Thankful

Thankful

So many good things, so little time…

It’s been a while since the last post. Rather than sitting down for long missives, lately I’ve been Tweeting as many events have unfolded.

On this day after Thanksgiving, here’s a handful of things for which I’m thankful:

Culver City residents passed the half-cent sales tax with an overwhelming 76.5% of the vote. This local sales tax measure will help eliminate the city’s $8 million deficit without cutting essential services like fire, police, park and senior programs, street maintenance, to name just a few. Going forward, the Council will continue to examine ways to cut spending and make our city services more cost-effective while fostering economic transparency, with the help of the newly-formed Finance Advisory Committee. Applications for this committee will be accepted until January 17, 2012 (request application from city.clerk@culvercity.org ).

Thank you Culver City voters for valuing our services & moving our city forward.

 

I took my first trip to Washington D.C. from November 16-19 to attend the inaugural meeting of Local Progress: a National Municipal Policy Network. With Councilmembers and County Supervisors from 32 different municipalities around the country, our first official vote unanimously approved our founding statement:

We have gathered together to build a coalition of municipal elected officials dedicated to broadly-shared prosperity, equal justice under law, sustainable and livable cities, and good government that serves the public interest directly. To serve these ends, we hereby proclaim the founding of Local Progress: A national municipal policy network.
                                                                                         — November 18, 2012

As the press release states:

Local Progress will facilitate sharing and development of policy innovations, local legislation, organizing strategies, and communication tools. It will also help progressive advocacy organizations and elected officials collaborate on policy work in cities around the country and elevate issues into the national dialogue.

It was a genuine pleasure to meet Councilmembers and Supervisors from around the country and find so many resources to make our city better. Photo: at opening reception with Councilmembers from Madison, Wisconsin and  Hartford, Connecticut.

 

While in Washington, I participated in the massive demonstration, asking President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline that would bring dirty tarsands oil across the US from Canada. Organized by 350.org, and following Bill McKibben’s Do the Math Tour (which I attended with a group of Culver City residents when it was in Los Angeles), demonstrators of all ages encircled the White House with a giant inflatable “pipeline” with signs saying “Hurricane Sandy is a Clean Energy Mandate,” “Forward to a Clean Energy Economy,” and President Obama’s quote “Let’s be the generation that finally frees America from the tyranny of oil.”

One of the actions cities, universities, and individuals are called on to do: divest from all investments in oil companies. Following the example of the movement that helped overturn Apartheid in South Africa, those who believe that climate change must be stopped should demand divestment from the companies that pollute egregiously, while raking in massive profits. Students from Harvard, Unity College in Maine, University of Vermont, Hampshire College in Massachusetts, the Claremont Colleges and 37 other colleges around the nation are all asking their schools to divest.

I’ll be looking into Culver City’s investment portfolio next.

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