Any thoughts? I know a lot of local people were involved in work to oppose this sale. So I would be interested to hear a run-down of what all happened.
I like the idea of creating a public electricity (and perhaps gas too) infrastructure for Thurston County through the PUD. People who have municipal electricity typically have better rates than those who are serviced by private companies. One question to ask, in relation to all that extra money being charged, is: where does it go?
Especially now—that ownership is international—the question of where the money goes is an important one to ask. Where do the profits from local sales of electricity go? Are they returned to the local community?
Is it possible that electrical consumers are being treated as a cash cow?
This is a direct tie-in with Thad's prior post about the economic stimulus funds:
One of the topics at tonight's City Council Meeting was a discussion about how to spend economic stimulus funds that will soon become available. Funds will be made available mainly by the State and Federal levels of government. Ideas for spending that were discussed included energy efficiency initiatives, road and bridge improvements, new construction of buildings for higher education facilities, and a few other topics. Here's a link to the City Staff Report on ideas for spending the economic stimulus [pdf file]: www.ci.olympia.wa.us/documents/CouncilPackets/20090119/S_StimulusPkgATT1.pdf
As I was listening to the discussion, I was wishing for an open and participatory government, because I had an idea to offer that no one mentioned. Why can't we have a public brainstorming session on use for the economic stimulus funds? The idea that was bursting forth with exclamation points in my head was victory gardens! The idea is of hyper-local organic community gardens. These would be productive working gardens designed, in part, to reduce the demand for food products that are currently shipped, in many cases, thousands of miles before they reach our plates. Talk about sustainability. Talk about victory gardens.
The current food system is unsustainable. Transportation problems are a major component in the harms society wreaks upon itself and the environment. How we can use economic stimulus to strengthen our local infrastructure and move toward true service to the interests of life and sustainability.
So that's the first idea that popped into my head of how to spend these economic stimulus funds. Do you have any ideas? How would you like to see these funds used?