violently squeezed by greed, it's impolite to be polite.! So here's more LUV member action: ! We ask our labor union friends to demand pension fund divestment from unsurance companies. ! We ask our friends abroad to divest from American stocks until America respects our lives. ! We ask drivers and truckers to boycott Chevron and Exxon, which fatten on unsurance stocks. ! We turn off TV channels and cancel newspaper subscriptions when media tell us we aren't worth the money. We'll seek news that strengthens us. ! We!refuse to vote for anyone who voted against our health. There are more millions uninsured than in AARP. ! We encourage family and friends not to enlist or reenlist until America defends our lives. By paying taxes we get a free army. We should get free medical care, too. With bases in 150 countries, our military no longer defends the nation; it offends the world. ! We!take our ailing friends to clinics tending the rich and we will not leave until tended. When challenged, we invoke the "necessity defense"-- breaking existing law to prevent greater harm. ! We invade insurers' offices, and conferences, and golf courses. ! At the same time, weâ€™re building a new American health system.! We will demand the right to start regional memberowned health co-operatives which develop low-cost accident plans according to strict standards of affordability, transparency and democracy.! These will provide the genuinely nonprofit infrastructure upon which national insurance can contain costs. We will start local health co-ops that compete with health unsurance, even where in violation of laws made by insurers. We invoke again the necessity defense. ! More member-owned community health clinics ! More medical schools and greater emphasis on preventive, family, and holistic care Permit doctors to practice in any state Permit Independent Nurse Practitioners in all states End corporate bribes to legislators and regulators ! Shift budgets from prisons and war to clinics and jobs.! We're better served by creating jobs fixing our schools and bridges, and by building 150,000 new free clinics. ! Clean water and air.! Since health is more than pills and surgery, we're an environmental movement. Our actions will be nonviolent but as extreme as our situation. Is this class war? Yes. We didn't start it but we'll finish it. As billionaire Warren Buffett says, "It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be." More info: luvpower.org
Today, some college majors address the ecological significance of their field. There are degrees in urban sustainability, urban ecology, sustainable design, regional environmental economics, permaculture, Green MBAs, and so on. Academia has begun to respond to the demands of the next generation for a clean and healthy world., but the process is too slow. Most universities and colleges still major in corporate servitude. Most curricula are less relevant to the urgencies of rebuilding civilization so we live well with less fossil fuel, reliant more upon neighborhoods than corporations. Architecture still teaches styrofoam modeling of energy-wasting headquarters, using professional jargon, Chemistry still emphasizes invention of new toxins-- compounds that compound corporate control while degrading public health. Agriculture, horticulture and nutrition teach reliance on these. Engineering, business, electronics likewise typically promote centralized tools, rather than tools that empower communities. Psychology features management of the poor rather than manipulation of the greed syndromes of the rich. And much of academia functions as a large ingrown toenail. Academics study one anothersâ€™ studies of one anothersâ€™ studies, without risking failure in the real world. Rather than learn, think, and then do; they think about thinking and call it learning. While action without theory can be reckless, theory without action is worthless. Commitment to democracy requires spreading knowlege broadly rather than hoarding it. Worst of all, universities charge high tuition and dump debt onto students because big buildings, big bureaucracies and big salaries must be maintained. Overpriced textbooks add to the burden.
Years ago I told my students that I believe they have no moral obligation to repay student loans. Intelligent nations provide free university education so their youth will be better citizens. The corporations they would repay have stolen their futures, by destroying America's industrial and financial base, while draining MediCare and Social Security. Therefore, rather than worry about loan repayments, graduates have a greater moral obligation to do with their lives what is best for themselves, their families, communities, the nation and the planet. Ordinarily we are obliged to honor contracts. This contract, however, chains students to decades of debt servitude which they must repay often by doing work they dislike and which damages communities and nature. When the alternative to signing such malicious contracts is having no college education, it is a contract made under duress and should be broken. Both education and health care are rights to be enjoyed by all, not just the rich.
Bankers and Wall Street are screwing an entire generation. Their mismanagement of the economy has battered the link between college diplomas and dignified jobs. Again, the greater moral obligation of graduates is explore lives and work which repair the future. Obligation to bankers is last on the list. When parents cosign the contract the student is on the hook. Millions of such students and parents will need to create broader political challenges. But when the student is the only signer they have complete discretion. Their penalty for defaulting loans is that they'll less easily be able to buy a home or car in their name. You can live in a home or drive a car anyway. Owning cars and homes has been overrated. These easily become anchors rather than wings. Universities will be forced to accommodate new realities.
Who Owns Your University? RESEARCH: • legal origin of Trustees' authority historically and currently •!Board of Trustees election/selectio n process (corporate links) • militarization and corporatization of funding • prevailing ideology favoring elites •!Who drafts budget? •!Who contracts with corporations? •!What corporate connections exist between trustees and alumni? •!Who manages/invests the endowments? •!Who manages pension funds? •!Who sets salaries? Who sets tuition? •!Who approves new buildings? •!Who sets hiring priorities? •!What ideological filters to hiring? •!Who defines codes of conduct, punishments? •!Who calls out the police? •!Who sets standards for student selection?
ARTICULATE THE VISION:
•!People's Trustees •!new fiscal functionality: funding and tuition • decentralized & energy-efficient technologies •!new employment on campus and for graduates • livable wages and co-op infrastructure • participatory research and action conjoined •!self-interest of this institution's survival in changing world •!greater job security •!stabilized tuition •!new employment opportunities CAMPAIGN ACTIONS: •!survey of students, staff, faculty and administration • public meetings •!specific leverage •!specific demands
Create Debt-Free Schools
New universities and new curricula are emerging to serve needs for low-cost and enlightened knowledge. When you don't see education of a style and price you prefer, get together to create your own curricula and university and credential. By effective promotion, you'll overtake the Ivies. Decide what you’d like to learn and what future you’d like to serve. Get together with friends and design your own green, fair trade curriculum. Select online books and YouTube videos. Find unemployed teachers and hands-on
experts who will teach outdoors or in living rooms in exchange for barter. Issue your own credentials, then honor them by hiring one another.
Okay, USA, the greatest country in the world should have the best housing. The bert housing would be earthquake-proof, tornado-proof, floodproof, fireproof, nuke meltdown-proof, bank-proof, utility-free, beautiful, surrounded by beauty and by good neighbors. It’s pretty easy to build a few such places for the ecoelite. But such housing would be available to all. We’re planning a great nation, not a great divide. The first step is making some prototypes. The few available are called earthships, or ecolonies. RMI. Bill Gates. There are hundrds of solar-oriented earth sheltered nonresidential buildings. Utility-free will be the only affordable. We’re talking about your old age, when oil and gas prices are too high. And we’re talking about your grandchildren, when oil and gas are gone. Nothing does this like earth sheltered insulation. Soil is the best insulator. When it’s freezing outside, dig down five feet and temperature is 55 degrees. When the day is wicked hot, dig down five feet and soil temperature is 55 degrees. When you welcome heat into an Earthship it stays warm longer. When you keep sun rays out of an Earthship is stays cool longer.
Equitable Development Gentrification is not green, regardless of LEED rating or solar display. Green jobs promote social justice as well as environmental repair. Neighborhood organizations and the city can guide green development so it serves all Philadelphians, with programs that protect low-income residents from market-rate taxation and eviction, and make homes permanently affordable by transferring land to community land trusts. Such land rents promote diversity and provide developer incentives for the above. “First Source” hiring agreements require developers to hire a percentage of workers from the neighborhood being reconstructed. Developers can partner with community colleges, nonprofit groups, unions, government, churches, to gain qualified job seekers, tax breaks, expedited permits and variances, and good neighborhood relations.
Extreme Neighborhood Makeover
There are lots of good ideas for fixing cities. Combining them within one block of houses will set a sustainable direction for the city and its people. Instead of making one family middle class, we convert one block of rowhouses from destitution to beauty, safety, and full employment. This neighborhood becomes school and employer. We prove that beauty and ecology are financially practical and culturally acceptable. We seed the city with good examples. BENEFITS TO NEIGHBORS New green jobs, less crime, lower gas and electric bills, lower water bills, lower food costs, better nutrition and health, happier children with skills and pride, protection from
gentrification. One building per block will be dedicated as an organizing center, green business incubator, recreation center, and free clinic (visited weekly by nurse practitioner). BENEFITS TO CITY Less sewage into rivers, more rainfall into groundwater, cleaner air, smaller carbon footprint, more attractive to visitors. BENEFITS TO TAXPAYERS Calculate total cost to maintain one low-income city block: subsidies for Food Stamps, electric and gas, Medicaid, teenage pregnancy, neonatal congenital care, asthma and diabetes, family counseling, disability, unemployment payments, police, courts, jail, probation, remedial education. Calculate decreased costs also for street repair and street lighting, sewer maintenance. Budget this amount for the Extreme Phillyblock Makeover, then monitor impact. As the model succeeds, MetroEco Contractors spread these avoided costs throughout the city. GREEN TECHNOLOGIES ENERGY-EFFICIENCY: reflective roofs, green roofs, solar hot water, photovoltaic electricity and streetlights, superwindows, insulation, windmills, EnergyStar refrigerators (basement preferred) and appliances, CF lightbulbs, basement retrofits for occupancy and cold storage, mulching leaves onsite for gardens. WATER EFFICIENCY: roof cisterns, drainage swales to orchards/gardens, greywater, low-flow faucets, waterless toilets, porous paving, street reclamation, depaving. GREEN NEIGHBORHOOD JOBS All contractors engaged agree to hire and train neighbors, to install and maintain new systems. The most basic skills developed will be carpenters, composters, cooks, gardeners, greenhouse managers, insulators, landscapers, masons, networkers, painters, repairers (tools, clothes, etc) tour guides. The City credits sweat equity toward homeownership and supplies. WHO LEADS AND HOW? We start by inviting proposals from low-income neighborhoods. YOUTH & ELDERS draft plans that include sweat equity. NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORKERS inventory block needs, desires and skills. ARCHITECTS convert artwork into plans. FOUNDATIONS & MILLIONAIRES commit taxdeductible capital, and provide connections. BUSINESSES donate lumber, solar tech, paint, etc. GOVERNMENT permits code variances for new technologies and land uses, transfers titles to neighborhood land trust, provides tax incentives for donors, landowners and residents. LAWYERS incorporate block as tax-exempt limited equity neighborhood land trust providing right of first refusal, open meetings, board elections by neighbors and term limits. CLERGY rally congregants, provide church as organizing center. MEDIA & MOVIEMAKERS dramatize the significance of good examples. REVOLUTIONARY BEAUTY The simplest way to begin rebuilding the block is to plant thousands of flowers in planters and medians. Start a playground. The Makeover goal is vast but vivid: to make the block overpoweringly attractive and functional, indoors and out. Beauty should not raise taxes or rents.
BEYOND LEED STANDARDS
Cities of the future will need buildings which eliminate rather than reduce reliance on fossil fuels and grids, while lowering living costs, promoting self-reliance and social justice. The closest examples in North America are Earthships, Living Machines, Ecolonies and Rocky Mountain Institute. Cities will evolve to meet such standards, or civilization will crumble. DESIGN: Deeply earth-bermed passive solar orientation for heating and cooling without fossil fuels. Berms
gardened. Sun tubes and onsite PV for lighting. Rainwater collection in cisterns on roof and basement. Edible roof garden. Trombe walls, garden walls and aquaculture. Basement food storage. Maximum three bermed stories above ground. Upper floors wheelchair access via berm slopes. No elevator. CONSTRUCTION: Disassembly and re-use of materials from existing structures. At least 80% recycled building materials (particularly from existing building on site) rather than virgin materials. Maximum employment of physical labor, maximum from within neighborhood. No extension of existing footprint. SURROUNDS: Porous walkways only. No cement or asphalt paving. Edible landscaping. No lawn. No automobile or truck parking spaces. Lots smaller than 5 acres: at least 25% orchard. Six-ten acre lots: at least 50% orchard. Above ten acres: at least 75% orchard. Fruits for free harvest and/or local sale. Recycle leaves and drops. ACCESS: Located within three blocks of train, trolley, pedicab, or bus route. Bicycle, pedestrian and wheelchair access. Solar hot water showers for these commuters. INTERNAL TECHNOLOGIES: Solar, wind, biogas, hydro and/or pedal electric. No connection to electric utility other than for reverse metering. Greywater re-use. Waterless toilets and urinals only. No flush toilets: onsite processing and re-use. NTERNAL PROCESSES: Recycling only. No trash collection. Biodegradable cleansers only. No bottled water. No paper towels or blow dry. Furniture, carpets, drapes and other accoutrements regionally-made of recycled materials. CORPORATE FORM: Nonprofit land trust. Building reverts to neighborhood organization upon extended vacancy. Stocks not publicly traded, other than on green regional stock exchange. Equitable development principles. PURPOSE: Strengthens neighborhood power and affordability. Nonmilitary USES: no building can purport to benefit the planet while preparing to destroy it. ________________________________________
Here in the United States these warm homes and speedy cars, the voices on television, the tapwater splash and refrigerator hum come to us by burning Chinese dinosaur soup, Groton cow manure, prehistoric Pennsylvania plant fumes, Mexican rotting beans, Colorado rock dust, Georgia
cotton, and Louisiana rice shucks. All our tools and everything in stores come from these strange earthy fuels and other fuels gathered and burned, and they come to us from falling rivers and rain, from volcanos, wind and flames of sun. Our lamps are plugged into California and Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Norway, Nigeria, Italy, Algeria and Kuwait too. We are connected to over 1,000 big sloppy power stations whose wide throats guzzle oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, wood or trash to bum the sky, and whose byproduct is electricity. These stations boil water which spins blades that whip excited electrons to our towns. They make Ithaca glow in the dark from miles in space. And with the help of gasoline and diesel vehicles and propane furnaces, they keep us alive by heating houses, by pumping water and transporting food. Without these machines modern Ithacans would rush to creeks to drink like deer, and freeze. Today the United States faces its greatest civic decisions, and Ithacans our greatest personal decisions because, though the fires are hotter now than ever, they're about to cool. Despite low oil prices the American joyride is ending. Cheap oil has allowed us, like children lured to cars by candy, to enter a danger zone, of dependence on foreign oil. Even more ominously, as this article will explain, major world and national energy agencies agree that world oil resources will soon begin sharp decline, that natural gas trails right behind, that nuclear power is increasingly dangerous, that we have been digging dirtier coal, that U.S. reserves of mined fuels are draining faster than new sources are found.
There's no fuel like less fuel. Any job done with less fuel liberates fuel for other jobs and other generations. More clean fuel can be extracted from fuel efficiency than any source. Modernization of the nation's industrial motors would replace energy produced by 70 large nukes, and switching to energy-efficient illumination would save the energy of 40 nukes, while new efficient household appliances will put 22 nukes to rest. Independent power producers are expected to
Transportation is a waste product. Transport exactly measures the effort needed to move food and fuel to where it is used. To move us between home and work. By contrast, the most energy efficient civilizations-- the most successful civilizations-- will need least transport. Their food, fuel and jobs will will be generated within neighborhoods. Ultimately, by Progressive Street Reclamation, we’ll replace streets with orchards, playgrounds, trolley and bike routes. We’ll replace speed with proximity. Our mobility will be delightful and responsible. Best way to begin is to reduce car use by living near work and friends. Most of any city’s budget is a direct or indirect subsidy to the automobile. When a highway proposal rises, get a copy of the environmental impact statement.. It will be full of good reasons the road is a bad idea but then will conclude, to please powerful sponsors, that the road is a good idea. My critique of one highway plan is at paulglover.org/7706 This launched a 13-year campaign that stopped a $50 million project. Next, build your coalition: speak with taxpayers and environmentalists, and the
displace most nukes. New and retrofit superinsulated housing are estimated able to reduce residential heating needs over 75%. Every step in the direction of efficiency strengthens our future. Efficiency is the next shift of national gears. The continent's once-limitless open spaces and cheap resources made growth a headlong race for wider highways and taller buildings. But this style of 'progress" has led us to decayed cities, hot Greenhouse summers, drug escape and crime, dying forests, carcinogenic water, toxic garbage, the invasion of foreign-controlled capital. Consuming lots of oil and metal was long seen as essential to making big profits, but the opposite is now true. Greater Los Angeles and a greater America will progress by consolidation: making what we've got already better.
Efficiency will make civilization busier than ever: we'll need far more jobs to prepare less need for fuel and to clean up past damage, than to blunder forward "growing." Saving even 10% of the annual bill (__% of which leaves the region) would keep $__ million locally, potentially to stimulate thousands of trades jobs, craft businesses, agricultural enterprises, daycare opportunities, revolving loan funds, community land trusts, wildlife sanctuaries, and further fuel efficiency. Minneapolis calculates $2.20 is added to their local economy for every energy dollar saved. Tightfisted fuel policy is essential for local prosperity, national security and world health. Worker-controlled fuel-efficient local enterprise could create goods and homes of better quality than Americans have ever had. If we do not retool and rebuild America’s economy soon, while we still have cheap fuel, we will lose the luxury to change when the plug is pulled. The transition can be painless and profitable. Those who got rich from waste and suburbanization could be welcomed to use their talent (and wealth) instead to renew. neighbors whose homes would be taken. Small businesses would lose traffic to chain stores on the new route. _______________________________________________
Two hundred years ago people read books aloud to one another, or told stories around the fireplace. One hundred years ago most cities had a locally-owned daily newspaper, and large cities had several. Seventy years ago most cities had a locally-owned radio station, and many cities had several. Fifty years ago most cities had a locally-owned television station, and many had several. Since then, big media companies have purchased these independent voices, killed most of them, and used the few remaining to sell their products and views. These companies are owned by major Wall Street investors, to encourage us to be bystanders and consumers rather than creative citizens. Their message is that people are dull so you need to be entertained. People are dumb so you need to rely on our pundits to understand the world. People are empty so you need to buy our stuff. People are dangerous so you need to lock your doors, stay home and watch TV. By contrast, lively new media connect us and celebrate our liberty and beauty. They bring us together to tell our stories again. They bring us into the streets to force essential change.
Micro-radio stations are popping up to serve neighborhoods again. Podcasts and YouTube channels enable any of us to become stars. Blogs and ebooks enable any of us to launch literary careers. Facebook and Twitter are fabulous social tools. But as they grow dominant, we depend on them so much they can monitor and limit us. New platforms are constantly starting that break these boundaries, again. Whenever government seeks to limit internet freedom to stifle independence and dissent, hackers have taken revenge. Our media are liberating to the etent they inspire us to turn them off, turn to each other, and organize face-to-face. _______________________________________________
Most think voting pointless.! Of 220 million Americans who could register to vote, only about 55% have done so.! Abstainers explain that their concerns are not raised by candidates, that they see candidates corrupted by power, and the real decisions make by bankers, so they're rather not bother.! Everybody knows that to run you have to be rich anyway, they say. At the national and state level, voters are permitted to vote for candidates who have been selected by the rich and their media. Hope is another word for Weak. Locally, thereâ€™s still room for an occasional honest candidate to win.
RUN FOR IT: You Can be a Winner in Local Elections
Anarchist mobs would rule the streets and bust into your house if we didn't have government, many believe.! Others wonder whether lawmakers do worse damage. The United States, its counties, cities, towns and villages, have governments to protect us from each other; and we have elections to protect us from government. Millions serve local governments daily on boards and commissions, and thousands are elected officers. Votes are a small part of democracy, cast once to thrice yearly. But election day can spotlight urgent changes, focus furious debate, announce a new era or pass as ritually as Presidents' Day or the Fourth of July.! The ballot is one tool of the American system; like the free press, courts, police power, rebellion and civil disobedience, it sometimes fits or fails the job. Local elections, however, give us all a chance to be lowbudget winners.! Small town votes weigh more-- there have been many won by one or two votes.! And votes get weightier when great issues rouse strong candidates. When major parties merely party, the stage is set and curtain opens for independent nominations.! Every registered voter can be a candidate, and everybody 18 years or older by election day can register. !!! Maybe you have a vision or gripe that the Republicans and Democracts don't talk about.! Start your own political party.! Here's how: Think up a party name (standards vary state-by-state) and symbol.! If you're enraged about loud music and wild parties, you might campaign as the QUIET party.! Taxpayers might revive the GREENBACK party.! The PEACE party could declare a nuclear-free zone.! The IVORY party would fluoridate, and the movement to prohibit shopping could call itself ENOUGH.! Strong campaigns have been made by parties called Villagers, Citizens, Pioneer, Equity, Common Good, Action, and Creative.
Make a website and print some flyers describing your ideas. !!! Get nominating petitions from the Board of Elections.! Follow their instructions carefully.! Find three friends to be named atop the petition as your party's committee. !!! You and anyone eligible to vote for you (registered in any party or independent) can collect signatures from anyone else eligible to vote for you.! Collect far more than you need, then give the petitions back to the Board of Elections by the deadline.! Then watch for challenges to signature validity from opponents.! If you have enough valid legible signatures, you're on the ballot. !!! Announce your candidacy and its website with a press release and/or visits to local radios, newspapers, cable, bloggers.! They're grateful when you have something novel to say.! Be as public or private as you choose.! Candidates who don't worry about winning have the most fun.! They refresh public debate by speaking freely.! Cautious politicians try to please more voters by saying less. !!! Knock on doors, say hello, kiss babies, voters and dogs, or just shake hands.! It's sort of like trick-or-treating for grownups. !!! Participate in whatever public forums you prefer.! Mail more press releases. !!! Someone may offer to host a tea party or benefit concert to pump your campaign.! Have fun. !!! * Report campaign expenses on the required dates. !!! * Remember to vote and remind your supporters. !!! * Time for another party. !!! Whether elected or rejected, congratulate your opponent.! Win or lose, you made news.! The world turns a little more your way.
Even cops wil agree that some cops are pigs: brutes who love violence and hate our American freedom to demand justice. Such cops are especially quick to harrass, arrest or shoot African-Americans. They wear flags but are profoundly anti-American. They serve and protect the status quo. Many cops, though, are decent people who prefer to cmmunicate respectfully, who uphold American ideals. Their choice, to obey the Constitution or to obey anti-American orders to attack nonviolent Americans, will decide how their nation remembers them. Because carrying badges and guns risks abuse of power, many cities rely on Police Community Review Commissions, or Police Review Boards, or Civiliarn Complaint Review Boards, to check excessive behavior. Digital cameras enlist everyone to keep cops honest.
PICK YOUR FIGHT
When cops get away with murder or when they trample American freedom, our anger boils. Our anger is
beneficial when we put effective direct pressure on the cops to clean house and effective indirect pressure on those who pull their strings to jerk them offstage. Getting arrested should be more than a moral witness. It should be part of a broader campaign, employing varied leverage, to enact specific change. The Los Angeles rebellions against brutal police were beyond control for the first days, then military force shut them down. These rebellions would have forced durable change had they combined specific demands for community control of police, and money for green jobs, with the promise that next time the neighborhoods burned would be Beverly Hills and Bel Aire. Mere riot is a last resort and likely leads no where.
PRAISE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Cops have a tough job.! They're required to be friendly and helpful and ready to shoot. They're sent forth to sniff the rotten things people do. Their jobs would be more fun-everybody would be happier-- if cops could issue citations for the good stuff people do.! They'd soon notice that most human actions are decent.! Folks say hello, give directions, offer food, visit, forgive, celebrate and mourn together.! These common kindnesses are seldom news, even though they keep society alive. Evey day, millions of decent impulses and acts are never officially noticed or approved.! That's because we're a nation of punishment--! imprisoning a greater proportion of people than any country.! Our legal culture is mostly stick, and no carrot. !!! When we assume the worst, that's increasingly what we see.! When people are unappreciated and unnoticed, except for bad things, they do more bad things.! Punishment and threats don't stop them.! So cops are given a losing battle, to keep the lid on a public boiling with frustration. People want approval more than anything, and we're starved for it.! But money is the main standard for approval in our society, and money just lets us buy things.! And there's
less pay than ever, for millions of people.! Money is such a severely narrow standard of human value that people will kill for a couple bucks. Have you noticed how praise causes folks to do more!of the same?! Many of those receiving Praise Police citations are so starved for approval that they have framed their citation.! Consider this: if we notice only negative action-- if the biggest headlines are for the worst crimes-- then we fail to reward or encourage good stuff.! Praise Police break the negative spiral and move us upward.! We're theatre and we're serious.! We show how communities can! be patrolled. On October 27, 1994 I first put on a police hat (bought at Army/Navy store), and started giving out Citations to Ithacans for constructive living.! In a couple hours I had cited people for: waiting for a friend, saying hello to a dog, promoting public literacy, conscious cleaning, labor union organizing, exercising, teaching a child, feeling peaceful, making beautiful art, keeping ideals, looking for work, giving directions, being patient, fine dancing, skinnydipping in a State Park. !!! These Citations are delivered at the officer's preference. There are no regulations.! The officer must put a foot up on something to write the Citation, like a traffic cop.! It's good to rip the ticket from the book and say, officially, 'Be sure to do that again!' !!! Did people like getting cited?! Sure. Would you?! Several folks later said that they framed their citation or put it on the refrigerator. !!! A voluntary police force that makes people feel important is going to make the streets safer than police who rule by intimidation. You're all deputized.! With an official citation booklet you'll see actions you approve.! Introduce yourself to gooddoers as an officer of the Praise Police.! Cite them by filling out their name, act, date and your name on both citation and stub.! When tearing off the citation and handing it over I often say, 'Just be sure to let that happen again.'
WAR & PEACE
It's a free country. We can decide whether we prefer to send our wealth & children away to kill the latest enemy or that we prefer to employ our wealth and children to make our cities models of good living. Humans have been smashing into one another since humanity began. Stabbing, crushing, bombing, burning, starving,flooding, hanging, flaying, disemboweling, boiling, eating, gassing, shooting. Probably a billion have been maimed or injured in war. For millennia, strong manhood has been defined as capacity to kill, to consume lavishly, to procreate, to move fast. In an overpopulated world howling mad with war, the next era of manhood depends on men cultivating restraint from violence, from consumerism, from fatherhood, from speed. Likewise, feminity has been celebrated that depends on men to defend, to provide luxury, to fertilize, to travel far fast. The next era of womanhood will enjoy co-creation more than procreation. Officially, wars are fought for noble reasons, to repel an attack, to pre-empt an attack, to do Godâ€™s will, to spread the Faith, to prevent worse mayhem, to spread civilization. One of the more honest warmongers was Hitler. His book Mein Kampf made clear that he wanted more territory for the German people, and he wanted to kill Jews.
PEACE MARCH EVERY DAY Walk to School Walk to Work Walk to Shop Walk for Fund Cars are tanks in the war against nature.
History’s real reasons for war are usually unofficial but just as bad. To seize raw materials like oil and iron, to gain slaves and take women, to revenge an insult, to prove manhood, to dominate, to kill legally. And, as former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright said, "What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?" --(via Gen. Colin Powell) When warmakers need a more legitimate reason, they often lie. They declare that the nation has been attacked. The Spanish American War, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War began that way. That’s called a “false flag” pretext for war. We can applaud those who sincerely fought for their nation. We can also applaud those who thought for their nation, who exposed the lies. Yet if we assume war is inevitable we make it more inevitable. If we assume war is beneficial we bring it sooner. If we assume war is glorious we condemn our children. But if we assume war is not inevitable we set the huge task
to prove there are creative ways to express our natural greed, lust and insanity. That has been an important purpose of this book.
hazards at a distance and to steer us safely beyond. Unfortunately, most professional planners are more often serving their corporate buddies. And because corporations exist for maximum profit, they care only about the next ten seconds, not the next ten decades. Therefore it’s essential that we Americans take direct control of planning, to make sure it benefits our neighborhoods and our grandchildren. That’s why I started Citizen Planners in 1978, dedicated to ecological urban design. The group challenged several major assumptions of conventional planning, and proposed new green themes. We challenged the ideas that sheer numbers make urban economies strong, that cars are the best way to move workers, that excreting into sewers was the best way to dispose poop, that nature belonged outside cities, that big factories and big prisons solved labor problems, that experts could fix what they broke, that tall buildings prove success, that trash is a byproduct of affluence. We Americans have admired Progress-- the vision of more cars on new roads, endless novelty products made of exotic chemicals, more sales in larger stores, more buildings displacing nature. Careers and identities are bound to it. Many feel this dynamism defines the United States as the best country in the world, even more than the Bill of Rights. However, it's clear to many others that consumerism has been destroying America's cities and our greater wealth of forests, fertile soils, clean water, and neighborhoods. Smart Growth advocates have pushed for progress more based on creating than mass consuming. This progress organizes the strength of each community-- our unique local enterprises, our talents, landscape, architecture, agriculture, regional raw materials-- to build networks that meet our needs securely and with dignity. The smart growth movement is represented by hundreds of organizations, by several magazines, by thousands of websites, by hundreds of proven practical models. We and our children will prosper by pioneering new development styles, rather than by becoming victims of failed urban policy. There is no need to pave ourselves to save ourselves.
What’s your idea of a good society? what will it look like? Make some specific plans for food, fuel, housing, health, education, transportation, education, finance.
You can guess what will happen next by studying a world atlas. Where is the oil, where are the rare minerals, where is the cropland, where is the water? Who wants to take them? Look also at the history of tyrants and investors, the rise and fall of empires. On this basis I’ve published articles that foresaw the decline of U.S. political and military power following the first Gulf Oil War (1991) intent to convert the United States into a Third World nation (1992), the stock market soaring above 10,000 soon after it had sunk to 6,500 (1997), the attack on civil liberties (ten days after 9/11), the next recession becoming a depression (2001). These are at paulglover.org/hourarchives Revolutions are an old story. The rich get rich and the poor, eventually, get angry. Rather than watch their loved ones rot, they riot. They set fires, smash windows, kill officials, then get imprisoned. Until they win, when they begin to become as tyrannical as their former masters. So that’s why I’ve emphasized that durable revolutions break this cycle by emphasizing regional self-sufficiency, mutual aid systems, direct democracy, creativity rather than ownership.
Growth is a good thing, up to about seven feet tall, then it starts to get inconvenient. People eight feet tall bang their heads, their backs ache, their circulation slows, they spend more for food and clothes, and when they fall it really hurts. Who can they make love to? The same is true of cities. After a certain size they get more frustrating than exciting. People collide and anger turns to crime. Streets become dangerous, housing costs more, tax rates rise, schools teach less, structures dwarf people, air smells stale, water fouls and traffic crawls no matter how wide the roads. As big city life gets ugly, people run away. Crowds escape cities by crowding smaller towns. Planning is therefore essential, to prevent such decay. Planners are supposed to hold the binoculars of society, to see
HOW TO MAKE PEACE
1. DISCONNECT. Marching against war is powerless unless we back it up by earning a non-taxable income. Milions of Americans marched against nuclear arms race. As Secretary of War Al Haig said in 1986, “Let them march all they want, as long as they pay their taxes.” Millions marched worldwide against the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003., and were likewise ignored. Next steps: Buy less. Drive less. Enlist less. Turn off TV. 2. THINK GLOBALLY. Afeter you’ve disconnected from TV, discover the beauty of other cultures through YouTube. Learn another language. 3. ACT LOCALLY.
VISIONS AND PLANS
My 1982 scenario for rebuilding Los Angeles toward balance with nature was published as Los Angeles: A History of the Future. Upon it was founded Citizen Planners of Los Angeles. The group’s Research and Action Groups (RAGS) proposed policy and built models of ecological living.
See sketches on next page. Full book at paulglover.org/8212
CITIZEN PLANNERS for FULL EMPLOYMENT, ECOLOGY, and NEIGHBORHOOD POWER
The first work of citizen planners is to redesign as boldly as government and industry do: to plan transformations with solar technology and orchards like commerce plans with highways and realty. We plan broadly enough to coordinate regional use of our resources and flexibly enough to rely on initiatives by individuals and neighborhoods. Citizen Planners recommends that neighborhoods inventory their resources and create preliminary designs to best juxtapose homes with croplands, solar turbines, water mains, and solar freight rail. Citizen Planners prepares orderly transitions, and shows how to fasten the nuts and bolts of metropolitanscale alternate technology. It presents a city wholly different from the one we know. Experience reminds us that even the immediate problems of crime, traffic, poison air, unemployment, and inflation are not relieved by merely patching the urban mess. Time binds us to great change. Here follows a short summary of the inventory's precepts: • A. Natural resources would be used at the rate they naturally renew. This is the heart of ecology. • B. Food and fuel would be produced at household, neighborhood, municipal, and regional levels. This is the heart of social cohesion. • C. The economy would become a "mutual enterprise" system. Work would be apportioned to enable all to labor. This is the heart of dignity. • D. Culture would become decentralized and participatory, releasing the creative genius in everyone. This is the heart of joy.
This is a sample four-block section being gradually rebuilt. Next page shows an entire square mile. Homes are replaced with earthships needing no fuel bills. Broad spaces are orchards.
POWER: You need it. Power decides who lives well and who struggles. Power decides what is legal and what's a crime. And ultimately, power...
Published on Aug 13, 2012
POWER: You need it. Power decides who lives well and who struggles. Power decides what is legal and what's a crime. And ultimately, power...