Huffington Post: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Primary

February 18, 2014

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?

But all that is exactly why I am running for Congress: experiencing, perhaps in order to articulate better, the lock-out that is experienced by average Americans every day. We don't have an open political system. We have a political elite, ruled by political parties, that decides who gets to play. And whoever is playing, however nice a person, is part of the same conversation that we've been having for years, the stale worn-out rhetoric that promises to do little more than perpetuate the system as it is.

But don't get me wrong: other competitors in the race want to go to Washington and fight for you! Make no mistake, I'm saying something different. I'm asking you to consider why it is that in the most powerful, prosperous nation in the world, just guaranteeing that you'll receive the minimum amount of access to a proper education, economic opportunity, good health care and a livable environment is always such a fight! I'm suggesting that we do more than manage the symptoms of our dysfunctional system; I'm suggesting that we address the disease.

And of course the political elite don't want to do that - because political elitism is the disease.

The fact that a few self-appointed arbiters of who-gets-to-run-and-who-gets-to-play - whether in the area of politics, education, economics or anything else - know they have it in the bag because they hang out with others in the same gang, and they own the system, and they control the media, and they go to the same dinner parties, does not mean that we cannot disenthrall ourselves of their mental filter. And that is all, I assure you, that keeps the lock in place. It is not their money, or even their connections, that makes them masters of our universe. It is the simple fact that we are not laughing at them, but are lining up for their approval instead.

So regardless of whether or not you agree with my political vision, plan to vote for me or support my candidacy, I hope you will join me in recognizing that something is fundamentally wrong when any group of people, including any political party, thinks it's theirs to decide who will be taken seriously, who will have a shot at power, and who will be considered a viable candidate.

That is not their job. That is your job. And if you do agree with my politics and you do wish to see me in office, I hope you will write more of your friends to tell them about my candidacy than you might have; post my website more times on your social media than you might have; and give a couple more bucks to the campaign than you might have. We're trying to penetrate a system here, and it is dense. It is energetic. And it is not amused by free thinkers.

What is my response to that? Be one anyway. For it's the only way to truly be free.

www.marianneforcongress.com

Add your reaction Share

Williamson Leads District 33 Candidates in Fundraising, Social Media and Volunteers

Press Release:

February 7, 2014

Los Angeles, CA -- Despite the flurry of attention given to Democrats jumping into the race for retiring Congressman Henry Waxman's seat in California District 33, only one candidate in the race has raised $367,000 since her announcement, with an average donation of $51; has 7,079 donors to her campaign; has 2,569 volunteers; has a social media reach of nearly 1 million per week with 419,000 Facebook likes and 210,000 Twitter followers; and has taken a stand for a new vision for America before Congressman Waxman's retirement announcement created an opportunity for career politicians.

That candidate is Marianne Williamson. Her message is that the United States government has become a system of legalized corruption due to the excessive influence of money on our politics, and that the greatest moral challenge of our generation is to outlaw such corruption by passing a Constitutional amendment. As an independent voice, Marianne's ability to reach out to voters throughout District 33 has given her a unique platform from which to wage her campaign.

"A toxic brew of shrinking civil liberties, expanding corporate influence, and domestic surveillance threaten to put American democracy into a death spiral," says Williamson. "Given that the political status quo created this situation, they are not the ones we should look to to heal it. Only a genuine alternative -- not traditional candidacies offered up by a stale status quo -- is worthy of the aspirations of the voters in District 33."

Add your reaction Share

Marianne's Statement on Congressman Waxman's Retirement

Press Release

January 31, 2014

Statement from Marianne Williamson, independent candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 33rd:

"The political world was atwitter yesterday 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 rhetoric 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.

No one should confuse the rash of new candidacies emerging over the next few days as representing a fundamental contest over the future of America. Rather, a very narrow vision of possibilities remains at the heart of our political system: given that huge moneyed forces are going to continue to have their way with us -- grabbing whatever resources they wish, then leaving crumbs to fall on the floor for everyone else to fight over -- here’s how this or that candidate will help build a bigger and better pile of crumbs. We need to do more than fight over crumbs; we need to put the American people back in control of our country’s destiny.

I am running for Congress because I feel in my heart that the political status quo today, instead of protecting the American people from encroachment by an unholy alliance of money and power, has become too often the handmaiden and advocate for that alliance. And at a time like this, there’s only one thing to protect us: ourselves. It’s time for a new American Spring, a pro-democracy movement here in our own country, by which we rid the US government of the undue influence of money, probably through a Constitutional Amendment forbidding it.

A majority of the American people, both on the Left and Right, feel money wields too much influence on our politics. We need to break the chokehold of a system that represents a narrowing of the democratic franchise for the majority of our citizens, by calling the system on what is really wrong. From income inequality to child poverty to GMO’s to our high mass incarceration rate, the most important issues will not be addressed until we deal with the issue that underlies them all. As long as Wall Street owns America, the American people will not."

 

Add your reaction Share

LA Weekly: Marianne Williamson Aims to Defeat Henry Waxman, and Save Washington's Soul

Marianne Williamson Aims to Defeat Henry Waxman, and Save Washington's Soul 

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson doesn't like most articles about her. She seems to remember every slight, every snarky subhead that called her a shaman, a prophet, an ex–lounge singer.

"The press creates a caricature," she says.

Take, for example, the most recent headline from The New York Times: "Marianne Williamson, New-Age Guru, Seeks Congressional Seat."

" 'New Age guru,' " Williamson scoffs. "First of all, what is the suggestion here, that the 'old age' is working?"

Williamson is sitting on a wooden bench beside her press person, Ileana Wachtel, inside a vegan/organic/raw food café in Santa Monica called Rawvolution. "I've never worn a velvet scarf in my life. You label somebody 'New Age,' and that's automatic mockery: 'She cannot possibly be a serious thinker.' "

What would she rather be called?

"Author ..." she says, searching for something with more oomph.

Wachtel offers, "Author, lecturer, thought leader — how about thought leader?"

"That's what that world calls it," Williamson says. "I wouldn't call myself that. In the East, the guru never calls himself a guru."

She sips from her room-temperature carrot juice. On the sound system, Donovan is singing: "Wear your love like heaven. Wear your love like heaven."

" 'Spiritual teacher' feels a little grandiose," Williamson ventures. "What do you call Alan Watts? What do you call Ram Dass? What do you call Wayne Dyer? If it's a man, there's not even a question."

Read more
Add your reaction Share

The Moon Magazine: Marianne Williamson | Campaigning for the soul of America

 Marianne Williamson | Campaigning for the soul of America

Marianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Six of her ten books have been New York Times bestsellers, and four have topped the list. In 1997, she published Healing the Soul of America, a book offering an insightful examination of our history and politics, with personal and political solutions for the renewal of our democracy.

Marianne’s other books include The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman’s Worth, Illuminata, A Return to Love, A Course in Weight Loss, The Gift of Change and The Law of Divine Compensation.

Marianne has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and Charlie Rose. She has also been a committed activist. In 1989, she founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that today serves over one thousand homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area daily. She also co-founded The Peace Alliance, promoting legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace. And she serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, working to end the worst ravages of hunger and poverty throughout the world.

In November 2012, Marianne produced a conference in Los Angeles called SISTER GIANT: Women, Non-Violence and Birthing a New American Politics, attended by almost 2,000 women representing all fifty states. At the conference, she urged women to consider running for office using the principles of non-violence to birth a new American politics. She says she then spent long months pondering how to best further such a movement. “The response that feels most real and true to me is to run for office myself,” she says. She is now a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s 33rd District. Her candidacy has so far been endorsed by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith, leader of the Agape Spiritual Center; journalist Thom Hartmann; and author and self-help guru Dr. Wayne Dyer. For more information on her candidacy, please visit www.marianneforcongress.com

Leslee Goodman

The MOON: You’re known as a spiritual teacher and author. Why are you running for office?

Williamson: As President Eisenhower said, “Politics should be the part-time profession of every American.” Any citizen should feel that running for office is something to consider, yet we’ve developed in this country the myth of a political class. We treat politics as a spectator sport, and the average citizen is just watching the game played by others. That’s the problem right there. The House of Representatives was intended to be “the House of What’s Happening Now.” The farmer would leave his farm and become a member of the House for a while. A shopkeeper would come and be a member of the House for a while. A candle maker would come and be a member of the House for a while. And it shouldn’t be any different today.

People often create artificial distinctions between things that aren’t really distinct. There’s no place where spirituality stops and anything else in life begins, because spirituality is simply the journey of the heart—the journey from fear to love, from limitation to limitlessness, from living in the past to living in the present. So why wouldn’t someone with a prime focus on spirituality, with a skill set having to do with developing more loving and compassionate viewpoints and behavioral patterns, go into politics? Can you think of a place where such things are needed more?

Read more
Add your reaction Share

LA Times: Marianne Williamson's spiritual path into political realm


PRESS CONTACT: Ileana Wachtel
ileana@marianneforcongress.com

310-702-4240

 

Marianne Williamson's spiritual path into political realm

 Marianne Williamson

Author and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson speaks to supporters of her bid for the congressional seat held by Rep. Henry Waxman at the Source Spiritual Center in Venice in December. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

 

The friend of Oprah, best-selling author and charismatic spiritual leader is challenging Rep. Henry Waxman.

By Jean Merl

Jan. 13, 2014

It was a Thursday night, normally a slow time for churches and synagogues, but the sanctuary of The Source Spiritual Center in Venice was packed.

When a diminutive woman stepped to the front of the room, people paused in their scramble for a chair or purchase of a T-shirt and engulfed her in cheers and applause.

She called for a moment of silence. The audience stilled. She dedicated the evening ahead "to all that is good … to the fulfillment of love" in everyone.

"And so it is," concluded Marianne Williamson — friend of Oprah, associate of Hollywood elites, best-selling author and charismatic spiritual leader.

Williamson has spent three decades offering a path to inner peace for those who seek it. Now she's entering an arena in which inner — and outer — peace seems in particularly short supply: She's challenging Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) for the congressional seat he first won when Gerald Ford was president and the country was preparing to celebrate its bicentennial.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Creating A Transformational Politics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Ileana Wachtel
ileana@marianneforcongress.com

310-702-4240

Friday, November 22, 2013

Santa Monica, CA – Tonight, Marianne Williamson, independent candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 33rd District, spoke to a filled auditorium at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, CA about the need for a transformational politics in our country today.  

Her run for Congress is a clarion call to action for the thousands of people in District 33 to join her in creating a new chapter in American history.  A chapter that can transform politics as we know it.

In her speech she said , “We need a politics of conscience -- a new era of public discourse in which love is not minimized, the voices of women and children are not marginalized, and the future is not bartered for a pot of unrighteous gold.”

Williamson emphasized that our democracy itself is at risk today, and explained that the combined forces of money and power were at the heart of crippling our freedoms. “The assault on our freedoms by the combined forces of money and power,” she said,  “is our single largest challenge – the issue underlying all other issues we face today: all other issues - climate change, poverty, the corruption of our food supply, our high incarceration rate -- all are derivative, until we deal with that, the health and well-being of the American people will always come second to the short term economic gain of the multinational corporate interests.”

And, to drive her point home she cited the need for a Constitutional Amendment to override Citizens United to make way for public financing of our political campaigns.

She also interjected in her speech the critical need for a massive investment in clean, renewable sources of energy; universal preschool; paid maternity leave; labeling of GMO’s and an end to the revolving door practice between the US government and its corporate benefactors.

Williamson’s work as a lecturer and best-selling author has influenced the lives of millions of people over three decades. Her work as a social and political activist has been evidenced by  her  founding of organizations such as Project Angel Food, a meals on wheels program assisting AIDS patients;  The Peace Alliance, promoting legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace; and as a Board member on the RESULTS organization, working to end hunger and poverty throughout the world.  As a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives she extends that work into creating a transformational politics.

Ending her speech she said, “Love should be our bottom line, in politics as well as in everything else.”

Add your reaction Share

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR U.S. CONGRESS AS AN INDEPENDENT IN CALIFORNIA’S 33RD CD

No one’s going to just give us our democracy back.
If we want it, we need to go get it.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Ileana Wachtel, 310-702-4240iwachtel@earthlink.net 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Los Angeles, CA – Marianne Williamson author, speaker and thought leader — today, in front of a crowd of nearly 1900 supporters at the Saban Theater in Los Angeles, announced her candidacy to represent California’s 33rd Congressional district as an Independent. The musical talent Alanis Morisette, kicked off the event with three songs before Williamson took the stage.

In an inspirational speech, Williamson called for a renewal of the American democracy at a time of the unprecedented influence of money on our politics.

She said, “It’s time for a politics of conscience, a new chapter of our history in which love is not minimized, the voices of women and children are not marginalized, and the future of the United States is not bartered for a pot of unrighteous gold.”

Referencing, Martin Luther King Jr. who called for a quantitative change in our circumstances as well as a qualitative change in our souls, Williamson said, “Now, as then, we must bring the fullness of our internal selves to the task of changing our country. Cynicism, complacency, disengagement and anger have no place in the politics that are called for now.”

As a lifelong Democrat, Williamson’s decision to run as an Independent was motivated by her belief that both parties are now too beholden to corporate interests. “I’m not just concerned by where the parties are different,” she said. “I’m even more concerned by where they are too much the same.”

Williamson’s main issue – what she calls the “issue underlying all other issues” – is the undue influence of moneyed interests on our political system. “We have developed, over the last few decades, a system of legalized corruption in the United States, in which those with money are accorded much more political influence than those who are without. And that is not democracy.”

According to Williamson, “The biggest threat to our country today is not from armies invading our shores. The biggest threat to our democracy is not bombs falling from the sky over an American city. No, our biggest threat is a pattern of a thousand cuts – the slow but now constant chipping away at our democratic freedoms.”

She explained that her entry into politics is not a departure from her current work, but rather an expansion of it by taking the transformational principles to which she has dedicated herself for the last thirty years into the political arena where they are sorely needed.

Williamson has dedicated the last thirty years to writing and speaking to millions of people around the globe. She has written 10 books, four of which have been on the New York Times bestseller list. Her book, Healing the Soul of America, published in 1997, was her first call to action for all Americans to become politically active. Today, with her announcement as a candidate for the United States Congress, she hopes to continue to ignite and motivate political action among those who have been disenfranchised, voiceless and marginalized. In 1989, Williamson founded one of Los Angeles’s premier AIDS charities, Project Angel Food.

Williamson spoke in her speech of several issues she will highlight throughout her campaign: money in politics and gerrymandering; the economy; climate change and sustainable energy; the corruption of America’s food supply; mass incarceration; ending the war on drugs; child poverty; higher education; our over-reliance on military force and the need to develop more enlightened methods of peace-building.

To rounds of applause, she concluded with,

“We cannot allow our government to continue drifting in a blind and heartless direction, and expect to bequeath to our children the blessings of liberty that were bequeathed to us,” she said. “But no one’s going to just give us our democracy back. If we want it, we need to go get it. That’s what elections are for.”

Add your reaction Share