How Boulder Freed Its Electric Company and Four Ways to Flex Our Electoral Muscles
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  9 Strategies to End Corporate Rule         April 2012 

Boulder photo by Zane Selvans

Monopoly Guy graphicStrategy #6—Protect The Commons

How Boulder Freed Its Electric Company
by Valerie Schloredt

Running their own utility means sun and wind energy instead of coal.

The city of Boulder, Colo., has won the right to take its power supply—and carbon emissions—away from corporate control. The change for Boulder came in November when voters passed two ballot measures that allow the city to begin the process of forming its own municipal power utility.

The city’s current electricity supplier, Xcel Energy, is a large corporation that sources more than 60 percent of its power from coal. Colorado climate activists tried for years to persuade Xcel to transition from coal to renewables, arguing that the state’s plains, mountains, and 300 days of annual sunshine give it abundant potential for the development of wind and solar power. But they found Xcel’s take-up of renewables was frustratingly slow. Xcel is investing $400 million in its coal-powered plants, and its plans for renewables stops at just 30 percent in 2020, with no further increase until 2028.


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Robin Hood Monument photo by Jo Jakeman


A People’s History of Robin Hood
by Paul Buhle

For hundreds of years, he’s fought tax injustice, tyranny, and the seizure of the commons. Why we still need him today.

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  Protect our Democracy  
Crowd with American Flag photo by Ted Fu

4 Ways to Flex Our Electoral Muscles
What we can do right now to strengthen our democracy

  1. Disclose the money outside groups are spending on politics
  2. Establish funds for clean elections
  3. Create citizen juries to give voters unbiased information
  4. Allow the people to recall elected officials
The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United revealed just how thoroughly the American people (people, I should clarify, in the traditional sense) have lost control over our own democracy.

But it’s far from the only way that corporations now circumvent true democratic decision-making. There are lots of other problems that need fixing—and that can be fixed now, at the state and local level, without waiting for a constitutional amendment.


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  People We Love  

Occupy UC Davis
Jennifer Real
Juliana Rotich
James Bell

Occupy UC Davis: Whose University?
How a student sit-in led to a national outcry.
Jennifer Real: Protecting Clean Water
This PTA mom is leading the fight against toxic waste in her Texas hometown.
Juliana Rotich: A Map App for Crises
From Kenya, an open-source solution for navigating disasters.
James Bell: Real Justice for Youth
More than 70 percent of incarcerated kids are minorities. This advocate decided to find out why.
  What’s New Online  

Single-payer advocates, photo by Keith Tyler Bike Lane by Dmitry Gudkov White Hands by Caroline Bach Van Jones rebuild the dream

How to Fix Health Care Without the Mandate
by Sarah van Gelder

Why truly affordable care means single-payer.
How Biking Benefits Everyone
by Jay Walljasper

Just because someone doesn’t bike, doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from cities and towns making biking a priority.
Occupy 2.0: The Great Turning
by Michael Nagler

On building a movement to build a new reality.
The Age of Obama: What Went Wrong (and How to Fix It)
by Van Jones

Van Jones reflects on his time in—and out of—the White House.
  Did you miss…  

YES! Email Newsletter archive Highlights from the last newsletter:

:: “Social Security is Broke”—and Other Corporate Scare Tactics
For years, corporations have been peddling myths to rally us behind their interests. Here are three things everyone “knows,” and why they’re wrong.

:: Special Weapons for Fighting Giants
Revoke their charters, and other legal tools to hold corporations accountable to our laws.

:: Stand Your Ground to Stop the Violence
What can be done to stop needless violence like the killing of Trayvon Martin?

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Celebrate people power at Seattle’s Town Hall with Alice Walker, Frances Moore Lappé, and Makana. This evening of conversation, music, and food will support YES! Join YES! on June 6 Celebrate people power at Seattle’s Town Hall with Alice Walker, Frances Moore Lappé, and Makana. This evening of conversation, music, and food will support YES!
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  Featured Event 

BALLE conference graphic 10th Annual BALLE Business Conference

How is Main Street reclaiming real prosperity around the nation? Join YES! staff and board members at the 10th Annual BALLE Business Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., to find out. Meet and mingle with local movement leaders, founders, and visionaries. Be inspired by community-supported food, finance, manufacturing, energy, retail, and more.

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  Book Review 

Beloved Child Book Cover A Dakota Way of Life
In her new book, Diane Wilson asks how you raise beloved children and break the cycle of self-destruction in native communities.


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  Web Picks  

Film FILM

Shift Change Still

Cooperatives Put People—and Democracy—to Work
How worker-owned businesses from Cleveland to Mondragón, Spain, are nurturing life and jobs outside the corporate framework.

YES! Magazine's 2nd Annual Celebration of People Power. June 6, 2012, Town Hall, Seattle. With Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, bestselling author Frances Moore Lappé, and Hawaiian slack-key guitar player Makana. Tickets on sale now.
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