Today we have a brief report on the Bridgeport, Connecticut EDA (Economic Democracy Act) conference held this past weekend. Despite the weather, there was a good-sized crowd, maybe seventy-five or so, and an undetermined number who watched livestream. Some dignitaries or their representatives were unable to come, probably due to insufficient notice, but some of the scheduled dignitaries couldn’t be there, either, due to various unavoidable factors.
Laurence Caso, head of the Klein Foundation, attended the beginning when a group of students, the Klein Performing Arts Singers, from the foundation sang a song to open the program. State Representative Herron Gaston was there as well as others too numerous to mention. Popular local radio host Wayne Winston was Master of Ceremonies. One local fan who has been listening to his show for years was so overcome after speaking briefly with him that she chanted afterwards in a daze, “I spoke to Wayne Winston! I spoke to Wayne Winston!”
Senior state senator Marilyn Moore showed up and got very interested; she’s running for mayor in the Fall and wants CESJ’s core group back again to speak to other civic and other organizations. CESJ, of course, cannot get into anything explicitly political, but there is nothing wrong in suggesting specific programs that anybody of any party (or none) can advocate for improving the city, state, country, or world. It’s not the same as lobbying for a specific piece of legislation or endorsing a candidate.
|Norman g. Kurland
After introductions, Norman Kurland opened the program with a presentation on the Just Third Way of Economic Democracy, talking about the need for a second, peaceful American revolution. This would be focused on ensuring that every person has control over his or her own life through direct ownership of capital obtained through equal access to money and credit provided by a reformed monetary and tax system.
After Norman Kurland, Gene Gordon, founder and president of the St. Louis, Missouri-based Descendants of American Slaves for Economic and Social Justice, then introduced state senator Karla May of Missouri by summarizing his “Heart of America” project. Senator May then spoke about the legislative initiatives to study the establishment of a CLDC in St. Louis and a resolution for the U.S. Congress to adopt the Economic Democracy Act. A panel discussion and then a break followed.
|Senator Karla May
After the break, Michael D. Greaney, CESJ’s Director of Research, gave a presentation on a Just Money and Tax System as a necessary precondition for Kelso’s vision of universal capital ownership. This was not a how or why, but a what presentation, focusing on the mere fact that the financial system if used properly could help everyone become an owner without redistribution of existing wealth. A panel discussion followed. Carolyn Nah then gave a special message followed by lunch.
After lunch, Michael D, Greaney gave a presentation on “Precedents and Models for the Economic Democracy Act.” Dawn K. Brohawn then gave a presentation on “How Will the EDA Benefit Every Citizen…and Where Will the Money Come From?” interspersed with comments from Norman Kurland and followed by a panel discussion.
Dr. E.B. Uma, Prof. Philip Aka, and Dr. Felix Onyeise then gave a presentation on “An Economic Democracy Act for a New Biafra and a New Africa.” Norman Kurland then spoke on “A Bold Vision of the Future — Work, Education, and Democracy.” This was followed by a panel discussion on “Where Do We Go from Here?”
After the conference, presenters gathered at the house of Carolyn Nah for a dinner provided by an Italian restaurant. During the dinner there were a number of lively discussions, mostly about the future of Biafra.
|John Marshall Lee
Wayne Winston did a good job as MC and kept things more or less on track. John Marshall Lee moderated and herded the cats despite last-minute creative additions to the order and a few other things that inevitably happen when you have a live event, and no one has had time to rehearse the whole thing together.
During the informal discussions a few people expressed interest in the idea of getting these ideas into popular entertainment media and we may have gotten a line on a literary agent for some novels embodying these ideas as subplots. Ideally, it would be someone who also got interested in the non-fiction, such as the upcoming Own or Be Owned. We took six copies of The Greater Reset in case we needed them to give key people and ended up selling them; we could have sold a case of them, but space in the car was limited.
On the way back we celebrated National Oatmeal Cookie Day and listened to old radio shows such as Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, the Man with the Action-Packed Expense Account.