Same Old, Same Old: No, and Yes

October 15 and 16 was a weekend of interrelated connections, connecting with friends I hadn’t seen for years, with people who had been of significant help in my life whom I’d lost track of, and connecting with new interesting people with interesting ideas for our community’s welfare.

Saturday’s People’s Assembly (Occupy Victoria) demonstrated citizen disillusionment with market forces that free market aficionados swore would fix everything. Citizens of Victoria, along with counterparts all over the world taking part in Occupy events, have had enough of “trickle down” that doesn’t, and enough of austerity programs that allow the 1% to grow ever richer while communities and workers and families scramble to make ends meet.

We do not need “austerity”; we need a reworked taxation system.

Taxes are the way we pool resources to help each other achieve goals we can’t achieve as individuals, goals such as transportation infrastructure, public health care, and public education. The “1%” hold money that could be freed up by a reasonable taxation system, money that could be redirected to the public good without free market “austerity”.

Imagine a fully funded public education system in which every child’s needs really could be met!

On Sunday I attended Philippe Lucas’ initial community coffeehouse meeting in the Atrium, the first in a series he has set up to talk with citizens about community issues. Talking and listening with Ayla (I’ve got to find out what The Dance of the Photons is about), Timothy, Nick, Mark, Philippe and Lisa Helps in Habit  made for a very interesting 90 minutes, and I’ll be back for more of each of Philippe’s and Lisa’s intelligent and open approach to community capacity building at other events.

Next School Board / Board of Education meeting is Monday October 17, tomorrow. The minutes from last Board meeting on September 19are not up yet on the District web page. Nor are the minutes of the October 11 “Special” (“stealth?”) Board meeting at which the Superintendent’s Report on Class Size and Composition,now called “Report on Class Size” – the rocky issue of composition just disappeared! – was passed, as usual. When will we now who voted how? We won’t. It’s not recorded. When will  we be able to access video of  the meeting? We won’t. Meetings are not recorded for public review and accountability purposes.

It’s time for change.