Campaign Updates: Michelle Shocked at Last & Environmental Positions Announced
Preparing for the new weekend. Traveling wife Beth and Perry. She is going to do committee work with AEA in preparation for the upcoming delegate assembly in a couple of weeks. Perry and I are going to check in with Virginia from PDA, try to catch Carmona in Glendale and support the Manny for Mayor campaign, then onto the 99% Spring Training, PHX edition. These events are taking place all over the country this weekend, even in Bullhead City. Learning how to better organize events and activism seems right for me at this stage and the connections that come from training like this remain invaluable. Especially since the following day, tax day, Sunday April 15th we are doing our big push in Bullhead City and having the Michelle Shocked concert (tickets still available by phone or at the door). This will be our first full scale event.
Anecdote that Might Be too Ribald:
I spent the sunset walking So-Hi again this afternoon. My house is on the front row of the sub-division.I remember when Beth were dating and she first pointed out the neighborhood one Sunday as we drove by while out touristing. I met one couple who had me unroll a three foot wide county map to show them their precinct, a guy who blew up in a rant when he heard I was there for politics and burst out of his house yelling, “Trent Franks is a lying _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and has lied to me straight to my face!” So I yelled back, “That’s right, Trent Franks is a lying _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and has lied to me straight to my face too!--Which is just one of the reasons I’m running with the Democrats!”
He stopped in mid-stride, “Democrats? Well, that’s different.” and he smiled. The man then went onto explain his interest in a oil production method called thermal depolymerization, which creates water, gas and other oil products from waste. Franks had blown him off when he expressed interest in this technology a couple of years back, now the guy says he’s heard of the military developing mobile prototypes that use the same technology to make gas while on the go. While this technology in and of itself isn’t the silver bullet to wean us off of oil dependency it is clearly a tool we can use to attack the problem.
Environmental Positions Announced
After having more than a month to work on them and only six months of work to get done before I could get to work on them, I completed and submitted my Sierra Club questionnaire with a full 52 minutes to spare and wanted to share some of these positions with you.
About my record on environmental leadership:
Growing up during the 60s & 70s I was exposed to many progressive ideas and the environmental ones stood out for me. While my personal commitment to working on environmental issues was vague and insubstantial in my 20s, I moved to Springfield, IL at 28 and soon found myself as the leader of the local activist food co-op and our non-profit earned money through food sales to do environmental and social justice activism. Besides supporting the Nature Conservancy and Sierra Club through literature disbursement and occasional guest speakers, we also helped create The Friends of the Sangamon River Valley, an organization still active in wildlife restoration and conservation. We were also key players in the municipal support of the 20th Anniversary Earth Day celebration, the anniversary that revitalized America’s now annual celebration of environmental issues.
Our main accomplishments however were recycling related. At the request of the membership I created an at-first member-based, later community-wide recycling center and later we were leading advocates for the establishment of a municipally managed city-wide recycling program. One of our former board members went on to become Springfield’s solid waste coordinator. Since then I have continued to be heavily involved in community recycling efforts. In addition to working with the “Cans for Schools” program in Bullhead City until it was disbanded in 2007, I have been the organizer the paper and plastics recycling programs at the schools where I have worked for the past 12 years, teaching young people to respect their planet and embrace the idea of community service.
In addition to this, for much of the past twenty-three years I have been a political writer, a liberal humorist of sorts. I started writing for underground and college newspapers in Springfield, IL in 1989 and have repeatedly returned to environmental issues such as writing about both the Exxon-Valdez and the BP Oil Rig spills, acidification of polar oceans, ice floe melt, deforestation and Bush’s environmental record over the years. The more recent stuff is primarily available with Op-Ed News:
As you might expect I am opposed to gutting environmental protections, mountain-top removal, Keystone XL, drilling in ANSWR, the Resolution Mine, and my opponent Paul Gosar’s favorite: Uranium mining in the Grand Canyon. My favorite question came from their concerns about the environmental impact of border issues. I said:
Immigration is at the heart of my campaign. I grew up near the border of Texas, in Raymondville, Texas, just south of the interior checkpoint, and I am shamed by our country’s record of tolerating the exploitation and harassment of immigrants and then excusing their demonization by the right for political goals. In addition to being an outspoken critic and activist against the more recent SB1070 disaster, in 2007, I wrote one of my more successful articles, “Make Immigration Legal”--
--Which argued for the sensible immigration reform designed to work with the reality of living in an age of economic refugees. I believe the idea of attempting to create an impenetrable fortress around our country is as wrongheaded and immense a boondoggle as Vietnam and likely to have as profoundly regretful of consequences.
While I am not a member of any immigrants rights groups, in that culture there is a symbol for the migrant: “la mariposa,” the butterfly, a creature of great beauty destined by life to roam, to migrate and share their gifts in many lands. This life of migration is a natural and beautiful thing and is representative of the numerous migratory species that travel the Americas. I want an immigration policy that does not believe America has to hide behind a fence, that does not need to chain the butterflies, or box in ocelots to feel safe. Though I approach this question as a social justice issue, this is a case where social justice could create environmental protection: if economic refugee immigrants could pass through established checkpoints, we could do a better job of taking care of our shared desert habitat, instead turning our country into a prison.
For more information about my stances on specific environmental issues or other matters, pressing or no, consider the wealth of contact and background information below:
Mikel Weisser for US Congress
4490 Sundown Drive
So-Hi, AZ 86413
Democracy for America:
On My Opponent, Paul Gosar:
Tea Party Rebuttal: