• 4 Things to do Moving Forward in the Green Party

    1. Be Bad Ass:

    piratesIt’s the 21st fucking century for godsake and we got some cool ass organizing methods out there, especially when combined with technology and artwork. Lets do it! Take no prisoners! The Pirate Party in Iceland is a hit with young people, a demographic that in mass did not turn out to vote this 2016 election cycle in the US. With knowing little more beyond that the Pirate Party crowd sourced their constitution and caused their prime minsters resignation, their branding reads that they are pirate bad asses. Why cant the Green Party be bad ass? Are we the square party?  No we are the Green Party!

    Imagine a party filled with crazy awesome ways to be involved and empowered, powerful support structures for members to make amazing change in their communities, abundance of soul satisfying revolutionary artwork, and endless amounts down ass people with amazing stories to learn from. Is that the Green Party we have now? Let’s make sure it is the Green Party of the future!

    When I interviewed Mimi Soltysik the Presidential Candidate of the Socialist Party USA, I really liked how he described how his campaign sets up their messaging:

    “We are definitely considerate with how we package the message. There are about 40 of us who work within the campaign on a daily basis, coming up with ideas, strategies, etc. We all have feelings about what might be an appealing way to message, and those feelings are informed by our experiences.

    I think that so many are turned off by traditional campaign approaches to messaging. To me, a message coupled with a photo of the candidate is boring as hell. I’d rather see a piece of artwork. Show the people you give a shit about them, you know?

    Now, I know that campaigns might construct messaging on the basis of demographic research.

    What about the “I don’t give a shit about electoral politics because electoral politics doesn’t give a shit about me” demographic?”

    2. Participatory Democracy:

    Amazon link to: Everyone Counts book, by Josh Lerner, Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project

    I think the Green Party can take how Mimi’s campaign structured their decision making for messaging a few steps further, and get input from the whole party, not just 40 people. To do so, the Greens must embrace things like Participatory Democracy and the internet.

    Participatory Budgeting, one form of participatory democracy, allows everybody to have a say in how stuff is budgeted, and becomes a very empowering and educational experience, as people must learn the ins and outs of the budgetary needs of their organization. This fosters a healthy organizational pride and resiliency by having people really understand how the organization works and how they are connected to the fruits of their labor towards building the organization.

    Furthermore there are web based participatory budgeting methods available today that could make the Green Party have the most accessible, engaging, transparent, and well spent budget of any of the U.S. political parties.


    Check out Cobudget.co or Budgetallocator.com for two different takes on Web Based Participatory Budgeting. [Read More…]

  • 5 things to make you think before you vote on Legalizing Cannabis with Prop 64 –2016

    1. Will the black market still thrive and be criminalized–is this being legalized for wealthy white men?

    • Cannabis is still illegal in other states, so the black market won’t be going anywhere fast. With the sales taxes and taxes supporting costs for the regulatory framework, purchasing cannabis will be cheaper on the black market locally as well. People still make moonshine all these years after alcohol prohibition ended, and growing pot safe for consumption is much easier than making alcohol. Even in CNN’s documentary series High Profits, black market dealers steal much of the retail sales for the legal cannabis stores right out of the stores own line of customers.

    “From our perspective, legalization is supposed to be about keeping us out of jail — it’s supposed to be about protecting our families,” Hezekiah Allen, the executive director of the marijuana trade group California Growers Association, told ATTN:. “But if the in-state marketplace is captured by a small number of very large growers, there won’t be much choice other than to continue to engage in criminal behavior. While all the marijuana millionaires get rich, all of the existing cannabis households will continue to be treated as criminals for just making a living.” http://www.attn.com/stories/12051/why-some-stoners-oppose-marijuana-legalization [Read More…]

  • Content Marketing

    How about some transparency. What am I doing here? Content marketing!

    I found the term content marketing eight months ago, and realized that it is what I am all about and have been for the past eight years through my studies, community organizing, and work. Learning about it within a new framework of “content marketing” has brought several added layers of efficacy to my efforts.

    As far as viral marketing goes, having high quality content on your website and social media outlets are amazingly effective tactics. High quality content keeps users engaged with your social media and on your website leading to a range of benefits from boosted search engine results to brand loyalty.

    High quality content marketing keeps your clientele and customer base empowered and zealous about your brand. Your content is what distinguishes you from your competition.

    My favorite part about content marketing is that you are able to provide real value to your audiences, and in exchange for this value, you make money.

    Content marketing is basically journalism, but with the goal of trying to sell you something. A professional journalist friend once told me all journalist outlets are just advertising agencies, and it all clicked, he was right! As an intern doing sales for a multimedia marketing agency, our biggest competition was newspapers. The newspapers had in-house graphic designers and sales people who could run a real hustle selling people ads. [Read More…]

  • Participatory Budgeting

    What is participatory budgeting?

    According to participatorybudgeting.org, participatory budgeting  is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.

    The student council at California State University (CSU) Chico uses a watered down version of this, and CSU Chico consistently has the highest voter turnout of the 23 CSU campuses, at an average of about 20% voter turnout. This is achieved because every club and organization wants the funding, so they all work to engage students and rally them to vote.

    Though there is much left to be desired, this high voting turn out is achieved not by a top down student council only effort, but a bottom up school wide effort. This bottom up mobilization captures the essence of democracy.

    Many participatory budgeting programs exist that are far more effective than the methods of Chico’s student council.

    I personally like electronic and online participatory budgeting programs the best. [Read More…]

  • Motivations

    My motivations here… I have learned a whole hec of a lot from paintball. Growing up in the sport, it was a blood sport, and the business politics were going off the wall too. I saw countless fights at the field. Frequently got overshot and cheated on, and was learning to cheat and overshoot as well. I saw businesses open. I saw them close down. I saw lawsuits galore.

    Paintball is amazing. It is pretty much my religion. Consumerism and materialism at its finest. A microcosm of capitalism’s best and worst.

    I want it to be the best that it can be.

    Getting back into paintball after a hiatus, it is weird to see how the dust of old times has now settled. Giant monopolies run the sport. A select type of business people and paintball player have risen to the top. People at the top write the rules, and the rest of the players and businesses follow, though begrudgingly.

    Paintball is at its foundation, driven by the grassroots, but it almost doesn’t seem like it anymore.