- Opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline, specifically calling on President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to deny permit applications for construction thereof.
- Calling on local, state and national representatives to support an amendment to the US Constitution to overturn the Citizens United ruling.
- Opposing the For Profit Prison Industry, resolving to strongly advocate for abolishment of private, for-profit prisons and urge transparency and accountability for those that are in existance.
The wording in some cases was modified with "friendly amendments" to make them more succinct and/or readable, but NOT to weaken or water them down.
This action represents significant movement to show that Arizona Democrats stand for genuine values that will protect all citizens. From where I sit, it also demonstrates that we are already moving in the direction Thom Hartmann described in his video on the Concord Project.
Additionally, I collected dozens of signatures for the Safer Arizona initiative, to have voters in November 2014 decriminalize marijuana possession and use. This is, by the way, a mainstream Democratic issue.
More information is available, including a half-hour documentary video on the subject at SaferArizona.com. I collected dozens of signatures and gave additional petitions to several Democratic activists who already "get it," knowing that marijuana IS safer than alcohol.
Let me repeat that. Marijuana is SAFER than alcohol. Safer for individual users and MUCH safer in terms of public health and safety. But more importantly, this initiative is THE key to victory for Democratic candidates in 2014. This initiative WILL drive the youth vote. Get on board, fellow Democrats and Liberal-leaning independent voters!
Activist Dennis Bohlke recently relayed this incident, from his time at the State Fair collecting signatures:
Last week while I was at the fair getting signatures for legalizing marijuana petition, there were professional signature gatherers soliciting the crowd and conning them into signing petitions for Mr. Bennett. They were saying he was a friend to marijuana law reform. I asked them if that was true and they said it was the only way they could get anyone to sign his petition to run for governor.Think about the significance of the revelation that Ken "Birther" Bennett's paid signature gatherers couldn't get people to sign his gubernatorial nominating petition without telling them quite a whopper of a story.
Bohlke then said,
I propose that the Democrats endorse our initiative and hang the Marijuana issue around the Republicans neck like a noose. When the Republicans fight us on this, logic and common sense will only tighten the noose. They will be shown to be cruel and black hearted supporters of the prison state.Of course, that proposal for Democratic Party endorsement was only informal. Notwithstanding, we CAN and MUST be bold in organizing to end the War on Drugs that began more than 40 years ago when Congress passed, during the Nixon administration, the Controlled Substances Act. By the way, despite the technical and scientific sounding language of the Controlled Substances Act, the underlying motive is revealed in conspicuously plain sight. For example, the definition of "addict,"
The term "addict" means any individual who habitually uses any narcotic drug so as to endanger the public morals, health, safety, or welfare, or who is so far addicted to the use of narcotic drugs as to have lost the power of self-control with reference to his addiction. (emphasis mine)What does that mean, "public morals?" It's not a term that is easily given to a clear and specific definition. More importantly, to my knowledge, the term is not defined in the Controlled Substances Act. Who do you want deciding what constitutes "public morals" or a violation thereof? Who do you want deciding whether you have "lost the power of self-control" (an expression equally vague and elusive of tangible, objective definition).
Cathi Herrod, and the ultra-conservative lobbying organization Center for Arizona Policy perhaps?
No? I didn't think so.
Stand with me and get ALL of your friends and neighbors to sign the petition to put Safer Arizona on the ballot and we'll make something good happen in a big way in 2014.
By the way, I met -- face-to-face for the first time -- Senator Carlyle Begay. It was good to shake his hand and greet each other. He mentioned that he hopes I'll give him a chance. I assured him I would and that I would be watching.