A Direct Path to Home Rule and the Common Good
Our Democracy can be reclaimed to serve the people, instead of corporate profits and the elite few, through grassroots alignment strategically focused on the key trigger for systemic change.
This is a systems issue. The primary access point within the overriding system is through county, city and town governments. The counties (boroughs) are a self-sufficient legal entity that forms the base of the government hierarchy. This is where people live, work and are most affected by government. The state and federal layers are dependent upon the base; however, the county is not dependent on the upper layers, but can function as a self-sufficient system.
This trigger can quickly transform our governance, with the least amount of energy. This shifting point must be accessible by grassroots, and be capable of transforming the entire system. Access is best achieved through local means.
A local approach has many advantages. Issues affecting your community can often stir up emotion and the need for a resolution. It is where mainstream media have the least influence on local issues. Local independent sources of information are more easily geared for the local scene and are not controlled by big-money corporate interests. This is the most accessible entry point, and it is where you live. It is also the location of the trigger for systemic change.
The trigger is the “majority” of the County Board of Supervisors (the governing Council in local government). Also of importance are the Sheriff, the Mayor, and the Prosecuting Attorney.
What constitutes a majority varies from region to region. Getting a majority of Progressives in local government (referred to as politicians who support the common good, instead of corporate profits) is best served by some version of a political action committee. It is not difficult to form, and can be started by a small, dedicated group. Each county, city or town should have a non-partisan, independently run organization that selects, develops and campaigns for these Progressive candidates. This mechanism supports collaboration among county Progressives and is bipartisan, independent, and owned and directed by its local creators.
Maui County, Hawaii, has put this mechanism to action with an intention to remove oppression that ruled for 125 years. It is the same system of oppression that grips most nations on the planet — including the United States! The Maui Pono Network, a group of volunteers, took on the task.
Getting that majority for the County Council is the main goal which we accomplished in 2018. It is a direct path to locals gaining local power. It is the strong entry point to changing state and federal representation, as it engages grassroots in a doable way, and big money is not as empowered.
In the 2020 elections, out-of-state Super PACS came back with a vengeance to get back their Corporate Rule. The out-of-county Corporate Super PACS poured in 43 times the amount of money we had to support the exact opposite of our slate. The challenge is an engaging story. The Maui Pono Network became a community hub for election information. We won 14 of the 16 candidates and charter amendments we supported. Every community can win the David & Goliath story. A small group of citizens can be the catalyst for systemic change in their county, city and towns. With a proven strategic map, the journey can be fun, engaging, and uplifting.
When Progressives within counties align with other counties and agree on Progressive state candidates, the next layer is impacted; the same alignment goes both for other states and for the federal level. What drives and moves the house- cleaning forward is grassroots organizing from the base. This is a peaceful path to reclaim our government from big-money interests. Grassroots groups working from the bottom up can defeat big-money working from the top down. It is doable, uplifting, and is desperately needed at this time.
“Paul Deslauriers’ exciting and motivating action manual – Seven Steps to Reclaim Democracy – is not about launching protests that go nowhere with today’s politicians. It is about replacing them with your elected lawmakers starting at the local and county level where “the 99% have a strong say…all the way to the top.” Ralph Nader