Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Down at the Council Last Night
Damn, we are a polite bunch.
A note on all this almost baroque politeness and rituals of courtesy in Sacramento.
There is a strategic element to it, though it may seem counter intuitive. Sacramento is the Capital of California, but the city has long been something of an afterthought and a stepchild as far as the Powers That Be are concerned. This goes back to the days of the Railroad Barons, or even before that. At any rate, there can be a strategic advantage to linking arms with the city in solidarity and unity and in cooperating with the city authorities rather than contending with them unnecessarily.
This collaboration can change the character of the Occupation, but one of the points that was made by Steve Cohn was that there's nobody on the council who isn't part of the 99% (at least in terms of economic status), and in fact, the way our city government is structured, the city council and the mayor have very little power. The city manager is in charge, not the elected officals.
So whereas it might be right to challenge officialdom in some cities and to keep on doing it -- to get what you want -- in Sacramento, doing it the way the Occupation has been doing it is pretty much the way to go in order to get what you want, and it has the further and longer term advantage that the council then looks to the movement for cues and guidance. That's a heavy responsibility.