Dave Ewoldt's Platform: Issues and Implementation

Introduction to Issues

     One of the things that distinguishes Dave from the other candidates in the LD 28 Senate race is his systemic perspective. His background enables him to see and understand the underlying causes of the issues that challenge Arizonans, how they are connected, and how to solve them from the ground up. We are all suffering due to the temporary "band-aids" slapped onto symptoms by our current legislators. They are not working, and they never will--because they do not address root causes.

     Dave's approach is to bridge differences and solve our problems by starting with a common goal based on core values we all share regardless of party registration.

     In the role of State Senator, Dave will craft a legislative infrastructure to support our transition into a sustainable future through a process called relocalization. Relocalization will result in Arizona becoming self-reliant and resilient. Relocalization will insure food and energy security and supply the basic necessities and services we require to withstand the outside supply shocks already impacting Arizona; a crumbling national economy, dwindling energy supplies, global resource depletion, and global climate change.

     These rapidly converging crises are creating the moral, social, environmental, personal and economic dilemmas of our age. Relocalization is a viable, pragmatic, and positive response.

     Relocalization will provide a rich, fulfilling quality of life for all. Relocalization also directly addresses the four most critical issues challenging Arizonans at this very moment. These issues make up the core of Ewoldt's campaign: water, jobs/economic security, education, and border issues.



     We're running out and don't have a 100 year assured supply to support further growth. ADD (Acquisition, Development, and Delivery of Water) is a growth lobby fantasy. Several credible forecasts show the Colorado River will most likely not be supplying CAP within the decade, and perhaps as early as next year. When that occurs, we won't even have enough water to handle the current population without depleting the aquifers to the point where Tucson--which has already subsided about one foot--just completely sinks into them.

     Dave's relocalized, sustainable responses                  

    * Determine the sustainable environmental and economic carrying capacity of the Tucson Bio-region
    * Start implementing policy that supports rainwater and greywater harvesting on all residential and commercial properties.
    * Start realistically but fairly charging for water use and the energy required to deliver it - minimal cost for minimal use, maximum cost for maximum use
    * Our fragile desert environment also needs water, or we won't have anything to base an economy on. We need riparian water rights that recognize the natural world as a primary water user and its rights to water are necessary to sustain the web of life's food chain, regardless of whether we fully understand all the relationships
    * We must bring 100 year old water laws into alignment with 21st Century realities, including the needs for healthy riparian areas. This will have to include changing the AZ State Constitution, Article 17, Section 1. Riparian water rights: "The common law doctrine of riparian water rights shall not obtain or be of any force or effect in the state."

Jobs and the economy


     Growth beyond a known point doesn't pay for itself but rather increases debt. The suburban sprawl model increases local budgets while decreasing delivered services. Constant economic growth, as the only measure of success, exploits people and degrades the natural world. There will be no economy, no equity, and no justice on a dead planet. It is time to give up the idea that everyone can benefit forever off of each other's mutual indebtedness.

     Here's an interesting recent NY Times headline, "Class of 2010 set to flood U.S. job market as '09 graduates wait tables."

     Business Insider online carries a story "This Manufacturer Can't Find 100 Unemployed Americans With Basic Math Skills to Hire." The story opens with: "Here's the ugly side of the U.S. unemployment problem that would be political suicide for a politician to highlight. Current U.S. unemployment isn't just about a lack of job creation from companies, outsourcing, or a lack of trade protections. Sometimes it's just due to a lack of skills on the part of Americans."

     Dave's relocalized, sustainable responses

    * A steady-state economy whose purpose is to fulfill human needs and to avoid the suffering of a failed growth economy.
    * Create jobs in, not bring jobs to, Southern Arizona
    * Provide local investment for clean, zero waste production of sustainable goods
    * Rebuild local infrastructure, housing, and necessary commercial stock to have zero carbon footprint and be energy efficient
    * Plug our leaky economic bucket that partially results from absentee ownership and the lack of support for local production and ownership -- Think and Buy Local First
    * Build a sustainable infrastructure that can support food, energy, water, and economic security
    * End special interest tax breaks, exemptions, and subsidies unless their direct contribution to a sustainable future outweighs their cost
    * Do NOT seek or tolerate corporations that merely ship their profits out of the state, and shirk their responsibility to help maintain the natural amenities, resources and taxpayer-provided infrastructure they benefit from
    * Create a financial services sector that directs resources toward creating living wage jobs that provide essential goods and services in ways consistent with the healthy environment we require for personal and social health and well-being



     Arizona is last in the nation in the amount of funding provided for education. We are not properly funding or supporting an educational system that prepares our children for a swiftly changing world. With resource depletion occurring in a number of different areas (topsoil, fisheries, fossil fuels, rare metals), with increasing biospheric toxicity, and with our own increasing body burden from industrial pollutants and chemical toxins, the future is not going to look like the past, let alone be a bigger, shinier version. But, it can be a *better* version.

      Here's a summary of what college educators say they are seeing on a too regular basis: Students whose basic reading, writing, and math skills are abysmal, even if they graduated in the top one percent of their high school class; no interest in learning for the sake of learning; willingness to do whatever it takes, including constructing elaborate, blatant cheating schemes, in order to get the grade they want; an unwillingness to take responsibility for their education and making the grades they want--and even an absence of any sense of how to do so.

     Dave's relocalized, sustainable responses

    * Make education a priority in Arizona, including funding for training in the skills needed to prepare for an uncertain future.
    * Return critical thinking skills to the public school curriculum
    * Drop the focus on performance standards based on industrial efficiency measures
    * Increased research, education, and training (or reskilling) in renewable energy and energy efficiency, clean zero-waste production, ecosystem restoration, natural health care, and biointensive organic agricultural technologies
    * Restore funding for the arts in schools
    * Use our intelligence and innovative spirit to help technology deliver on its long withheld promise of increased leisure time instead of merely more consumption

Border Issues


     Understanding the cause of the problem is the first step in crafting realistic responses. We can't just simplistically explain away the ravages of corporate globalization by scapegoating. Secure border advocates want to trot out the "obey the law" mantra, but don't want to enforce the law when it comes to the corporations that are ignoring environmental and human rights laws. People from Central and South America are being driven from their land. The dignity of right livelihood is being stolen from them at the same rate their natural resources are being depleted. If people's needs can be met in the communities where they live with the families that they love, they won't feel desperately compelled to go somewhere else.

     Dave's relocalized, sustainable responses

    * Strengthen local economies, both our own and Mexico's
    * Move beyond the myth that export economies actually help anyone other than international banking interests
    * End subsidies for BigAg, dump NAFTA, GATT and the WTO
    * End the practice of off-shoring jobs in a race to the bottom as we elevate profit above people and planet
    * States must reclaim their sovereign right to revoke corporate charters when corporate actions do not serve the common good and harms outweigh benefits. If corporations want to claim the rights of personhood they must also accept the responsibilities
    * Start being honest about the need for family planning, pre-natel and childhood nutrition, and equitable access to health care and elder care


     There's not a single fix, no silver bullet, but a number of interrelated strategies. We start by being honest about how the system we've set up is operating and what its real world consequences are as opposed to what the theory insists should occur (due to faulty underlying assumptions).

     The first concrete legislative goal, the foundation for our sustainable future, must start with adopting an ecologically sound and legally defensible definition of sustainability. This will provide the consistency necessary for planning. We can then calculate our carrying capacity with this definition in mind. Following that we must develop sustainability indicators necessary to measure our progress and give them the force of law.

      At the same time we are addressing the four core issues, other policies and legislation Ewoldt will support include the adoption of Instant Runoff Voting and creating equality in third-party and independent ballot access and campaign requirements, a shift in transportation funding from building more and wider roads to efficient public transit, and ending all the other boondoggles which prop up the Triumvirate of Collapse. We must begin transitioning toward a sustainable future while we still have time and a few resources left to work with.