This is my political action weekend post and I want you to use all of that holiday time to network and create/ share your own community Democracy Now newsletters to ever more people. GROW YOUR MAILING LISTS AND SHARE MY WEBSITE WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE.
BALTIMORE CITY WILL BE PETITIONING TO PUBLIC REFERENDUM THE RIGHT TO RECALL ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS AND RETROACTIVE TERM LIMITS FOR ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS. THIS WILL REMOVE CURRENT POLITICAL CLASS AND LIMIT CRONYISM IN THE FUTURE.
WE WILL INCLUDE A REQUIREMENT FOR AN ELECTED SCHOOL BOARD AND A REQUIREMENT THAT THE NUMBER OF CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS REMAINS AT 15.
WE WILL BE PETITIONING TO PUBLIC REFERENDUM CHANGES IN THE CITY CHARTER THAT REMOVES MANY OF THE POWERS OF THE MAYOR AND RETURNS THEM TO THE CITY COUNCIL.
THESE ARE CRITICAL PETITIONS AND THIS NEXT ELECTION CYCLE IS NOW 3 YEARS AWAY. OUR JOB IS TO CREATE A NETWORK FOR SIGNATURE COLLECTION FOR THESE PETITIONS ACROSS THE CITY. THE AMOUNT OF SIGNATURES NEEDED MAY BE TENS OF THOUSANDS AT THE MOST......REALLY NOT HARD IN A CITY OF 160,000 PEOPLE.
THIS IS DOABLE AND IT IS VITAL TO THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY IN THIS CITY AND STATE!
In talking about the school building forum in Baltimore I outlined how most of the people were left out of the process and how real concerns were deliberately sidelined. Can you image that my comments regarding the soundness of tying public schools to a Wall Street financial instrument or the fact that billions of dollars already owed the city are available to pay HAD NEVER BEEN STATED PUBLICLY? THAT'S RIGHT!!!
What was telling was a statement from our much maligned Baltimore School Superintendent and Wall Street crony Alonzo at the end of this public session. He was proud to announce that over 700 people in the city participated in discussions regarding these school building proposals. 700! Baltimore has a population of approximately 160,000 people and that 700 represents the number of the wealthiest people in the city. THEY ARE IN FACT THE PEOPLE TELLING ALONZO AND CITY COUNCIL WHAT DEVELOPMENT WILL LOOK LIKE IN BALTIMORE....AND IT DOESN'T END WELL FOR THE MIDDLE AND LOWER CLASS.
IF THE THIRD WAY POLITICIANS RUNNING AS DEMOCRATS CANNOT EVEN MEET THE DEFINITION OF DEMOCRACY-------YOU KNOW IT IS TIME TO VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE.
Beliefs Central to Democracy:
- Decisions should reflect the will of the majority
- Government is limited in its power and must respect people’s rights
- Citizens should have a voice in decision-making
- All citizens should have a sense of responsibility to other people and the community
- Citizens should have a sense of what is socially just (good/fair for society)
- Rule of Law (Magna Carta) – both the government and the governed are subject to the law
- Political Equality – everyone is equal; one person/one vote
- Common Good – decisions are made for the benefit of everyone
- Personal Freedoms / Human Dignity – fundamental freedoms (speech, religion, etc.) = civil rights
- Political Freedoms – protect the right of citizens to participate in the political process
- Being informed and getting involved – democracy works best when the citizens are active and
- Respect – we must accept that not everyone has the same political views
Features of an autocratic government (totalitarian, fascist, communist):
- Total control of society – an attempt to dominate citizens’ public and private lives
- Instils fear through mechanisms of terror – military force; police brutality; secret service
- Controls media – censorship; government propaganda
- Official political ideology – mandatory for all; dissent unacceptable/punished
- One political party – opposition parties may be deemed illegal or are ineffective
- Clearly defined internal (citizens) and external enemies
- Rule of Law does not exist
- History may be re-written to conform to government ideology; traditional ideas/ways are replaced
- A new, ideal type of person is promoted (e.g. tall, blonde Aryan in Nazi Germany; the hard worker in a Communist country)