Means for Democracy (Tools for Better Self-Governance)

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14 August 2017
Stolen: Special Election in Georgia’s 6th District (Ossoff vs. Handel)
Something fishy about the Georgia 6th district election:
  • Normally vote-by-mail ballots in that district go heavily Republican.
  • In the special election Jon Ossoff ran way ahead of Karen Handel by 64% to 36% on the mail-in ballots.
  • Still, Handel supposedly won from ballots cast at the polling places.
  • Those polling places use electronic voting machines with no paper ballots. Hence, there is no way to verify the electronic results.

Here is more detail: https://voterga.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/bulletin-evidence-of-ga6-eleciton-day-hack-continues-to-mount.pdf

A dozen democracy/election-integrity advocates sent a letter to election officials in Georgia expressing “Grave Concerns about the integrity of GA6 Special Runoff Election”.

Jon did not lose that race; it was stolen! And it was just the latest theft using rigged vote-counting machines in a long line that dates back over 10 years.


11 June 2017
Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes
This 3-minute audio with author Richard Clarke about his book outlines why people don't respond well to the huge threat to our future posed by Global Warming. (excerpted from 2017June7 Hour 2 Thom Hartmann Program 20-minute interview with the author that also delves into why/how 9/11 was allowed to happen.)

10 June 2017
The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child
This 55-minute audio is a reading from the book's Introduction that asks (and answers) the question "But could it be that ADHD, this psychiatric 'illness,' has a positive side?".

31 May 2017
Legacy of Secrecy
This 35-minute audio outlines the assassination and the cover up (excerpted from 2017May30 Hour 3 Thom Hartmann Program).

29 May 2017
HJR 48 - Move To Amend
This 2-minute audio outlines the need for a 28th Amendment (excerpted from 2017Mar22 Hour 1 Thom Hartmann Program).

29 May 2017
Instant Runoff Voting / Ranked Choice Voting
This 7-minute audio explains Ranked Choice Voting and why it is better for democracy (excerpted from 2017Jan18 Hour 3 Thom Hartmann Program). More info here.

29 May 2017
"Joe Republican" doesn't get it.
This 5-minute audio follows Joe Republican through his day pointing out the benefits he receives from government (excerpted from 2016Nov28 Hour 3 Thom Hartmann Program).

17 May 2017
Reducing Allergies and Preventing Colds
This 4-minute audio says to use local honey to deal with allergies and nasal irrigation with salt water to prevent colds (excerpted from 2017May17 Hour 1 Thom Hartmann Program).

17 Jan 2017
8 March 2017
18 April 2017
11 May 2017
28 June 2017
21 July 2017
Voter Suppression and Rigged Vote-Counting Machines
Demand Verifiable Elections.

On Jan 16, 2017, the Santa Clara County Democratic Club approved a resolution calling for our Democratic Party “to aggressively press for changes needed to achieve more democratic voting procedures”. In other words, stop ignoring voter suppression and rigged vote-counting machines, and start doing something about both.

During discussion of the Resolution, most people acknowledged that voter suppression was widespread.
However, many questioned the rigging of vote-counting machines.
In response, this supplemental information was documented.

On March 2, 2017, the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee (SCCDCC) approved a re-worded resolution that was submitted on March 7 to the Resolutions Committee for consideration at the California Democratic Convention in May 2017. On April 8, 2017, California Democratic Party leaders in Region 5 (Assembly Districts 15, 18, 20, & 25) endorsed this resolution.

On May 1, 2017, the original SCCDC resolution, the SCCDCC version, and a version from the Sonoma County Democratic Party were merged into a single version that sponsors of the 3 other versions support. You can help by adding your name (or the name of your organization) as a supporter at the bottom of this web page.

That version was passed by the Resolutions Committee during the California Democratic Convention (May 19-21). It will now go to the Executive Board of the CDP in August, 2017, for final approval.

If you would like to support this resolution, contact Dale Axelrod at 415-824-1549.


The 2017 security conference DEF CON ran a three-day Voting Machine Hacking Village to test the security of various machines and networks used in US elections. By the end of the weekend, every one of the roughly 30 machines at the village, including those used to tabulate votes and to check voters in when they go to the polls, had been hacked.


This 2-minute audio explains why the Democratic Party leadership has remained silent on both voter suppression and rigged voting machines (excerpted from 2017Jul12 Hour 3 Thom Hartmann Program).


Led by Progressive Caucus member Representative Mark Pocan and a few other Democrats, there are now (June 30, 2017) two bills in Congress that address these issues.

  • Rigged Vote-Counting Machines: U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Hank Johnson (D-GA) introduced the Securing America’s Future Elections (SAFE) Act (HR-1562). This comprehensive legislation would safeguard our elections from future foreign cyber-attacks and interference by permanently classifying the integrity and security of our elections as a key component of critical infrastructure. This important classification would place elections systems in the same category as other critical infrastructure including the power grid, the banking system, and other utilities. The SAFE Act also addresses election standards to protect against cyber-threats, better voting machines that provide paper ballots, and random audits of ballots to thwart interference.
  • Voter Suppression: U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and John Conyers (D-MI) introduced the Voter Roll Integrity Act ((HR-3091). Title III of the Election Integrity Act addresses key voter rights issues that will ensure our elections remain accessible for all Americans. It establishes guidelines for the publication of voter purge lists and a process by which individuals can challenge their placement on a purge list.


7 Feb 2017
Protect the Constitution
Resolution in Support of Congressional Investigation

From: Rob Means
To Milpitas City Council: Garry Barbadillo , Marsha Grilli , Anthony Phan , Robert Nuñez , Richard Tran
Subject: Resolution in Support of Congressional Investigation
Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2017 16:53:41 -0800

Mayor and Council Members,

The fake President is in violation of one or both of the Constitution's Emoluments clauses. Here is the analysis.
THE EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE: ITS TEXT, MEANING, AND APPLICATION TO DONALD J. TRUMP - DECEMBER 16, 2016
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/gs_121616_emoluments-clause1.pdf
In particular, see pages 15 – 18.

Our City can push back by passing this on-line Resolution in Support of Congressional Investigation regarding Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump:
https://impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Model-Local-Impeachment-Resolution-012417.pdf

Your oath to uphold the Constitution should make this an easy decision.

--
Rob Means,1421 Yellowstone Ave., Milpitas, CA 95035-6913
408-262-0420h, 408-262-8975w, rob.means@electric-bikes.com


8 Mar 2017
Feinstein Press Release: Trump ‘Blatantly Defying’ Constitution

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on China’s decision to award President Trump 38 additional trademarks on his name that will financially benefit him and his company:

“The news that China may now grant 38 more trademarks to benefit President Trump shows the floodgates are open on foreign efforts to curry favor. This is exactly what the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause was designed to prevent and President Trump is blatantly defying it.

“It’s appalling that the president refuses to address this crystal clear conflict of interest. He should immediately divest and create a blind trust, and he must be transparent about his business interests. Instead, we’re seeing a president who appears eager to leverage his office for personal gain.

“It’s time for Republicans in Congress to join our efforts to hold President Trump accountable. The Constitution demands it and the American people deserve it.”


27 Jan 2017
Save the City Money!


Studies indicate that universal single-payer healthcare systems save money. The City of Santa Monica estimates an annual savings of $6M in healthcare costs for its employees. Based upon employee counts, Milpitas could expect a savings of $1.5M or more per year. Here is more of the Santa Monica story. Below is a resolution calling on cities to "execute a cost analysis and calculate the savings" if universal single-payer is adopted. Here's a simple, short presentation of where those savings can be found. An estimated Milpitas savings of $1.5M per year is something worth investigating!
--
E-mail from Kevin McKeown : Jan 20 02:15PM -0800

In 2009 we passed a resolution calling on Democrats in local offices to get their finance directors to calculate local government savings under single payer, as I had done in Santa Monica. At that point, single payer would have saved our community $6 million a year. Next Tuesday as Santa Monica reviews budget options for the next fiscal year, I will again be asking that calculation of our finance department. The 2009 CDP resolution is below.

Kevin McKeown
City Councilmember
Santa Monica

Whereas, the declared position (resolution SAC09.29) of the California Democratic Party in the current national debate on healthcare reform is support for universal single-payer healthcare, with everyone in and no one left out;

And, whereas the national debate on healthcare reform may be but a precursor to a more productive debate within California on the passage of universal single-payer healthcare for our state, if the national government fails to adopt single-payer, with the relative cost to taxpayers being a likely point of public concern;

And, whereas DSCC member and California Democratic Party Irish-American Caucus vice-chair Kevin McKeown has, as an elected Councilmember in the City of Santa Monica, successfully directed that city’s Finance Department to execute a cost analysis and calculate the savings to that city’s government should universal single-payer be adopted, those savings being a significant and illustrative six million dollars per year for just that one city;

Therefore, be it resolved that the California Democratic Party, as a matter of principle, calls upon Democratic elected officials to support the CDP position on universal single-payer healthcare by, within their own jurisdictions, pursuing a cost analysis of the potential savings to local, regional, and state government under universal single-payer;

And, be it further resolved that the California Democratic Party calls upon local Democratic organizations to assist in communicating this request to local electeds, and in publicizing the results of the saving studies, thereby supporting the CDP position on universal single-payer healthcare as well as supporting Democratic electeds who adhere to the Party position and vote in favor of single-payer.

Written and submitted by Leah Herzberg, 41st AD Committee, LACDP; edited by Kevin McKeown, Councilmember of Santa Monica, Ricco Ross, AD Committee, LACDP

Sponsored by Valley Democrats United, Progressive Democrats Los Angeles (PDLA), Progressive Democrats Santa Monica Mountains (PDSMM), Julie Lopez Dad, Chair 41st AD Committee, LACDP, and others

17 Dec 2016
Defend Democracy!
Demand the Electoral College do its job.

In the words of Jesse Jackson, evidence abounds about “the systematic and purposeful voter suppression that certainly cost Clinton the election. The Russians didn’t do it. It was done by right-wing partisan state officials eager to suppress the vote of people of color, the young and the working poor.”

Using Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program (IVRCP), 27 states have knocked one million legal voters off the rolls. IVRCP wrongly tagged voters as registering in two states or voting in two states, a felony crime. The suspect list of potential criminals contains an astonishing SEVEN MILLION NAMES — naming ONE IN SEVEN voters of color (including Asian-Americans) in the Crosscheck states.

This “Jim Crow election” knocked 55,000 mostly minority voters off the rolls in Michigan where Trump “won” by less than 11,000 votes. Recounts of the votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – where exit polls showed Clinton was the winner - were stopped. So we don’t know for sure whether Mr. Trump actually won those states..

The Founding Fathers intended the Electoral College to stop an unfit man from becoming President. The Constitution they crafted gives us this tool. Conscience demands that we use it.

Join others in Sacramento on Monday, 12/19, to demand the Electoral College do its job.

Learn more at http://www.hamiltonelectors.com/events or http://www.december19.us/?refcode=g-Electors1215.d-20161215.m-8719.s-27935

Also, e-mail your viewpoint to the electors at http://asktheelectors.org/

If you want the voter-suppression details, for $3 you can watch on Amazon or Vimeo "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy": http://thebestdemocracymoneycanbuy.com/dvd-streaming/
http://www.gregpalast.com/ voter suppression background
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP46nJWH7OE 3-minute trailer

Here’s an important message for the electors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z0iuWh3sek&index=2&list=PLdVYdend1JE4TGOZN93b9Pj_AWTcvfi1U


15 Sep 2016
The banking system is precarious. Here's a 13-minute description of how it actually works (as opposed to how you think it works) from the Thom Hartmann Program.

24 Aug 2016

Will the Presidential election be stolen? It has happened before. The "strip and flip" actions that subvert democracy are briefly described in this 3-minute audio clip from the Thom Hartmann Program.

During the primaries, nearly all Red states instituted voter-suppression laws that suppressed the vote of seniors, students, minorities, and the poor (http://pages.ucsd.edu/~zhajnal/page5/documents/VoterIDLawsSuppressionofMinorityVoters.pdf) - exactly the groups that favored Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. Additionally, illegal voter roll purges ("stripping") and registration tampering tilted the field.

Rigged voting machines have exhibited "Red shift" ("flipping") and been electing Republicans since 1998. The most famous case was to depose (and then jail) Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (https://free-don.us/). Now, the "Red shift" has favored Hillary as shown in the graphic below and detailed at  https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/democratic-primary-true-vote-model-sanders-has-52/   and http://trustvote.org/. The exit polls and the electronic vote totals are very different in eleven states. The Media Consortium and Edison Media Research cancelled the exit polls in 8 more states to further obscure the fact that the voting machines were rigged. Voting integrity activist Cliff Arnebeck has filed suit in Ohio to get the raw data in order to prove to the court that the voting machines were rigged in favor of Hillary (http://masscentral.com/lawsuit-by-noted-election-attorney-cliff-arnebeck-filed-argues-sanders-beat-clinton-in-primaries/  ). Republicans have a long history of selecting the Democratic nominee to run against; this is just the latest example.

Here’s the Redacted version of the story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfN2-uV-ZuI



11 Aug 2016
Arthritis symptoms? According to this 2-minute audio from the Thom Hartmann Programm eating too much from the nightshade family of plants (tomato, potato, peppers and eggplant) may be the problem.

28 Nov 2015
For years I've been curious about the potential for live electronic voting at meetings. Rather than counting hands, have folks indicate preferences digitally. At the Podcar City Conference, I got a first-hand experience. Rather than special equipment (like the old days), this system uses smartphones. Here's the tagline and website: Voting with smartphones during presentations, https://www.mentimeter.com/. For simple yes/no subjects, hand-raising is still the best way to get a flavor of the group intention. This tool also provides for multi-choice and fill-in-the-blank options.

26 Nov 2015
After all the reports over the past year of police murders of unarmed blacks, those of us who enjoy white privilege would do well to read an opinion letter published in the New York Times entitled "Where Are Black Children Safe?". It starts this way:
Black children are not allowed to be children. They are not allowed to be safe, not at home, not at pool parties, not driving or sitting in cars listening to music, not walking down the street, not in school. For black children, for black people, to exist is to be endangered. Our bodies receive no sanctity or safe harbor.

We can never forget this truth. We are never allowed to forget this truth.

26 Nov 2015
About 39 minutes into the 20 October 2015 podcast of the Thom Hartmann Program, Thom says :
The last Republican who was legitimately elected as president of the United States by a majority of the people of this country - without fraud - was Dwight Eisenhower.
Listen to this 6-minute explanation of that statement or read Thom's longer explanation.

15 Oct 2015
Bernie Sanders calls himself a "democratic socialist". The lame-stream media and most political insiders drop the "democratic" part and make a big deal about the "socialist" part - as though it were a bad thing. As though it were Soviet-style authoritarian socialism. Reality check for folks who just plain don't like anything socialist: I like my socialist police and fire departments, schools, roads, sewer and water systems. I'd also like to have a socialist Internet service like Chattanooga, TN, and electric service like residents of Santa Clara receive. So, here's what a democratic socialist really is. Are you one?

"A few words about democratic socialism from some democratic socialists" published Tue Oct 13, 2015


The Democratic Socialists of America is the largest such group in the United States. Today the stated view of DSA (which has formally endorsed Sanders) is this:

Democratic socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy. But we do not want big corporate bureaucracies to control our society either. Rather, we believe that social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they most affect.

Today, corporate executives who answer only to themselves and a few wealthy stockholders make basic economic decisions affecting millions of people. Resources are used to make money for capitalists rather than to meet human needs. We believe that the workers and consumers who are affected by economic institutions should own and control them.

Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives. Democratic socialists favor as much decentralization as possible. While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives.

Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods.

Obviously, not every democratic socialist is a member of DSA, including Sanders himself. And other democratic socialists take a different view on some matters. But the approach laid out above is clearly not the authoritarian socialism that some would like to make of it.

14 Aug 2015
Letter to the San Jose Mercury-News published on-line 8/17/2015 about PRT capacity

It's troubling when elected officials who make transportation decisions misrepresent advanced transit options like Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). Such was the case at Thursday's Transportation Town Hall sponsored by the SJ Chamber of Commerce. Our State Senator dismissed the option of using above-ground PRT technology rather than underground BART by saying PRT did not have enough capacity. Although he believes that PRT cabs (or “podcars”), each carrying only 1 or 2 people, cannot deliver as many people per day as BART trains, he clearly did not run the numbers.

VTA projects daily ridership for the extension of BART from Berryessa to Santa Clara at 55,000, or about 28,000 each direction. If each computer-controlled podcar only contained 1 passenger, and headways (spacing between podcars) were the 2 seconds recommended for human-controlled cars, each PRT guideway could deliver 1800 people per hour (p/h) – or 86,400 passenger per day (1800 p/h x 24 hr). At a cost of $180M, PRT could provide 24/7 service, start operating years sooner, and save the taxpayer $4700M and the need for another screw-the-poor sales tax.

In the interest of truth and clarity, throughput numbers above should be reduced about 50% as noted in the October 17, 2012 memo (page 5) from Hans F. Larsen to the TRANSPORTATION AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE regarding the AUTOMATED TRANSIT NETWORK FEASIBILITY STUDY:
Realistically, throughput for an ATN is likely to be much less — perhaps even less than half — of what would be indicated from an idealized capacity calculation derived from simple line-haul formulas.
Even a 50% reduction in throughput, however, could be cost-effectively offset by reducing the headways from 2 seconds to 1 second to double the capacity. Or double capacity by building another guideway. In the case of replacing the BART Burrow, doubling the PRT system cost from 4% to 8% of BART's cost is still a great deal.

ATRA presents another way to see capacity as outlined in this ATRA article which includes the chart below:

10/1/2015
The Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee passed this resolution supporting a Constitutional Amendment:

RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING AS A POSITION OF THE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY THAT 1) ONLY HUMAN BEINGS HAVE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, 2) MONEY IS NOT SPEECH, AND 3) WE CALL FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO ESTABLISH THAT POSITION.

WHEREAS, the people's right to free speech and fair elections are essential to democracy and effective self-governance; however, U.S. Supreme Court decisions have granted multi-billion dollar corporations and other artificial entities the same rights as natural persons to unrestricted spending on political speech, thus severely restricting the ability of federal, state and local governments to enact reasonable campaign finance reforms and regulations regarding corporate political activity; and

WHEREAS, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights are intended to protect the rights of human beings – not artificial entities such as corporations which have special advantages not enjoyed by human beings plus the many traditional and necessary rights and powers provided for by state law, and usually put profits for shareholders ahead of concerns for the greater good of society – but the U.S. Supreme Court decisions extending constitutional rights to corporations have resulted in increasing domination by these powerful entities and a corresponding loss of rights for people; and

WHEREAS, sixteen states and more than 550 local governments throughout our country have passed resolutions or ballot initiatives calling for a constitutional amendment establishing that corporations should not have constitutional rights and money does not equal speech, and the people of the United States have previously used the constitutional amendment process to correct decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that are widely deemed to be egregious, wrongly decided or significantly out-of-step with the prevailing values of the populace;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that it is the position of the DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY that A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IS NEEDED TO ESTABLISH THAT
1. The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only, and that artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.
2. Federal, State and local government shall have the right to regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure, and shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY calls on other communities to join with us in this action by passing similar Resolutions.

3/16/2015
Here's a video that graphically shows our environmental situation.
Wake Up, Freak Out, then Get a Grip (video)
http://wakeupfreakout.org/ An ingeniously clear and engaging 11 minute animation explaining why the next few years are the most important humanity has ever faced, or will ever face. We who are lucky enough to be alive now are effectively the most powerful people who will ever live, and future generations are breathlessly watching our every choice. https://vimeo.com/1709110

3/8/2015
At the 3/7 Let's Get Moving Silicon Valley Summit, this question was submitted to the panelists but was not read:
The BART Extension to Santa Clara seems to be a black hole for transportation funding. Rather than passing a regressive sales tax to pay for it, why not replace the $4B 4-station BART extensin with a 100-station Automated Transit Network (ATN) for half the price?

1/12/2015
Here's a 21-minute audio clip from the Thom Hartmann Program that presents a fascinating story of the revolution you never heard about - the one in 1800!

1/10/2015
Democracy is not just a human invention, but rather common in nature. This 6-minute audio clip from the Thom Hartmann Program summarizes a research article finishes with this:
We conclude that consensus decision making is common in non-human animals, and that cooperation between group members in the decision-making process is likely to be the norm, even when the decision involves significant conflict of interest.

1/9/2015
Here's a 1-minute audio clip from the Thom Hartmann Program in which Senator Bernie Sanders presents a summary of current climate science.

12/20/2014
Here's a 2-minute aerial view of the People's Climate March on Sept. 21, 2014, which the "lame stream" media ignored. When 400,000 people are on the street in one place (New York), and the media ignores it, that qualifies as deliberately suppressing the news. If your news source did not tell you about something this big, what else are they not telling you?

11/7/2014
Yeah, the Republicans won big in the election. However, they had to cheat to do it. This 10-minute audio clip from the Thom Hartmann Program outlines some of the ways Republicans and their sympathizers cheated people out of voting.

11/6/2014
Perhaps the most remarkable fact about this local election was the low turnout. An average turnout of Milpitas voters in a mid-term election would be about 54%. According to the Registrar of Voters (ROV), only 29% of registered voters cast a ballot. In the world of statistics and human behavior, that is a huge difference. And not a good sign for a healthy democracy.

This 6-minute audio clip from the Thom Hartmann Program offers two suggestions for increasing voter turnout.

9/28/2014
Citizens United was a legal case decided by the Supreme Court that effectively endorsed the spending of large sums of money to corrupt our democracy. We've seen the effects of big money on both national and state elections. Now we can see it in our local election in the form of Measure E.

First, the big-money Bumb family (that owns Bay 101, the Berryessa Flea Market, and several other enterprises) pays nearly $250,000 to put Measure E on our Milpitas ballot. Then they hire a lobbyist (Bob Livengood) and funnel lots of money into convincing us what a good deal this card room is for Milpitas residents. In addition to the many mailers we can expect before election day, Bob and the big Bumb money have arranged a big kickoff party, ads on the front page of the Milpitas Post, a so-called "Job Fair", and distribution of yard signs.

Fortunately, a few community members are offering a different view of Measure E. If not for their efforts, the big Bumb money would likely convince enough voters that Measure E is really good for Milpitas - rather than questionable at best.

Getting big money out of our politics is necessary to restore the health of our democracy - which is clearly ailing. That is why a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is needed that says money is not speech. Then, we can do what we did before the Supreme Court 5 changed the rules. We can regulate how much money wealthy people can spend to influence our elections - and our lives.


When asked whether I support the proposed "casino" (actually a card mansion), my response comes from my vision for the future of Milpitas - a sustainable and family-friendly future for Milpitas. First, any gambling establishment does not pass the family-friendly test. A sustainable business would be one that provides food, shelter, or any of the many products and services we need for civilized life. A card mansion that diverts money from the community into the hands of the rich (the Bumb family) is not sustainable. The sole benefit to the residents of Milpitas is the estimated $8M of net revenue. While I agree money is needed for the City to restore services, there is another, better way to increase revenues! So, no, I do not support the proposed gambling establishment.

On the campaign trail, two good ideas were suggested:
1) As new housing is being built in the transit area near the BART station, pipe recycled water to toilets. Recycled water is already being delivered to that area. By using it to flush toilets, a relatively inexpensive addition during construction could save lots of drinking water.

2) Deploy Blue Star Savior around town so that deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can be reduced. SCA is a leading cause of death in the U.S., and strikes people of all ages. This smart-phone app enables untrained people to summon CPR-trained and certified people to aid a victim of SCA.


Aug. 7, 2014 e-mail to supporters:
On Tuesday, I filed my paperwork to run for Council. I thought you might like to see what will be printed in the sample ballot.
Candidate Statement for Rob Means running for Milpitas City Council
(200 words maximum using up to 22 lines, each with a maximum of 72 characters wide)

     After a successful computer software career, I've dedicated many of
my 37 years living here to working for a family-friendly Milpitas:
     leading efforts to develop bicycle paths & creekside trails;
     helping our schools & libraries maintain their facilities;
     supporting development plans that benefit our community while
     protecting our hillsides.

     On these issues, I advocate for the community & its long-term
future. As a Council member, I would create public-private partnerships
to develop infrastructure with community-wide benefits, such as:
     1) Working to locate a K-8 school in the fast-growing transit area
     with joint City/school use of sports fields.
     2) Inviting advanced transit companies to build a critical crossing
     near the BART station. Then, at little City cost, expand to serve
     the entire transit area – possibly all of Milpitas.
     3) Supporting home/business upgrades with water- & energy-saving
     features - creating jobs & keeping money in the local economy.

     I am ready to serve as your Council representative. In 2012, the
San Jose Mercury-News agreed by endorsing me as “a straightforward,
thoughtful guy ... a true believer in transparency in government.”
     Please see MeansForDemocracy.org & vote Rob Means for City Council.

On August 5, without discussion or input from the public, the City Council approved installation of signs in public buildings across Milpitas saying "In God We Trust". Those of us who believe in the separation of church and state bristle at this latest step in joining the two. Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. is not a Christian nation, nor did the founding fathers think so. In fact, Thomas Jefferson (a Deist) fretted that church influence would corrupt government. On the other hand, Madison (a staunch Christian) believed that a co-mingling would corrupt religion and churches. Now we see that both were correct as the Christian Right both corrupts and is corrupted by its involvement in politics. As one more aligned with a Deist/Buddhist/Wiccan/Native American view of god, I would rather see signs saying "In Mother Earth We Trust".



The July 4th debut of the mobile billboard was more popular than expected. A good fraction of the estimated 20,000 attendees of the fireworks show saw me and the billboard - many with smiles, thumbs up, and comments of support.



The 6/13/2014 Milpitas Post Editorial concluded with a voting suggestion I endorse:

Perhaps the time has come to have the entire election process modernized moving toward 100 percent voting by mail. The hybrid system we have is costly and not very efficient. It limits turnout and sows confusion.


Several years ago, it was reported Milpitas was spending about $1M/year on repairing pavement that was breaking down at a rate of $2M/year. The Pavement Condition Index (PCI) of Milpitas streets (a measure of the quality of our streets) was falling. Via e-mail, I asked Steve Chan, Traffic Engineer for the City, about the matter. He responded on October 17, 2012 with this:

Rob,
The average weighted PCI of the entire Milpitas street network was 67 for 2011, 68 for 2009, and 70 in 2006.
The City received ~$2.5 million in ARRA funding towards street rehabilitation of North Park Victoria, South Park Victoria and Abbott Ave.
The fact that we are deferring maintenance on our streets (and lots of other things) during financially difficult times is not surprising. Continuing to neglect infrastructure maintenance costs is a short term way to balance the budget. However, it will cost us more in the long run.



The Betrayal of America's Middle Class Was a Choice, Not an Accident (Amy B. Dean, Truthout)

The outsourcing of good jobs, the elimination of pensions, rampant home foreclosures; skyrocketing higher education costs and mounting debt: Given these stark realities, the American middle class seems to be sinking fast. The renowned reporting team of Donald Barlett and James Steele insists it is no accident.



"We were impressed with your proven passion to protect the environment and knowledge of environmental issues." - 9/15/12 Sierra Club letter to Rob Means


"Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Since writing my original letter about the apparent mismanagement of the City, more mistakes have been reported:
  • A ruling by a Public Employment Relations Board judge found that the City "violated employee rights ... in connection with its treatment of past ProTECH President Nancy Mendizabal."
  • According to the State, the Milpitas redevelopment agency wrongly transferred hundreds of millions of dollars worth of assets. Learn more from this Milpitas Post article.


  • Contact Webmaster Rob Means at 408-262-8975, Rob@MeansForDemocracy.org
        1421 Yellowstone Avenue, Milpitas, CA 95035