A Few Things, California…

Gearing Up for a Coalition?

Opinion By Karri Lewis – AWAKE California

While the people of California have some challenging times ahead of them in the fight for health freedom, there are folks that are gathering and willing to work together with TRANSPARENCY and PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY.

Why is THIS so Important?

In Peter McCarthy’s recent blog post, “The Texas Health Freedom Coalition (THFC): “Who we are, why we work together in Texas, and how we came to do that….”, McCarthy explains the WHY and HOW the 55,000 member Texas Health Freedom Coalition became extremely successful:

The four areas of agreement…
55.000 Member Texas Health Freedom Coalition Guides Texas State legislation and more…

(1)  The meeting was significant in a number of ways. First, the participants agreed to cooperate under the umbrella of the newly formed Texas Health Freedom Coalition (THFC).

The rationale was that a large umbrella organization acting cooperatively would be more influential, by virtue of their greater numbers, at the state legislature than a number of smaller groups, and simultaneously would be less vulnerable to attacks by the trade union organizations seeking to monopolize various segments of the health care field.

(2)  Second, since the THFC would be the actor of record, the credit for victories and advances would be shared among the groups as a coalition. Each group would play its own meaningful role, and it was agreed that no single group would claim primary credit. As Radhia so aptly stated, “united we stand, divided we fall.”

(3)  Third, our interactions among the groups would be transparent. While each group would, of course, continue to operate within their own governing structure, their THFC-related activities and decisions would be visible to all. No behind-the-scenes jockeying for advantage, no intramural squabbles, and no ego trips.

(4)  Fourth, the groups agreed to work together on issues of common interest, with no public criticism of another group’s individual organizational agendas. Those common interest items were two: advancing health freedom of choice legislation in Texas and opposing the Texas dietitians who, as it turned out, had betrayed the clinical nutritionists and were now pursuing exclusionary licensing legislation benefiting only themselves.

Additionally, every one of the Texas leaders attending that meeting did so in their collective capacity as volunteers. There were no professional state level organizational leaders, which meant that no one had an overriding personal (i.e., economic) agenda.

The final agenda item was the selection of the THFC chair. To my surprise, I was asked to fill that position. In hindsight, it made sense. The combination of my military/organizational background and the equally important fact that I represented no organization other than one advocating strictly for health freedom meant that I could assume the role of honest broker, should any intramural disputes arise.

Transparency, personal accountability, honesty and the intentional lack of professional (i.e. PAID) state level organizational leaders is the WHY and HOW that has made the THFC successful.

Until we can strip away all of the special and competing interests within the Health Freedom Activist Community, we will not be as strong or successful in organizing a strong coalition to take back health freedom rights in California.

Now for the Good News…

The majority of the California activist community has learned from its mistakes. The lack of ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY in previous anti-SB277 campaigns have been burned into the hearts and minds of long-time and new activists, alike.

California activists are now asking…

“Where are organizations/activists claiming to help defeat SB277 law, getting their funding from? Are expenditures and donations being tracked and recorded, so that donors can see WHERE their money is being allocated? What percentage of donations are being used for payroll and overhead and what percentage goes towards the ACTUAL cost of the campaign?”

“What is your BACKGROUND and EXPERIENCE running a campaign like this? And WHO are you?”

“What mechanism is being put in place to measure the success (or failure) of this campaign?”

“Is your campaign and/or organization compliant and up-to-date with all, federal, state, and local laws?”

“How do you collect your funds? Is it done by a third party to ensure transparency and legitimate access? If not, how are you protecting donors from fraud?”

These are all very valid questions to ask of any activist and/or campaign being ran to defeat SB277.

Where Do We Go From Here?

debbie-langmuir-manheim-pa-1Once we get past all of the uncertainties of activists and campaigns, we can get down to business and begin our own health freedom coalition here in California.

The idea is to be INCLUSIVE, while also being completely TRANSPARENT.

Stay tuned, California. There is a lot more to come.

Opinion By Karri Lewis AWAKE California

7 thoughts on “A Few Things, California…”

  1. An absolute MUST READ. As Californians protecting our children’s and that of ourselves we must join a national concerted effort. As noble and courageous are our goals in each of the groups, we are all aiming at the same results. Standing alone we may have some sporadic “short lived” successes but together in a National coaltion our success grows exponential

  2. In meetings, how much awareness is there of the subversive aspects of “Delphi technique”, as used to neutralize protest groups?

    How will you all avoid being undone by it?

    You may see Delphi positively described as simply a way to collect opinions and reach consensus, but I would refer more to something like this:

    Knowledge is key, of course. Being prepared, the ability to recognize & counter it may be crucial.

    The central way to stop having your opinions manipulated is to see when it is happening, refuse to be calmly silenced, and stick to your guns (if that isn’t an unfortunate metaphor).

    Do your research on crowd manipulation methods:

    Don’t be caught out and sidelined into a weak message that suits your opponents. Your opponents who WILL be using Delphi technique on you, if they can.

  3. Great article, Thank you. Now how do we make it happen. All the infighting is dragging us down and will be out downfall. Somehow we need to implore our leaders & those most vocal & with the most followers in this movement to put aside their egos & personal agenda for the greater good. I don’t care if you are pro-vax or anti-vax or anywhere in between the “labels” do not matter. We are all fighting for health, freedom, medical rights, parental rights & the rights to an educations. SB277 has moved beyond the law & now being used as a model by camps & Universities who are also denying entry to anyone not fully vaccinated. This madness needs to stop. #SB277 #Vaxxed #VaccineInjuryIsReal #LearnTheRisk #StopMandetoryVaccination We are all in this together for our children & for our future.

  4. I totally agreee, last year I made appeals to a couple of groups I belong to… their answer was polite, deflecting. and nothing was done by their leaders to do just that. I have posted two times Bolen’s SB277 updates and had to complain in order to have them posted, I definitely see egocentric behaviours in some leaders who see this as a vehicle to gain notoriety.. and maybe gain access to a political career.

  5. Thanks for this article. I agree with this strategy and I like the four areas of agreements. How would we go about forming one strong group from the many different groups and get this going? There is much to be done, such as educating churches, politicians, health care providers, etc. It would be great to work together, with volunteers up and down our State.

  6. Yes Yes Yes Yes.

    Transparency. Accountability. Limited Trust is a VERY GOOD thing. Personally, I am looking for leaders who exhibit a RECEPTIVENESS to answering questions, instead of the defensiveness and deflection practiced by so many would-be “leaders.” If someone is a refusing to answer questions from other activists? They’re not a leader. They’re most likely a shepherd hired to lead us astray. Our LEGITIMATE leaders will immediately understand the way to stand apart from the riff-raff is to adopt these transparency and accountability behaviors.

    We have been snowed so many times by people deflecting questions or QUESTIONING the people who ask questions. (YES, the Delphi tactics are being used.) So now, if the true leaders will stand up and ACT DIFFERENTLY, their behavior will set them apart from the shit-bird moles and interlopers.

    Thanks Kerri! You are an awesome human being and I appreciate everything you’ve done to support accountability in this movement!

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