Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Society's opportunity of a lifetime: People. Planet. Public.

Message to Obama, Bill Gates, his fellow "philanthropists," (yeah, I put quotes) and all sectors of society...phfff, everyone on the planet:

Double down.

Go all in.

Invest in people.

Invest in the planet.

Invest in public services, education, health care and infrastructure.

Out with the old shit and in with the new...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another buried lead

New Mexico Business Weekly's report on Eclipse today has another pundit thinking ;)

I'm following the story for many reasons, including the fact that it directly affects a member of my fam...

A quick re-cap for folks:

This week I heard from very good sources that employee mileage reimbursement checks from Eclipse were bouncing. Not a good sign. Then employees were sent home without pay. Then today, NMBW says Albuquerque mayor Martin Chavez said the aircraft manufacturing company told employees it was close to finding some new financing. (This was also confirmed by very good source.)

But it was a quote deeper in the story that really caught my eye.

The current financial crisis has made it difficult to raise new investments, Chavez said.

“It’s very clear the nation is in a recession, which is primarily centered around credit,” Chavez said. “My hope is that Eclipse doesn’t get caught up in that, but it’s the same story unfolding in every major city in America.”


Here's what another pundit is thinking about. While the G-20 meet this weekend amidst a national and global financial crisis caused by a neo-liberal model of the pursuit of capital at all costs and corporate interests in control of all branches of government, we can't forget just how much the Marty Chavez's of the world and their developer friends are part of this financial disaster.

The real story unfolding is how "every major city in America" has been controlled by developers who borrowed money on state, county, local, city and other governments' credit...with much of their bidding done by Mayors like Marty Chavez. These developers are every bit as responsible as anyone for the mess we're in.

From Displacing the Dream, a report I was a major writer and contributor to...

...As available pipelines of public financing from the Federal Government to cities have dried up, public services—from welfare to subsidized housing—have been slashed from the federal budget.5

As a result of this domestic divestment, cities are more and more dependent on real estate taxes to raise their budgets. Developers that build on city land are essentially giving city governments the money they need to operate; the more upmarket the development, the more taxes the city can collect. In this context the profits that developers reap are both monetary and political, including increased control over the policy and planning decisions that shape civic life.6

This privatization of local financing and political power is unprecedented. It has transformed the cyclical process of development into wide scale privatization of public space and services. As more and more city space sells out to the highest bidder, longstanding communities—usually African-American, Latino, and Asian— which held rich social, economic, and cultural networks, are being displaced and thus, destroyed. And with that destruction, there is tremendous cost.

I think we all know the costs now...

5. Hackworth, Jason. The Neoliberal City. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007.

6. Ibid.

Displacing the Dream
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On prop 8 from a comment stream on M-pyre

The following came from this comment stream from this post over on m-pyre...

...here's what happened... (as seen by another pundit)

early on, the polling was as would be expected in the "left" coast. no on 8 was winning close to margin of error...

first fight was the prop language, which the no side won. "eliminating the right of same-sex marriage from the california constitution," or something to that effect. this was instead of some version of "defining marriage" language that the Yes side wanted.

(the poll numbers were the exact opposite depending on how you asked the question. If the question was do you want eliminate rights no was up like 52 - 48, and if you asked is marriage between a man and a woman yes would go up like 52 - 48...)

the first ad bomb came from the yes side. if you didn't see it, you gotta search for it. but basically it had newsom on the steps of SF city hall yelling at the top of his lungs that same sex marriage was here to stay "Whether YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!!!!"

this set the tone for the battle.

while the no on 8 side was reeling from that punch, the yes side got to organizing and focused the majority of their strategic efforts on mobilizing the faith community, no doubt.

then more ads...prop 8 will mandate the teaching of same sex marriage in school blah, blah, blah. this wasn't just an ad, this was a meme that was running through the churches and organizing networks of the yes side.

so while the no side starts to realize that the polls are turning they start to run ads that respond to the charges and do absolutely zero organizing.

yes side keeps on the offense. robo calls, direct mail with obama's picture w/ "i don't support gay marriage" quote, door knocking in communities of color, telling pastors they'd be forced to perform gay marriages, etc., etc.

(watching this happen, i'm like wow this is strategic and organized as hell, right.)

so think about it. no on 8 has basically no outreach or action following winning the initial ballot prop language and yes side baits the no side into straight up culture wars in the streets, you know, because the yes side's already done their organizing and have an army.

i'm talking sending young people of color into the streets...strategically placed in the overlapping demographics of religion, race and orientation. this led to daily coverage of these shouting matches in the streets...and eventually a rally at the state capitol where the yes side really placed the wedge by repeating and repeating and repeating that they're counting on a high obama turnout to pass prop 8.

what can the no side do from there? the no side didn't have any real ground game besides the spontaneous stopping on the side of the road to tell the young people with yes signs how wrong and dumb they were. the no side only rallied in the Castro and west Hollywood. No's ad strategy consists of responding to the yes ads and the occasional hey people don't you know this is a civil rights issue cause we put MLK in our ad...ad. (am i starting to sound real bitter like i'm desperately clinging to my copy of the universal declaration of human rights?)

no finally got obama to say no on 8, but by then it was too late. the cards were already played, the traps already set and the game already over. like when you realize someone's like 8 moves ahead of you in a game of chess.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008