The Occupy Movement could have been more effective if the diverse elements had united around ten specific demands. What is now needed is for one organization such as the Fellowship of Reconciliation to serve as a headquarters for upcoming, regular protest marches and the assimilation of each protester's list of ten demands. Bayard Rustin, who was the organizer of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, was a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), a pacifist group. FOR is not yet even aware of my idea for this type of coalition.
What if 25 amendments and laws were agreed upon by all three groups, and from that list of 25 demands, all participating individuals at protest marches could register and vote to select their own ten demands. Then the ten most common demands would be determined and publicized. Every six months there could be a new election, as the number of participants increases, and as previous voters change their priorities. Naysayers will state all kinds of reasons why this strategy will not work, but it is urgent at this point that we focus on solutions and not just complaints. Readers can start thinking about their own ten most important demands to make of Congress.
Here are fifteen more demands that could be added to my ten to make a proposed list of 25 demands:
11. Implement a Fair or Flat income tax, as opposed to a Progressive income tax, to simplify the collection of taxes.
12. Implement a Progressive income tax up to 94 percent for any income amounts over $250,000 with a simplified tax code.
13. Abolish compulsory education--learning is a choice.
14. Phase out fossil fuels through government incentives.
15. Provide free post high school, public education for students whose parent(s) have an annual income of less than $100,000.
16. Reduce taxes for small businesses; increase taxes on large corporations.
17. Provide more restrictions on the ownership of firearms--with comprehensive registration, background checks, and national standardization.
18. Provide fewer restrictions on the ownership of firearms with comprehensive registration and background checks.
19. Legalize commercial hemp, medical marijuana, and the private use of marijuana for adults, on a national level.
20. Call for a new, independent investigation of 9/11 with subpoena powers.
21. Provide incentives for local and organic food production and alternative health practices.
22. Allow citizens of the 50 states to restructure their state governments from the bottom-up, not the top-down: from the neighborhood block club, to the precinct, township, county, and state levels. Each level of legislative government can make executive and judicial appointments. Representatives at a state level, for example, can be voted out of office completely at all levels by the voters in the precinct, township, or county that the state representative emerged from. Representatives at each level would vote among themselves to send a representative to the next level above it. State constitutions can be rewritten using a democratic process.
23. Increase abortion rights and the rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals.