Thinking Globally...

Monday night, Jim Protzman, Mark Marcoplos, and I will present the following resolution to the Town Council. We plan to bring it subsequently to Carrboro and Orange County.

A Resolution Calling for New Federal Priorities

WHEREAS federal administration priorities and policies have led to de facto unfunded mandates on local governments, such as:
· Demands for increased testing without sufficient funding for public education, and
· Failed energy policies that increase dependence on costly non-renewable fuels, and
· Health care policy that favors pharmaceutical and insurance industries at the expense of employers and citizens, and
· Environmental policies that worsen air pollution and drive up health care costs, and
· Lax enforcement of job safety regulations resulting in productivity losses and increasing health costs, and
· Mismanagement of homeland security that places increased burdens on local governments for disaster planning and relief, and
· Failure to enforce worker rights laws and establish a meaningful minimum wage, resulting in increased poverty and demand for increased access to local health and human services, and
· Gutting of federal programs for low-income families that has created increased local burdens for housing and other services, and
· The promotion and subsidy of large-scale agribusiness corporations which contribute to the crippling of local farm economies which have traditionally been the foundation of healthy rural life, the source for local food, and are minimally oil-dependent, and

WHEREAS the war in Iraq is siphoning billions of dollars from the US economy and straining the fiscal health of our federal, state and local governments, and

WHEREAS no-bid contracts to major corporations for reconstruction in the southeast United States and Iraq undermine the trust of citizens in the integrity of government, and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and (Town Council) (Board of Alderman) that (Council) (Board) hereby petitions the Bush Administration and Congress to end the war in Iraq, re-establish a progressive tax code, curtail favoritism toward corporate interests, develop responsible policies focused on renewable energy, and commit to priorities that reflect the common good.

Resolved this day of ________________ (date) and forwarded to:

George W. Bush, President, United States of America

_______________________ US Senate

_______________________ US Senate

_______________________ US Congress

issue: 

Total votes: 169

Comments

Right on, Dan!

I think the fact that you and Mark are working with Jim on this is very impressive.

Dan,

I won't be able to attend the meeting since I am only a part-time resident of Chapel Hill and Monday nights is not one of those times, but I plan on sending an email to the Mayor and council members regarding my support. Would it be better to send this email before the Monday's presentation or afterwards?

Donna Bell

Before, for sure. Thanks, Donna

Excellent. I see nothing to take exception with. Should be endorsed swiftly. Who wrote this?

Dan, Jim, and Mark.

Great job. You should go national.

Thanks, Mary. We plan to design a horse next.

Bravo! I stand with you.
A trojan horse? Could come in handy on the next trip to D.C.

Done.
I'll introduce it. 'Nuff said.

-Alex

Actually, I was alluding to the notion that "a camel is a horse designed by a committee" (there I go having to explain my posts again). The connotation of the quote is pejorative but that interpretation leaves out the possibility that it was a committee of desert travellers.

Presuming this passes, I hope supporters will plan to contact Price, Burr, and Dole letting them know that this is an important statement of direction for the nation and that the local burdens discussed are very real.

Mind if we borrow it, and see if we can introduce this in Duluth, the Greenest city in the very Green state of Minnesota? BTW, glad to see Dan & Mark collaborating with Jim.

Hi Claire, we tried to word the resolution in a way that was non-specific to this area so it could be adopted elsewhere.

This is great and I wholeheartedly support it. My only nit-picking is that I would like to see something mentioned about the steady siphoning off of the wealth to a small set of people at the expense of the middle class. Re-establishing a progressive tax code and increasing the minimum wage are steps in the right direction. But since the US has the third-greatest disparity in incomes between the very top and everyone else, much more must be done. Kudos to Dan, Jim and Mark for this bold and positive resolution.

Shout out to Claire Kirch!--- Keepin' on in Duluth! Right on!
-Alex

Hey Alex, glad to see you are still doing your part in making Carrboro the very coolest place in the world in which to live!

Well said and, sadly, SO necessary-I am going to forward this to everyone I know and suggest we all e-mail the Council.
Thank you for doing this!

hi dan and mark and jim
i coment u all for putting what ive been saying since this war started :but there are a few other things like section 8 housing thats going to be in trouble medicaid and foodstamps that they are going to wreck 70million dollar by taking it out of the lowest income people and putting i nto katrina's victiums hands thats like robbing peter to feed paul

In case anyone missed it, the council unanimously and enthusiastically approved this resolution with two changes suggested by Mayor Foy: "immediately" end the war; and "end" (rather than curtail) favoritism toward corporate interests.

It was very clear that the council is dealing day-to-day with many of the problems outlined in the resolution and that they were more than ready to speak out in this manner.

I'll let folks know when we take the resolution to Carrboro and Orange County (soon).

It was very exciting!

And everyone should know that Dan is the person who made this happen. The petition was masterfully conceived.

Nice work, Mr. Coleman.

J

Jim, Mark and Dan, as you well know, some of the truly substantive changes in our Nation have sprung from local action. From tonight's enthusiastic endorsement onward, it's going to be very interesting to see the ripples of your actions spread forth

Dan,

I only wish my signature could be on it. Couldn't you get people involved by signing it, like a petition?

David, here's how to put your signature on it: write a letter of support and send it to Bush, Burr, Dole, and Price. It's as easy as copying a line you like out of the resolution, saying I support this resolution passed by Chapel Hill and sending it to them. You can also write a letter to the editor.

David,

You could also make a statement supporting it as part of your campaign, possibly calling on the other candidates to join your call.

Thanks for speaking out on this.

Mark

P.S. I heard that John Edwards has voiced support for this. He was overheard voicing his support by a member of his family while he was eating dinner last week.

A note of thanks to the Board of Aldermen who adopted the resolution with a few improvements. Thanks in particular to Alex for bringing it at the BoA meetings (saves me the planned trip to bring it over there next week).

The Orange County Commissioners passed it on Wednesday: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/orange/story/2831072p-9280449c.html

The Orange County Commissioners passed it last night. The resolution they passed two weeks ago was an Iraq War opposition resolution.

It was somewhat satisfying but a little odd, especially the behavior of Barry Jacobs. First of all, the agenda came out with the fairly comprehensive list of unfunded mandates missing, with only the last part of the resolution intact. Barry explained that he and Moses Carey had decided that they didn't want to list those grievances and wanted to attach a letter with a couple of examples of actual Orange County funding problems caused by misguided federal policy. Barry also said that the original resolution list could be much longer so it wasn't worth it to even include it and - to highlight this point he mentioned a few unfunded mandates ( I can't remember them except for one about nuclear power which does actually fall under one of the bullet points about failed energy policies). It seemed odd and unnecessary.

But Alice Gordon, who had been most supportive and communicative with myself, Dan, & Jim, made sure that the unfunded mandate language was reinserted and made the case that it made the resolution much stronger. She stated that she felt it would be a more powerful statement if the County passed the same basic resolution as CH & Carrboro, as well as including Barry & Moses' letter. She voiced appreciation. Moses Carey briefly mentioned that the county did experience problems with unfunded mandates. Halkiotis made a joke about Bush not having a reputation for reading things, but he'd vote for it anyway, and Valerie Foushee said nothing.

Then the strange vote - Carey called the vote and just before the vote Barry, looking a little miffed, asked if the resolution had the language reinserted "just so we can be like Chaple Hill & Carrboro". Alice said, "No" and Moses asked for all those in favor to vote for it. Barry was silent. Then strangely, Moses did not ask for a "Nay" vote. So Barry danced around it and one can certainly see that he has the wiggle room to take either side of this issue that may seem politically expedient at any later time.

It passed & that is good. But it was far from the energetic support that the resolution got from the CH Town Council.

Hats off and thanks to Mark for carrying this initiative the last mile by representing all of us at the commissioners meeting. We owe him a debt of gratitude.

I also want to echo Mark's comments about Alice Gordon. She's been in close contact with us throughout this process, taking time for personal phone calls to keep us abreast of the progress (and not so progress) going on with the Board. Without her, this resolution would have been a hollow gesture by the County, of little use to anyone.

I don't know what to think of Barry's reluctance to take a powerful stand. It's puzzling and disappointing.

One final thought: I sincerely hope that local elected officials everywhere will take their leadership roles more seriously when it comes to this sort of communication with federal policy makers. I know they all have plenty of things to worry about . . . but ruinous policies emanating from Washington have profound implications at the local level . . . and should be at the top of their lists for action.

Thanks, Mark, for the report. I want to echo Mark's praise for Alice Gordon who really stayed on top of this. She and Alex Zaffron get high marks for their leadership on this resolution.

This resolution should be of interest to those concerned with property tax rates as well as those concerned with good government policy in general. The many areas of federal policy named above will have consequences that place pressure on local government budgets in the years ahead. This is what our three local governments have recognized (with perhaps one dissentign voice -- Barry?).

The bulleted items also impact our personal finances directly as well as many factors connected to the broader welfare of American society.

 
 

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