We know elections matter, from Pompeo, Pruitt, and DeVos all the way to Beutner — winners of elections appoint people to positions of power at all levels of government. They then use those positions of power to push policy, spend tax dollars, and hire people to realize their priorities.
In our current political and economic system: democratic-capitalism — people and corporations use their money to write laws that help them make more money. The laws of the United States of America that cultivate capital over humanity have evolved from the Supreme Court’s moral justification for chattel slavery to putting rights of employers over workers. We have made progress, but there is room for improvement.
On the progressive side we believe that people power trumps money, but when money can buy disciplined and regular labor hours, and so much progressive political activism is done on the side or by volunteers as a supplement to “real” jobs — we have to account for the fact that the establishment does politics as their paid work.
Working as staff for an LAUSD School Board Member for 3 years, I saw first hand how elected official staff can influence legislation, can help navigate the bureaucracy, and be paid to interact with constituents. Many of us know that some elected official staff are just paying lip service, passing the buck, and hiding behind a range of excuses.
The opportunity cost of being politically active is huge. But we are on the cusp of flipping that equation. We are recognizing the value of being engaged, that we can make a living and support ourselves doing political work, but we have to win. Throughout our history, because of biology, evolution and a basic understanding of animal behavior, we know that self-interest is an important part of politics. We don’t all need to be selfless to the point of sacrificing our health, time, and capital towards the common good. In today’s society, where fame, celebrity, ego, wealth, power, and influence are all intertwined, we have a political concoction that needs to be dumped and rebuilt from the grassroots up.
The rich are getting richer, and the poor stay poor for a lot of reasons, but especially because of our broken politics. The number one cause of bankruptcy is medical costs, and just in the last year, thousands of people have died in California due to a lack of healthcare. We know we pollute too much, we know business as usual is not sustainable, and we know that we are at the precipice of a global climate emergency. We know health and happiness are at the core of our humanity, and we know violence against Mother Earth has ramifications. So I’m on the side of single-payer universal healthcare, clean air, clean water, and good food. I believe investing my time, energy, and life towards political action will have more than monetary value for myself and millions of Californians.
When a particular group or population of people adopts and adheres to a politics of them versus us, it can be extremely effective, especially when they join us. The political narrative is framed and re-framed by candidates, campaigns, media, and money.
We’ve heard that the medium is the message, but in a constant campaign where the public consciousness is being framed by multiple mediums at all times… It is important for us to compete with liberals and conservatives with our progressive ideas across all mediums: door knocking, phone calls, emails (please forward this one), social media (copy and share any of the language in this email as a post), especially earned media and public speaking opportunities (don’t hesitate to invite me to speak to your club, group, class, or to an open mic).
My updated and expanded endorsements for tomorrow.
Our politics need to change from one based on greed, fear, and violence towards one built on love, courage, and action. Through this election cycle, we have gotten smarter and better. We will continue to do so. I am counting on your vote for California State Assembly District 45 tomorrow, June 5th, 2018.