. PARRISH, from Page 4
to start a political conversation on corporate power in our democratic system and to introduce the idea that communities and their residents have rights that are not being respected under our current, corporate-dominated political system.
If I-103 is successful, backers want the idea to spread.
“We want to inspire other communities to do this,” said Reifman, who calls I-103 part of a "grassroots effort to take the country back.”
But before that can happen, I-103 has to actually get on the ballot. Supporters have until Aug. 31 to get qualifying signatures (petitions are downloadable from the measure’s website at envisionseattle.org).
As previous initiative sponsors have discovered, getting sufficient qualifying signatures with an all-volunteer effort is difficult; and, if I-103 does make it to the November ballot, expect overwhelming opposition from the local political, economic and media leaders who benefit from the current system. That’s exactly what happened — twice — in Spokane.
Nonetheless, last fall, Spokane’s Proposition One, a similar effort, failed by only about 1,000 votes in a city of 200,000. That suggests I-103 has a good chance in what is, by every measure, a more politically progressive city. The question of whether the sensibilities of Seattle voters outweigh the interests of its economic elite is exactly what I-103 is all about.
GEOV PARRISH is cofounder of Eat the State! He also reviews news of the week on “Mind Over Matters” on KEXP 90.3 FM.