Recently in Citizens Act Category

How About a "State Bank of Washington"?

| 3 Comments

If the legislature acts next year, the State of Washington could join the "Move Your Money" campaign that individuals have been participating in over this last year, in this case moving state money from deposits in the large banks to deposits in our own newly formed Bank of Washington.

Last session Rep. Bob Hasegawa (11th LD) sponsored HB 3162 to create a state owned bank of Washington.  Co-sponsors are representatives Zach Hudgins (11th), Maralyn Chase (32nd), Geoff Simpson (47th), Mary Lou Dickerson (36th) and Roger Goodman (45th).  There was no time to address the bill last session but this upcoming session could be the time to pass this  timely bill, after which it would go to the voters for approval.

HB 3162 makes provision for a state-owned bank that would be overseen by the State Treasurer, allow the State Treasurer to fund the bank with state funds and provide the state bank with the same types of authority to operate as a private bank chartered by the state.

Washington State is one of the only states that constitutionally does not allow the state to lend money. As a result, it is also one of the states that is the least effective in providing economic development support, which becomes quite apparent in a deep recession such as the one we are currently experiencing.  This means that in additional to passage of the bill by the legislature, the voters will then need to amend the state constitution to allow a state institution such as this new state-owned bank to loan money.

Modeled after the Bank of North Dakota

BND.jpg

The bank is modeled after the Bank of North Dakota (BND), which is the only state-owned bank in the nation. BND was established by legislative action in 1919 to promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota. BND operates as a bankers' bank, partnering with private banks to loan money to farmers, schools and small businesses and purchasing municipal bonds from public institutions. After a few rocky decades, BND has bi-partisan support in a state that has voted for the Republican nominee in each of the last 10 presidential elections. The current governor, Republican John Hoeven, was the President of BND before becoming governor.

The Bank acts as a funding resource in partnership with other financial institutions, economic development groups and guaranty agencies. During the Depression, the Bank held mortgages for farmers that would otherwise have lost their farms. It allowed them to live on the farms and then buy them back when the good years returned and they could pay back what they owed. During this current recession, North Dakota has the lowest unemployment in the country (3.6% vs. 8.9% for Washington State) and the BND is credited with being a large part of that.

Leveraging Public Resources for the Benefit of the State

There are two interlocking reasons why a Bank of Washington would be a great investment in our state. 1) The debt service on the money that the state deposits in this bank would stay here rather than going to the large banks, none of which are local. 2) The money deposited in the Bank can be used and leveraged to provide low or no-interest student loans, access to capital for small businesses, investment in public infrastructure like roads, water/sewer, schools and housing, and for targeting economic development initiatives.

To elaborate on #1 above, the amount of state money spent on debt service, Ellen Brown, author of "Web of Debt" writes at Yes Magazine in March, 2009 that she estimated that various governmental institutions in the state of Michigan, i.e. the state, cities, counties, state universities, etc., paid about $1 billion in interest and at the same time had a $1 billion deficit. Hm. Wonder how we could better use that interest money?

Next Steps for the Bill

HB 3162 was given a preliminary hearing in March in front of the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.  Hasegawa is working to finalize the content of the bill this summer and to work with other legislators to obtain additional, bipartisan support. During the fall, there will be public sessions to raise awareness around the state.

If the bill is passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by the Governor, it will require approval of the voters of the proposed amendments to Articles VIII and XII of the state constitution, allowing the state legislature to create a state bank that may make decisions to lend, borrow, and invest state monies.

Next Steps for Organizers

  1. Go to Representative Hasegawa's website to be added to Bob's state-owned bank stakeholder list and/or to watch a short video about the BND.
  2. Order a longer PBS video to learn more about how and why the bank came to be, the hurdles encountered, and the current extraordinary role that the bank plays in the economic vitality of North Dakota today, go to Prairie Public's website.
  3. Talk about this bill to everyone you think might be interested and/or show the movie above. This bill will be good for the state, will provide support for serious economic development activities and will be a great way to get people engaged in improving our quality of life here in Washington State.
  4. Ask your legislators about their thoughts on creating a State-owned Bank in Washington. Share your thoughts with them.

What Have We Learned from this Difficult Year?

| 2 Comments
I've been saying that this year has been a brutal awakening for those many of us who have worked for years to get a great Democratic President and a reasonable Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.  I expected that we would get a good Healthcare Reform bill,  a Climate Change bill, a Bank Regulation bill, an Immigration bill and a couple other progressive bills by now.  Instead, we are close to getting a so-so Healthcare bill plus a very difficult 2010 election cycle that may end all hope of getting much else done after this year.  

The HCR fight has made clear that we are dealing with an entire minority party that will not play ball.  At all.  Plus a dozen or so of the most unpleasant Democrats at the national level I've ever seen.  The progressive blogs have made the entire process more transparent to people willing to pay attention so we have seen the egotistic, greedy, and/or overly cautious responses from key Democrats to the immense needs of our time.  It has not been pretty and sometimes makes it hard to want to pay attention.

What it has taught me - when I am not frustrated - is that what we are up against is so much more interests ingrained and complex a system than I ever imagined possible.  Apparently I'm not alone.  A couple weeks ago, the Campaign for America's Future co-directors talked about what they have learned from the frustrations of this year in government and made a YouTube out of it.

Here are the four lessons that Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey shared that they have learned in the battle we are fighting for progressive change.  

  1. Change is brutal, and will always be resisted by powerful entrenched forces.
  2. No matter how popular a reform idea is, like the public option, it still faces the buzzsaw of the United States Senate.
  3. Progressives cannot wash their hands of the political process. We have to organize more, independent of the political parties
  4. This is still the best opportunity in 30 years for progressive reform.
These "lessons" make sense to me.  There is a lot to do if we are really going to take this country back.  We have just begun and my suggestion is that we organize more at the local level.  Apparently all these national phone calls are only moderately effective

Expanding Civic Engagement

| No Comments
The spirit of involvement in government looks it might be spreading from campaigns to monitoring the sausage-making and to helping out with governing.  We would clearly not be as far as we are on Healthcare Reform without a huge amount of pressure from the nurses and doctors and Labor and the blogs and new progressive infrastructure. 

Here especially, Mike McGinn is working to get us Seattleites involved in this process of getting Seattle moving.  I was at Jeannie Kohnl-Welles' annual 36th LD post-election analysis and heard from Gov. Christine Gregoire, State Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, county executive-elect Dow Constantine, and newly elected Seattle mayor Mike McGinn.  Reuven Carlyle served as host in the absence of Kohl-Welles, who is taking longer recovering from surgery than expected.

The rest of those folks were paying attention to McGinn, the guy who won despite them, the guy who won while being outspent 3:1 because he had a great team of mostly volunteers and they kicked butt.  The other elected paid much attention to him, going out of their way to welcome him, talking quite earnestly with him before and after the panel.  It was great fun to watch and felt very genuine.  He's showing them that it is possible to do governing differently.  We can make use of the desire that so many of us have to make a difference.  And you can win doing it that way.  
 
It is an exciting time to be an active Democrat, to watch as people pay more attention to the issues and are more willing to put some effort into understanding more complex issues.  This is hugely important.  Once people will pay more attention, to go below the headlines, they will vote more progressively.  
 
I was bust-my-buttons proud of us in this latest election.  The people of this state got it so right, at least on the statewide issues.  Having those two statewide votes on, 71 and 1033, was nerve-wracking but it sure brought out the numbers of determined progressives in Spokane and Bellingham and Pierce, Snohomish and King counties.  And what margins! The 53/47 approval of R-71, which affirmed the law that the legislator had passed called "Everything But Marriage", a larger margin than anyone expected.  Only 8 counties approved so clearly progressives were out in force in those more liberal, (all west of the mountains) counties.  But the margins that voted down Tim Eyman's latest and worst initiative were impressive.  58/42 with 25 counties approving.  Wow! 

In King County, and especially in Seattle, we voted overwhelmingly for Dow Constantine over Susan Hutchison - by 59/41, a whopping 18% percentage points.   

Seattle's election, close enough to take a couple of days to count brings us to the most interesting and hope-inspiring election win since Barack Obama's win last fall.  Buoyed by a good team, a huge number of young volunteer supporters and McGinn's increasing ability to talk with and listen to the voters and then to articulate what he was learning, Mike McGinn won this election by 51/48.

Then he immediately names a diverse transition team with some heavyweight activists.  And asked anyone who wanted to write and give them some advice.

Change is coming.


 

Steffen, McGinn and the Coming Seismic Shift in Seattle

| No Comments

As I walked up the aisle after listening to the second of two evenings with Alex Steffen, I knew I was witnessing a moment that led to the future. A kind looking woman about my age remarked that she'd been to listen to Abby Hoffman back in the day and felt this evening, like that one years ago, was a milestone in the nation's history.

It was like that, people talking to strangers, wanting to share notes, get confirmation that others felt like they too had bumped into the new, new thing, that there is hope.

Alex and His Story

Thumbnail image for Alex Steffen2.jpg

Alex Steffen is a bright Seattle light who is more known in other places, I'd guess, than here, at least until now.It might be an age thing. No one I talked to about going to this had heard of him.I'd read WorldChanging.org a few times so I at least knew who he was although I hadn't been a blog groupie. I suspect I will be from now on out. Steffen co-founded the site and edits it and the 600-page book by the same name, "Worldchanging". He is this era's Buckminster Fuller, alive in an era where the technology can move things along more quickly and in a time where we have a huge need for people to articulate what's happening and then lead us in the right direction. We haven't much time and there is much resistance.

Luckily, this man knows how to tell a story.And it's a catchy one - the story he is telling is the story about our survival as a species. He gives us facts about how the world is now (on that "worst case scenario" path, basically) and about what needs to happen to forgo certain calamity. Think I'm joking?Afraid not. His talks were both sobering and, strangely, optimistic - an analysis of the state of the physical, cultural and political earth right now, the slippery slope we are headed down and the "bright green" options that we can choose to pull ourselves out of what would otherwise be total collapse. He provides a goal and a timeline - drop our net per capita greenhouse gas emissions to nothing by 2030.We need a model of how to live that is climate-neutral, non-toxic, closed loop and ecologically restorative .That model has to be up and running in the developed world by 2030 and then widely adopted globally by 2050.

That will wake one up. And, the world is listening to him.Steffen is speaking twice in Copenhagen, once to the world's mayors, the other to businesspeople.

Women's Rights is the Key Sustainability Technology

Here's an example of his ability to tell stories and weave stories together. He managed to link the two issues I am most passionate about: climate change and the criticality of changing women's lives for the better around the globe. Women's rights are the most powerful sustainability technologies that we have. He says it's critical to the future of sustainability and our planet that we educate girls and give women property rights, legal protection and job opportunities. They will have fewer children and those children will be better taken care of.Sustainability is fundamentally about making sure that all kids have a wonderful childhood. How cool is that for something we might be willing to work for and, in addition, it saves the planet?

Going Beyond Sprawl

Copenhagen by jimg944 under CC.jpg

Suburban sprawl is our Travant, that sad little car that got the East Germans through the 50's and 60's and 70's and 80's and then, when the wall fell, they saw how far behind everyone else they were. The technology that they thought was up-to-date turned out to be a costly, heavy dinosaur. Density is our goal - well-designed, community-oriented density. Dense places around the globe require less energy and give off less CO2. And the people who live in dense, well-designed cities, like Copenhagen, are much happier.

The Introducers

Did I mention that Richard Conlin, famously liberal city council member, just re-elected with enough votes to be Council President again, introduced Alex the first evening? Or that newly-elected mayor Mike McGinn introduced him the second night? Or that there was a large crowd of young people in attendance? There's a movement afoot, me thinks. On a side note, McGinn took the opportunity of his first appearance after the results were known to share his observations with us:

1) People want something different and they are willing to work to get it. A lot of people came into contact with Mike McGinn and decided they wanted to volunteer on his campaign. They liked that McGinn listened to them and that he thought that together they could solve the problems they see.

2) The voters shaped McGinn because they want to shape the future. They want good jobs, safety, especially for their children and a way for their children to advance in the world.

3) People won't help you solve the problems of the future unless you are helping them solve their problems of today.

Then McGinn said something about Alex in introducing him that I hope we can say about McGinn in a year. Alex understands that to get to the future, you have to offer people hope.

Seattle skyline by jdnx under CC.jpg

This is the Seattle Moment

After the first evening's overview and the second evening's introduction by McGinn, Alex talked about Seattle and how we could lead the nation and the country into a sustainable future. He said this was a really important time and place. We need to come up with a level of prosperity that doesn't ruin our planet.He also noted that there is an enormous advantage for being the people and place that does this first.

First he debunked Seattle's reputation for being the city in the sky, the place where everything works and we live ever-so-well. He said in reality that Seattle is in a sprawling, poorly built region and the city itself is poorly designed - too many cars, bad building, and too much stuff. It's only because of our region's rain and mountains and the hydro power we get from that accident of nature that we appear to have a higher level of sustainability than other places. Take that away and we're like everywhere else.

But, he pointed out, we gain a lot from having this reputation.Let's use it.

Density, Young People and a Car-free Urbanism

So, how do we become a carbon-neutral city? Well, we begin by becoming denser. Alex thinks the population of Seattle will double in 20 years because our climate is likely to be more stable than it is in other places, young people will want to come here (although we've got a lot of competition from Portland) and we will have figured out the trick of being both sustainable and prosperous.

Then we aim for car-free urbanism. He says we should judge every new development by that standard. Does it work for people without cars? A vital street life becomes our second living room. I am really liking this.

Active Street Life by epSoS.de under CC.jpg

Alex went on to talk about the advantages of our ambient technology, which is changing the way we live, use things, understand the world and get active in it. He mentioned a site in Europe that began posting information about who the farm subsidies went to in the EU. The information had been terribly difficult to access. Once the website, farmsubsidy.org, began making it available, all hell broke loose.

Alex talked about how we turn all that technical capacity and cultural enthusiasm toward the civic realm.I had to laugh when this video came out from Mike McGinn and his transition team the next day because this is exactly the kind of thing that comes to mind. And this is why I think we are in for a much needed revolution in this city, an exciting and perhaps sometimes bumpy one.

He ended by saying that democracy is about showing up .And, we just saw what can happen when people show up in the civic realm, twice in the last year. Then, perhaps my favorite saying of the evening: Bureaucracies use boredom like skunks use smell. It's how they keep people away. If we're going to beat them, we're going to have to create our own civic infrastructure. And it's going to have to be fun. If boredom is their weapon, fun is ours.

Come on, Seattle. This is our time!

Two More Town Halls

| No Comments
Another Town Hall for Congressman Jay Inslee (WA-01)

Jay Inslee will also be doing a Town Hall sponsored by the Shoreline Healthy Washington Coalition in Shoreline.  If you are planning on attending, please let his staff know at either inslee.rsvp@mail.house.gov or by phone at 206-361-0233.

Shoreline Healthy WA Coalition

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday, Aug. 31

Shoreline Center

18560 1st Ave NE

Shoreline, WA 98155

Time to show up: 2pm


Congressman Jim McDermott (WA-07)

 

Seattle

7-8:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Sept. 1

Meany Hall at the University of Washington

Doors open at 6:15, the hall holds 1,200



Upcoming Town Halls

| No Comments
The more I think about it, the more important it seems to me that we each get to a healthcare-themed Town Hall - both to encourage our Congressfolk to robustly support the public option and to begin to understand this phenomenon that has struck our public discourse.  And, as Howard Dean said, turned it into a shouting match.  My observation of Republicans is that they don't turn away from tactics that they deem successful no matter what.  So, I'm afraid we are in for a few years of nastiness.  I think we'd better begin to learn how to address the real needs of the people willing to shout out their fears and concerns in this way.  And learn to understand the difference between people with real issues, no matter how misguided and ignorant we think they are, and those who are faking it.

Here are the next set of Town Halls.  I'm going to try to make one or two, even though they aren't in my district.

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09)

First is tomorrow evening (Tuesday, Aug. 25) with Adam Smith (WA-09) in Lakewood. If you plan to attend, please call Smith's office (253) 593-6600.  Organizing for America would also like to know if you are planning on attending.

Harry Lang Stadium
6615 111th St. SW
Lakewood, WA 98499

When: Tuesday, August 25th
Arrival Time: 5:00 p.m.
Start Time: 7:00 p.m.

Congressman Jay Inslee (WA-01)
Jay Inslee.jpg
Next up is a couple in Jay Inslee's district (WA-01) on this coming Saturday, Aug. 29, in Poulsbo and Sunday, Aug. 30, in Edmonds.  If you are planning on attending, please let his staff know at either inslee.rsvp@mail.house.gov or by phone at 206-361-0233.

Poulsbo town-hall meeting
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009
North Kitsap High School
The Gymnasium
1780 NE Hostmark St
Poulsbo

Edmonds town-hall meeting
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009
Edmonds-Woodway High School
The Gymnasium
7600 212th St SW
Edmonds

P.S. I'd put up a photo of Adam Smith if he made it in any way easy to find one.

The Political Reasons that Healthcare Reform Matters

| No Comments
Photo of Darcy Burner at Netroots Nation by niq77174 under Creative Commons

Jane Hamsher.jpgOne of the most interesting panels at Netroots Nation came toward the end.  It was a group of some of my favorite national bloggers talking about the political impact we as blogger-activists are having and about how our tactics need to change given that we are no longer the opposition.  And, because the national conversation at the moment is about healthcare reform, that was the focus of the discussion.   The consensus was that if the Democrats are unable to win on healthcare reform, which means getting a robust public option, we will be unable to win on any other major issue.  That means no serious climate change bill for starters.  Bills on credit card reform and public transportation are due up in September.  We have to learn how to make use of our majorities.  We have to wrest control of this nation away from the lobbyists and this is the place to begin that fight.

Darcy Burner, now Director of the new organization, American Progressive Caucus Policy Foundation, moderated the panel.  Joan McCarter of DailyKos, David Waldman of Congress Matters and DailyKos, Chris Bowers of Open Left and Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake participated. 
Darcy at Netroots Nation.jpg
Joan said that we now have allies in Congress who are being very helpful in letting us know scheduling issues.   We are trying to figure out how to get the same from the White House.  She said that progressives are exploring what can be learned from the FISA fight of two years ago.  David elaborated, saying that FISA taught us that it was possible to get the lesser bill even when it should have been possible to get the better one because more legislators actually wanted it.  He has been explaining how that happened to progressives.  He said understanding the complex procedural possibilties has made it easier for them to believe that it is possible to avoid the same fate this time.  

Historically, Chris Bowers said, the Blue Dogs have been able to water down legislation.  This time progressive bloggers and progressive Congressional members have been working together.  Previously the progressive bloggers were brought in to hear the strategy and report on it.  This time they've been brought in to participate.

Jane Hamsher has been working on a strategy to get 40 progressives to commit to refusing to vote for a plan that doesn't have a public option.   Democrats who make that commitment are being supported by a large community who have, as of last Thursday, raised $300,000 for their reelection, as of 8/20, five days after the panel, $400,000 as of today.  

Darcy said that the working model for making the Progressives more critical to any legislative process included three steps:  1) Find a piece of legislation that is important enough that it must be passed.  2) Find the line that Progressives need to hold.  In this case it is the public option.  3) Encourage the members to vote the right way.  She added that the key is to find a sufficient number of carrots and sticks to make this work.  Darcy said that in the case of healthcare, we would already have lost had we not done it.  

Everyone on the panel reiterated that the next couple of weeks are critical with the Town Halls coming up.  Darcy asked each of the panelists to talk about what we should be doing.

Joan said we need to be showing up to the Town Halls and emailing our Senators and Members of Congress.  She reminded us not to get upset at the anger and not to get discouraged.  Jane said that the Members of Congress have been traumatized.  They will not likely be as resilient as they would have been a month ago before the Town Halls got so nasty.  Firedoglake has built a database of upcoming TownHalls.  Our members of Congress need to see us there supporting the public option and supporting our members who are being staunch supporters. 

Chris said that it is essential that people push back.  If the Progressive Bloc doesn't hold, the bill will only get weaker and weaker and give more and more to corporate interests.  Joan added that this will happen to bill after bill if we don't stop it.  Darcy said that the Progressives will be tested.  She said that the Blue Dogs and Senator Baucus are being backstopped but that the Progressives aren't (well, now thanks to that money being raised for them through the Internet, they are).  Chris noted that there are 22,000 lobbyists who are essentially free staff members for those in Congress supporting health insurance interests whereas we have next to no lobbyists.

On the other hand, David said that we are doing a very good job getting information out and that the House staffers are getting very good at getting us information about what is going on.  

Jane summed up what we are working on here - are the lobbyists going to have control of this nation or are the people?


Fighting for Healthcare Reform

| No Comments


Fix it Now.jpg

Once the Democrats were unable to get a full vote on Healthcare Reform before the August recess, it was a given that August was going to be a fight to see whether the pro-public option people, i.e the majority of the people and most of the Democrats in Congress, were going to be able to out-maneuver the Republicans.  Or, I suppose a few people have thought we could bring some Republicans along, although I think that Senator Grassley has squelched that idea.  His words from the NYT.

 

He told MSNBC on Monday that he could not vote for a health care bill that did not have significant Republican support - even if he thought it was a good piece of legislation.

The odds for the inclusion of a public option in the Healthcare Reform bill looked pretty iffy there for a while.  We had a shadow of the same deer-in-the-headlights reaction we had for the decade from the mid-90's to the mid-00's.  But it now looks like President Obama and most of the Democrats are going to stand up and fight for a real reform package.  Whew!  The tide appears to have turned and the pro-healthcare reform people are redoubling their efforts.

 

Thanks to all who have made it out to the Town Halls or called our Congresscritters.  Thanks to our members of Congress for holding Town Halls despite the threats of intimidation.  Thanks to Richard Trumka, the secretary-treasurer and likely next president of the AFL-CIO, who said that Labor won't support anybody who votes against the public option.

 

So, what's up here in our Washington?  What's our job in this now? 

 

First, if you can, listen into an Organizing for America National Health Care Forum with the President tomorrow, Thursday, at 11:30 PDT.

 

Before or after that, call a few of our Washington State Democratic Congresscritters and thank them for supporting the public option or check in to make sure they are supporting it.  If you live in the 8th CD and have some optimism about Reichert, call him.  I don't.  


Attend any Town Halls that your Congressional Member holds.  We'll get those up as quickly as possible.

 

Checking Howard Dean's website, we determine that Senator Murray and 4 Congressional Members, Inslee, McDermott, Adams, and Dicks have been staunch supporters of the public option from the beginning.  Cantwell said last Sunday morning on Bill Press's radio show that she supported it.  The latest on Brian Baird suggests that he supports it.  That leaves Rick Larsen and I'd guess he's going to come around as well.  But it would be good to let him know that is what you want him to do.

 

We have listed all the phone numbers for our Washington State Congresscritters on our Both Washingtons page.  Go to it!  It's very useful to reinforce their good votes and let them know we stand with them. 

 

 

Great News on Maury Island Gravel Mine

| 3 Comments
Looking Toward Maury Island.jpgLate yesterday a federal court judge in Seattle halted the expansion of a gravel mine on Maury Island and ordered federal studies to consider the consequences of the expansion on salmon and orcas.  Yeah!  Environmentalists had sued the U.S. Army  Corps of Engineers over its lack of consultation with federal fisheries biologists on the project's impact to our endangered species.

This is a huge win for the environmentalists and local inhabitants who had been working for years to prevent the expansion.  According to the AP, "The judge said the federal agencies didn't take the requisite "hard look" at the environmental consequences of the proposed project. He ordered a halt to construction of the dock until those federal studies were completed."  State Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark then issued a statement yesterday saying the company's lease was no longer in compliance with the terms of the lease.  Goldmark has asked the company who owns the gravel pit, Glacier Northwest, to halt operation until it shows that it is complying with those terms.  

The terms of the discussion are clearly changing.  And having a Democratic Lands Commissioner makes a big difference as well.

Equal Voices

| No Comments
I had the pleasure the other afternoon of being included in the advance screening of an incredible film about a project that the Margarite Casey Foundation has been supporting and involved in over the last two years.  The Equal Voice for America's Families Coalition is a campaign to "lay the groundwork for a family led movement to improve the economic well-being of families", according to their website

The film followed five poor, working class people of all ethnic backgrounds as they became engaged in the project - from their personal economic and family lives to the local and regional conferences where hundreds of people from poor, working families, including High School students.  They gathered together to figure out what issues most impacted their lives and what needed to change to make life better.  In the process, they really saw how much they had in common.  We then got to see these same five individuals, along with their family members, as they continued down a path that brought them all together in large regional conferences in Chicago, LA and Birmington, Mississippi to present a plan for revamping the country by changing attitudes and policies that impact poor and working families.

So, here was a group of empowered poor and working folks coming up with a very real and realistic plan for what we need to do in this country to make it livable again for all of us.  It was inspiring and heartwarming to watch.  I'm guessing there was not a dry eye in the small theatre where a few dozen folks previewed the film.  The film itself won't be available for another month or two and I don't know what their plans are for distribution.  In the meantime, here is a video-clip with a few minutes of what this project is all about:

If you want to find out more, head over to the Margarite Casey Foundation blogsite.  When I know where folks can view the actual film, I'll let you know.

Recent Posts from Our Partners

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Citizens Act category.

Candidates is the previous category.

Inside Baseball is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Timeless Wisdom