Local Political Update: Part 1, Terra Friedrichs

On behalf of the Acton Forum, I contacted four political committees/independent candidates and asked them to provide information on three topics, so our readers could learn more and possibly get involved prior to the upcoming election.

Explain the topics you discussed at your most recent meeting.
How do people get involved and what do you need volunteers to do in the near future?
Have you endorsed any candidates and why?

NOTE: I also asked about Terra's official affiliation and if she had a relationship with the Green Rainbow Party

Thank you for caring to post information related to the election and the "campaigns". I don't want to disappoint you, but the Cooperative Green Economy is a "concept" not a "party". It's a "political designation". But then again, there's the benefit that I can approve postings myself.

I'll try to answer the questions below, in that context. Since I am not running a traditional campaign, whenever someone asks about my campaign I tell them about my "uncampaign" and why I'm running an "uncampaign".

I am engaged in an "uncampaign", which is not formally defined, but is becoming more popular as the "corporate" parties continue to dig us deeper into the hole, fiscally, environmentally, and socially. An "uncampaign" does not receive any money from others, and the candidate keeps expenses low [self-defined]. An "uncampaign" is a "lightweight" effort that does not rely on organized teams begging people to vote for a specific candidate or fundraising. An "uncampaign" relies on people to spread good ideas, and then people can vote for whomever they think will be the best person to carry forward those ideas. An "uncampaign" doesn't care whether they "win" a specific number of votes. People working on "uncampaigns" succeed just be participating. When people ask me what I'm going to do to "win". I say, "I've already won. I'm on the ballot. I get to talk to large numbers of people about the issues I feel are not being addressed".

Personally, I have committed to spending less than a minimum wage person makes in a week, because I imagine a world where "regular people" are on the ballot...a world where we have more choice. I've spent under $300, and can't imagine any more money that I need to spend in the coming weeks. I do not want people to invest political capital in a media frenzy with a race to the finish line focused on fundraising. I hope people invest their time like I am... talking to constituents and serving them. I can no longer count the times I've witnessed a "social justice candidate" who doesn't have time to give a ride to or hold the hand and comfort a person in need. I do not want to be that person. I want to be the person who uses my time serving as if I was already in office.

If people want to tell people about what I believe in, great! First please have them start with getting big money out of politics. I'm a co-founder of PassMassAmendment after a group of us at Occupy Boston realized that while we didn't agree on all the issues, we agreed that we needed to reduce money in politics by leveraging state authority. My opponent Jamie Eldridge, refused to sign on, and in fact, instead, voted to INCREASE the donation limits. He showed up at an Occupy Boston free meal for people who could not afford to eat, and he started fundraising! We had to ask him to leave. I want to end all that pressure on candidates. After he co-sponsored other destructive bills, and it took us almost a year to get him on board to fight the new pipelines (bringing gas out of the country, through your water supplies) I realized that I had to go to the voters directly. Let them tell Jamie if they like my ideas. After realizing that I could get on the ballot myself without asking anyone to get any signatures, I did it. I want to work for YOU, not have you work for me. I want the ideas that I support to come from people on the street. I do not believe in top down government or campaign organizations. Relative to volunteering, I hope people work to understand the issues, take my views into consideration and tell people about solutions that they believe will help and are possible. I hope people invest in a future where elections are not defined by money in politics. And I hope people consider my main issues:

- Minimum Income Guarantee (it's cheaper to solve poverty)

- Carbon Fee (pay for the total cost of what you use)

- Stop developer giveaways which get us further into social/environmental/fiscal debt

- Transfer Tax on real estate sales (make developers pay for affordable housing)

- Stop judging our success by "growth"...growth does not pay, manage by balance sheet

- Environmental justice (no new pipelines, equity in where new development goes)

- Progressive taxation to place the burden the wealthiest (including large corporations, luxury items, largest buildings/square footage)

- Open Meeting Law for the statehouse

- Reduce money in politics, public financing of elections

- And of course, great schools, healthy environment, and affordability, accessibility, and respect and dignity for all.

People can look at the balance sheet to see the fiscal debt that the corporate funded parties have gotten us into by allowing corporate lobbyists to have so much influence. But that's just what's on the books. The social and environmental debt have a much greater cost. And that will come due when we least expect it. The sooner we account for all of our debts and address them, the more sustainable government will be. I believe that if we do not do this, that we will see the end of the middle class in our lifetime... We will already are going to have to make dramatic shifts in lifestyles because of global warming. What will it be like if our government collapses under the weight of where it's headed? Instead of a government which is giving away developer relief programs, and siding with corporations sucking our state dry, in a desperate attempt at yet another trickle down scheme, I want government to admit the trust costs, be proactive and be ready.

To your question about the Green Rainbow Party, I have been endorsed by the GRP, but I am not enrolled GRP. This upsets a lot of them, but the State Committee endorsed me anyway, with a couple of abstentions/no votes. I helped co-found the Assabet Valley Chapter of the GRP. And I spent about two years helping to write the state platform. I learned a lot in this process and believe in it as a platform. My goal is to take those policies and get them to work fiscally. I believe that we can. And a major goal in my life is make it happen. So while I believe in the platform, I do not want to participate in fundraising for a party for the same reasons stated above.


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purchaser pays - not builder

I support your candidacy. A small correction; taxing builders does nothing more than increase the cost of their products. It is not a tax on the builders. Personally, I support the tax. I also support raising taxes to pay for the demands of the taxpayers.