Yeah, that’s me. January of 2017 being identified as “angry resident”, which was […still is] true. I live near one of the worst industrial polluters in the state of Minnesota. I got involved with a sweet old Libertarian woman who’s been an activist her whole life. I grew up on the east coast so lacked the tact of many Minneapolis residents, and she pushed me a few city council public meetings. I was given a microphone to air my grievances and took direct aim at the city council members before me. I blamed them for such egregious health risks to the community and someone from MPR took a picture for the story.
Ironically, this was a crossroads moment in my life. I ruffled some feathers and brought some needed public shame to the city council, but shortly thereafter, the committee formed a sub-committee called The Green Zone. My city council member, Kevin Reich, nominated me as a resident for our ward. It was a weird moment for me, because it was easy to stand in front of a hundred residents and call out their failures in leadership; it was another to call my bluff and ask me to assume some of that leadership myself.
I agreed to site on the sub-committee and more than three years later, let me tell you…it sucks. The meetings are twice a month, two hours, bureaucratic and boring as all fuck. Around the same time, 2017, I’d really taken the red pill learning about governance through friends like @mada, @robrigo and @roadscape, so fully absorbing blockchain governance and pitting it against the contrasts of archaic meat space city governance was frustrating. The inefficiency and snails pace is maddening.
Last summer, after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer, the world was swept up in a passionate demonstration in justice. Our city council, somewhat emotionally announced that they wanted to defund/disband the police. That hasn’t happened, and guess what? It’s an election year for those members. I saw an opening to bring new information to Councilman Reich, so I set up the call.
Tonight, myself, @lovejoy and @mada worked out some viable models based on @dantheman’s writings and philosophies, including Eden and small democratic democracies, accountability, representation and voluntary participation and taxation. Tomorrow afternoon, we’ll be meeting with Kevin to discuss pretty radically simplistic alternatives to a traditional police force. I warned Kevin weeks ago that some of these ideas are “out there”, assuming he wasn’t familiar with blockchain governance and he replied, “Right now, everything is on the table.”.
Nothing may come of it, but this is a unique time in history when elected leaders at the city level are willing to entertain these kinds of ideas. Blockchain is a household name again and our city is in the opening days of the Derek Chauvin trial. There’s a lot of anger and a desire for something else. I feel that my journey has lead me to this moment, so regardless of the outcome, I’m stepping up to connect these ideas with the people that could potentially implement them. Wish us luck.