Talk:Michigan: The Transformation Manifesto

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A great start here, Sam! I would like to participate as time permits. PR Poor Richard

Poor Richard are you located in MI? Are you associated with technology? The first thing I am putting time towards in Michigan is the technology cooperative, is the reason I ask. Let me know what you are interested in doing. Thanks! --SRose 00:01, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

I see on review of your facebook page that you live in Alabama Poor Richard still, I am sure we can use your help somehow and it's surely welcome! --SRose 00:03, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

--Poor Richard 18:33, 21 March 2011 (UTC): Sam, I have a background in IT (especially systems analysis), appropriate technology, NGO support, intentional community, communication, and audacity. There is a partial autobio narrative on my FB info page. I am not good with people (Asperger's) but I like to make analyses, plans, tactics, outlines, lists, prioritize, etc. I have a little experience with critical path management (CPM). I think progressives nationwide should pick a state (I nominate Michigan) and turn it cooperative and green from bottom to top. You've heard of "transition towns"--why not a transition state? I don't see why every employed progressive in the US (and many outside the US, for that matter) can't give $10 (or $10 per month) to transform Michigan into a green, p2p mecca. We can build institutions there that can later serve the world. At some point we can attract the logistical and financial support of major public-interest organizations, foundations, and philanthropists. Unions and Michiganders can't be expected to cover the whole nut. Your manifesto is excellent and I can make numerous suggestions from similar manifestos of mine and others as time permits (lord willin' & the creek don't rise) if you like.

NOTES ON NAMING THINGS: UpStart, Michigan Upstarts, Uppity Michiganders, Michigreen(s) --Poor Richard 18:33, 21 March 2011 (UTC)


--Article identifies numerous groups active in Detroit: "Vision: Urban Gardening and Green Economy Flourish in Detroit"

"The greater Detroit area is the nexus of an entire host of progressive enterprises, notable for both the diversity of its participants and the diversity of its projects."

Growing Power: "Inspiring communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound, creating a just world, one food-secure community at a time."


In the US, much of the electric grid is municipally owned, community owned (as in "rural electric co-operatives"), publicly licensed, and/or runs over public rights of way. This provides a great deal of public-interest policy leverage over the existing grid.

In the US, I believe the single most important policy for promoting p2p energy is already in place in many areas--that is "net metering" or "reverse metering". Net metering allows any peer producer to put surplus energy onto the grid. In many cases such locally peer-produced energy, reverse-metered onto the grid, is credited at a subsidized rate above the normal consumer rate for electricity.

Where net metering is already in place, I propose that an additional policy initiative be attempted. This would entail allowing each peer-producer and consumer the option to negotiate rates among themselves. Some peer-producers might charge rates higher than the "retail" consumer rate. In this case such producers would operate much like existing "green power" producers. In other cases producers might sell their surplus to preferred consumers (say family-related households or eco-village neighbors) at a discounted rate. Such a practice could be implemented over the existing grid with little more administrative effort than existing "green power" programs require.

As parts of the existing grid are gradually updated and upgraded, it should be possible to build in direct p2p balancing, metering, and billing capability so that no institutional "middleman" is required for adding or withdrawing amounts of energy that are below some threshold adequate to prevent outages or overloads. --Poor Richard 10:13, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Poor Richard refactored net metering into the page itself. --SRose 00:10, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

VERMONT COMMONS MANIFESTO (includes a call for secession which I'm not suggesting for Michigan, but other parts may be relevant) --Poor Richard 12:23, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

The Commonwealth of Vermont presents...

A 21st Century Statement of Principles

Share your ideas and solutions with us at

Political Independence.

Our primary objective is political independence for our once and future Vermont republic, through the legitimate constitutional process of nonviolent secession from the United States.

Entrusting the Commons.

We advocate the creation and maintenance, through legislation and oversight, of a Vermont "Commons" - environmental, cultural, social, informational - to value and protect all that we Vermonters share in common - our air, our water, our land, and our property, both private and communal.

Human Scale.

We believe that life is best lived on a human scale, in face-to-face contacts with neighbors and friends, in communities that are decentralized in structure. Small is still beautiful.

Financial Independence.

We support the creation and use of a publicly-owned Bank of Vermont that would issue low-interest loans and foster a peer-to-peer mutual credit system, and the creation and use of a statewide alternative currency system.

Food Sovereignty.

We support family-owned farms and small businesses that produce innovative, premium-quality, healthy locally manufactured products.

Election Integrity.

We recommend that Vermont, in conducting its local and state elections, replace all corporately-owned electronic voting machines with the time-honored traditional hand counting procedure used by each Vermont town's board of civil authority, encouraging a process that is open, public, and transparent.

Energy Independence.

We encourage 21st century approaches that move us away from our reliance on imported fossil fuels and centralized electrical generation, and toward policies that encourage import-substitution, and a more local and diversified energy portfolio, with emphasis on self-sufficient home-2nd business-generated energy.

Homestead Security.

We celebrate Vermont's small, clean, green, sustainable, socially responsible towns, farms, businesses, schools, and places of worship. We encourage the diversification of our 21st century Vermont's working landscape, and the creation of more opportunities for Vermonters to produce their own food, energy, and value-added products.

Education for Democracy.

All young Vermonters should have open access to learning opportunities that enable them to realize their own unique potentials and to participate actively and responsibly in their communities and society at large. Drawing on the "Vermont Design for Education," we advocate the replacement of federally-mandated standardized testing and rigid rote learning with "hands on" community-centered education, and the creation of a "communiversity" in every Vermont town's public school.

Economic Solidarity.

We encourage Vermonters to buy locally produced products from local merchants, rather than purchase from giant, out-of-state mega-stores. We support fair and open trade with nearby states and provinces.

Power Sharing.

Vermont's strong democratic tradition is grounded in its town meetings. We favor devolution of political power from the state back to local communities, making the governing structure for towns, schools, hospitals, and social services much like that of small decentralized states like Switzerland. Shared power also underlies our approach to international relations.

Equal Opportunity.

We support equal access for all Vermont citizens to high quality education, preventative and routine health care, housing, and employment.

Tension Reduction.

We urge the Vermont state legislature and governor to issue a call for the return of Vermont National Guard troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and the other 700 plus U.S. military bases in more than 130 countries around the world. Consistent with both Vermont's long "live and let live" tradition and policies of nonviolence, we do not condone state-sponsored violence inflicted either by the military or law enforcement officials. We support a voluntary citizens' brigade to reduce tension and restore order in the event of civil unrest, and to provide emergency assistance when natural disasters occur. We are opposed to any form of military conscription. Tension reduction is the bedrock principle on which all international conflicts are to be resolved.