I've heard astute comments regarding Communitarian/Hegelian ideology informing the current political and social condition and they are unfortunately descriptive of the behavior in this tightly closed Sonoma County community. I am beyond being shocked, as I was earlier in my political experiences here, that those with whom I expected to make common cause are actually avowed enemies. Even if I was unaware of their existence they had heard of me, and were 'gunnin' for me. All because I had inadvertently tread on the Agenda 21 lockstep creed.
For me it began when I was elected to an oversight committee for a huge redevelopment area here in Santa Rosa. Redevelopment is one of the tools of Agenda 21 because it places large areas of land under control of those with a 'vision' of social engineering. Private property rights are subjugated to the larger 'vision' which is sold to the public as being an improvement on the existing land uses. In fact redevelopment is used to actualize a plan of high density urban development (essentially stacked condos) with retail on the ground floor. These units, often hundreds of them, are situated adjacent to train tracks or bus corridors and constructed with minimal parking to discourage private vehicle ownership. In my opinion this is a way of controlling populations and restricting free movement. The property rights of those who own property within these areas are limited and encumbered with a further layer of regulations.
One interesting twist to the redevelopment/Agenda 21 methodology is to involve bicycle coalitions. The bike people range from just you and me and our kids to those who are fanatical about bikes and the fight against private vehicles. They are used as advance shock troops to demand redevelopment of areas where there are no bike lanes. Complete Streets is a national group which is composed of many member groups and lobbies for total redesign of streets to accommodate bicycles. I have a series of morphing photographs from their website showing a major arterial street in a generic city, which morphs as the photo changes from having no bike lanes to having them. That isn't all that changes, though. The buildings are completely replaced on both sides of the street. Where people once had viable businesses, shops, and homes, the new 'vision' is ground floor retail built to the edge of the sidewalk with two floors of condos above and parking behind in an alley. One car per unit or less. In some areas this design plan is a requirement for development. This is where the ideology of Agenda 21's social engineering and the actuality of the remaking of our cities through land use planning comes together. Smart Growth is an element of Agenda 21.
As an element of Agenda 21 and communitarian policy, the government wants citizen buy-in, but they actually manage it by creating their own government-sponsored neighborhood associations and manufacturing consent. There is a whole industry teaching officials how to manufacture consent (often using the Delphi Technique), and training officials in overcoming 'disagreeable' citizenry. The worst thing, in the city's opinion, is a free and vocal citizenry. We have seen this first-hand here in Santa Rosa, where my partner was elected as president of the largest neighborhood association in the City only to be hounded and demonized for over a year because she did not support redevelopment and was not a 'yes' woman for the city. She was actually threatened with a trial by the neighborhood board; she was charged with being a disagreeable character! Finally she agreed to serve out her term as a member at large and stepped aside to let Gary Wysocky, former president of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, take her place. He had not run against her originally, and in fact had not been active at all, but the local powers that control Santa Rosa had decided to run him for council and needed to refer to him as a 'neighborhood leader.' He declared his candidacy shortly after he took over the presidency from her and was elected and now is Vice Mayor.
Getting back to my service on the redevelopment oversight committee, when I saw fraud in the redevelopment documents justifying 'blight' and alerted the City to it (as if they didn't know) I was marginalized, attacked, maligned and silenced. A facilitator was brought in to meetings to manage me. They even accepted a petition we wrote requesting that 235 acres be removed from the project area (including our properties), and the City DID remove that area, hoping to shut me up.
Instead of shutting up and going away I lobbied the others in the group to vote the project down, and they did so. The City Council passed the ordinance creating the project, however, so my partner and I formed a business association for the property and business owners within the Project Area. These citizens did not want the threat of eminent domain hanging over them for 12 years and did not want to be declared blighted. We attempted to gather 9,000 signatures to place the ordinance on the ballot as a referendum. We only had three weeks to meet the deadline. We failed to get the needed signatures (the City had published a phony ordinance in the hope that we would use it and have our referendum thrown out of court, but we had a great law firm that caught this.)
Our next step was to sue. We formed a non-profit and raised a half million dollars in donations and pro-bono legal work to fight. Over the next three years we went to Sonoma County Superior Court where we lost but the court affirmed that we had exhausted our administrative remedies and so we were able to appeal to the San Francisco First District Circuit Court of Appeals. We lost there but were able to delay the redevelopment project for 3 years. At the end of the case the economy had crashed and all of the projects were shelved. Many of the cronies went bankrupt.
I have been on television and radio discussing this project and it has generated a great deal of outrage from genuine citizens. For instance I broke the story that the owners of Coddingtown Shopping Center, Simon Property Group, the world's largest shopping center developer, had told the city of Santa Rosa that they wanted to be in the redevelopment area so that they could get nearly $30 million dollars from the city for a parking garage. Coddingtown is included in the project area, and the community was furious. These issues don't stay long in the public eye however, and fade out. This was our introduction to politics in the north bay.
As a Democrat in Sonoma County I have been greatly disappointed to see that the political machine here is vicious, exclusive, and vitriolic. They have interlocking groups, sit on one another's boards, share office space, give each other grants, endorse one another, and generally disguise themselves as environmentally concerned do-gooders when in fact they are power-mad manipulators.
During the past few years I was upset that I couldn't hang a flag out without people assuming I was a Republican. It seemed that the Republicans had taken the flag as their symbol and it was no longer a symbol of all Americans. I resented that. Wasn't I an American too? The flag belongs to all of us, the country is ours. We need to wake up and see that this issue goes beyond parties, that those of us who are pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, anti-war, and accepting of cultural and social diversity are also patriotic. I do not support the adherence to UN Agenda 21-imposed doctrine that limits my use of my property and my free speech rights. The Bill of Rights and the Constitution are the foundation, the cornerstone of our government, and transcend party lines.