Monday, October 12, 2015
Posted by Ed Frey at 8:52 PM
Declaration of Intervention
In the spirit of peace, We the People in the United States intervene against the ever-growing human dysfunction and suffering that afflict us and all of the natural world.
Until now we have felt overwhelmed by the forces of commerce and finance, by their control over our politics and government, by the onslaught of massive election campaign funding, corporate lobbying, commercial and political advertising, corporate journalism, and other forms of mass propaganda, cajoling us to be passive and fearful, to see ourselves as happy consumers and future millionaires, to ignore the cruelty and profiteering of the resource wars, the drug wars, the bulging prisons, the corporate poisons, the degradation of the climate, the corporate manipulation of public education, the invasion of personal privacy, the criminalization of poverty, and all the obscene government-enabled accumulations of private wealth. Most people in this country and around the world now see that they are being needlessly subjected to multiple risks, which are imposed through political artifice to enhance private profits.
We intervene first with ourselves to make sure we are personally ready to exercise the powers and responsibilities of citizens. Next, we intervene with our friends and loved ones to inspire each other, to promote the spirit of citizenship, and to foster the sense of community we’ll need for the task of intervening with the politicians and the government.
As we help each other break the psychological chains that have paralyzed us, we shall intervene immediately in every election for every public office, local, state, and federal, insisting that every candidate choose clearly, Yes or No, whether they will support the proposed Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would finally provide open and accountable government.
We understand now that the crucial flaw in our government and our political process everywhere is that public office itself has been privatized, and public business is routinely conducted behind closed doors, where the power brokers manipulate all three branches of government and undermine the public interest. We the people are left in the dark, and public policy is controlled by the wealthiest among us. We can no longer ignore the fact that, whenever authority and power are handed to a person, whether by election or otherwise, and that person is then free to exercise that power secretly, the inevitable tendency is to abuse that power.
We insist, therefore, that the Amendment shall provide first that whenever a publicly elected officeholder is communicating with anyone about public business, whether orally or in writing, all members of the public have a right to see and hear everything. This law shall require that all such communications be broadcast publicly, recorded digitally, and archived on the internet, exempting only military matters involving urgent national security communications. We will hear all the advice our officeholders are getting and giving, and now we’ll be able to give our own counter-advice.
So, as we join in the present challenges to the invasion of individual privacy and abusive police practices, we will now focus the microphones and cameras where they belong—on our elected office holders as well as on our peace officers. This is the only way we can honor the basic principle that the people have a right to be fully informed and to witness and participate in the conduct of public business.
The second part of the Amendment we insist upon would enable us to regularly hold elected officeholders accountable in public, and provide them with direct guidance from the citizenry. This law will require every officeholder, once a month, to engage in two separate, unscripted, one-on-one thirty-minute conversations, back-to-back, with two separate citizens chosen by lottery, or the chosen citizen’s appointed proxy: a teacher, a pundit, a journalist, an entrepreneur, someone who shares that citizen’s perspective. This will allow the voices and the wisdom of every point of view along the entire spectrum of political thought to be heard and considered.
In the dynamics of this new form of genuine dialogue, the officeholder will be forced to re-evaluate prior thinking and policies and make promises in front of a massive audience, promises that could not later be lightly discarded. Each conversation would be broadcast live as well as recorded, archived and made available to everyone. This ongoing series of local, state and national conversations, combined with the disclosure of all officeholder communications, will finally begin to build a genuine sense of local and national community; further, it will provide the means to educate ourselves, to obtain the facts and insights required to analyze and participate in political and economic decisions.
We see that our press conferences, our town hall meetings, our corporate-controlled journalism and our so-called freedom-of-information systems serve as little more than mere platforms for propaganda; they are mostly cynical gestures toward open and accountable governance, wired in advance to control the public agenda and preserve the status quo. This lack of any effective public forum drives many of those who refuse to accept the status quo to take to the streets, but the government and the corporate media are readily able to manipulate and marginalize even massive street protests.
The preamble to the Constitution teaches that the powers of our government are to be used to “Promote The General Welfare”, not to maximize quarterly profits. Once and for all, this Amendment will enable the citizens to exercise the popular sovereignty that until now has been honored only in theory. This project will inject new life and meaning into the election process and encourage large numbers of public-spirited citizens to speak out and even to seek public office for the first time.
This Amendment will provide clear notice to everyone seeking public office that from now on they will be held formally accountable at least once every month, and that elected office holders will no longer be able to operate behind closed doors and hide the facts from those they are representing.
We are happy to take up the task of helping each other to understand that by now all government in America has been, in effect, converted into an agency serving primarily the interests of profit-seeking private enterprise, that there is no longer a public sector and a private sector, it is all one corrupted organic process, and that this corruption of the process must now come to an end.
We are clear that we do not stand in judgment of any particular politician; instead we acknowledge that it has been our silent acceptance of the present system itself that perpetuates the corruption and dysfunction we suffer from. We accept it no more. We now break that silence.
As we proceed to establish open and accountable government, we must choose to first change the process of government rather than any particular government policies. We fully understand that there are pressing issues that have been ignored for many years which call for government action. We acknowledge, however, that we will be ready and able to develop the information and common sense required to create bold new policies only after we have begun to participate in these two new processes. We therefore approach our task with the utmost sense of urgency. And if our nation is ever going to be able to help lead the world out of the present state of global chaos and violence, we will first have to establish this system of public information and dialogue, and encourage all other nations to adopt similar procedures. Having played such a major role in creating the chaos and violence, this is the best way for us to make reparation.
This project does not require any fund-raising or mass organizing. Each of us merely needs to engage with ourselves, our friends, our loved ones, and other fellow citizens, making sure everyone is registered to vote and asking them: Do you accept the fact that most public officeholder communications about public business is carried on secretly behind closed doors? We need to start spreading the word and to discover ways to intervene in the upcoming elections by getting all candidates to take a public stand, Yes or No, for or against open and accountable government, as described above, and in more detail at www.FullSpectrumDemocracy.org
We start right now.
Posted by Ed Frey at 8:15 PM
Monday, October 5, 2015
ED FREY (SBN 42814)
4630 Soquel Drive, Suite 12
Soquel, CA 95073
Attorney for Petitioners
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF MONTEREY
RITA ACOSTA, DWAYNE DIAZ, and Case No.
JOHN THOMAS GROGAN, III, PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE (CCP. Sec. 1086)
RAY BULLICK, Director,
Monterey County Health Department,
Petitioners respectfully request and petition the court for the issuance of a Writ of Mandate, and allege the following:
1. Petitioners Rita Acosta, Dwayne Diaz and John Thomas Grogan, III, are homeless persons residing and paying taxes in Monterey County.
2. These homeless Petitioners and most other homeless residents of Monterey County face constant threat of harassment, criminalization, and sleep-deprivation by the police, sheriffs, and the courts for the mere act of sleeping out of doors on public or private property. Such individuals are forced to sleep outdoors because they cannot afford to pay for any right to a sleeping site.
3. Respondent, Ray Bullick, is the Director of the Monterey County Public Health Department, and as such is charged with providing services to protect the health of all indigent residents of Monterey County.
4. The homeless Petitioners and a vast majority of all other homeless residents in Monterey County have no place in the county where they can sleep without being subjected to harassment, sleep-deprivation, and criminal prosecution. There are only a small number of shelter beds available at any given time in the County of Monterey. As reported by the Monterey County Weekly, for example, the total number of such shelter spaces in the city is only a small portion of the total number of homeless individuals residing in the county; thus, most homeless individuals in Monterey County must fend for themselves and sleep where it is now illegal to do so.
5. The Petitioners seek to uphold the public’s duty to care for the health of the poor, and the relief sought herein will be a benefit to the general public as well as to the homeless Petitioners and all other homeless people in the county.
6. Part of Respondent’s duty to protect the health of poor people is to provide a place to sleep, because the deprivation of sleep and other forms of harassment by police, sheriffs, and other public authorities cause physical and psychological illness, and frustrate the ability of homeless people to attend to their personal needs.
7. Petitioners have no plain, speedy, or adequate remedy at law by which to obtain a safe place to sleep undisturbed.
8. The homeless Petitioners and most other homeless residents of Monterey County will continue to suffer the ill effects of harassment and sleep-deprivation if the Writ is not issued.
WHEREFORE, Petitioners pray that an alternative Writ of Mandate be issued commanding Respondent to provide adequate and appropriate places in Monterey County for homeless individuals to sleep safely each night between the hours of 8p.m. to 7a.m., or to show cause before this court at a time and place to be designated why it has not done so; that thereafter this court issue its peremptory Writ therefor; that Petitioners be awarded their costs of suit; and for such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper.
Dated: October 5, 2015 _________________________________
Ed Frey, Attorney for Petitioners
I, Ed Frey, declare the following:
All of the statements set out in the within Petition for Writ of Mandate are true, except those statements made upon information and belief, and as to such statements, I believe them to be true.
I execute this Verification on behalf of all the Petitioners because I am at least equally aware with them of the facts and local history concerning efforts to obtain the right to a place for homeless people to sleep, and they reside outside the county where I maintain my office.
I declare the above to be true under penalty of perjury.
Executed this 5th day of October 2015 at Santa Cruz, California.