So RadGeek kicked off a look into where we go starting Wednesday.. Something I've been thinking about for a while.
The religious right built up from PTA, city councils and other grassroot activism. I decided about two years ago that I'd start getting involved in local politics. It's somewhere we can start and actually make a difference.
So, what have I been up to? Well, being a small businessperson, I'm part of my local Chamber of Commerce. I'm on the Street Issues Committee, which here in town is working together with the Social Service Providers. Rather than having us fighting, we're actually working together to find common ground. Work like this goes to the people who show up. There are an awful lot of dumb ass little committees like this that end up changing the face of a community over time.
Some small efforts, and probably not a lot by themselves, but if every radical started getting involved in the real work of deciding what their community was going to be like, it'll add up.
Things that can be accomplished:
- Affecting local schools, fighting creationism in the classrooms through activism in school boards.
- Affecting city councils, ensuring balance in zoning to ensure a healthy business climate as well as mixed housing. This gives the poor opportunities, as well as making sure that we don't have ghettos or rich enclaves. When we all live together, we learn to understand each other.
- Getting involved in Chambers of Commerce as small businesspeople and/or cooperatives gives a counter to the mega corps, chains, and major property owenrs that too often control them.
So how do we get there? Well, we're using some of the best tools right now. We're communicating through blogs, sharing . The other thing that needs to be done is to make the right alliances. To start communicating amongst each other, sharing stories and tactics that work. We can pull this back from the brink, not just in the US, but up here in Canada, and hopefully in Mexico, and the rest of Latin America. Think global, act local. It's an old saying, but it's wise.