When I first started blogging in 2001, I wrote a lot of short little snips that dealt with politics and my general frustration with the world. That was before my voice here evolved into an ongoing conversation about how traditional ideas of teaching and schooling change in the face of the Read/Write Web and all that comes with it. I’ve been hesitant to do very much blogging about my political leanings (though I think even not too close reading would make them clear) and have even thought of starting a second blog to work out some of those ideas elsewhere. (With everything on my plate already, however, that’s not happening anytime soon.)
Anyway, I’ve decided to break the “rules” every now and then in this election year when relevant, and there is an announcement I think is worth sharing. One of my heroes, Lawrence Lessig, is, at minimum, setting out to Change Congress and more, is seriously considering a run for a vacant seat in Congress for his home district in California. I’ve seen Lessig speak in person on a number of occasions, and have communicated with him sporadically over the years. Few have impressed me more in terms of their intelligence, passion, conviction and ability to push forward “Big Ideas.” So, this news of his potential candidacy is very welcomed in these parts, so much so that I feel compelled to support it with a badge on my blog as well as a small contribution to the cause.
The typically Lessig-esque video that I’ve embedded here lays out the three foundations of the Change Congress movement and his potential candidacy. Simply, Congressmen and women should 1.) stop accepting money from lobbyists 2.) ban earmarks, and 3.) support the public financing of elections. He believes that over the course of many election cycles, if we begin banding together to support candidates who adhere to these principles, that we can make change on a national level. I hope he’s right, and I’m going to participate in this process as much as I can.
Lessig says of Congress that it’s made up of primarily good people working in a bad system, and on some levels that resonates with what I’ve seen in my travels to schools and districts over the last four years. Change is a word getting thrown around a lot these days, but we need some fundamental rethinking of how we do our business in this country, and in our schools. We have to stop being beholden to the well financed interests and institutions that corrupt much of what is good about this country, whether that’s the oil industry or the textbook industry. For all sorts of reasons, I’m feeling challenged by this moment to help chart a different course for this country in whatever small, molecule-moving way that I can.
If you are compelled to do so, spread this word and engage in this conversation.
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