These are the principles that will guide my activity as an at-large member of Metro Council.
1. GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY
Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, I will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our government is fully accountable to the people who elect it. I will also work to create new types of political organizations which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.
2. SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. I strive to consciously confront in myself, my circle of friends, and in society at large, such barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
3. ECOLOGICAL WISDOM
Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. I support the evolution of a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end I encourage agriculture which replenishes the soil; an energy efficient economy; and lifestyles that respect the integrity of natural systems.
I am not a politician. I have spent my life working hard at low-wage jobs. I usually buy my clothes at Goodwill and yard sales. I know what it’s like to have to count my pennies at the grocery store, to tell my children “we don’t have the money for that,” to search for a decent place that I can afford to rent, and to nurse an old car along for just a few more months. I have had to deal with major medical problems (heart attack and stroke, from which I am now largely recovered) without benefit of insurance. Through all these decades of scraping by financially, I have learned the value of family and caring friends, and that “the best things in life aren’t things.” I think Metro Council needs the perspective of people like me.
I grew up in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio, the only child of a mother whose husband, my father, divorced her when I was eight. My mother taught eighth grade English to support us, and she was a very caring, passionate teacher. She worked hard, although unsuccessfully, to create an American Federation of Teachers union in her school district, and was active in Democratic Party politics. One of my early memories is accompanying her while she worked at the Dayton headquarters of Adalai Stevenson’s campaign in 1956. (Confession: I liked Ike!) When she was a young woman, before her military service in World War II, she had been active in the labor and anti-Nazi movements in New York City. I followed her example and, while still in high school, worked with the Dayton Alliance for Racial Equality. In college, I demonstrated for nuclear disarmament and an end to the draft and the war in Vietnam. Continue reading
If, after the August 6th election, I am informed that I have won, the first thing I would do is demand a recount! Surely there must be some mistake!
And that leads us to one of those “inconvenient truths” about Tennessee politics.
A recount would only recount what the voting machines recorded. There would be no way to tell if what they recorded was the way voters intended to cast their ballots. The computerized voting machines that we use in Tennessee have repeatedly been shown to be easily and untraceably hackable. They can be programmed to switch votes from one candidate to another.
I am running for Metro Council because I am not a politician. I am an American citizen who is perceives that the spectrum political discourse in this country needs to be radically broader than it is. While our politicians and our mass media prattle on as if the way things are is basically the way things ought to be, a number of “inconvenient truths” (Thank you, Al Gore!), although excluded from political discussion, threaten to overwhelm our society and severely impact our lives and our way of life. If we fail to use government as a tool to meet these challenges and adapt to them, we will leave our children and grandchildren a very dangerous, difficult world, and they will say to us, “you knew this would happen if you did nothing, and yet you did nothing. What were you thinking?”
My intention with this campaign is to bring the challenges of these “inconvenient truths” into the discussion, and to propose ways to adapt to the new reality that is dawning in America, and the whole world. I am much more interested in seeing these challenges acknowledged, discussed, and met than I am in being elected. If other candidates adopt all my ideas, and work to implement them, I will be satisfied.
What might Nashville be like in twenty-five years? While my friends and I have been seeking to answer that question through the lens of the “transition towns” movement, with what we have called “Transition Nashville,” Metro’s “Nashville Next” program has been the city’s attempt to envision our future, and, to a certain extent, the planners involved in Nashville Next have done a good job. They have asked at least some of the right questions, and they have solicited, and elicited, a fair amount of citizen involvement in their visioning, but I think there are some unasked questions and misguided assumptions in their process. I think “the next Nashville” will be very different from what they envision, and that proceeding on their basic assumption, that the future will, overall, be a lot like the past, could produce some very unhappy results. If we recognize these errors and correct our course, Nashville could still be a pretty nice place to live as we approach mid-century. I am going to start by quoting what Nashville Next’s website and then offer my own comments and suggestions. Continue reading