What is the commons? It is the sum total of all that we share. It is stuff and concepts. It is nature and it is culture. It is public education and public parks. It is our air, water and environment. Think of what no one can own – what no one SHOULD own. Think of what we are stewards of – what we are keeping in trust for our children and great grandchildren. That is the commons. Download the 560 page “Vocabulary of the Commons” from The Foundation for Ecological Security, India.
Here’s a great web site with many essays and resources on the commons – http://onthecommons.org.
David Bollier is a major thinker and educator around issues of the commons.
Here’s a nifty video that helps explain the commons:
Here’s a three minute definition in song form by Portland musician, David Rovics.
Over the past four years I’ve devoted most of my civic work to defending the commons from rip-offs, encroachments, sell-offs and privatization deals from corrupt local government.
- In 2008 I was a co-founder of Protect Our Parks which stopped the privatization of part of Lincoln Park, defeating the Latin School Land Grab.
- In 2009 I was one of the organizers for No Games Chicago, an all-volunteer coalition of activists and concerned citizens from across the city who worked to stop the 2016 Olympics from bankrupting the city and destroying priceless public parks.
- In 2010 I was the Green Party candidate for Cook County Board President and ran on a platform of reform, innovation and social justice. One of my positions was to work for the abolition of Tax Increment Finance Districts in Cook County. I established a separate web site to explain how these billion dollar rip-offs work.
- Over the past few years I’ve written and spoken extensively on the need to monitor and stop the push to privatize public space, services and assets. Here is a presentation I gave at the Chicago HQ of the Service Employees International Union on June 23, 2012.