Thursday, July 22, 2004

Arcata City Council Passes Building Confidence Resolution

Earlier this evening, the Arcata City Council passed a version of the Building Confidence Resolution first shown here in draft form. What ultimately passed was revised during Council deliberations. While I did not favor the final form or the outcome, one good thing I'll note is Councilmember Michael Machi's last minute amendment adding language urging other communities to speak out (paraphrasing). This was the one way in which the Council seemed to draw upon the strategy presented by the No Confidence Movement.

The flip side is that some of our ideas were completely dismissed. The Council would not address whether there is or is not a BASIS for confidence. Likewise, they wouldn't touch the issue of Consent of the Governed. Councilmembers Conner and Stewart took umbrage, claiming insult, at the suggestion that the myth of democracy is perpetuated by their dismissal of our ideas. Conner even denied that they are our ideas. Well we brought them up and that makes them ours. And they refused to discuss them, which is typical of how competition of ideas is stifled. That's what happens when third party candidates aren't allowed to debate and it is behind every "lesser of two evils" election.

Here are the prepared remarks I made to the Council. As with the letter I wrote to Councilmember Conner last week, I do greatly appreciate that we share many goals. It is not as if the Council passed a resolution opposing sensible election reforms. Quite the contrary. They have taken a step in calling attention to several much needed specific changes. What would be better is actually trying to create them rather than just talking about them.

Finally, an Orwellian irony. Since the inception, the No Confidence Movement has emphatically been about ideas, and in particular a strategy. At no time, including tonight, have I taken aim at any person. Yet tonight, while having my ideas insultingly dismissed, I was deemed insulting. I confess I am finding it surprisingly easy NOT to take it personally. I sincerely hope the same for others tonight and forever onward.

For better or worse, as the story of the No Confidence Movement unfolds, this is the end of chapter 1. As the next phase of the No Confidence Movement begins, we are starting to coordinate with the Washington DC-based Institute For Policy Studies to tap into the national network of communities (Cities For Peace) that passed anti-war resolutions.



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