Instead I wanted to let you all know there is a very active group of concerned citizens in the Sarasota, Florida area attempting to bring together a coalition of citizen groups in order to push for change in Washington.
Yes, this morning I attended a meeting of the Sarasota Nation's Discussion Group along with 66 other interested citizens. The meeting was alive with ideas and collective experiences in historic movements that included The Civil Rights Movement, The Collective Bargaining Movements, The Women's Movement and now a new movement to fix our system of government. The meeting was broken into five (5) topical discussion groups. They were all current topics relating to our Military and its related spending; National Health Care, Obamacare and related spending; The Economy and deficit spending and the need to improve our aging Infrastructure; Global Warming and the urgent need for governments to work together to find mutual solutions through science; and the need to engage in our democracy to make these necessary changes.
Participants then broke fairly evenly to discuss these major issues in smaller teams, but you can bet I chose to sit in on the democracy discussion. Why? Although I can converse fairly easily on each of these topics, I felt that without an understanding of what st happening in today's democratic society, none of the other topics matter. Not coincidentally, all of my fellow "democracy" discussion members felt the same. Each person was to identify an area of concern within democracy and bring it to a discussion. Having never been to such a meeting, I elected to hang back and listen. Each person listed their concerns, ranging from Campaign Finance Reform under the Citizens United ruling to gun control to the need for a third political party. One even mentioned the need to engage in active revolution! Guess how old these folks are? I would put their average age to be at least 70! And they discussed revolution!?
After hearing them all out, I was called upon to speak. Without mentioning anything about myself (they all gave their credentials...retired historians, professors, authors and activists), I simply pointed out that most Americans are easily manipulated by political narratives supported by ideologically oriented for-profit media and that only with a long term view of educating the public in American history and government/civics would there be the chance to change the system from within. I also mentioned that to fight the power of money in politics, it might take as much or more money to communicate real history to the Public. After a collective gasp, I was pleased to notice a small rise in the group's energy and a collective re-affirmation that Education is a key to making our political climate better for all of US.
Afterwards, each group's spokesperson rose and summarized their discussion findings. It was agreed that interested and concerned like-minded citizens would need to step up and work together in an emerging coalition to spread the word that democracy deserves attention and that change is never easy, yet worth the effort. I have to admit to you all, I found myself nervous speaking to my small group. I was not sure if I could articulate my position well enough to be understood in the 5 minutes I had to do so. Regardless, I think I spoke confidently because I know my objective is true to my beliefs that we need not seek a revolution, but a change by demanding our political leaders be honest representatives of the best interests of our country and not special interests. And that to find leaders to actually lead, we need to first educate the American Public so they know when politicos and the Media attempt to misinform and manipulate US. Please voice your concerns by seeking out a like-minded group of citizens in an effort to make and keep our Country strong in the generations to come!
The Sarasota Nation's Group meets the first Thursday of each month at the Selby Library in downtown Sarasota, Florida at 10AM and their next Community Coalition Meeting will be held the first Thursday in April at the Herald Tribune Building in Sarasota. Although due to my work schedule I cannot make these meetings, I certainly hope some of you reading this blog can.