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Articles in "The Road to Resilience"

Back in 1988, Joy Goldstein strong-armed me into working with her and a handful of others on the Community Council Affordable Housing Committee.  We went on to form Vashon Household (Joy’s name).  I put about twenty years into the effort, and despite some notable successes, such as Charter House, JG Commons, Roseballen, Eernisse Apts., and Mukai Commons, I’ve never felt that our efforts put a dent in the structural foundations of housing unaffordability.

I have been working with a group called Revolution Vashon.  We are Berniecrats that are promoting the political revolution that Bernie Sanders called for.  We agree with Bernie that it is vitally important that Hillary Clinton be elected president.

When I started writing this column years ago, it was intended to be a voice for the Transition Vashon group.  We were espousing the need to plan for decreasing energy use due to the dangers of CO2 concentration and consequent global warming, and the arrival of peak oil.

Last issue, I began exploring the importance of focusing on a new vision rather than just combating the present incompetence.  Addressing an article recently published in YES! Magazine by Gar Alperivitz titled “Six Ways We Are Already Leading an Economic Revolution,”

Trying to get more involved in government policy decisions is a tough and thankless task when the emphasis seems to be on choosing the least worst power broker to run the nation who has the least objectionable plan (if any) to get us out of any number of messes that our established corporate power brokers have gotten us into.

Regardless of who you may have voted for in the primaries, you may have felt that things you consider important are not happening, and that major changes are in order.

Our task remains essentially the same as it would have been if Bernie Sanders had been elected President.  Sanders made us to understand that nothing he was espousing would happen without a major grass roots effort to force our elected officials to act.  I imagine we all thought it might be a whole lot easier with Bernie in the seat of power, but we weren’t being totally honest with ourselves.

The conventions are over and our next president will be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  A few years ago, it looked like we were going to have a very humdrum choice of the two ruling family establishment candidates, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

Picture this scenario.  The presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party is lagging in the polls before the nominating convention.  Another candidate that might attract more votes lags behind in elected delegates but can take the nomination if the superdelegates vote for him.

Those of you that have read my column for some time remember that my primary subject has always been transitioning our society away from a fossil fuel-based economy bent on infinite growth.  One of the reasons for transition is that the ever-growing use of fossil fuels is creating a change in our climate that threatens the existence of the world we know.

Both the Republicans and the Democrats have been challenged this election year by a populist insurrection.  Many of us bristle as the pundits throw Trump and Sanders supporters into the same bag.   After all, the motives and intentions of the two factions seem to be as different as night and day. 

Although there will be much more to consider as the election saga unfolds this week, I want to talk about a local project that will make our community here more secure and resilient regardless of election results in November.

First off, the article in the last issue, “Politics Among The Billionaires,” was wrongfully attributed to me.  It was written by Ward Carson.
As we approach the end of the 2016 primary season, we find the likely candidates of both parties to have the highest unfavorability ratings since such polls have been taken.  Trump at 57% and Clinton at 55% top the charts.

Imagine yourself as a billionaire in 1981.  Ronald Reagan has just been elected.  You’ve parked one of your billions in Treasury bonds—a solid, conservative investment backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government.

The current trends for employment seem to be heading toward a train wreck.   There is a strong push to lower labor costs as more and more work is being outsourced to lower wage labor pools around the world.  In fact, slavery seems to be on the comeback.  Free trade agreements, although not advertised as such, have lower labor costs as a main goal among others.

As we get embroiled in the fever of the presidential election campaign season, it is important to get some perspective on what is really happening right now and what we should best be doing. 

A guest article this week by Ward Carson:
I’ve always appreciated the value of a trust fund.  My friend Jim has one.  He deserves it I suppose; his father was a millionaire.  He’s always lived free and easy.   His fund has treated him well.

The Democratic Caucus for Washington State is coming up on Saturday, March 26th.  The doors open at 9am and the Caucus begins at 10am at the O Space.  The goal is to finish by noon, and please plan on staying until the end to be sure that your vote counts.

When Bernie Sanders entered the presidential race, he proposed universal health care as a basic human right.  This has been envisaged as a single payer health care system, that is, a system in which the many private health insurance providers we now have would be replaced by a single, public payer, as it is currently done in Medicare.

As the Sanders campaign becomes more and more credible, the pundits, rightly, are scrutinizing the viability and popularity of his campaign promises.   That is all well and good.  It is true that such changes need to be well considered and thought out.

The differences between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are becoming apparent.  Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats have had some good debates that have clarified their positions on specific issues. I am disregarding O’Malley at this point because, as appealing as he is, he is not seriously in contention right now.

I am tired of having to consider voting for the lesser of two evils.  That said, I will be working as hard as I can to convince all of you to get behind Bernie Sanders.  Here are my reasons:

Throughout the time I’ve been writing this column, I’ve tried to point out ways in which we as individuals and as a community could become more resilient to changes that are and will be occurring in our world.

In January of 2012, I wrote a summary in that I was surprised to hear that a recent study found Vashon Island was the most liberal city in the US.  It was the first time I have ever seen Vashon singled out in a national context for anything.  My second thought was that I, probably like most of you, suspected as much.