9 May 2012

No impact man runs for the House of Representatives

A New York City author whose book and documentary film No Impact Man helped bring climate change into popular consciousness today announces his candidacy for the United States House of Representatives. Colin Beavan PhD will run on the Green Party ticket in New York’s 8th Congressional District, following the vacancy left by the retirement of Representative Edolphus Towns.

Beavan rose to prominence as a spokesman for the international environmental movement after worldwide press and media interest followed the release of his film and book. His campaign, citing “growing world crises” in climate, environment, economics, and energy production, calls for a complete change in priorities including an end to consumption-based economics, massive decentralization of government and business, and huge investment in local communities.

“The economic system is supposed to make people safer and happier, but it can no longer do that because it wasn’t designed to deal with our new planetary crises,” says Beavan. “The tired old Democratic/Republican debate over taxation isn’t going to fix it. We need to create a new, more stable system based on investment in people and local communities instead of shareholders and corporations. We have to face up to climate change, the end of oil, and the failure of consumption to make people happy. Robust local economies help solve all these problems.”

Government investment in local businesses creates ten times more jobs than investment at the national level. Local economies have lower reliance on foreign oil and create less climate pollution. Creating conditions to allow people, talent and profits to stay within their communities lowers crime, increases access to education and provides support to at-risk populations like children and the elderly.

“We have a crazy system where our communities’ human and financial capital are siphoned away by far-away corporations and government. Then, we beg the same institutions to send us jobs and services. What if we strengthened our communities and didn’t have to send our wealth away in the first place? We’d have healthier communities, happy and safer people, much less crime and a greater quality of life for all.”

Colin Beavan’s campaign organization is an all-volunteer group of citizens who have decided to leave their previous party affiliations out of disillusionment with the lack of solution-based conversation in American politics. Beavan’s campaign will issue a series of policy positions in the coming weeks, all of which will be based on strengthening community health, happiness and security in the 8th Congressional District. The campaign will launch a series of listening meetings, to solicit the views of the community in two weeks.

Meanwhile, basic campaign policies, based on strengthening local community include:

·         Corporate money out of politics
·         A constitutional amendment making the right to vote inalienable
·         Massive voter registration and civic engagement promotion
·         Keeping youth out of prison (treatment not incarceration)
·         An end to stop and frisk
·         Food stamps for use at farmer’s markets
·         Tax breaks for sole proprietorships
·         Massive shift of military spending towards education
·         U.S. leadership on climate change mitigation and adaptation
·         Community-based assisted living programs for the elderly
·         Encouragement of service rather than product-based economies
·         Prioritizing human connection before goods consumption

The non-electoral goals of Beavan’s campaign include:

·         Instigating conversation about emergent world issues effectively ignored by Democrats and Republicans
·         Modeling civility and cooperation in politics
·         Massive voter registration
·         By running a volunteer campaign organization, modeling renewed civic participation to community, nation, and world
·         Promoting community self-determination

All the relevant documentation has been filed with Federal Elections Commission to make Beavan’s candidacy official. He is uncontested in his congressional district’s Green Party primary and will go straight to general election in November. The Green Party’s ballot status in New York State means his name will appear on the ballot.

Colin Beavan rose to prominence as a spokesperson on environmental and quality of life issues after his year-long experiment in extreme environmental living, No Impact Man, exploded in the international media. He is the founder and executive director of No Impact Project, an international non-profit that empowers citizens to make choices that support the planet, their  communities, and help them live a happier, healthier life.
A long-time activist, he sits on the board of directors of New York City’s Transportation Alternatives, and is on the advisory councils of Just Food and 350.org , a global organization dedicated to solving the climate crisis. Prior to becoming a champion of the environment, Colin earned his PhD at the University of Liverpool, spent a decade helping social housing providers, drug treatment agencies and hospitals get funding, and wrote books.

The campaign website is at www.votecolin.org.
Hi-res images can be found at www.votecolin.org/media
For further information or to arrange an interview with Colin Beavan, please contact Ryan Harbage at (347) 470-0210 or info@votecolin.org.

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