Why Labeling GMOs Will Eventually Win - My Facebook Chat With Paul Hawken

For those that find Facebook chat annoying, stupid, or down right intrusive, you should just close your Facebook account now since you're obviously closing off your friends and what's important to them. But not Paul Hawken. Yes, the world renowned environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author Paul Hawken. And since Prop 37's defeat was and still is important to me to understand and I decided to pinged him up to chat about and here's a few pearls of wisdom he gave me that I care to share:

Paul to me: sorry for the delay. been giving some talks and don't go here every day

Me to Paul: Listen, i'm a concerned father of two and i truly believe we keep losing huge political battles because we have not truly won the latino vote. PROP 37 is the most recent defeat that has many aroundd the world wondering what went wrong!

Paul to me: Nothing went wrong.... it went right. Be patient. When people oppose the wealthy ruling classes on issues of basic human rights, they are virtually always defeated the first time out. This is a great result. Look at many issues...this is the pattern. This one did amazingly well first time out. The food companies know they are dead on this issue. They know it is coming back. They know it will win no matter how much money they spend. Have faith in people and patience with the process. Lies eventually fail and this one will fail sooner.

Me to Paul: I understand what you mean as far as a trend, however this one could have been stronger than it was the first time out of the gate (and if after looking at the post election results and retracing the campaign's tactics - we have a serious Latino problem). I wrote a blog post about my observations. http://yevesperez.blogspot.com/2012/11/Why-Prop-37-Fell-Short-An-Opinion-From-A-Perez.html The more I look into the early data the more I get upset. We lost by 550,000 votes and after looking at what Counties we lost the more it reinforces my theory that we lost the Latino vote. Here's the data. Counties lost (No votes) w/ large latino population: San Diego 53%, Riverside 60%, San Bern. 60%, Fresno 63.6%, Madera 65.5%, San Joaquin 60%, Sac 60%, Placer 64%, El Dorado 62%... and more! That means we lost be 10 to 20 points in areas the would have delivered us a victory. If we would have flipped these results, we would have won by close to 700K - 800K votes!

Paul to me: Yves...I love your impatience. It is why it will eventually win. And it makes sense to lose the Latino given what they saw was scare ads about food costs. You are on top of this. I am grateful people like you are doing what you do.

I not afraid to lose some FB friends or draw criticism for saying this, but if you believe you're too important and too busy to check the content of a friend's chat message to you well then it tell me you just don't care. As for me, I win.

Give me a K+ on Klout or endorse one of my skills on LinkedIn if you agree.


Why Prop 37 Fell Short - An Opinion From A Perez

I woke up with a highly contagious smile this morning after going to bed knowing my Country had just re-elected the greatest President I've ever known. I always knew President Obama to be a movement leader, yet I dreamt last night that the movement to label genetically modified food was really winning in the Polls. But then I woke up and logged on to Facebook.

Needless to say I didn't need to check the Prop's status. I knew it fell short when 9 out 15 posts from my friends read: "What Happened?" and "WTF?" Here's what I think what happened.

As this miraculous push to re-elect President Barack Obama was finally realized, a somber Republican strategist named Mike Murphy gave his party this gut check: "We have a Latino Problem." My response was "no shit!"

But after reading Prop 37's failure stories, the posts, and as many tweets as I can handle I'm ready to concede we have a Latino problem.  Let me explain. One of our best friends is a couple that lives in Ocean Beach (which is arguably one of the most progressive neighborhoods in the predominately conservative San Diego County) and our 3 year old daughters are like sisters. My wife and I love these newly weds, however when you're really friends with someone you can't help but talk about what's important to you as in this case GMO and organic foods for our kids. The wife was born and raised a Ramirez and I know how the Latino Hispanic culture thinks. Traditions!

She not only believes that organic food is just too expensive, but she (and the culture) is not very receptive to invest in this movement. Its foreign, its weird, its predominately white, and it is not the mainstream tradition. In just the last year or so, my family and I have discovered our new favorite vegetable. Anyone who knows us knows we love kale... kale chips, kale in soups, kale sauteed, etc. My daughter eats the kale off my plate! It's now a tradition in my house now. Her first time having it was at my house and she referred to it as "deer food". She likes it now and after years of being friends and educating about GMOs she voted Yes on Prop 37. But that's just one family. What about her cousins, her mom, and all her relatives?

What about the Gonzales families, the Fernandez families, the Mendez families, the Rodriguez families, the Rosales families, the Torres families, the Vargas families, the Mendoza families, the Fuentes families, the Rubio families, and the Perez families? That's just a few Latino Hispanic names, yet just this name group alone could equate to over 1 million plus eligible voters and I didn't see a Yes On Prop 37 campaign engage with this group. I did see one event poster on Univision.com for a Nov 4th rally but it was not written in spanish and was too little too late. I take responsibility myself for not engaging these voters. My excuse is hallow in hindsight just because I don't speak spanish. Yes, I said... I'm a Perez that doesn't speak spanish. It was a missed opportunity. I should have thought of this after watching "The Garden Movie," a documentary of South Central farmer being eradicated from their community farm.

I'm not making this claim lightly. I googled Yes on 37 latino leaders, Mayor Villaraigosa position on Prop 37, Assemblyman Ricardo Lara position on Prop 37, Senator Ron Calderon position on Prop 37 and nothing came up. I do credit the California Latino School Boards Association and Carmen Ramirez, City Council for Oxnard for endorsing Yes on 37, but it was not enough. In fact all the farms, consumer groups, democratic and environmental caucus, and green living leaders were just flat out not enough. The truth is the California Latino Hispanic population would have been enough... they were and are still the answer.

I want to conclude with a question. If corn is one of the highest GMO crops in this Country, then why was there no connection and therefore no clear case made for a major population in California to vote Si and protect a diet staple, Masa?