Why Democrats will never recover

On Meet the Press yesterday, Tom Perez, new chair of the DNC, refused to compromise on any bills. Perez claimed that literally anything Trump did could be bad. No acknowledgement of TPP and how Bernie supporters like it. Given that Perez is an Obama-era appointee, it makes sense. (Obama was behind TPP.)
No coincidence that a ton of Keith Ellison supporters left the DNC vote on Friday. Ellison was the progressive that ran against Perez.
It's obvious to me that the Democratic party establishment will stay clinging to that Clinton-era neo-liberalism as long as they possibly can. But it's past too late for Democrats to change, and their base of support is shrinking.
Until first-past-the-post voting ends, I'm predicting Republicans will be in control for a very long time. The only hope we have at a national level is a split within the Republican party. But as of right now, the Trump (NYC big business Republican) and Pence (small town Christian Republican) make a dynamite team.
You can talk all you want about changing demographics, but the Democrats do nothing to get young people involved. And I'm seeing more and more business-first Republicans who are a racial minority. People like to ignore the fact that there was a sizable chunk of racial minorities who supported Trump.

Worse still is the Democrats' inability to compromise. The Democrats have delayed Trump's cabinet appointments as long as possible, while Obama's cabinet appointments went through almost immediately. Meanwhile, Democrats are also very fond of filibusters and sit-ins on the Senate floor, continually delaying national business. And I've seen Republicans frequently run on the platform of being able to compromise with Democrats. For example, James Lankford.

Truth is, partisanship is very bad in both parties. Take a look at this short clip to see how the situation has devolved over the past 70 years:
But what's important here is that the Democrats are continuing to lose the PR Battle. Democrats are seen as uncompromising and clinging to the center of the political spectrum. And as Democrats continue to lose power, progressives will continue to be less inclined to support Democrats.

It is my hope that progressives will be able to have a voice in government moving forward. As citizens, it is our duty to stay vigilant, stay informed, and affect change where we can. Persistence is what causes change, and the fight is long from over.

Announcement of Candidacy: Marina Mangiaracina for Oklahoma City Mayor in 2018

I would like to announce my candidacy for Oklahoma City Mayor. The mayoral election is nonpartisan, and scheduled for March of 2018.

My purpose in running for mayor is to provide the citizens of Oklahoma City with a progressive, democratic-socialist option for the office of mayor. The #1 priority in my platform is economic equality for all citizens, and that starts with comprehensive city tax reform. We can shift the tax base away from the poor, put the tax burden on rich and large businesses, and provide charitable services such as free ambulances for all.

The reasons behind my platform in the campaign for Ward 7 remain the reasons why I am running for mayor. I understand that I have lost two elections in the past year. But all great political leaders have lost elections. And it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. I play the game to learn and gain experience. With two elections under my belt, I head into my third election confident in my ability to represent the people of Oklahoma City with pride. I may go my whole life having never won an election. But I'm still proud for having stood up in what I believed in, listening and learning along the way.

Over the coming year, I will keep my ear to the ground concerning city and state politics. For all the latest on my campaign and the latest developments, check the campaign Facebook and Twitter pages. Longer thoughts will be reserved for this blog.

I'd like to close by saying that the recent order by the Trump administration to roll back bathroom protections for transgender children inspires me to continue pushing harder for trans rights. There's no reason anyone should not be able to live as their desired gender identity. Hopefully the continued presence of trans voices in Oklahoma politics will assist in turning the tide of this situation.

Currently, Brian Maughan is the only announced candidate for mayor. I am decidedly to the left of him on the political spectrum, and believe that I provide more comprehensive solutions for lifting people out of poverty.

Marina is the only Oklahoma City council candidate to stand up to the City Chamber

The Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce has released their survey of all candidates for Oklahoma City council and schoolboard. Out of all the candidates for council, I was the only one to stand up to the chamber of commerce on a multitude of issues. I answered 7 of 8 questions with "No", and no other candidate answered more than 2 of 8 questions with No. 

The majority of the questions were designed to benefit business interests downtown, and I felt a lot of projects were poorly researched and planned out.

Mary Fallin taxes the working class, small business, and the environment (2018 Oklahoma Executive Budget)

Images via Michael Vadon on Flickr. (link at bottom of article)

Mary Fallin released her 2018 budget along with delivering her state of the state address today. The budget is incredibly vague in certain areas. But the budget is explicit when it comes to hurting consumers and small business. But the budget is very explicit when it comes to easy targets, such as the flagging wind industry, consumers buying gasoline, consumers buying cigarettes, and consumers driving electric cars. Fallin basically said "screw you" to the causes of economic diversification and economic equality, in my assessment.

Here's a quick rundown of the positives and negatives.

Fallin's Budget Positives

  • Groceries will now be cheaper. The vast majority of middle to low class Oklahomans will be paying back their grocery savings at least double, in my estimation.
  • Kids will be less likely to pick up cigarettes, if they're poor.
  • Small businesses will gain an edge in the market over out-of-state businesses. But they remain on the same tax level as large businesses.
  • The budget solutions are long-term, aside from the cigarette tax.
  • Slightly less incentive for semi-truck operators.
  • The richest Oklahomans did not see their income tax decrease....for now.

Fallin's Budget Negatives

  • All corporations will pay no income tax for the first time since 1931.
  • There is no explanation of where over half of the new tax money will be coming from.
  • The increased gasoline tax will hurt the poor. 93% of those in Oklahoma city commute by driving, and over 90% of those in Tulsa commute by driving. I'm certain the numbers are similarly high in the rest of Oklahoma's communities. Furthermore, consider this. Oklahoma is 41st in average household income but will be playing the 32nd and 33rd highest tax rates for gasoline and diesel. That's definitely not a good sign for any working class person who buys gas.
  • There is no description of which government agencies will be forced to revenue share under this new proposal.
  • Oklahoma will now have the highest wind energy taxes in the nation. In fact, only one other state taxes wind energy. And 29 states actually subsidize wind energy.
  • There is less incentive to drive a hybrid or electric car due to increased yearly taxes.
  • Gasoline distributors will see their tax increase. This includes small business.
  • There are more stringent late fees for corporate filing. This could hurt smaller businesses with less manpower.
  • This budget has the goal of decreasing income tax for the richest people in 2018. Assuming certain financial goals are met.

Full budget analysis below....

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Oklahoma's electoral integrity is on a third-world level

The United States have a federal government with a good deal of power. But the state governments still hold their own separate elections. So each state is different when it comes to how democratic it is. 

The Electoral Integrity Project, with bases at Harvard University and the University of Sydney, just released a study detailing the the electoral integrity of each state. Combined with a list of the electoral integrity of every country in the world, we can get a sense for just how democratic Oklahoma is.

The USA in World Rankings

The United States has an electoral integrity of 62. That's considered High Electoral Integrity on a global scale. But the USA's score is only two points above the Moderate Electoral Integrity threshold. And the USA is a full 24 points below the top countries on the list, Denmark and Finland.


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I pledge to stop the loud explosions and pollution coming from Derichebourg recycling

From early in the morning until late in the evening, there are loud and random explosions that sound off in the J.F.K. Neighborhood. If you're not familiar with the J.F.K. Neighborhood, here's a map.

My house is the blue dot. I live one lot from the end of N. Bath Ave. At the end of N. Bath Ave, just south of the red square, there is the Derichebourg recycling plant. The recycling plant is the source of the loud explosion noises that the neighborhood has had to endure.



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The Oklahoman shows Pro-Christian, Pro-Business propaganda in City Council Coverage

If you believe in the principles of good journalism and good democracy, than I highly encourage you to look at The Oklahoman's news coverage with a critical eye.

When announcing the candidates for office, NewsOK showed clear signs of favoritism and self-interest. I've copied the piece of propaganda for you to read. I'm going to go through it section by section, and tell you why this type of journalism is detrimental to your society. 

"Black Lives Matter activist T. Sheri Dickerson is challenging first-term Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis in this winter's election."

Two problems.

1. The Ward 7 race is the first race mentioned, despite Ward 4 being an open seat? Why?

2. My name isn't listed, despite my status as an equal candidate with the other two. (All of my info is easily accessible online with a quick Google.)


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Why I am running for Oklahoma City Council

On Councilman Pettis:

As an aspiring politician, I am absolutely dismayed at the career of the incumbent. John A. Pettis, Jr. kickstarted his 2014 campaign with a significant amount of funding from the financial industry. As such, Pettis has made absolutely no attempt to reform the city budget while in office. In fact, Councilman Pettis has never written any worthwhile legislation. And when Pettis is asked to vote on legislation, he often blocks progress. 

For example, Councilman Pettis voted to fine those who begged in medians. This shows a clear disregard for the circumstance of those begging. Asking a beggar to pay a large sum is simply locking that person into a vicious cycle of debt. But it gets worse. Pettis also voted to approve a streetcar plan that completely ignored his own district. I see citizens of District 7 walking to work on the street every single day. It's a shame that Pettis didn't even consider how much a streetcar route would have meant to his district.

Those reasons should be enough for me to oppose Councilman Pettis. But for the following offenses, John Pettis should be impeached. 

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2017 Oklahoma City Council and School Board Election FAQ

What is a city council and a board of education? I thought we only elected politicians?

These two boards make money and policy decisions for the city or school district that they represent. Being a councilperson is like being a congressperson. You propose and consider policy decisions.

Why are they important?

City policy affects everything from urban planning to civil rights. School policy determines the direction of our children's future.

What districts are up for election?

This year, District 1 and 2 of OKCPS are up for re-election. And Wards 1,3,4, and 7 are up for re-election on the council.

Which district/ward am I in?

OKC Public Schools District Map

District 1

District 2

OKC City Council Ward Map

Where do I file?

Oklahoma County Election Board, 4201 N. Lincoln Blvd.

When do I file?

Regular business hours from December 5th-7th.

How do I file?

Write Cashiers Check for $200 to your County Election Board

School Board: Submit School Board Filing Packet

City Council: Submit a Non-Partisan Declaration of Candidacy

What if I want to raise money?

Familiarize yourself with the campaign rules over at the Oklahoma Ethics Commission website. If your campaign will cost over $1,000 in total, it must be filed.

Rules for School Board Elections

Rules for Municipal Elections

When is the election?

First Ballot is February 14th. If no candidate achieves a majority, than there will be a run-off on April 7th.

Announcement of Candidacy: Oklahoma City City Council Ward 7

I would like to announce that I will be running for City Council, Ward 7. My opponent will be Mr. John Pettis, whom I believe has blocked some important city renewal legislation with bad votes.

In the past, I have been inspired by the council work of those like Ed Shadid and Pete White. Neither Shadid or White has talked to me at this point, but if elected, I would be extremely willing to work with them. I believe their good government agenda could open up a lot of doors to happier living for everyone in Oklahoma City.

Furthermore, I will continue my studies at the University of Oklahoma, and will get my undergraduate degree in Political Science Spring of next year. Moving forward, if I am not able to achieve political office, I will go to graduate school for political science.

I hope to continue to run for office until I am elected, and believe in inspiring positive change. I hope you'll stay with me and vote in the City Council elections on February 14th of next year.

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