I registered to write on this wonderfully relevant site as per the recommendation of my former teacher at C.U.N.Y., Micah Sifry. Among his myriad accomplishments, Micah co-founded the Personal Democracy Forum with Andrew Rasiej; Rasiej is now a candidate for Public Advocate of New York City. Micah is on leave from PDF to manage his campaign.
Rasiej has been in the news several times lately. Here is one Times brief, that got him all wrong. Rasiej does far more than organize conferences. This article, is a little more to the point but it doesn't go far enough.
On the last day of class, Micah requested that if I had any suggestions for the campaign, to send them along.
The suggestions usually come to me when I am in the thick of New York â€“ either on the subway, on line somewhere, or waiting to cross a busy street that seems impassable with trucks lined up through the intersection, preventing walkers from getting across. I scrawl my notes into memo pads and then forget about them. Here are a couple of notes that keep getting re-scrawled and have thus stood the test of time ( about three weeks). Iâ€™ll post more here, as they emerge.
1. Supermarkets: No one â€“ that is, no New Yorker who is not otherwise tangled up in politics, or political chat, knows what the Public Advocate is. So if Rasiej wants to get the votes of ordinary New Yorkers, he needs to go where they are â€“ visit the sites where they spend time. These are not web sites, though I applaud Rasiej's goal to create free, public wifi in NYC. But right now, he needs to visit busy, crowded places in the hood. One place where every New Yorker spends time is the supermarket." read more »
I have been spending some time targeting 5 particularly corrupt Republicans. Well, it is time to add numbers 6 and 7 and they are BOTH from Ohio. So the state that brought us such dubious, possibly fraudulent elections in 2004, now brings us three disgustingly corrupt politicians.
First let me review my previous Ohio target:
Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio): Ohio Congressman Mike Oxley, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, suggested that a congressional probe of mutual fund companies might be dropped if its Washington-based trade group, the Investment Company Institute fired a prominent Democrat and replaced her with a Republican. Check out these Washinton Post stories: Here and Here
The Toledo Blade also ran a series documenting Oxley's questionable connections to the corporate special interests that he is supposed to be regulating entitled "The Price of Power Politics." -
This series documents Oxley's many ties to corporate special interests and his efforts to block real accounting reform. Not to mention, the numerous worldwide trips he takes on the corporate dime.
So let's keep Mike Oxley as one of this week's targets.
But now we have two more Ohio Republicans who show themselves to be disgustingly corrupt.
Corrupt Republican target #6: Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH): read more »
The rent guidelines board is considering a 2 to 4.5 percent increase for one-year leases and a 4 to 7 percent increase for two year leases.
Thursday's hearing starts at 10 a.m. at the Great Hall at Cooper Union at 7 East 7th street in Manhattan.
So I read this and I try to find the webpage with the source information because the friggin' people of NY1 do not, like the dumb&$%(*s of the New York Times, link to sources.
Do you know how long it took me to get to the source? 15 fucking minutes of the time I don't have --and that's because I happen to be a good online researcher. I cannot imagine the regular citizen with basic web skills trying to find this information.
[via Rent Guideline Board]:
Thursday June 16th, 2005
The Great Hall
at Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street
at corner of 3rd Ave. (basement)
New York, NY 10003
10:00 A.M. â€“ 6:00P.M.
Written comments on the proposed rent guidelines must be received no later than 4:00 PM on Wednesday, June 15, 2005. Such materials must be submitted to the offices of the RGB at 51 Chambers Street, Suite 202, New York, N.Y. 10007, or in the alternative may be submitted directly to the RGB Staff at the Hearings on June 14 and June 16, 2005. Written submissions can also be sent via fax at 212-385-2554 or by email to email@example.com.
Let's just say I'm fucking pissed. read more »
Today has been "Get Behind Dean Day" in honor of his recent run ins with Fox, Cheney and Biden, among others. Simply put, Dean is fighting the good fight and some are ragging on him for it. So, the litte old grass roots have been spending the day helping him out. I am hoping to give these efforts a little boost and, maybe, spill it over into the next couple of days. The ultimate goal is to give DNC and DFA a spike of fundraising in honor of Dean's efforts.
Today DFA has raised, last time I checked, more than $60,000 in one day. They plan on devoting the whole amount raised today to publicizing the Downing memo. You can help them!
Also today, many people have ways of donating to DNC on behalf of Dean. I do not know how the overall effort has been doing, but one particular effort is an extention of the blogsphere's previous show of support for Dean when he first became head of the DNC. This ActBlue site has gained (I think) at least $12,000 today after months of inactivity.
Let us make sure we send a clear message. We LIKE Dean's style. We like grassroots. We like the fact that he has raised $19 million already and is using that money for an ambitious (and, to the Repubs, scary) 50 state strategy. And we LIKE his Truman-style straight talk, telling us the TRUTH which is something we never get from the Republicans these days. The best way to send this clear message is to send him some money, either to DFA or to the DNC. Money now gives him the credibility and the tools he will need to first reform the Dem party and then to kick Repub butt in all 50 states. read more »
I have been holding monthly organizing meetings designed to bring together organizers from grassroots groups for strategy discussions and networking. Several good intitatives have come out of these meetings and some excellent connections have been made among groups. One initiative that is growing out of these meetings is the idea of trying to bridge the divide between labor, which tends to be overly pro-development, with neighborhood groups that tend to be anti-development. My take on this is that these are two traditionally Democratic groups that the Republicans have successfully driven a wedge between. If progressives can reunite the labor and local neighborhood/environmental groups, we might be unbeatable.
Labor wants jobs. Hence they tend to assume all development is good because it means jobs. Often this is wrong in the long term since the jobs brought in by a Ratner style project often are either low paying or non-union. Environmental groups tend to dislike all development, ignoring the fact that development within an urban environment is often necessary and can improve open space and infrastructure to the benefit of the local environment. Finally, neighborhood groups often are suspicious of any change and want their neighborhoods to stay identical to what it has always been.
Groups like (for example) Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, helped by City Councilwoman Letitia James (WFP) is taking a more balanced approach--a reasonable development plan that may even bring in better jobs than the Ratner plan, focuses on local infrastructure and open space, but allows some new development. A coalition of neighborhood groups from around the city is forming to stop the Bloomberg/Ratner vision of Development. I think, in general, they have excellent ideas and a coallition is absolutely necessary. United our neighborhoods can stand, divided they will be picked off one by one by Bloomberg's developer friends. read more »