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Post election, Unite!!!

There are a few basics that seemed important to review.

This is not a democracy. With elections, it is pay to play. When candidates who run campaigns with limited funding succeed in getting on the ballot;  and who succeed in encouraging people to get to the ballot box during the election period, then that is democracy.  We do so because we want to include everyone. Democratic elections may be the deception imposed on American citizens which helps capitalism and imposes the false belief that elections bring democracy to the people.

When democracy does arrive, it does so in our communities, not in our state or federal governments and it does not last. We must work toward it everyday, not just with elections of others but with our bodies in the meetings of boards, councils, committees, at the local level– this is where change happens as well as with our friendships and relations.  Also attend a county board meeting where you live learn what is going on in your community.  Are there mines proposed? Pipeline expansions? What about protecting your drinking water?

Also, be aware how your parks are being maintained; how elder neighbors are watched over;  social gathering spaces observed.  Do people seem engaged and cooperating? Does someone need a new roof, but can’t afford it? Do you need better food?  Can a food cooperative be opened there? What about local jobs?  Are they supporting the worker or the owner? How can WEDC or any of the governmental agencies help you?

What about all of the job commissions at the state level? Are they just making plans or are they coming to your community to help find work for people, beyond telling them to go to school?

What about the legalization of hemp production? Legalization of marijuana, contact regularly your elected representative and see how they are moving the issue forward. Work with local chapters also organizing to educate on the issue. Sustainable building of your own clean energy sources?  Raising the Minimum Wage? Help Move to Amend!

Let’s get to started!!

Thank you for reading on and researching me as a candidate for governor.

The short list, platform issues

10703500_395760523904728_7728593778354488689_nOctober 10, 2014

A good friend asked me to get to the point: “Why are you running for Governor as a write-in at a time when there is such a divide between the people of the state? I am told you will siphon off votes from people who would have voted for Mary Burke.”

My answer is this: I have been running for governor since January of this year in two different forms.  I continue to run because I know the issues that many care about but are not talked about. It is the same political game and we need to stop playing with the voters.
Nothing makes this more clear than the Voter ID law that sent the election into a tail spin as it confused and immediately halted the absentee vote. The law was introduced in the spring. I loudly spoke out against the bill in committee and from the assembly viewing gallery.

There are many issues I have passion about. One is access to government and voting is the
entry point for Wisconsin’s citizens. I am also passionate about taking the money and influence out of politics now.

That said, it is not enough. So I continue to run because I actually have a vision of inclusive
people-led governance that was so needed at the state level even before Scott Walker took office. What would committees, task forces, and even agencies look like if they were taken back from corporate rule? What does citizen engagement look like? Look at the grassroots in this state. People in their communities, affected by big oil and proposed pipelines or expansions, headed to the town halls and attended meetings (give the time they did this — like “this past summer”) Citizens addressed, wrote and signed proposals that asked for environmental impact studies where there were none. They stood up to mining and pipeline companies. Local control is not always enough. In areas starved for jobs but rich in resources, like the frac sand mining areas, they need the state to help.

The DNR needs instate PROTECTIONS not just regulations. If elected I will reconfigure the administration with citizen-panels in state agencies and in the committees that shape and define policies. Current policies are damaging the earth, limiting the worker, and keep people in wage poverty with jobs that are not long-term or sustainable.

Below is a short list that I would like to focus on.

  • legalization of hemp and marijuana
  • stopping the oil pipelines/stopping the mines/protect the water
  • renewable energy/local food production/solar power production
  • reduce prison system to half of its size
  • local control tax monies, environment, schools
  • money out of politics, public elections, include forums, tv/radio/print access
  • women’s healthcare and birth control/abortion access
  • dissolve unnecessary committees, task forces, and hybrid agencies
  1. creative solutions, community town hall meetings, cooperatives, job share, child care, ride share, participatory budgets, shared resources, offices space, land, resources- food, water, fuel
  2. open regional State Bureaus to decentralized power.
  3. improve workers rights, with worker input, including immigrant and migrant labor

Earth Meta-Narrative

On our earth environment, the line was drawn in the streets of NYC on Sept 21 at the 400,000 person strong Climate Convergence. Winona LaDuke spoke about eco-economies last Wednesday at a Marathon County Democratic party- supported event at the labor temple in Wausau. The event focused on Paul DeMain’s race for Senate Seat 29 in Wisconsin. Her emphasis was on the White Earth Tribe in Minnesota (our bioregional neighbor) and an energy study they did. LaDuke lives on this reservation and is a leader and tribal member. The study showed that humanity needs to develop energy/food economies that support the eco-systems we live in and want to keep healthy for another thousand (or more) years. In their study they learned that 50% of their reservation energy and food costs were going off the reservation which hurt the local economy there. Since that report, a move toward total local control in energy and food is happening, with gardens and solar panel kits. Paul DeMain said if elected he would continue these conversations and will do so around the untapped potential of maple sugar in the State of Wisconsin. He listed many examples of employment that is local and sustainable. This is the leadership I support. It is a leadership that is realistic, critical of harmful means of employment, and locally based. Rebroadcast is here:http://www.indiancountrynews.com/

My question goes out to all, including the supporters of the larger meta-narrative of the wonders of global extraction economics that the national democratic party promotes when they omit discussion of the environmental crises. This meta-narrative focuses just on the realm of exceptional individuals and people. It is the one that we saw this week in the campaigning for Mary Burke that Michelle Obama did. We hear a lot about people but what about the earth? Listen carefully to what is not said.

Written: October 09, 2014

Say Yes to the Penokees!

The Penokee Mountains in Northern Wisconsin, and the area of a proposed mine that is on hold.   Let us think about and dream of  for that area, its trees, its animals, the soil and of course the water.  These resources are not about something we ‘take’ from but resources we preserve.

A 22 mile by 4 mile open-pit mine dug there will be the largest in the world. Though There are over 22 similar proposed mines around the world.  The owners of the this mining company, Gtac,  have an office in Iron county in the town of Hurley which is an old mining town. The town boasts of its mining heritage, but the truth be told, only 35 jobs will be created if the mine goes through because much of the mining process  is automated, unlike not like the mining shafts of  bygone days.  Those mining jobs will not be filled with local workers either; therefore, So that mine is a No Go.  It is imperative that we begin to conceive ideas that can inspire and boost this counties’ revenue, at the same time while looking  planning ahead far out into the to protect Lake Superior and the surrounding watersheds.

The ideas brewing between Ashland and Iron counties, are for collaborative meetings that go beyond just tourism to and which include small scale sustainable food production, cooperative grocery stores, mobile butchers are the future for this area. That This area surrounds Lake Superior, the largest fresh water source in the world.  Why would we ever let that be poisoned?  The Chippewa Band of Bad River Tribe lives there very near the proposed mine on Lake Superior.  I stand with Bad River to protect the waters.

As Governor, I will repeal Act 1, an act that along with the proposed Iron Ore Mine in the north, opened up the State to all mining, and that includes frac sand mining in central Wisconsin.  Three years, two hundred mines later, local control needs state protection. Local groups, town by town, county by county protect the water.  Removal of surrounding hills is often a consequence of these mining practices.  Those areas are not restored.  These are not healthy jobs, but many people who had been unemployed were eager to begin the work.

As governor, I will place a moratorium on mining until water and air quality standards are evaluated and confirmed by the EPA to be safe for workers and those who live near the sites.  I will also set up a western bureau office that will be shared with another governmental office for approachable governance.  Job creation in the affected mined areas will include restoration work on trees, wetlands, and prairies.