Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Join in Creating a Better Way Forward

Dear Tucsonan (new or life-long),

Do you get the sense that it might be a little past time to start doing things differently? That our current social trajectory, no matter which major political party is in charge, just keeps getting us further behind the eight ball? That our current slate of elected officials either don't have the will or the vision to put us on the right path? If you're of the opinion that the economy is a subset of the environment, and that if we don't have a healthy and productive environment we won't be able to meet our own needs, let alone have anything worthwhile to pass on to the future--other than debt, destruction and disillusionment--how'd you like to do something about it?

If you're up to playing a leading role at a most opportune time (due to crumbling infrastructure in an increasingly toxic world nearing resource depletion without a Plan B) in building a rejuvenated world with a positive future based on ecological wisdom, social justice, economic equity, and participatory democracy, I have a very serious and realistic proposal for you.

I'd like you to consider joining a united campaign to build upon the Green Party's Ten Key Values with a common, integrated platform whose foundation is a systemic process to create a sustainable future known as relocalization. We're looking for City Council candidates for Wards 3 and 5. We have a candidate for Ward 6--Dave Croteau--who's experienced with this platform.

I had the privilege of working with the Pima County Green Party's candidate for Mayor of Tucson, Dave Croteau, two years ago. We ran on a relocalization platform for Tucson written by myself which was based on a decade of research and activism. Many citizens responded with favor to our plan and showed support with over 16,000 votes in that election. Bob Walkup and members of the city council also spoke in favor of the plan throughout that campaign. Of course, as you've no doubt noticed, none of them have actually been able or willing to implement it. They know it's necessary, but they still labor under the fantasy that we can return to business as usual and not have to make any hard decisions.

The election results of 28% for Mayor in 2007 means the Green Party has ballot status for this year's local election. We can take advantage of the fact Green Party members only need 7-12 signatures from fellow Greens to qualify to be on the ballot.

Are you or someone you know interested in being a Green Party candidate for the City Council of Tucson this year? You'll be able to benefit from a common, unified platform that can be coherently and cohesively presented by a full slate of candidates that will be extremely hard to ignore by the local media and pundits. If you're not at a place to commit to that level of involvement, or you simply can't see yourself in that public of a role, sign up to become a Precinct Captain for the Green Party and help make it too obvious to ignore the support this platform has within the citizens of Tucson.

I'm not necessarily looking for someone who considers themselves to be a "progressive". I mean, let's be honest. We've had over 150 years of progressive politics and things continue to get worse at the core--which becomes easy to forget as we celebrate a few highly visible victories on the margins.

And, right from the get go, let's dispel the totally unfounded rumor that the Green Party is the left wing of the Democratic Party. If you have the intellectual honesty to evaluate the Ten Key Values, you'll understand that they speak equally to traditional Republicans as well as Democrats. And these values speak the loudest to those who understand that not only is it necessary, but there really is a different way to create and maintain our various social relationships as well as the way we interact with the natural world that sustains us. This way of being is more natural and thus has a higher probability of successfully improving quality of life. This is a fact, it has been scientifically validated, and it's our responsibility to implement it.

If you're still struggling under the illusion that either of the current major political parties can be reformed from within, don't bother responding to this message. We're looking for, and in dire need of, systemic change that is not only in balance with the living world, but that brings out the best in people by increasing the opportunities they have to realize their potential. If you fit the bill, then get in touch and I can supply more details on becoming either a candidate or a precinct captain.

It is time for Tucson citizens to wake up and hear the truth about global warming, peak oil, the uneconomics of infinite growth and what we can, and must, do to prepare for a future that is not going to look like the past, let alone be a bigger and shinier version of it. We can take charge of our future. We can lead, with the grounding of the Ten Key Values and a viable plan for a sustainable future. The community of citizens living in neighborhoods and operating businesses in Tucson will unite behind a plan that secures more local control of our economy, energy and water use, and thus our safety and security.

If you're willing to put the effort into making a real difference, please get in touch right away. Together, we can make a difference. There's no time like the present to get started. In fact, leading climate scientists say it's past time.

Dave Ewoldt
Platform author for Croteau Campaign

Monday, May 11, 2009

A New Campaign

Hello Tucson,

It's time to kick off our new campaign for City Council in Ward 6. One of the first steps is updating this blog from the mayor's race in 2007.

So, you'll be seeing more information on what we're up to shortly. However, the core campaign will remain the same -- ways in which the Green Party's Ten Key Values provide a political foundation for creating a sustainable future through the process known as relocalization.

Since none of the major political parties seem able to deal with reality, it's up to us. And, I mean all of us, not just registered Greens.

And, once again, these blog posts are being written by Dave Ewoldt, platform chair. I'll try to make it a little more obvious this time.

Dave Ewoldt

Friday, September 7, 2007

Tucson's 9/11 event

There's another 9/11 event that has become extremely urgent, and I implore you all to take action on it. Please send this message to all the contacts you have here in Tucson, especially if you care about Tucson's future, and would like to see it develop in a sustainable manner.

I'm talking about the primary election this coming Tuesday. It is imperative that voters who are registered as Independent, Libertarian, Socialist, Communist, or as No Party Affiliation request a Green Party ballot at your polling place and vote with the Green Party for Dave Croteau for Mayor. This is our chance to take our future into our own hands.

The reason that this has suddenly become a pressing matter of extreme urgency is because John Kromko is still an official write-in candidate on the Green Party ballot line. Even though John said in an e-mail to the Pima County Green Party co-chairs (which I have a copy of) that he does not intend to run and would be withdrawing from the mayor's race, and publicly stated in his interview on Arizona Illustrated last week that he wasn't running, he hasn't officially withdrawn his name from the mayor's race. And recently a totally unexpected turn of events has come to light.

At least one of John's supporters (that we're aware of) for his water initiative sent out a letter to 500 Independents urging them to request a Green Party ballot for the primary and to write-in John Kromko in the mayor's race. The reason given to the Green Party by the person responsible for the mailing was, "just to show that people would vote for Kromko." To further complicate matters, the mailing was supposedly randomly generated from voter lists, so the Croteau campaign can't send a followup mailing to clarify the situation. While this mailing may have violated campaign laws (the responsible party is not registered as a PAC), that's not the issue of concern here.

And, I really don't think John is behind this, but his unwillingness to do anything about it I find more than a little puzzling.

Because of Kromko's statements, the Croteau campaign has not been focusing on the primary election with any type of get out the vote effort on its own behalf, and has been designing its strategy toward November's general election. We've been urging people to write-in Beryl Baker for the City Council Ward 1 spot, but weren't concerned about the mayor's race during the primary cycle. However, with 7,000 Independents requesting mail-in ballots, combined with the constant urging by Jim Nintzel in the Weekly's Skinny column--for what seems to be nothing more than his own amusement--for Independents to write-in Kromko, we could be blindsided by what appears, for all intents and purposes, to be a stealth campaign. If not by John, by his dedicated supporters, or more deviously (for all you conspiracy theorists), by those who are starting to worry about the growing support for Croteau because he is dealing honestly with issues that are of major concern to the voters of Tucson. The status quo has a serious challenge.

This write-in effort could completely derail the Croteau campaign and the growing groundswell of support it is gathering from across the political spectrum, and would basically ensure that Tucson suffers through another four years of business as usual under Mayor Walkup. Not that we don't think Kromko could beat Walkup (most pundits admit he's vulnerable on the issues) if Kromko were actually running a serious campaign, but he's not running a campaign at all for mayor, and has stated he has no intention of doing so. His time and energy is dedicated to Prop. 200.

I would also like to make it perfectly clear that I don't mean to disparage John Kromko in any way. The Croteau campaign fully supports Prop. 200, the Water Users' Bill of Rights, we're thrilled that Kromko displayed the good sense to switch to the Green Party, and I personally like John. His record, and the positive things he's done for the citizens of Tucson and Southern Arizona, stands for itself.

However, the fact remains that Dave Croteau is the only candidate running in this years election who fully understands sustainability, and more importantly, the plans and policies that must be enacted and undertaken on a systemic basis to ensure that Tucson has a sustainable future. Or, more accurately considering current global crises and their local impacts, any future.

So, while this post is probably way too long, I thought it was important to give you the full back-story. As Jefferson said, the people can be counted on to do the right thing, as long as they have full information.

I urge all of you who can do so to request a Green Party ballot and vote for Dave Croteau this coming Tuesday in Tucson's primary election. We're building steam, and we're fully qualified and ready to take on Walkup in the November general election.

Together, we can build the future we all know is just waiting for us.

Dave Ewoldt
Campaign Manager
Dave Croteau for Mayor

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Heaping No Sense on Top of Nonsense

Don't be confused that these blog entries say "Posted by Dave Croteau." It's me, Dave Ewoldt, and I'm the one fully responsible for the following analysis and opinion.

I've heard that the local Democrats have started polling. In the context that this was related to me, it means that the Croteau campaign is not only being taken seriously, but that certain people who consider themselves to be power brokers are beginning to worry. Which is as it should be. This campaign is serious and is speaking to real values that people hold, not to the special interests the powers that be are beholden to.

This used to be considered tilting at windmills. But then a few inconvenient truths made themselves known in a manner that could no longer be easily spun. These include global warming, the energy crisis, the collapse of financial markets that were created from something less substantial than fairy dust, and the completely insane clinging to a growth paradigm at the expense of life itself.

In the Tucson metro area, this latter factor manifests as the continuation of approving trophy subdivisions in the foothills and big-box development incentives as the overall water table continues to drop and the Colorado River that we depend on for about a third of our water continues to dry up. Tucson Water states that if current trends continue, and there's no reason to doubt that they won't, we probably have less than five years of CAP water left. Meanwhile, the Rio Nuevo downtown master plan depends on 30% growth over this time frame.

Tucson City Councilwoman Shirley Scott's comments at the Sonora Progressives' Democratic candidate panel discussion last night could have almost been considered comical, if they weren't so sad as to be downright scary. The gist of her comments in reply to a question about constraining growth in light of diminishing water supplies were basically that we're helpless in the face of growth (the victim defense), we can't slam the door in the face of the people that we're enticing here at taxpayer expense, and besides, the City of Tucson has a piece of paper saying we have a 100 year assured water supply, which was written by "experts" paid to say what CoT wanted to hear, and anyone who disagrees based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence to the contrary is a mere philosopher, so we might as well get used to the fact that we're going to continue on a path of mutually supported suicide as we consume the few natural resources we have left. And the other officially anointed Democratic candidates just nodded their heads in agreement. Kinda like those little figures you see in the back windows of people's cars. Meanwhile, the progressive Democrats in the audience were left to shake their heads in both amazement and puzzlement.

Just move along folks; there's nothing to see here.

Another indication that the powers that be are getting worried was made apparent by another piece of nonsense that crossed my desk this morning. Someone whined to the Pima County Democratic Party that a few Dem Precinct Committeemen had exercised their rights to free expression and democratic values and publicly endorsed Croteau's candidacy for mayor on the Green Party ticket. Even typically loyal Dems were doing this in good conscience, as the Democratic Party in Pima County couldn't manage to rustle up a candidate to run against the Republican incumbent, citing Mayor Walkup's popularity in doing such a fine job of handing Tucson's future over to sprawl proponents in the development lobby, and to transnational corporate interests busily sucking the life out of the local economy.

Local Democratic Party leaders were so incensed over these endorsements for a Green Party candidate that they're threatening to excommunicate the unfaithful. The official justification for this edict is that a little known--and unsupported by the Democratic Party--resident of a homeless shelter had filed as a write-in candidate for mayor on the Democratic ballot line.

This provides a prime example of how the Democratic Party is eating itself from within. The Democratic party hierarchy in Pima County seems more intent on re-electing Republican Mayor Bob Walkup than Walkup's own campaign committee does. The rank & file, however, continue to flock to Croteau's campaign to offer support for the only candidate with both a viable vision and a realistic plan to relocalize our economy for a sustainable future based on ecological wisdom and social justice.

Dave Ewoldt
Campaign Manager
Dave Croteau for Mayor

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Independents and an Interesting Race

As Dave Croteau's campaign manager, I felt compelled to write a response to Jim Nintzel's Skinny column in the August 9, 2007 issue of the Tucson Weekly. The Weekly's editor, Jimmy Boegle, liked it but said it was too long for a letter to the editor. I trimmed it way down, but the following is the full version.

In regard to the August 9th Skinny, I'm left wondering why Jim Nintzel thinks the upcoming mayoral race won't be an interesting, or even exciting, campaign unless it's John Kromko running against Mayor Walkup?

What we have in the Green Party's existing candidate, Dave Croteau, is not only a candidate who is qualified to be mayor of Tucson, but who offers the people of Tucson and its economy a very clear choice that the two major parties are deathly afraid of. Those who think the only path to Tucson's economic future is by encouraging more low-wage no benefit service sector jobs and paving over what little is left of our fragile desert ecosystem in order for special interests--very few of whom are local--to continue amassing obscene fortunes are those who have neither vision nor hope.

If the job of the press is to help educate people and make them aware of issues, the Green vs. Republican choice, and especially Croteau's sustainability through relocalization campaign, should be generating more interest than anything else the Weekly has covered in decades. When anyone takes an objective look at what's going on in the world today, they immediately realize that change is necessary. Unless, of course, their salary depends on them not realizing that inconvenient truth.

Isn't repeating the conventional "wisdom" that Mayor Walkup is unbeatable simply helping to create a self-fulfilling prophecy? As was made evident to me by the replies I received to my recent op-ed piece in the Star, "Rejection of growth is a viable policy option," people are aware that some hard decisions must be made. And they want them made now. Rejecting change because it is not politically expedient is simply a cop out, when the necessary path is to elect a mayor with the vision and courage to do the right thing for our community, its economy, and the environment they both depend on.

As far as Nintzel's suggestion that Independents request a Green ballot and write in John Kromko, I'd like to ask Independents an open question. You're an Independent because neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are serving your interests, correct? Since you're astute enough to recognize this simple fact, and you care enough about your community to pay attention to and participate in the political process, you're probably also aware that any hope for a vibrant and viable future lies in Tucson becoming sustainable. My suggestion is to exercise your independence, look at the candidates and see which one actually has an understanding of and passion for sustainability, and which one has a realistic and systemic plan for moving us toward that goal. I don't see anyone except Dave Croteau meeting these criteria.

I'm still thoroughly amazed that local Democratic Party leaders are on record as saying that Walkup is doing a fine job representing Tucson's interests, and that there aren't any pressing issues on the minds of Tucson citizens that the Dems could successfully challenge Walkup on in the mayor's race. When you look at national politics, the fact the Democrats would so thoroughly abandon their base is no longer surprising. If I were a local Dem, I'd be pissed. Of course, that's but one reason I'm not a Dem.

But, what we're talking about here is Tucson's future, especially in light of what's rushing head-on toward us--Peak Oil, global warming, the imminent meltdown of the global economy, and loss of our sovereignty to corporations. The best we seem able to do so far (if we can successfully move past denial) is adopt the deer-in-the-headlights stance and hope that the status quo will somehow protect us from the mess it's created in the first place.

Well, folks, we do have a choice in the mayor's race, and the Green Party with its Ten Key Values is proud to give you the opportunity to vote on that choice.

Dave Ewoldt
Campaign Manager
Dave Croteau for Mayor

Friday, July 13, 2007

Welcome to the Dave Croteau for Mayor campaign blog

Let me first introduce the human behind this blog. My name is Dave Ewoldt, and I'm Dave Croteau's campaign manager and in charge of the campaign platform. The main purpose of this blog is to discuss the actual implementation of the Green Party's Ten Key Values to creating a sustainable future through the process of relocalization, paying particular attention to those issues people say they're most concerned about.

Tucson citizens have serious and valid concerns about growth (too much), water (too little), neighborhood quality, few living wage jobs, and transportation problems. Croteau, a native Tucsonan, sees "relocalization" as the process to create a sustainable future that addresses these concerns while safeguarding social justice and our economic, energy and food security. He knows city planning must be in balance with the environment and consider global warming and the energy crisis.

Croteau's mayoral campaign will detail ways the Ten Key Values of the Green Party can guide sound policy decisions. Under his leadership, Tucson will become a thriving, sustainable region with a strong local economy. This will improve quality of life now--and leave a healthy, vibrant legacy for future generations.

Growth is negatively impacting our water supplies, our transportation quality of service, our ability to provide living wage jobs, and the vibrancy and safety of our neighborhoods. We are allowing vested special interests to profit at the expense of Tucson's citizens and locally owned businesses. Our desert ecosystems are being covered over by the sprawl of more housing developments, strip malls, big-box stores, and putting an increasing strain on our local resources. If growth actually paid for itself, we wouldn't be seeing regular bond measures to pay for infrastructure. We wouldn't be fighting the current losing battle to protect our local ecosystems. Why do we keep settling for minor mitigation of major degradation?

A sustainable Tucson can be created through the process of relocalization. By working together, we do have the opportunity to improve our quality of life in Tucson, and create and support a thriving, vibrant local economy.

For more information about Croteau and his campaign, the website is: