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Posted on on July 28th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (

From the Press in New York City – about Reverend Billy who is Bill Talen:

“His collar is fake but his calling is real” – says Alisa Solomon of The Village Voice.

“He’s Elmer Gantry plus Michael Moore” – said The Wall Street Journal.

“The most pointed and courageous political theatre in New York” – said the New York Times.


Mayor Bloomberg, Like Honduras President Manuel Zelaya, took steps to change the Law of Succession and some even say that this suspends democracy in the city, like it does when a whole country is at stake… Mayor Bloomberg will thus run this November for a Third term on his record of achievements that disputed by those that believe that democracy in a large city, like New York, can come about only if recognition is given to the city’s neighborhoods – so that this large city is viewed rather like a collection of a large number of villages, with the people in charge of their own neighborhoods… the assumption being here that the people know best what is best for them.

Add to this issues like climate change and preponderance of business centralization and growth, and those that in the past believed in what Mayor Bloomberg was saying on these topics, now look back and do not find that the promised progress did actually occur. With the economic collapse propelled by US over-consumption, people that were inclined to say that good life takes into account that small is beautiful, were shocked in horror by all this global talk of stimulus packages and ask stimulus for what? Is it really necessary for us to continue that shopping binge and our collection of unnecessary trinkets that among other impacts have ballooned our National Debt, and are also reasons for CO2 emissions into the atmosphere?

In short – for years Reverend Billy has sung with his choir about “STOP SHOPPING” and then, we guess in order not to be seen as unloyal to Washington, changed this to “After Shopping” – in both cases obviously he sings that shopping did not make us happier. The main theme is that WE WILL ALL BE CONSUMERIZED – DEMOCRACY HAS BECOME THE FREEDOM TO CHOSE BETWEEN ONE PRODUCT AND ANOTHER.

Bill Talin is Green at Heart, and when he diced this March that he will turn his campaign into a political campaign, the GREEN Party came on board – so they will be having his name on their column this coming November.

Backing comes also from locations afar. Last night one of those speaking for him came from New Paltz – just a little North of New York on the Hudson River. But fund raisers were held also in San Francisco and even in London. Let’s face it – even if Billy does not win – his campaign promises to be fun and educational at the same time.

Bill Talen is right in what he says, and our website is glad to back him in his endeavor. He is about SUSTAINABILITY that can be achieved only within the context of a CULTURE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

Neighborhoods are about mom & pop stores – not Walmarts – and Billy sings and dances to that idea – so do we.  Reverend Billy asked “WHAT WOULD JESUS DRIVE? a long time ago – and it clearly was not going to be a General Motors made vehicle.

One could say that Reverend Billy is on the left side of the political spectrum. Another would be contender for the New York Mayoralty will probably be the Naked Cowboy known to New Yorker just for that – being naked and playing music for tourists at Times Square. He also makes ideological statements and they sound like Sarah Palin. No, he is not a favorite of ours.

On the other hand, Rev. Billy does make sense to us and many other progressive minded people – and as evidence – no less then famed Joan Baez from the music world of the sixties and the sane anti-Vietnam War rebels of the American youth of forty years ago, was at hand last night at the Highline Ballroom to launch officialy this campaign. announced that meeting, and we also wrote about many previous events with the STOP SHOPPING choir. You can find those postings by using the search function of our website for “Stop Shopping” and for “Reverend Billy”



New York City is the sum of its Neighborhoods. The idea that the corporation is the only grown-up institution, and the corporate leader the only true leader – is a costly lie. It is time for fresh ideas and new leadership. It is time for the neighborhoods to rise up and lead New York City, because cities are neighborhoods made of people, not subsidiaries made of money.

Many of us have lost a beloved part of our city, the long-time shopkeeper, the cop on the beat, an affordable place to live. New York City’s strength is its diversity, and our future relies on hard working New Yorkers being rewarded for their contributions and hard work, not forced out by development and “prosperity” we can’t afford.

What a feeling of openness and opportunity we have at this point in history. We now have the chance to journey back beyond ordinary economic theory, to talk directly about human beings living together, families and children, and the everyday function of a healthy neighborhood, because a healthy neighborhood IS the engine that will drive the greatest city on earth to become truly Viable, Vibrant, Healthy and Safe for EVERYONE!

As Mayor of New York, Reverend Billy Talen will continue the work he has done for more than a decade as a champion of local ingenuity and neighborhood know-how. United as he already is with the city’s many communities, his administration will be the connecting force reaching out to all New Yorkers, to create a city that is sustainable, just and free; defending public space, self-determination, and the right for every New Yorker to earn an honest, independent living.

Here are our initial ideas for creating the kind of city we would want to live in, discussed and hammered-out by folks from all five boroughs. Visit for updates and to share your ideas. Your candidate is listening.

Keep our Neighborhoods Viable and Vibrant, Healthy and Safe

VIABLE:  Instituting locally based, sustainable solutions that will not only see us through our current crisis but allow us to live in stable, viable communities for the long term. Thoughtful urban planning, managing growth, and preserving the local physical and built environment will be a priority.

A Green New Deal! The emerging green economy should be an engine for neighborhood job creation, harnessed to elicit bottom up solutions and entrepreneurial opportunities. We must also scale up the proposed retrofit programs, and meet the President’s targets for energy conservation and emission reductions.
Hail the Local Economies! We call for tax policies and retail zoning reforms that will protect, support and encourage local, community-owned businesses.
Protect The Stability Of Neighborhoods! We want to make rent affordable for working families and local businesses. All new developments must be community-driven and community-approved.
We want a sweat-free city! We call for the city of New York to commit to purchasing ethical, fair trade, union, sweatshop-free products and supplies for government use.
Let’s get New York City Moving! We want to get New Yorkers where they need and want to go with efficiency and ease by implementing free mass transit and congestion pricing.  Such measures will help stimulate economic activity by allowing increased freedom of movement.

VIBRANT:  Promoting vibrant communities by improving education and expanding programs that enhance quality of life for everyone.
Education For All! Every school in every neighborhood must be fully and fairly funded. Local communities must be empowered to manage and direct resources to best serve the children of their neighborhoods. College tuition must be made affordable for all people with the talent and motivation to seek a higher education.
Arts and Culture Make New York City Great! Art, theater, and music programs should be supported and funded throughout the 500 neighborhoods, bringing people into the parks and into the streets. New York City’s museums should be made free to all residents, and its cultural institutions should support local community-based artists and community-based art projects.
Green the Commons! Parks and community gardens make our neighborhoods more livable. Parks must remain fully and permanently public. Parks in all neighborhoods must be funded and maintained properly. Community gardens and gardeners should be encouraged and supported. We want to see quiet green spaces in every corner of the city, for all the children of the city!

HEALTHY: The right to health is the fundamental cornerstone of community. The thriving city must be healthy on all levels and in every neighborhood.
Detox New York! We believe that all communities and neighborhoods have the right to clean air and clean water.  The city can no longer place threats to clean air and water solely in low-income communities of color.
Health is Wealth! All communities must have access to healthy, affordable food.  We will establish and expand local food systems that support improved nutrition and public health by increasing access to safe and wholesome food in every neighborhood.
Protect the Watershed! We must develop a Strategic Natural Resource Plan for the city that addresses water quality for the long term, water conservation, waste water service, and energy consumption.
SAFE Guaranteeing all New Yorkers in every neighborhood the right to walk down their streets without fear of harassment or violence regardless of race, creed, class, or sexual orientation.
Know Your Rights! We firmly believe that the First Amendment grants us the right to free speech, the right to express grievances, and the right to assemble in public space. We pledge to honor the 45 words of the First Amendment, and to defend those rights.
Community Policing Keeps Communities Safe! We call for: An end to racial profiling, an end to stop and frisk tactics, an end to the harassment of LGBTQ people, and establishing dialogue between police and the neighborhoods they patrol. We will foster working partnerships between communities and the NYPD to nurture mutual respect, identify concerns, and create community-based solutions, creating safe neighborhoods for all.
We are all Immigrants! Immigrants are the lifeblood of the New York City economy, and should be treated with dignity.  We want an end to the roundups, and call for the immediate closing of all immigrant detention centers in New York City.

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