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Josh James: Why I'm voting for Cliff Willmeng for Boulder County Commissioner

There is a very repetitious narrative that I keep hearing from many of the local elected officials in Boulder County: "We have to vote for the right Democrats at the state level in order to change ...
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Photo by Alexa Mazzarello on Unsplash

This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

There is a very repetitious narrative that I keep hearing from many of the

local elected officials in Boulder County: "We have to vote for the right

Democrats at the state level in order to change ..." a whole list of things

we are told we can't change at the local level. Whether it's the fight

against climate disaster, minimum wage, rent control, ag-gag laws, etc., a

Democrat is the answer to the change we need.

There is a mindset accepted by many that change will only happen from the

top down. It's how the politics in this country has trained us for a long

time. We can see this in how we invest our attentions to the race for

president. Unfortunately their are no institutions or political parties

that hold seats of power at the top in this country, state, or county that

are there to represent the people first and foremost. None that represent

the Earth. When we are funneled into upholding this two party system at

all levels of government (which is primarily there to support an economic

system that serves the few) we loose over and over again.

An alternative movement for the people and planet is brewing in the

grassroots. In order for it to begin to gain and assert power the people

must begin to invest their time (and their votes) towards these movements.

These movements must be fiercely against corporate influence, must be

fiercely independent of political entities that are fundamentally enmeshed

in the socioeconomic system known as capitalism. Yep, I said it.

I am learning that individuals have the most influence, the most say, the

most ability, or at least the most potential to make change if they act

*collectively* in their own communities. Unfortunately, powerful forces

understand this too and act to co-opt grassroots movements that strike a

resonance. It's all to easy actually, and many "community activist"

willingly allow the cooptation to take place for the purpose of advancing

the movements influence, individual egos, and funding. This can ultimately

diffuse the movement, or dilute/subdue their purpose. We have to

collectively start understanding how this works, and defend our

independence and our purpose. Collectively, if we assert and defend our

inalienable rights, such as the right to a livable planet for one, the tide

may begin to change. History tells us this is true if we care to look.

Defiance for the purpose of justice tends to send out ripples that turn

into waves.

Over the last few years I've gotten to know a man who works like no one

I've ever met to build grassroots power. He understands if we are to begin

to right the wrongs of this civilization, building power from the bottom up

is critical. His work in the community has been devoted to elevate the

voice of the working person and the Earth. His ability to understand the

root of issues and problems is strong. He will strive to attack those

roots instead of the peripheral symptoms. I'm proud to support Cliff

Willmeng for Boulder County Commissioner. Not because I think he will save

us from our problems, but because he will use his office to bring people

and movements together to democratically work towards justice. He will

help citizens see that if we stand up to protect our own communities,

regardless of the higher law's preemption of that protection, we can begin

the hard won process for justice. He will make it his duty to assert the

the sovereign rights of people and planet at the county level. I'm ready

to put Cliff in office, and ready to start building upon that win. Time is

of the essence. Please join the movement. The win is not the objective,

the struggle is, but a win would be welcome too.

Josh James

Longmont, CO 80501

This is an opinion piece that was submitted to the Longmont Observer and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Longmont Observer. If you have an opinion piece you'd like published, please visit our 'Submit an Opinion' page.