We The People

We The People- Newsletter: February 22, 2000

Dear Members and Interested Friends:

The New American Revolution
(a message from the Co-Founders)

Do you remember Concord and Lexington and the shot heard around the world? Of course you do. Well, at 12:02 am on February 1st NH Primary Day, another shot was heard 'round the world. CNN announced that independent Jeffrey Peters received four (4) write-in votes out of 28 votes cast in the town of Hart's Location, together with Dixville Notch, the first towns to report results as 100% of their voters cast ballots. CNN repeated this announcement around the world every hour for the next 12 hours.

The new American Revolution had just been born - the revolution of ballots, not bullets, the "write-in" revolution.

The "write-in" revolution will finish on November 7, 2000 - in the general Election when the new American patriots of We The People will elect a President who will achieve genuine Campaign Finance Reform by taking big money out of politics and putting you, the people back in charge.

The next activity of We The People (WTP) is February 29, 2000 - when National Public TV is scheduled to join We The People and Granny D in her triumphant arrival to Washington, DC (see her website: www.GrannyD.com for details). Join us on foot, or ride in the We The People Campaign Bus, but make your voice heard on Campaign Finance Reform - the issue to which Granny D has dedicated over a year of her life by walking across the US from California to Washington, DC. Join this inspirational woman and march with her, in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.!

Join us February 29th at 1:00 pm on the east steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC - for what we hope will be a massive demonstration in favor of real Campaign Finance Reform!

Re-igniting the spirit of America, we remain -
Patriotically yours, Jeffrey and Cici Peters

UPDATES and What's Been Happening:

Presidential Announcement Speech made on November 19, 1999 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC by Jeffrey B. Peters - the room overlooking the Capitol was elegant and the speech was given to a room of family and friends and press. The speech is inspiring and visionary - the start of the first nationwide "write-in" campaign for President. The speech, highlights of the speech, and media coverage can be seen on the web site (www.PetersForPresident.com) which is linked to the WTP site, or let us know and we will mail you hard copies.

The NH Primary February 1, 2000 -is over and the vote is in - Jeffrey Peters came in 3rd in the North Country of NH and 5th out of 16 statewide. He received lots of media coverage (print, radio and TV) - we are now up to 67 media stories on We The People and Jeffrey Peters - including CNN, C-Span, MTV, ABC TV, National Public TV, NH Public TV, CBS News, NH Public Radio, The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Jim Hightower's Radio Show. We were able to spread the word about We The People, the message and the focus of this new citizen's movement. It is a long process - but, we are being heard and well received - so, keep the faith and continue to spread the word in your own way where you live and work. In fact one of the best ways to help is to e-mail or write all your friends on your mailing lists and send them a copy of the basic information (attached) or if they use the internet ask them to check out the web site (www.WeThePeople-WTP.org or the linked site which has its own separate pages on the WTP web site at www.PetersForPresident.com) - this is proving to be an excellent way to involve people!

MEMBERSHIP VOTE NEEDED: Its time for a VOTE ON ISSUES (they were originally sent out with the May 1999 Newsletter requesting feedback and discussion)-)several members have suggested that WTP should consider a position on the following issues

(Ballot is here):

  1. Catastrophic Health Insurance: the need for catastrophic health insurance for all so that no one will be forced into bankruptcy or poverty, due to unexpected and expensive illness(es).
  2. Education Reform: the need for minimum standards (all across the US) which are high enough to put students at an advantage in life versus a disadvantage. (Note: We need to rethink the definition of what a good education is and what form it takes; we need to rethink the industrial revolution "time clock" model.) These reforms might include smaller class sizes (ie. 15:1 versus 30 or 40:1); year around classes (so the student's family has the choice of which quarter, if any, to take off for personal fulfillment, travel or alternative study); vouchers so all students have equal opportunity (not a guarantee of equal outcome); requirement of teachers to take on-going training and classes; set-up of an experimental privatized educational system as an alternative to public education and the governmental bureaucracy that it creates; organize a think-tank whose mandate would be to start at the beginning, rethink what the goals of education are, and public education in particular. This group should have free reign to be a creative as possible - to "think outside the box." Its purpose is to put together a proposed restructuring of our education system which will be of service to all children in the US, educating them with excellence and nurturing them to become all that they can be- including the goal, in fact the duty of each citizen of being a contributing member of society. This group would include educators, researchers, authors, parents, business people, and the public at large.
  3. Environmental Choice: Every environmental policy has human as well as financial costs and benefits, and We The People need full information to make informed choices. "Clean water, Clean air, Clean land" are not too much to expect in our country, in fact in our world! "He who pollutes pays" - the polluter should pay the price of full clean-up. A robust economy and a clean, biologically productive environment are not in conflict. On the contrary, they need each other over the long term if they are to continue to survive and prosper.
    • anti-pollution standards should be drawn to protect EVERYONE in society as much as possible rather than be based on a safe threshold for healthy young adults. Inclusive instead of exclusive, so to speak.
    • The costs of regulation and the risks of the health threats that government is seeking to curb are important tools in setting environmental standards, but they are only tools, not ends in themselves. Many other factors are taken into consideration in reaching a final decision, not the last nor least of which is ethics.
    • We The People endorses the application of the "precautionary principle". Hence, when there is enough evidence to warrant concern that serious and/or irreversible environmental harm might occur, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as justification for blocking measures that are beneficial in their own right and would diminish the potential for experiencing such harm.
    • Consideration should be given to gradually replacing, or at least offsetting, the federal income tax with a tax on consumption.
    • Consumers might actively help curtail pollution by understanding and adopting active support and participation in the ZEV Program (Zero Emission Vehicles) which needs to stay on the books. The manufacturers are starting to withdraw the vehicles from the U.S. market (ie. Honda's electric car) due to slow sales. This is a question of education and information to the consumers and a national policy for the U.S. Federal government to purchase zero emission vehicles (eg. electric) for its huge fleet, thus creating a market and reducing the market cost by higher volume production. The environment can not make up for our lack of responsibility - if we adopt the "he who pollutes pays" policy, perhaps owners of traditional combustion engine vehicles will pay more instead of the owners of electric (or other environmentally sound) vehicles! We need to protect what we have or we will lose it!
  4. The Defense Budget, the Military and Reality- contrary to what our elected officials and the military are telling us, we hear from enlisted and recently retired officers that - its all about "pork", procurement, standards (standards which are across the board and not different for each service branch), and watching that defense contractors actually do what they are contacted to do, what they say they will do, actively monitoring their performance. Honesty, creative solutions to problems (ie. when equipment and parts are not easily available, being able to fix something without going through the procurement bureaucracy; or recognizing when a part can be purchased or repaired less expensively than by going through the often inflated pricing systems of the procurement offices), and personal responsibility are key to excellence - excellence in attitude, excellence in personal relations, and excellence in process, the flow of work and in the results achieved. Personal integrity and responsibility have slipped, and the military service is back in the attitude of the 1970's after Vietnam with cutbacks, layoffs, and reduction of services. There needs to be more standardization across the board - a return to a standard of excellence. This does not necessarily mean a higher budget, or even one at the level we have today. What is suggested is a return to responsibility, to remove "pork" at all levels, and a return to the highest standards of which we are capable. A ballot is here - please print it out and snail-mail it ASAP! The platform for WTP is percolating from the bottom up - but, in order to do that we need to stay focused, and we need to vote.

Campaign Finance Reform remains the primary issue for WTP, it strikes a responsive chord with everyone - in this massive primary process it is ever more obvious that, as Ralph Nader wrote in Public Citizen recently: "This 'wealth primary' - in which the nation's corporations and wealthy families in effect pre-select the candidates who can run - is destroying the workings of democracy. How can the American people make meaningful choices at the ballot box if solid candidates with great ideas and support, but little money, are unable to run campaigns?

Resistance (by elected officials currently in office and large money interests) to reform has reached new levels of shamelessness. A few months ago , a group of top business leaders, tired of being shaken down for campaign money, called for a ban on unlimited contributions to political parties - so called 'soft money.' In response, the Senate Republican chief fundraiser, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wrote individual CEOs demanding they withdraw their support for the ban, which many of them interpreted as an attempt to intimidate and silence them. But the business leaders rejected McConnell's iron-fisted demand and doubled their ranks. What is our proud nation coming to when Senators brazenly behave his way?

It's precisely these sorts of corrupt excesses that are finally quickening the appetite for reform, making more candidates politically vulnerable. As the drama builds in the coming months, Public Citizen plans to expose crass operators like McConnell, rally the public response and push again for a ban on 'soft money' campaign contributions.

Over the years, skeptics have often asked me (Nader) if citizenship can really matter in our media-driven, corporate-dominated culture. I (Nader) respond by telling them about the mighty Mississippi.

That great river did not materialize instantly, nor is it replenished quickly. Its unstoppable strength stems from the converging of many large rivers, each of which is fed by hundreds of streams and brooks, which in turn are fed by thousands of creeks and rivulets that are swelled by countless trickles and raindrops that come from a vast geography spanning half a continent.

The enterprise of citizenship resembles a river. We all need to do our part together.

To belong to something larger than oneself and contribute to its growth and success, even if it takes time and struggle, perseverance and sacrifice, is one of the great satisfactions of life (and one of life's duties). It is also one of the highest achievements of democracy, the triumph of the people."

Your help and support in this effort matters - it matters a great deal!

The next WTP road trips:

March/April - We travel to the SW - "Talking to Americans and Taking Action" - we have visited 30 states thus far and want to get to the last 20, and repeat some of the most receptive before next September's Nominating Convention for WTP in Philadelphia, and November's election. The trip will start (we hope) by mid-March and we will go to Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, and central states in between. We hope members and friends in each state will consider hosting an event for us - we have found that the informal question and answer format works best and is most interesting and fun for everyone!

May/June - we hope to be traveling in the NW states, and upper central states where we already have some offers for more events. In August, September, and October we will attend state fairs, meetings, and traveling in the RV spreading the word of WTP - if you would like to plan an event we will be there!

The WTP Story: WTP Advertising/Handouts/Pencils/Pins:

LOGO for WTP: is finished!!! It is fabulous and will be a part of this newsletter, if Cici can figure out how to scan it into the computer and use it on top of the first page.

PENS for the National Write-In Campaign: after several false starts on finding the right production company for the "write-in-pens" we have found patriotic looking pens which we have ordered - they should be here momentarily - we can't wait to share them with you, especially those of you who contributed to this effort!

Bumper Stickers (3 " X 11 ")
Round Stickers (1 " and 3" diameter): are finished, we have ordered minimum orders on each item to make sure they are what we want and need - they are!

Posters: both laminated and plain paper, 11" X 17" (and 8 " X 14" for faxing) are done and are also very striking

Magnetic Signs for cars and trucks: these can be ordered for $35 per sign (if I order over 5 signs) and have the logos on them plus the toll free number.

HELP Needed: Web site: the digital camera was defective, so we still do not have one, but we do have a scanner. We can take photos, develop them, scan them into the computer and send them on to the web site manager which should work and cost less. But if you want to donate one - that would be lovely! We still need help in the form of a co-manager/webmaster - know anyone? Especially for marketing/promoting the site.

PR and Media Attention: (see the web-site for up-to-date lists of publicity and articles) personal introductions are best - cold calls are hardest - so if you have an old college friend, a co-worker, a family member, a neighbor or a childhood friend who works in the media CALL US!!

Membership and Funding: the members are growing! We get them via the web site, mail, word of mouth, and by taking membership forms with us everywhere and not being shy about talking about WTP and getting people to sign-up. If you are not yet a member now is the time to sign-up! Want to help recruit members? One of the easiest ways is to send e-mails to your address list asking them to check out the web site and sign up.

Here are some ways that you can help We The People:

  1. Videos with news clips from TV interviews to use for fundraising- we need help paying for their production
  2. Donations to help pay for printing of promotional materials and the next batch of: pins, bumper stickers; stickers; more pens and other promotional materials.
  3. Media Advisor & Coordinator
  4. Fundraiser(s)- Person and Events themselves all over the US
  5. Membership Director
  6. Web site promotion and marketing help; and helping with e-mail "blasts"
  7. Help with organization of Massive Write-in Campaign for President in 2000
  8. Local Coordinators (in each town/region/state)
  9. Equipment: Camcorder or combination of both video and still digital photos; digital camera

We need your e-mail addresses! Please send to us ASAP via mail, fax or e-mail.

Please fax/mail/e-mail your full information:

Name/ e-mail/ telephone/ fax/ address.

And, it is time to become a member - its free and we need you - we need members!!

As we said last newsletters: It's all about Members/ Money/ /Press/ Involvement and a desire to see positive change - that's what it takes - its pretty simple!

DATES to remember and MARK on your CALENDAR:

February 29, 2000- Granny D Demonstration in favor of Campaign Finance Reform at 12:30 pm on the east stairs of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC Remember: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Cici and Jeffrey Peters, Co-Founders

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Jackson, NH 03846

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