The Contra Costa 99% met at a coffee shop in Concord, California yesterday morning. We’re just getting started, so there were only half a dozen of us. We quickly discovered that although we were responding to a web posting announcing Occupy Concord, most of us lived in Walnut Creek. So we decided to call ourselves the Contra Costa 99%, because it encompasses the entire county. We wanted to emphasize that this is open to everyone no matter what city or town they live in.
We will participate in the march in San Francisco next Saturday, October 15th. If anyone has information on the march, such as location/starting point for the march, please post a comment. I’ve been googling to get that info, but have not located it yet.
I want to insert a caveat in this post, although most will already assume it–any opinions I express in other diary posts (including re Obama’s re-election, etc) are my opinions alone. They do not reflect the views of the Contra Costa 99%.
One thing became clear five minutes or so into our meeting. We came from a wide variety of economic backgrounds. One of our members is an attorney who works in Walnut Creek and has been involved in many political movements over the years. Another is a house painter. Three of our members are retired. One is a retired school teacher. Another lives on a corporate pension and has not seen a cost-of-living increase in 12 years. Another commented that she lives in Rossmoor and is doing okay. But she wants everyone to do well, and she’s getting involved to insure that these benefits remain in place for others.
Our political opinions also varied a lot. One thing we all agree on; the Occupy movement is long overdue and we support it wholeheartedly.
Everyone at the meeting gave me permission to include their comments and ideas in my blog. Unfortunately, since I’ve been writing this from memory on Sunday evening and Monday morning, a lot of the details of what people expressed with such spirit have faded. So, if Mike, Jackie, Joe, Judy, or Helene visit this blog; I hope you’ll feel free to log on and provide the details that I’m missing.
Early in our meeting, Joe informed us that Occupy San Francisco has been occupying the area around the Federal Reserve building. Although the people present yesterday at the inception of the Contra Costa 99% do not intend to actually occupy a location by sleeping over, we are eager to show our support for the Occupy movement. And that’s why we’ll participate in the march on San Francisco on October 15th.
I’ve already started scribbling down my ideas for picket signs. Since my husband is much more artistic than me, he’ll draw a picture of the Statue of Liberty on a big piece of poster board. And then we’ll write in this this text:
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
-they have a pre-existing condition, student loan debt, or underwater mortgage
-they collect unemployment insurance or demand the right to collectively bargain
-they really are yearning to breathe free due to asthma & need the EPA to enforce clean air standards
-they are veterans who need benefits
NEVER LET THEM BREATHE FREE ON WALL STREET!
Anyone who wants to use the above text or a variation on it for an Occupy picket sign, please feel free to do so. Also, it would be really cool if any photos of the signs got uploaded to the Internet.
Once again, if anyone has info re location/starting point for the march in San Francisco next Saturday, October 15th, please post a comment.