Much is happening and this note is to simply invite you to participate where you see fit.
The first is I’m involved in a local Seattle Initiative (I103 --- www.i103.org
) which is a bit of an audacious attempt to insert into our political dialogue the rightful (and wrongful) role of Corporations in the public square.
Below is an article coming out this week in Real Change but I want to encourage you to look at the website (www.i103.org
) and download a signature form and sign your name and get at least four others to push this legislation on to the ballot this autumn.
Granted, if it gets on the ballot all Hell will break loose but it will at least encourage
a much needed public political discussion.
I want to invite you to come to University Temple United Methodist (1415 43rd Street NE 98105) next Monday, April 16th, 7:30pm for a discussion about this initiative. It’s audacious but exciting and full of possibilities.
1.) Michael Lerner will be at the Temple Tuesday April 17th at 7pm. He’ll be speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his vision for peaceful resolution.
2.) Bruce Gagnon will speak at the Temple on Sunday April 29th at 4pm. Bruce will speak about The Deadly Connection: Endless War and Economic Crisis.
Real Change ARTICLE FOR April 11, 2012
A Common Good Café
For some forty years now the business community has organized money and people for the purpose of seizing power over our lives. With the rise of the legal fiction known as the Corporate Person we humans now serve immortal entities that increasingly set the rules through which we live. A permanent war mentality, alongside the acceptance of an economically segregated populace rules over our politics and shapes our future. How can we intervene and take back the power that business has seized?
As much as I’d like to lift up the election as a realistic hope for change I find that I simply cannot. Both parties serve the interests of business, war and segregation. No political party, for example, lifts up the rights of our habitat, the earth, as a priority. Neither party calls for a reduction of our imperial war-mongering with its inevitable consequence, an increasing national security state. Neither party has a plan to put a cap on wealth, or a floorboard under poverty. Neither party has a moral philosophy that affirms that either too much wealth in the hands of too few people, or too much poverty borne by too many people, are indictors of a failed state. Sadly, the greed of materialism, a culture with no higher purpose than to get what I can while the getting’s good is still the dominant ideology that drives our
Rather than roll over into the pit of despair, in these sad, dark times, I propose that we continue to live in hope, even if hope itself is just a pinprick of light.
One avenue of living in hope is to continue a civic conversation.
Recently a group of us launched Measure 103 (www.i103.org
) a locally-based initiative that would limit corporate rights in the city of Seattle.
As part of this initiative we are also creating the Common-Good Café, a place of civic discussion as we try to think-through and strategize how to take back cultural power from the dominance of unfettered business.
Given the political environment that we are actually living in, a time of shattered consensus, and a time of increasing suspicion and hostility between neighbors, how can we promote the emergence of a new political imagination? Specifically, how do we resist the immorality of an immortal entity like a Corporate Person? How do we subdue it so that we can regain our freedom and the responsibility to govern ourselves? Or positively put, how can we create locally based economies and a cooperative way of life where all both survive and thrive? How do we create a politics that regulates business, limits the accumulation of personal wealth, and offers increasing opportunities to end poverty as we know it? Our political parties aren’t talking about this, nor are they strategically organizing for a better future for better people.
We’re basically on our own. So maybe it’s time to talk.
Rev. Rich Lang is Pastor of University Temple United Methodist and can be contacted through www.utemple.org
The Cafe will open May 10th (7pm) and will offer weekly Thursday evening community conversations. Speakers already confirmed:
May 10th A representative from the Economic Opportunity Institute to help us understand the Washington State budget.
May 17th Craig Salins (Wa. Public Campaigns-Get Money out of Politics) “Money & Power: The Devil is in the Details”
May 24th Jon Talton ( Seattle Times Economics Columnist)
May 31st Tim Harris (Real Change)
June 7th Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda (Seattle U. Environmental Studies & Theology)
* Great learning opportunity with the real magic in the small group discussions. Format consists of a brief talk, followed by small group conversation, followed by follow up questions. Come and see.
Common Good Cafe at 1415 NE 43rd Street (University Temple United Methodist Church)