Good morning fellow Firedog-lakers. I’ve been very busy for the past few months–working and planning my campaign for the 32nd Congressional District in Texas. Instead of talking about myself and pretending like I have all the answers, I am forming alliances with the people in my district and working with them to forge new and workable economic solutions for our community.
Instead of asking my constituents and special interests for money, I am funding my own campaign on a very limited budget of less than $500. Instead of inviting my constituents to $500 plate dinners where I make speeches about myself, I’m inviting constituents into my home in groups of 25 to seed the formation of no less than 4 employee-owned corporations in my 32nd U.S. Congressional District–now before the end of December 2012. I am making things happen now in my district because 1) I know that will give me the most clout and credibility regarding my leadership when it comes to winning votes in November and 2) my model for running a campaign will, by successful example, change the continuation of the status quo in Washington D.C. If nothing else more people like me will run for office in 2014.
But in addition to Solutions Now! I am in this race to win in November.
My campaign model is 4x4x4x4. I will obtain the signatures of 1,000 people in my district by June 29 in order to get my name on the ballot. If those 1,000 people tell four more about me, that is 4,000. If those 4,000 each tell four more people, that is 16,000. If those 16,000 each tell four more people about me, that is 64,000. If those 64,000 each tell four more about me, that is 256,000. Yes, of course there will be those who don’t tell four, but that’s OK because my goal overshoots the critical number of votes I need to win the race by 139,000 votes. In the last race involving a presidential election (2008) Pete Sessions won my district with 116,000 votes. To win my district in 2012, I need only 117,000 votes. The difference between my strategy and that of the Democrats and Republicans is that I will rarely be more than 2 degrees of separation from the people in my district and that’s a powerful position to beat–even with hate filled robo calls.
New Ways to Crawl Out of Our Economic Hole Are Showing up Every Day.
We see new and healthier forms of leadership springing up all over the world. For example, there is a battle raging across the world over who can better feed its people: small-scale farmers practicing sustainable agriculture, or giant agribusinesses using chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
YES magazine reports that the Farmers Fresh Market program run by the Foothills Connect Business and Technology Center in Rutherfordton, North Carolina created a proprietary online system to allow individuals and businesses in nearby cities to order fresh produce from growers local to Rutherfordton. In many cases, the growers pick the food the same day the buyers receive it.
In a town where the economy has largely collapsed, the project of connecting local small food producers with consumers in near-by cities is motivated more by the possibility of job creation than by the pursuit of culinary nirvana. Tim Will, executive director of Foothills Connect and the brains behind the project, said, “It has very little to do with food and everything to do with jobs.”
The prospect of restoring local economies that have been crippled by changing times or damaging recession is as valid and powerful a reason to invest in local food as many of the arguments one hears about food miles, freshness, and saving the family farm. In Rutherfordton, Foothills Connect has not only designed a way for city dwellers to support the established farmers of the surrounding rural landscape, but is also helping local non-farmers gain income by becoming growers too.
The Foothills Connect Business and Technology Center is one business model that will be examined in the very first discussion group of the 25 constituents who meet in my home in July. This is a model that I think would be easy to adapt for one of the employee-owned companies that I would like for some of the people in my district to build.
Instead of talking about change in my district, I look forward to meeting with my constituents and assisting in its birth. Remember, we don’t have to participate in the world of the insane. We don’t have to get caught up in their insane models. We can build our own models side by side and crowd them out. Instead of doing battle with them, don’t participate. Ignore them and create your own reality. Believe me, it’s very empowering to say no to them.
Yesterday a breathless caller from President Obama’s campaign called me asking for a $500 contribution because “it looks like Mitt Romney may raise a billion dollars.” “That,” I said, “is the best argument right there that I can think of to not give President Obama a dime. Stop the insanity and let it begin with me.”
The insanity must end. As long as we participate in it by voting for Democrat or Republican candidates, it will never end and things will continue to get worse. Additionally, we will be so caught up in their craziness that we will not be left with needed time to forge real solutions. A Democrat or a Republican could never do what I will be doing during my campaign for the people of my district because their insane model for running a campaign leaves no time for it. The candidates are too busy begging money from their constituents and special interest groups to do the work that needs to be done now.
VISIT ME AT EMMA BERRY .ORG