Up to her last days Carla B. Johnston worked on editing proofs of this book, leaving it as a legacy of how to make our communities and the world a better place. She hoped that the true stories in this book would encourage readers to become change makers, to join the ordinary people in this book who became extraordinary by getting involved in solving the problems of the worlds in which they lived.
Carla believed that each of us can be a change maker, simply by talking with friends, engaging with our communities, working with the media and working with those that have the power to make things happen--our elected officials. Each of us can bring about meaningful, sustainable and lasting changes to improve our communities and the world.
Carla Brooks Johnston's memoir, Change Makers, tells true stories of significant public policy changes accomplished because ordinary people got involved.
Most people complain about politics and do little to enable lasting change. We don't have a clue how to fix anything. So we elect people, toss them out, and picket more.
Ordinary people at local levels do make local and national change when they understand how to make democracy work. These stories illustrate the art of people-power working with the media and with those already in political office who hold the power to make change happen.
Four stories, with 'counterpoint comments' from skeptics tell how this works. The first story tells how ordinary people set a fresh course for their decaying city--one that has now lasted over 40 years. The second story tells how state government leaders planned and implemented the actions needed to turn a huge bureaucracy from waste to tax cost savings and improved service. The third story tells how scientists and citizens worked with civil servants who wanted to do their jobs right. They ended a ludicrous and tragic program of FEMA that would not safeguard the American public from nuclear disaster. The fourth story tells how local elected officials refused a $10 Million pork earmark and how their action and sustained media coverage fueled the 2008 presidential election saga of the tainted Coconut Road Earmark triggering the bi-partisan actions in the U.S. Congress that corrected this tainted appropriation and tightened restrictions on earmarks.
ALL INCOME FROM THIS BOOK TO HELP FUTURE CHANGE MAKERS
All income from this book and tax deductible contributions from readers and the public, will go to New Century Policies Educational Programs, Inc. (NCPEP) a non-profit organization which Carla founded in 1982. The intent is to launch a seed funding grant program for Change Makers--individuals and community organizations that are prepared to make positive and sustainable changes that will benefit their communities.
See: http://CarlaBrooksJohnston.com for more information.
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About the Author
She thrives on encouraging people to engage in civic life as participants not spectators-to use initiative, courage and persistence to improve the quality of life. She delights in finding opportunities for people to bring insight, wisdom and sensitivity that spread hope rather than despair. She agrees with the saying that "all politics are local" and thinks many of our national problems persist because we ignore that fact and rely too much on being cheering spectators or picketers, or media soundbite advocates. Change Makers speaks to avenues for people to make change who are not on the extremes of American politics.
Most satisfying ventures include helping create a new era for Somerville, MA, a decaying city; being one of several public officials to instill incentives for service improvement and cost reduction in the huge bureaucracy of the Boston transportation system (MBTA); more recently, as a Mayor of Sanibel, Florida, bringing closer collaboration between Army Corp biologists and engineers to mitigate dangers of Lake Okeechobee water release policies in SW Florida; and, as chair of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, triggering the return of the corrupted "Coconut Road" $10M federal earmark to the U.S. Congress and stimulating efforts that further highlighted earmark corruption. She enjoys writing, walking Sanibel beaches, reading, travel and exchanging text messages with her grandchildren. Her latest book, Change Makers: Four Stories is available at Amazon.com. See http://www.carlabrooksjohnston.com for additional information.