A caution: this event would likely be most powerful if there is no campaign rhetoric at all. Not needed!
Support for veterans recovery and empowerment would be a strong first step in a sequence of celebrations of our innovation and compassion as a people. It builds upon Bernie’s strong record as a Senator making veterans issues a personal and legislative priority. The rally could be broadcast live stream, via youtube, and on network time (make them complete to get it! ) Use network commercials & social media to promote it.
Bernie, Jane Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard come on stage to celebrate a series of veteran empowerment programs– a few of many examples are:
• Legal and action organizations helping veterans to avoid foreclosure.
• Operation Freedom Paws training veterans to train comfort dogs and the PTSD vets who will benefit from their companionship.
• a team of Tripod dogs (3 legged) performing with wondrous capability and ready to start visiting VA hospitals and children’s hospitals. (A seed project to organize and fund. )
• Community support networks for PTSD veterans.
• A program to heal combat dogs home from war with PTSD.
This is change happening now. You tell me, how are we going to multiply these programs? Tell me how I should support this sort of grassroots support for veterans as President. Tulsi Gabbard asks for guidance on legislation she’ll introduce.
With this and other similar events buying time, the campaign can test development of an action campaign organization & funding in parallel with the Campaign organization. (Discussion of Bernie’s long-term agenda is balanced with action now, in order to enlist a broader range of people ready to hear that common sense set of ideas.)
Move on through other realms of grassroots innovation, creative programs in Black & Hispanic Communities; the new wave of labor organizing; social and environmental entrepreneurship; innovative schools in low income communities breaking out of the teach to the exams assembly line unlearning; breakthrough community health care programs . . .
Bernie Sanders’ campaign team is hard at work registering voters, getting them out to vote and hopefully rolling through the next state primaries with victories and new delegates. As I approach 85 years of life on Earth I feel that I’ve never seen a campaign as important as Bernie’s breakthrough popularly funded campaign. His agenda for change is just plain old common sense to my ears.
I believe Bernie Sanders is sounding the wake up call to bring us out of a horrific economic, political, military, and environmental nightmare. We don’t have time to sleep on under this dark cloud. I seen only common sense and common decency in Bernie’s “revolution”
But what I’m hearing from many of my friends is that they need to see a sign that he knows how to achieve change at this level. They’re hungry for change now, so they can be patient as Bernie moves on his major agenda once we elect him.
I’ve reached out to the incredible networks I’ve gained across my sixty years of working for the common good. We’re seeing visions of how the uniqueness of Bernie’s campaign could go further.
Its simple: start acting now! Call upon the movement to celebrate and support the thousands of innovative compassionate projects and programs around the country. Create channels for local and regional planning to help build the Green New Deal now.Develop a parallel action campaign organization to support and raise funds for action.
We’ll detail how this action campaign could unfold, how it could support veterans, laid-off workers, workers acting to build unions, low income communities, victims of racial injustice, immigrants, middle-class families sinking into poverty . . . you name it!
See Bernie Win!
I produced this narrated slideshow on Teviston—one of California’s Black Okie Communities—for the Framing Migrant Labor exhibit at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Agrella Gallery. My photos of the Wilson family are part of an exhibit that features Matt Black’s work, along with photos by Otto Hagel and Morrie Camhi.
Ten years ago I struggled to live in the clear space
between hope and despair.
had crushed the Goddess of Freedom
in Tiananmen Square.
Now, just eleven days from the turning of the century,
I am filled with hope,
growing feelings of hope
that we are at a great divide.
I fear I’ve lost that clear space
where true actions flow like water.
But I’ve walked, at sunset and twilight,
the high desert land of San Cristóbal.
I’ve watched Julia Butterfly climb down
from the redwood she named Luna.
Only two years of her young life up there and
Maxxam bowed to her pure will.
I’ve breathed the perfume of tear gas and pepper spray
on the streets of Seattle
and I’ve gone home
to campuses and neighborhoods
organizing around the world,
calling my brothers and sisters
to the great task.
I walk the skies
the rivers and
I am the deserts and the forests.
No need for hope or despair.
I am this world
this clear space.
December 20, 1999