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Re: late into the garden? Time to Organize

  • Subject: Re: [cg] late into the garden? Time to Organize
  • From: Harmon Seaver <hseaver@cybershamanix.com>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 15:10:04 -0500
  • Content-disposition: inline

On Mon, Jun 03, 2002 at 12:40:01PM -0400, Honigman, Adam wrote:
> Dear Harmon,


> >From your e-mail message, I can't tell where your garden is located but from
> the link that I got from under your signature, you live somewhere near Cook
> County, MN?

   Ah, nope, I wish. We lived there for a long time, still own land there. I
rather doubt there's any community gardening up that way, it's all pretty much
wilderness. Very hard to make a living there tho.
   No, I'm sorry to say we're living in Oshkosh, WI at the moment, stuck here
for the last 14 years, although we're going to change that ASAP.

> As your problem seems to be a misguided but not malign local government, may
> I suggest that you do a couple of things?  
> 1) Everybody in your garden who is not underage or an ex-con should be
> registered to vote. As you have a lot of Hmong in your garden, it might not
> be a bad idea to have a newspaper guy and a local politician  around when
> you do voter registration - all these fine New Americans and all...
   Well, most of the Hmongs are not citizens, and probably never will be, at
least not the older ones who do most of the gardening. And they are not at all
politically active, even the younger ones. Most of the older (30's on up) don't
really speak English all that well, and, although they come to the meetings,
don't speak up at all, even those who do speak English, nor do the young ones. 
   Believe me, we've been into community organizing for a long time, really
wanted to get the Hmongs onboard for a long time, for some other even more
important local political struggles. Our basic problem here is that we have no
local representation. We have a "common council" where the members are elected
at large. And, the way that works out is they are almost all from the suburbs,
the same people are elected year after year, they are all well-funded by the
local industrial/real estate boys, and they totally screw the people in the
inner city. We just got a totally uneeded 4 lane shoved thru our historic
district, fought it tooth and nail for 10 years, very well organized, had all
the facts on our side (they never even took a traffic count before signing the
contract, and never did get a traffic count that worked), etc. 
> 3b) Repeat as long as necessary. In a democracy, it is important to put a
> note in your legislators "lunchbox." You are not being a pest. You are
> guiding your public servants to do the right thing.

   Well, thanks Adam, I'm sure that would work some places, but this isn't a
democracy, it's a crooked little place that's been set up to be run by the
priviliged few. Just think what fun you'd have in NYC if you had a Common
Council like we have. We are told that our form of government is the
"enlightened model" and it's what all cities will adopt sooner or later.  8-)

Harmon Seaver	

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