Let's Put Boots on the Ground

With three months to go, my candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives is in full gear. We’re staffed, organized and ready to go. What we need now is your participation in a massive volunteer field organization.

Help elect a candidate who is willing to say what so many of us feel -- that the legalized system of bribery and corruption now dominating Washington needs to end. The American people have woken up to the need for a politics of conscience and a new bottom line.

If your heart says yes to what my candidacy stands for, then I hope you will join me on this amazing journey. I need you to volunteer for the campaign.

PHONE BANKING!

If you're in Los Angeles, come by headquarters any day between 10AM and 7:30PM and help us phone bank! Join us at 11645 Wilshire Blvd. #602. 

No matter where you are, you can still help us! If you're not in LA (or you're in town but want to call from home), email Michael Gomez Daly at michael@marianneforcongress.com. He'll send you a packet so that you can call voters from wherever you are.

CANVASSING!

Come to headquarters this weekend - and every weekend until the primary election on June 3rd – to be part of our field organization.  Join us Saturdays and Sundays as we canvass neighborhoods, do phone banking, pass out flyers, talk to voters and do all the things that make a campaign victorious. Arrive at our new headquarters at 9:30AM for the training. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes.

THURSDAY NIGHT VOLUNTEER MEETING!
Join us at The Source, 305 Rose Avenue in Venice Beach, at 7:30PM.
We have an historic opportunity here to really break the mold. We have less than three months to go and there is no time to waste.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart,

Marianne



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Yes, I Love Capitalism. Now Can We Get Back To the Topic at Hand?

I heard someone say the other day that one of his friends doesn’t support my Congressional candidacy because I’m “anti-business.” I thought that was almost funny, given the fact that I’ve signed a few book contracts, published a few bestsellers, received a few royalties and put on a few seminars. I wouldn’t say I’ve avoided business.

I understand the high side of capitalism, which is fair and equal exchange. If I create value (say, a book) and you pay me a dollar for it, then both of us walk away with more abundance than before. That’s a good thing. I see it as aligned with the values of nature.

But in the words of Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, “Free market capitalism cannot survive outside an ethical context.” I do appreciate capitalism; what I don’t appreciate is its predatory form (I do whatever it takes to squeeze as much money as possible out of you, while giving back the least amount of value) that has emerged so mightily over the last few decades. I don’t see the multinational corporate cancer now eating our civilization as a form of “business.” I see it as a perversion of business, because it is a perversion of human ethics.

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A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE PRIMARY

I am a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from California District 33. There are a little over fifteen weeks before California’s primary election on June 3, and a funny thing happened over the last couple of weeks. I became a footnote!

I mean, I campaign, attend house parties, reach out to voters; I do all the things that candidates do. And in terms of the usual indicators of electoral success – fundraising, numbers of volunteers and donors, digital reach and drawing of large crowds —I’m the frontrunner.

But according to the pundits, I’ve become an afterthought….the last paragraph at the bottom of the article, after those who pass muster with the political elite have been described as the fierce competitors, deemed the pre-ordained inheritors of the mantle of official permission to take part in the horse race. I’m the “Also running is the independent Marianne Williamson” person -- the “New Age guru” mentioned at the bottom of the page. You can almost see the soft sneer of officialdom when it dismisses you, the subtly implied, “Why don’t you just go away now?” As in, 
This is ours; didn’t you know?

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Marianne's statement on the retirement of Congressman Henry Waxman

Dear friends,

The political world was atwitter January 30 over the retirement of Congressman Henry Waxman, who announced he will not run for reelection. Mr. Waxman has had a long and illustrious career as a Congressman, and I join with others in my sincere best wishes for the next phase of his life and career.

Almost as soon as Mr. Waxman’s announcement was made, a great wave of speculation began as to who else will run for his seat. New candidacies have already emerged. And all that is good. Democracy is at its best when a lot of us want to play.

I wish to make very clear where I stand politically in relation to Mr. Waxman’s surprising announcement.

What I spoke of two weeks before his announcement, and what I will speak of two weeks after it, will be the same. I wasn’t running against Henry Waxman, any more than I’m running against any of the specific candidates who will be joining the race now. I’m running against the system that produced them.

We will hear some say, “Oh, now the race has burst wide open!” – but do not be fooled. America’s traditional two-party system is not wide open. It is fundamentally narrow and constricted, at the effect of economic intimidation by forces that will only tolerate a little tweaking here and there.

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In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear friends,

Today we honor as a nation the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a day when all of us have the opportunity to remember the extraordinary difference one life can make.

Around the country, there are those who are performing works of charity and national service to mark this day. But in truth, Dr. King was not simply about alleviating the pain and suffering of individuals; he worked to counter the huge political and economic forces that kept entire groups of people shackled by injustice.

If Dr. King were alive today, there is no doubt he would be a tireless soldier in the battle against income inequality. For the forces of oppression that he so eloquently called to account have not disappeared in the decades since his death. Today, it is up to us to continue the work of protecting and fostering justice in America.

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An amazing week

Dear friends,

Thank you for your support of our Congressional campaign. The excitement of the journey is building; this week alone, we got major coverage in the LA Times (front page!) and the LA Weekly. I invite you to share in the fun and significance of the experience.

HELP ME WIN THE PRIMARY!

Some people have said, “I’ll vote for you in November, Marianne!” without realizing that first we have to win the primary on June 3 – and that’s coming up soon! California has an open primary, which means that the top two vote getters on June 3 then go to the General Election on November 4.

Others have expressed confusion about how California’s primary system operates, and whether or not voting for me could split the vote. It cannot. Please click here for more information. Make sure you’re registered to vote, and that your friends are registered too! 

 SHARE THE CAMPAIGN WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Sometimes we don’t realize how much we ourselves can make a difference, simply sharing with our friends and associates about the campaign. Use any appropriate opportunity to use conversation and social media to get out the word. MarianneforCongress.com is filled with sharable items, from my blogs to news articles to sharable graphics to issue items.

I particularly like this interview that came out Monday, giving a good overview of my positions and values.

ATTEND OUR CAMPAIGN EVENTS!

Every month – in addition to house parties, fundraisers and public events all over District 33 – I am holding a Town Hall and Issues Forum. Click here to see pics and videos of the events we’ve been doing over the last few weeks!

Please join us for our upcoming events:
   
ISSUES FORUM --  This month's topic: MONEY OUT; PEOPLE IN! Come learn about Getting Money Out of Politics with (the very entertaining) Professor Adam Winkler on January 29th.

MONTHLY TOWN HALL-- Next month's Town Hall is in Rancho Palos Verdes on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

VOLUNTEER THURSDAYS -- Don't forget our regular Thursday night volunteer meetings in Venice.

HOST A FUNDRAISER!

Wherever you are – whether in District 33 or anywhere else around the country – you can help collect the funds needed to hire the staff we need. Remember: we have to reach out to over 400,000 registered voters. 

If you’re in Los Angeles and wish to host a fundraising event, please contact    Ivy@marianneforcongress.com. And if you’re elsewhere, click here for all relevant information. Thank you!


PLEASE DONATE!

This is a grass roots campaign -- I will not be receiving corporate PAC money to fund my race! And it does take a lot of money to be competitive in a campaign for Congress.

Whether you can give $5 a month or the maximum of $5,200, your money is the energy needed to fuel the campaign. Even a little goes a long way, so please give what you can.



For all of the above -- your support, your encouragement and your participation -- I thank you deeply.

On to June, then November… and then Washington DC!

With love,

Marianne

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A Politics of Love

What America needs is a politics of love, but there can be no love where there is no justice.

America needs to lance its wounds, to admit its faults, and in some ways to change its ways.

My campaign for Congress highlights certain things that are wrong with America, but only so we can make them right.

The greatest moral challenge of our generation is getting the money out of politics. Money now wields such a disproportionate influence on our politics compared to that wielded by the average citizen as to make a mockery of democracy. Lincoln’s government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” has become a government “of a few of the people, by a few of the people, and for a few of the people.”

Expecting the political status quo to change this situation is naïve, because the political status quo created it. Through banking, trade and tax policies enacted over the last few decades, the majority of the material resources of our country have been siphoned into the hands of a small percentage of Americans, creating a chronic pattern of economic, social and criminal injustice.

This pattern will not change because those who perpetrated it will choose to change it; it will only change through an uprising of the American people. This uprising begins within our hearts and minds, and then – like all great social justice movements in our history, from abolition to women’s suffrage – bursts forth into political activism. The American people don’t need to demand change; we need to enact change.

Just as there are those who have moved the functioning of our government in a less just and democratic direction, the American people – and only the American people – can enact the necessary course correction to put America back on track.

I hope my campaign is more than a winning one at the ballot box; I hope it provides a template by which others around the country will run on the same pro-democratic principles, helping to forge a national movement to both save and protect all that is best about the country we all love. 

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The time is now

Since I announced my candidacy, people have said to me repeatedly that my running is such a “brave” or “courageous” thing to do. I’ve heard it so many times that I’ve gone from thinking, “Yeah, no kidding,” to “But why should this be so?”

I understand where they’re coming from, of course, which is why it took me a year of very serious inquiry before I made up my mind to do this. I know politics is emotionally brutal; I’ve already had experience with the reality of smear campaigns, so I understand there will not be a path of roses laid before me.

But brutal…? I’ll tell you what I think is brutal. Brutal is being stoned to death for adultery. Brutal is being told you can’t go out of your house without a male relative accompanying you, and even then, you better have a burka on whether you want to wear one or not or you could be arrested by the morality police. And possibly lashed. And so on.

Perhaps we need to raise the bar on what we think is brutal. Humiliating lies, embarrassing stories and someone printing ugly pictures of you shouldn’t quite make the list. Just as a pregnant woman is often told she is “eating for two,” every woman who lives in a free society should consider herself speaking for millions of women who are not allowed to speak for themselves.

I would not be running for office if I thought that the mid-term elections of 2014 -- either in my district or most anywhere else -- were going to feature a meaningful debate about the things I feel matter most. Will getting the money out of politics – the corruption that has turned our government into a government “of a few of the people, by a few of the people, and for a few of the people” – be high on the list of debate topics? Let’s see…I think not. Will income inequality be discussed in a real and meaningful way, as in a serious discussion of the unjust policies that have created it in the first place? Will child poverty – America’s rate is second only to Romania – even get a mention? Not likely. Will the corruption of our food supply -- GMO’s particularly -- rate a paragraph or two? Will our incarceration rate – at 2.4 million, the highest in the world – be front and center as a discussion of what it truly is: the horror of unjust and unnecessary human suffering turned into a profit center? Sort of doubt that. And what about the NSA spying, the National Defense Authorization Act, the Trans Pacific Partnership, the domestic use of nuclear energy in the age of radioactive energy spewing forth from Fukushima, or domestic drones that are on the way to pretty much everyone’s neighborhood?

I’ll tell you what I think is brutal: the feelings many of us will feel just a short while down the road if we do not start telling politicians what we think the discussion should be, rather than waiting for them to tell us what the discussion should be. And remember, most of their decisions are not based on radical truth telling; they’re based on protecting a political status quo.

One more thing people have said to me bears further deconstructing: that even if I don’t win the election, I will have “begun the conversation.” Can we please wake up from our slumber now? If I just want to “start a conversation,” I don’t need to run for office. As a matter of fact, it could be argued that many people are more open to hearing you if you’re not running for office. But America is not in a kinda-sorta-just-a-little-bit-of-trouble today. The issues I outlined above speak in a very real way to whether or not our democracy -- and in some cases human civilization as we know it -- will survive for another hundred years.

A nation, like an individual, is as sick as its secrets… as unhealed as its unlooked at places… and on its way to transformation to the extent that it’s willing to take a good look at itself and change course where needed. This is no joke in an individual’s life, and it’s no joke in a nation’s life. We need to do more than simply start a conversation. We need to start a movement. And the time to do it is now.

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Passion for Pre-School

I’m passionate about universal pre-school. 

I’m passionate about it because there’s a picture I can’t get out of my mind. Imagine yourself a child. You’re five years old, and it’s your first day in kindergarten. No matter what your circumstances, you’re probably excited on some level, even if you’re scared. But if all goes well, this is the first day of the most marvelous adventure of your life – the journey of your education.

There’s only one problem though. Other kids in the room are playing with these shapes that you don’t recognize, that you don’t understand. They’re writing and drawing them and seem to know something you don’t know. They’ve got excited looks on their faces and the teacher is talking to them.

They’re playing with letters, and numbers, but you can’t read them. You don’t know what numbers are yet. But they do, because they went to pre-school. They’ve already started learning those things – they’re already started to read -- and they’ve entered a world you don’t yet inhabit.

It’s day one of kindergarten, and you’re already behind. You’re already left out. Would this experience not sear itself upon your psyche forever? Well, let’s see. Let’s follow the numbers.

If the teacher, the school, the school district, the community, the country – someone -- doesn’t teach you how to read and catch you up on your reading skills within two years, then by the second grade – yes, I said that, the second grade – you’re on a fifty per cent probability track to incarceration (You might want to read that paragraph again).

And two years after that – the fourth grade..? Well, if you want to understand how the prison industry can calculate how many beds they’ll need to build (our mass incarceration rate, at 2.4 million, is the largest in the world), just check out how many children in America can’t read by the fourth grade.

Are you passionate yet?

The issue of universal pre-school is not some “soft” issue merely peripheral to the “serious” things we should be talking about. In fact, it’s central to what I believe is the most serious issue these days – the lock-out experienced by too many people from the pool of opportunity that should be shared by all of us. Locked out of the educational system, locked out of the economic system, and locked out of the political system, millions of Americans now find themselves sidelined in their own country. And this bodes very badly for all of us – not only for those who are locked out, but also for those of us who are not. Another generation or two of this, and we will be in very serious trouble.

The last thing we need, by the way, is more people saying, “But what can I do!?” as though they don’t really know. Sometimes we do know what to do; it’s just inconvenient to do it. But as inconvenient as it might be, democracy depends on it. Our future depends on it. And the lives of millions of children depend on it.

Call your Congresspeople and your Senators. Ask every candidate his or her position on universe pre-school. Support the candidates who are making the effort. Talk up the subject. Create some buzz.

We do know what to do. We need to make some noise.

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On Awakening the Giant

America needs to reclaim our democracy before it dissolves in front of our eyes.

When the primary resources of the public purse are directed into the hands of a very few – that is not democracy. When so much money is necessary to wage a serious political campaign that only the wealthy or those with access to wealth can even consider running for office – that is not democracy. When two political parties can so effectively limit any political voices but theirs – that is not democracy.

The situation is dire and the hour is late. While the entrepreneurial genius of the American people is at an all time high, that genius is primarily siphoned to the private sector and limited in its influence on the public sphere. Our political status quo does everything it can to monopolize the reins of government for its own purposes. Yet the power of our governance was not meant to reside in the hands of a few – even a political few. It was meant to reside in the hands of the people of the United States.

Today, the people of America are becoming effectively sidelined in their own country – sidelined economically, sidelined educationally and sidelined politically. The majority of Americans do not get a fair economic shake in America today; the majority do not get a free, high quality education today; and the majority do not have serious political influence compared to that which is wielded by moneyed interests.

So what is the majority going to do about this? It remains to be seen. But waking up to the crisis in our midst in the first step, and once the giant awakens then the changes can begin.

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