“Duty Now for the Future” was the title of a Devo album from way back in ’79, and of course it was redolent of the cynicism and pure snark that pervaded much of New Wave.
But we can look at the phrase a little differently today, now that Bernie Sanders has shown us that the “Audacity of Hope” Obama spoke of can really make things better…if we raise the level of audacity.
Sanders really did fail to gain the nomination; there was no fix. He says so himself. But he got close. Just as Trump’s swell of race-driven nationalism (and when have we seen that before?) exposed the morass of fascism that underlies much of the US mindscape, so Sanders’s progressive populism showed us that our diverse polity has stronger urges towards compassion than towards hate.
Hillary Clinton, however much, and for whatever reasons, you may dislike her, will keep us from going backwards eighty years and to another country. Meanwhile, we can work on the future—a future in which the human scale supersedes the economy of scale.
This future is beginning to blossom in the most unlikely of places: Germany—a country with a history of militarism , fascism, and corporate domination, but one now the world leader in modern environmentalism. A country which is likely to pass a law banning all new internal-combustion vehicles by 2030, and one which recently ran a full day almost entirely on renewable electricity. Clean energy is real and routine in Germany.
It’ snot coincidental that the Green Party holds significant power in Germany. And they got there by running candidates for councils and mayor’s office in towns large and small for decades.
Doing the groundwork, in other words.
Here’s where you come in. Because “third party” candidates will get nowhere nationally till they get somewhere locally. And you’ve got one running for City Council right here in your own front yard. (You may have encountered him literally in your own front yard in recent weeks!)
Joe Bray-Ali, owner of the Flying Pigeon bike shop, former white-hat developer, once an aide to an Assembly member, and now candidate for City Council, is running in District 1, which he’s called home for over a decade.
A true progressive, champion of local businesses and neighborhood empowerment, safe streets and transportation diversity advocate, and probably the one soul who knows the LA Municipal Code better than anyone else.
You want a future that belongs to neither the pinstripes nor the brownshirts? Bray-Ali is your man. But he won’t get into the council chambers unless you vote for him.
Look at his campaign website, and you’ll see why you want him to win.
So get ready to vote for the next four years in November…and for the next forty in March, when the city votes for local offices.
And sling Joe a bit of cash if you can. Or better yet, volunteer, hit the streets, and change the world.
One council seat at a time.