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Springboro, OH

Replacing Market Values in Our Local Elections

As a child born in the mid 70′s, I’ve been so deeply submerged in the quiet revolution that Michael Sandel describes in his TED Talk about why we shouldn’t trust markets with our civic life that I couldn’t imagine the alternative. As I have learned over the years, everything costs money, from healthcare to education, and regardless of the old adage that the best things in life are free, the market values which permeate our culture reduce everything down to the bottom line. Our market values are problematic in a number of areas as Sandel describes, but the most worrisome is how pervasive this type of thinking has become in our civic life. Once every few years, candidates in our local elections work hard to raise money in order to print yard signs, design campaign websites, and spend time in public debates or going door to door asking for our votes. After the election is over and the votes have been tallied, representatives become emboldened by the mandates of their electors and disappear from the public debates, without the need to show up on our doorsteps until the next election season. While many people in Washington are committed to getting money out of politics, most of their solutions are based on market values such as limiting the amount of money that campaigns can raise, or providing candidates with a public option in order to level the playing field. In these examples, money is still the primary focus, and the essential means of connecting with constituents is overlooked, being replaced by campaign slogans and the need to stay on message. In short, interactions with our representatives have been replaced by advertising, with little effort being afforded to using the network in order to empower our democracy. READ MORE: http://openspringb oro.wordpress.com/ 2013/10/20/replaci ng-market-values-i n-our-local-electi ons/  (Oct 20, 2013 | post #1)

Springboro, OH

Lori Kershner on Cooperation Between the City and the Sch...

Yes, I support any politician who openly collaborates with their constituents, including Lori Kershner. Once we manage to pry open the doors of our government they'll have a hard time locking us out.  (Oct 14, 2013 | post #3)

Springboro, OH

Lori Kershner on Cooperation Between the City and the Sch...

In the early days of our nation, the majority of Americans received their education at home. Teaching was done by the parents or a private tutor if they were fortunate enough to afford one. The Puritans were the first to identify the need for a public education and established schools across New England. After the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson argued to build an educational system funded by taxpayer dollars, but it wasn’t until 1852 when the first compulsory education laws were passed in Massachusetts, which by 1918 lead to every American child being required to attend public schools. The responsibility of governing public schools was separated from the city council early on in the history of education. As the demand for public education began to increase, selectmen separated educational governance from city governance and appointed committees in each town to govern local school systems. In 1837, Massachusetts established the first State Board of Education, though the authority remained at the local level as many were distrustful of the state’s ability to represent local interests. The Massachusetts model of governing education spread throughout the colonies and its separation from city council has persisted into the present day. On the surface this would seem to be an ideal model for many of the challenges we face as a nation (including the compulsory healthcare laws which coincidentally originated in Massachusetts). A National Network of State Boards of Education whose authority rests in the hands of local School Boards elected by the community. But when you dig a little deeper into the disconnect between the city and the schools, you see more than a separation of governance. You see the silos which Lori Kershner identified on her website which calls for “better cooperation between the city and the schools.” READ MORE: http://openspringb oro.wordpress.com/ 2013/10/12/lori-ke rshner-on-cooperat ion-between-the-ci ty-and-the-schools /  (Oct 12, 2013 | post #1)

Springboro, OH

Building a Global Network of Mayors from the Ground Up

The latest release on the front page of TED is a talk by Benjamin Barber: Why mayors should rule the world. He describes an all-too familiar world without borders, of corporations without borders, of terrorism without borders, of doctors without borders, and shows how the modern nation state is failing to represent its constituents as our interdependencies become increasingly more global. The solution, according to Mr. Barber, is to build a global network of mayors in order to connect a world without borders, starting from the ground up. Apart from the fact that many cities around the world are currently working together to solve environmental, economic, and security issues, organizations such as United Cities and Local Governments are working to support democratic local self-governance within the wider international community. At first I was overjoyed to find a solution to the central issues of both the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party, by usurping the authority of both mega corporations and mega governments with a hyper local solution whose power rests in the hands of the people. It wasn’t until I read the reviews that I remembered the political challenges to such a solution, being that the vast majority of us are divided along political lines such that local issues can hardly compete for our attention. READ MORE: http://openspringb oro.wordpress.com/ 2013/09/20/buildin g-a-global-network -of-mayors-from-th e-ground-up/  (Sep 20, 2013 | post #1)

Springboro, OH

Are we in a depression?

No doubt. Thankfully my big words came from a source with actual experience in Washington. Check out the videos from the Brookings Institute for a true vision of a smaller government built from the ground up. http://metrorevolu tion.org/videos/  (Sep 18, 2013 | post #12)

Springboro, OH

Are we in a depression?

What do the words Plutocracy or Croney Capitalsm have to do with Socialism? When our Founding Fathers were forced to obey the king and taxed without representation, they set about to create a nation based on liberty and justice for all. Cultural limitations prohibited them from including slaves and women, but their vision of equal representation under the law has ushered in a global democratic transformation. While the power and wealth continue to pool at the top, there are many examples, even in Northeast Ohio that show how local government can work with local businesses and universities to build the necessary infrastructure and educational resources for a metropolitan area to compete in the global market. Your statement about Socialsim decries an unhealthy dependency on Corporate Media and the marketing slogans used by think tanks to divide and conquer our nation.  (Sep 18, 2013 | post #7)

Springboro, OH

Are we in a depression?

The United States isn't in a depression, we're in a Plutocracy bolstered by Croney Capitalism. Take a look at the latest TED which doesn't hang the blame on a single President, but looks at the impacts of the market on the middle and lower classes. http://www.ted.com /talks/chrystia_fr eeland_the_rise_of _the_new_global_su per_rich.html  (Sep 18, 2013 | post #5)

Springboro, OH

OneDayton Shares Plans for Unified Government

For the last two years, members of OneDayton have met privately to discuss plans for restructuring the Government of Montgomery County ranging from doing nothing with a perfect system to unifying the county under a strong single charter. Recently it’s members, which include an illustrious list of mayors, judges, and commissioners, have decided to open the debate in order to gather additional feedback from the respective communities before recommending an issue be placed on the ballot for voters to decide. Each of the proposals offer an increasing amount of consolidation of local services with the ultimate goal of saving taxpayers money and providing for a more unified vision of the county. While its critics charge that the initiative is simply a numbers game to boost the same of Dayton to the second largest metropolitan area in Ohio, Montgomery County Commission President Dan Foley believes this would give Dayton “more influence, more visibility, and more opportunities for economic growth.” While the prospect of restructuring local government could be an exciting opportunity for residents of Montgomery County, the focus on consolidating services in response to a shrinking economy sounds more like a business solution than a new form of government. This is not to say that consolidation is without merit, but to highlight the missing components that factor into a thriving metropolitan area, including infrastructure, manufacturing, small business, and workers, along with the necessary skills and investments in new and emerging markets. READ MORE: http://openspringb oro.wordpress.com/ 2013/09/15/onedayt on-shares-plans-fo r-unified-governme nt/  (Sep 16, 2013 | post #1)

Springboro, OH

Single Issue Voting in Springboro Schools

To quote myself from the rest of the article, "While it’s true that the current board has invested quite a bit on new computers and is working hard to improve student access to the Internet, the dependency on technology is an incomplete vision of Blended Learning." My point isn't to burn the other side down, but to show that each side has a crucial piece of the puzzle. So how do we rise above the partisan rancor and focus on what's necessary to create a 21st Century Education?  (Sep 9, 2013 | post #3)

Springboro, OH

Single Issue Voting in Springboro Schools

Throughout the majority of my voting life, I've done my best to research the candidates before arbitrarily choosing a side, which in my case means voting Republican for financial positions and Democrat for public relations. A few years ago I stumbled across Open Government, an idea that I believe can help us solve our problems with Democracy, and immediately became a single issue voter. These days, I still tend to vote "R" for money and "D" for people, but any candidate who supports "O" for open automatically gets my vote. The problem with my solution is that it relies on either side to place some value in Open Government. Being passionate about the subject allows me to spot an opening in Pandora's Box to put the people back in charge, which in the case of Springboro Schools is Blended Learning, an item that has already been approved in the current budget which blends traditional classroom education with online resources. Being that we the people are online, I see this as a great opportunity to have more influence and participate more directly in our children's education. As it stands, that makes for a difficult decision in the upcoming election, as the debate is divided along traditional lines. One can either support our union teachers or a mixed bag of financial responsibility and creationism. To be honest, I see the critical necessities and crucial flaws on both sides, but what I do not see is anyone talking about their plans to improve education, apart from voting the other out of office. For all the talk about creating a 21st Century Educational System, I hear very little that differs from my parent's education. READ MORE: http://openspringb oro.wordpress.com/ 2013/09/08/single- issue-voting-in-sp ringboro-schools/  (Sep 8, 2013 | post #1)

Springboro, OH

Obamacare 101: Overview

While I've heard plenty about the Muslim Brotherhood's plan to create death panels that deny access to end of life care, I've heard next to nothing about how the system will actually work. The article I linked to isn't as clear as the summary, which makes for a good foundation on which to build a national healthcare system, namely a marketplace that isn't limited by your employer. Don't get me wrong, I know that healthcare reform was the result of some unholy alliances between government and corporate officials, but the result of their efforts is a marketplace to which more competition can demand access. Take for example the exemption for Christian healthcare communities and imagine the choice to not pay for abortions, birth control, or immunization. That's the point of a marketplace, to create competition on an even playing field. How much more capitalist of a system could you imagine than an open marketplace for healthcare?  (Sep 5, 2013 | post #4)

Springboro, OH

Our recommendation: Springboro voters should say 'yes' th...

I like Petroni, assuming that he's the one who promotes financial responsibility and not all that crazy creationism which keeps creeping into the agenda. But I fail to see how a School Board can function without the respect of the parents and the students? Dr. Malone isn't a Miley Cyrus popularity hound, he's an experienced educator with the respect of his community. In order to affect real change you cannot simply appeal to your base, you need to work with the community in order to find out what works for everyone who is affected by the changes. Failing to balance financial responsibility with community support only creates further division and makes changes impossible in any direction.  (Sep 2, 2013 | post #27119)

Springboro, OH

Obamacare 101: Overview

The Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, is essentially a three layer-cake, meaning a three-way interface between: 1) The Health and Human Services department of the federal government (HHS) which will oversee 2) Online exchanges created by the states where 3) People can compare policies and even enroll in one. For a brief over view of these three elements and a hypothetical rate calculator, please click on the link below. SOURCE: http://www.dailyko s.com/story/2013/0 9/01/1234717/-Obam acare-101-Overview  (Sep 2, 2013 | post #1)

Springboro, OH

Concealed carry in Boro's schools - not a matter of IF bu...

I don't think a gunman cares about Edutopia, but I don't believe guns are at the root of either the problem or the solution. Where I feel education has gone TERRIBLY wrong is in the teaching curriculum, as I know by experience as a student and parent that kids are given material to study for the test. The problem with the teaching curriculum is that students are not taught how to solve problems. If we throw the curriculum out the window and start with the problem they're trying to solve, teachers can build a project which allows students to search for answers, and come across the knowledge naturally when it makes sense to them. In the context of the safety issue, compare a standard curriculum to problem based learning. If a student is suffering from rage stemming from a lack of respect, there is nothing on the test to solve their problems, but there is plenty of examples in the media such as columbine, Sandyhook, etc. However, from the perspective of problem based learning, children are taught how to solve problems, by connecting with their peers, searching online, or asking an expert, and then testing the solution to see if it actually solves their problem. As self-reliant, competitive, rugged individualists, I don't believe there is much reliance on the community embedded in our culture. But as I stated originally, I don't believe the problem or the answer is with guns. Safety is a community issue, and if we're going to solve it we need teach the children how to be productive members of our community.  (Aug 3, 2013 | post #34)

Springboro, OH

Concealed carry in Boro's schools - not a matter of IF bu...

How about we stop using the word utopia and replace it with Edutopia? Because the latter is a real thing that shows us how to create safe, engaged learning environments which involve the whole community. http://www.youtube .com/Edutopia To use the K&W as an example, the whole community could participate in the safety of our children walking to and from school, not by simply having their firearms at the ready, but by making it a goal to provide a safe journey between the two points. This could take the form of a meet and greet with local businesses and residents, a reward system for walking so many miles, finding some way to cut back on the congestion along Main Street, or turning that to our advantage by asking the parents to help keep a watchful eye out while waiting in the traffic jam. To turn an old phrase, when you look at every problem down the barrel of a gun, every solution looks like a target. There are clearly an infinite number of solutions available as long as we're willing to view the problem from multiple perspectives.  (Aug 2, 2013 | post #28)

Q & A with Open Springboro

Headline:

Civic Innovation Designer

Hometown:

Springboro, Ohio

Neighborhood:

The Spice Rack

Local Favorites:

Skyline Chili, Roosters, The Civic Center

Read My Forum Posts Because:

I Support Liquid Democracy in Springboro!

Read This Book:

Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government by Gavin Newsom

Favorite Things:

Liquid Democracy, Open Government, Civic Innovation

On My Mind:

Managing my civic account like I do my bank account.

Blog / Website / Homepage:

www.openspringboro.com

I Believe In:

Local Government as a Platform