Jay Walljasper writes, speaks, edits and consults about creating stronger, more vital communities. He is author of The Great Neighborhood Book and All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons. His website: JayWalljasper.com.
Even at a time when politicians in Washington are allocating billions for another round of mega-highway construction and pop culture celebrates the sexy supremacy of Hummer drivers, there is an emerging movement to reclaim our right to take a walk.
Noam Chomsky as Secretary of State? Ralph Nader as Attorney General? Ann Landers as Postmaster General? The editor of the Utne reader puts together a most unconventional list of candidates for the next presidential Cabinet and other key Washington posts.
Are you nervous that fierce economic competition may force your employer to slash jobs or relocate overseas? Have you watched small shops and businesses in your neighborhood go broke as commerce flows toward mammoth superstores on the edge of town? Is it your perception that no matter how hard you try you always wind up feeling poorer, fatter, drabber, less sexy, less happy, and less fully alive than the people portrayed in advertisements? If so, you are like many of the six billion people who feel a mounting sense of pessimism about our prospects for changing the course of modern civilization. But there's hope, at least according to more than 1500 environmentalists, organizers, academics, economists, and activists from five continents who gathered in November at a conference at Columbia University in New York City. These problems are not inevitable nor unassailable, they said. We can succeed in challenging and overturning these social and economic trends, especially if we understand them all as part of the same problem: the widespread effects of economic globalization.