October 19, 2012 5 Comments
How California can beat the 1% – at their own game
California has a unique chance to shift the balance of power in our state. The 1% and their corporations now control our budgets and economy, schools and education, police and justice, and so much more, because they control the people who get elected into our government. This can change, and California can inspire the rest of the country. We have some good examples to inspire us.
Dramatic change has occurred in places as far away as South America and as close as Richmond, a city in the S.F. Bay Area. People combined strong social movements with strong electoral movements. When people in South America – especially the young and impoverished – began taking to the streets and voting in much greater numbers than ever before, the 1% lost big. The disparity of wealth began to decrease, and education, healthcare, and people’s participation in their governments began to improve.
Closer to home, Richmond now has a mayor and city council members who stand with the 99%. Community activists ten years ago were tired of running into a brick wall at city hall, and organized to combine activism with elections (see RichmondProgressiveAlliance.net). Greens, Democrats, and others ran for office, all agreeing to take no corporate money, and they began to win. Chevron, the largest corporation in California, put a million dollars into three races in 2010, and lost, lost, and lost. The “no corporate money” candidates won.
In California the rules of the game for state elections have now changed, seemingly for the worse, but inadvertently the new rules provide an opening for a backfire on the 1%.
In the “Top Two” primary system we now use for state offices, any voter can vote for any candidate regardless of political party. Only the top two candidates appear on the November ballot, even if they are from the same party. Historically, this system favored incumbents and highly funded candidates, and that’s exactly what happened in the first Top Two Primary in California in June 2012. But Top Two can backfire on the 1% when we create a critical mass of people who declare their intention to vote for candidates who take no corporate money.
You can help grow this movement. Join the No Corporate Money Campaign.
(1) Fill out the declaration, and mail it to Laura Wells, P.O. Box 10181, Oakland, CA 94610.
(2) Or, email your responses to the three checkboxes with your other information on the form to email@example.com
(3) Spread the word and gather declarations!
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
I DECLARE MY INTENTION TO ….
[ ] Participate in SOCIAL MOVEMENTS to ensure positive change
[ ] VOTE in upcoming elections, including the June 3, 2014 primary
[ ] Vote for candidates for state offices who DO NOT ACCEPT CORPORATE MONEY
E-mail __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
Phone (_____) ______-___________
Street Address __________________________________________