Josh James: Why I’m voting for Cliff Willmeng for Boulder County Commissioner

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There is a very repetitious narrative that I keep hearing from many of the
local elected officials in Boulder County: “We have to vote for the right
Democrats at the state level in order to change …” a whole list of things
we are told we can’t change at the local level. Whether it’s the fight
against climate disaster, minimum wage, rent control, ag-gag laws, etc., a
Democrat is the answer to the change we need.

There is a mindset accepted by many that change will only happen from the
top down. It’s how the politics in this country has trained us for a long
time. We can see this in how we invest our attentions to the race for
president. Unfortunately their are no institutions or political parties
that hold seats of power at the top in this country, state, or county that
are there to represent the people first and foremost. None that represent
the Earth. When we are funneled into upholding this two party system at
all levels of government (which is primarily there to support an economic
system that serves the few) we loose over and over again.

An alternative movement for the people and planet is brewing in the
grassroots. In order for it to begin to gain and assert power the people
must begin to invest their time (and their votes) towards these movements.
These movements must be fiercely against corporate influence, must be
fiercely independent of political entities that are fundamentally enmeshed
in the socioeconomic system known as capitalism. Yep, I said it.

I am learning that individuals have the most influence, the most say, the
most ability, or at least the most potential to make change if they act
*collectively* in their own communities. Unfortunately, powerful forces
understand this too and act to co-opt grassroots movements that strike a
resonance. It’s all to easy actually, and many “community activist”
willingly allow the cooptation to take place for the purpose of advancing
the movements influence, individual egos, and funding. This can ultimately
diffuse the movement, or dilute/subdue their purpose. We have to
collectively start understanding how this works, and defend our
independence and our purpose. Collectively, if we assert and defend our
inalienable rights, such as the right to a livable planet for one, the tide
may begin to change. History tells us this is true if we care to look.
Defiance for the purpose of justice tends to send out ripples that turn
into waves.

Over the last few years I’ve gotten to know a man who works like no one
I’ve ever met to build grassroots power. He understands if we are to begin
to right the wrongs of this civilization, building power from the bottom up
is critical. His work in the community has been devoted to elevate the
voice of the working person and the Earth. His ability to understand the
root of issues and problems is strong. He will strive to attack those
roots instead of the peripheral symptoms. I’m proud to support Cliff
Willmeng for Boulder County Commissioner. Not because I think he will save
us from our problems, but because he will use his office to bring people
and movements together to democratically work towards justice. He will
help citizens see that if we stand up to protect our own communities,
regardless of the higher law’s preemption of that protection, we can begin
the hard won process for justice. He will make it his duty to assert the
the sovereign rights of people and planet at the county level. I’m ready
to put Cliff in office, and ready to start building upon that win. Time is
of the essence. Please join the movement. The win is not the objective,
the struggle is, but a win would be welcome too.

Josh James
Longmont, CO 80501

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