Everyone is talking about Donald Trump. I can’t bring myself to do it. As we choose our apocalypse from among the presidential candidates, I’m starting to think that the best hope this election season may come from state-level initiatives, which in turn could open doors for the rest of the United States. This week, I profile two of the most interesting ones.
Colorado could be on the brink of embracing universal medical coverage. Thanks to an effort in recent months led by a band of doctors and volunteers, a proposal called ColoradoCare is going to be on the ballot, which, if passed, would create a quasi-cooperative healthcare system for everyone in the state. In an article for Vice, I introduce some of the people behind the effort, as well as their delectably Koch-backed detractors.
Meanwhile, a group of Oregonians wants to put a price on carbon and distribute the proceeds to everyone. In YES! Magazine, I interview Camila Thorndike of Oregon Climate, who is leading the effort. As the COP21 talks wind down and Finland considers a basic income policy, the moment seems especially ripe for such adventuresome thinking.
For more on ColoradoCare, too, see my earlier interview in YES! with its chief architect, Irene Aguilar, a physician and state senator.
Last month, together with Trebor Scholz of the New School, I co-organized a two-day event called “Platform Cooperativism: The Internet, Ownership, Democracy.” More than a thousand people from around the world came to help build a new breed of online platforms, with shared ownership and governance baked in—a real sharing economy. To learn more, read our manifestos at Fast Company, The Next System Project, and Pacific Standard. Relatedly, also, in The New Yorker, I reported on a new cooperative, co-working “guild” in New York that sets out to practice “slow entrepreneurship.”
Now, back in Colorado, I’m working with a fearsome team of visionaries and cooperators to strengthen the cooperative ecosystem here. More TK.
It’s Advent. As I wrote in my last column for America, the Mother of God is very pregnant right now. It was surprising how many fellow Catholics, who have no trouble contemplating the wounds of Christ-crucified, squirmed at reading about Mary’s stretching skin and discomfort. But whatever. This season is a great time to join the struggle to ensure necessities like paid family leave and access to the means for a safe, minimally invasive birth.
Last week, also, Pope Francis proclaimed a Jubilee of Mercy by opening the Holy Doors of St. Peter’s in Rome. In New York, some friends of mine took the occasion to call for the archdiocese to “Open These Doors” of its shuttered buildings for the city’s tens of thousands of people experiencing homelessness. Take part in their Advent calendar here, and read my interview with them at America, as well as Kaya Oakes’ report for Religion Dispatches.
Have a happy new year!