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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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School

Berkeley Unified School DistrictCandidate for School Director

Photo of Norma J.F. Harrison

Norma J.F. Harrison

Community Volunteer
4,607 votes (3.96%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • I work to give people the space to build increasingly stronger organizations that reflect our understanding that we are the workers who maintain our wealthy and powerful people and entities.. This relationship is that of servitude to capital. It i
  • ..to build oppositional structures, for instance, age-integrated activities that defy our forced separation from people by age, to see the enormous value of interacting as what education is, that it's not the rigidified schedule of attendance in clas
  • ...to see what we're allowed to do as opposed to what we begin to see that is necessary to do. Yes there's no place for 3 year olds to be around doctors, if they – both – choose to do that. Let us then, work to build the structures that permit reas

Experience

Experience

Profession:Realtor, Activist
various work, see activities section (1950–current)

Education

Roosevelt University in Chicago. B.A., Education (1963)

Community Activities

see my 'positions' section, various political and community (1948–current)

Biography

I grew up in Chicago - sou'side!! I had whooping cough in Washington park when I was 3-4 years old - nearly killed my mother - who watched me be dangerously close to the end with fits of coughing.  My brother was born when I was 10. My mother put the new baby on the bed and said to me 'LOOK how he loves you!'.  I feel there was never negative concern between us. I played baseball like crazy, in the alley with the neighborhood children.  I was EXcellent at it!! I had also been taking dancing and piano lessons and Sunday school where I was an important actor in the brilliant productions they wrote and produced in celebration of the Jewish holidays. I worked in my folks' grocery store. I participated in Young Progressives, supporting the Wallace and Hallinan campaigns - '48 and '52.   I got jobs between those winter and summer holidays.  I married when I was 20.  I went crazy for lack of meaningful ways - as far as I knew - to spend my time; I bore my son when I was 21.  I worked as the Education Organizer at a Community Action Program in Roanoke, Va. when I was 34; I had high hopes that I would approach the problem of why we hate school so much - but I didn't - didn't get any clarity about it.  I created an after-school school, which the children put up with but really just hung around and fooled around.  The heads of the TAAP (CAP) Total Action Agains Poverty just wanted me to follow the example of moving the poor people into line to find ways to be be less poor or something.  I wanted us to - well - enjoy ourselves and be relevant in society, instead of in the role of figuring out how to fit in.  I had a planned child when I was 35. When I left Va. I moved to California planning to live with fellow people in some communal configuration, and to a great degree I did.  It was based on a 'food conspiracy', wonderfully basic effort to buy and distribute food together weekly, in San Francisco.  I had thought I was going to L.A. to do this but having the 2year-old child I worried about the smog.  I needn't have; the communal groups were near the ocean.  So I came to the gloomier S.F. weather, and crowds of people getting together over this and that. 

All in all the story is very slow-moving, no sharp experiences.  I've always been communist, very conventional - I smoked marijuana once; classical music - old and modern - is always right next to me - although I like Zydeco and Dixieland and TexMex and Eastern European folk and the folk songs of my people in struggle - 'Arise...'!, Burl Ives, cowboy songs, TinPan Alley, songs of the Red Army Chorus and Band, Joan Baez - what a mIRacle that voice and her songs are.  Martha Schlamme. Pete Seeger concerts.  Singing these with movement friends. Square dancing. 

I put my darling husband up to be on the rent board.  What a spectacular perseon everyone found him to be - just brilliant; a classical working man who could fix whatever - the cars, the house, ideas, friends, souls; read libraries. I am unspeakably less without him, was immeasurably wonderful with him - his devotion expanded me - caused me not to need, not to be on any of those anguished searches, to stop having stomach aches.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Gary Hicks, convener of the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Club, local, of the Communist Party USA,

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Mine is not a philosophy.  It is just an analysis I was at last able to make - When I first met my husband and his thinking was so parallel to mine I asked him some form of 'what do we do about this all' - about the anguish that undergirds all the world.  We were in Chicago - I was unfamiliar with activism that was taking place there.  I guess it was suffering from the constant murder of people who rose up and then from the McCarthy attack.  I know my father and mother got very subdued about their political activities. This left me with an unplanned child and nothing else - that I could see - to do; crazy-making. 

Events began to come to me; '68 in Chicago for one. Then Roanoke, and a planned birth, and then, feminism, which left me open-mouthed for six months - unable to utter an idea! - Those began to take place after a while and to carry me in directions that sort of were what I wanted.  My intentions have become pretty clear.  I cannot bear the horrors this invasive species hu/man perpetrates, without working to modify our behavior.

Position Papers

I offer a description of you - and me - and the difficulty that is - of the illness on Earth we are and what the tool is

Summary

...an attempt to knock loose the customary thoughts about what education is and how that fallacious device is promulgated.  Our permission for it to be done to us all arises among the daily forces among which we live and attempt to survive...to survive well.

 

The most difficult part of my work is helping people over the hump of thinking, feeling, responding in the ways we've all been conditioned to, that constrain us to survive in this horridly brutal system.  My several responses point in the direction I go by doing this campaign.  It's very difficult considering the conventional, social resistance to it.

 

my activities for the past 68 years

Summary

These are my education, work, and life experiences.

While playing teacher with 'playmates' I became astoundingly clear that I wanted never to be a teacher. --the other children didn't like being told to sit at the 'play' desks and do lessons I assigned - copies of lessons from nursery school and early grades.  Since then I have graduated grade and high schools, and four-year college - teacher prep. We emigrated to Israel to help build the socialist-based nation. We emigrated back – to Chicago a year later. I taught in elementary school for 10 years - to defray loan repayment – in Chicago, had two children, was married for 52 years, divorced once - after the first four years of marriage, got an associate's degree as a journey-person electronics technician in California; I worked doing electronics for 3 years. I did school teaching for another five years in the Bay Area.  I do real estate selling.   I work with allies and comrades to build socialist-communist revolution, to end capitalism.

I grew up in Chicago - sou'side!! I had whooping cough in Washington park when I was 3-4 years old - nearly killed my mother - who watched me be dangerously close to the end with fits of coughing.  My brother was born when I was 10. My mother put the new baby on the bed and said to me 'LOOK how he loves you!'.  I feel there was never negative concern between us. I played baseball like crazy, in the alley with the neighborhood children.  I was EXcellent at it!! I had also been taking dancing and piano lessons and Sunday school where I was an important actor in the brilliant productions they wrote and produced in celebration of the Jewish holidays. I worked in my folks' grocery store. I participated in Young Progressives, supporting the Wallace and Hallinan campaigns - '48 and '52.   I got jobs between those winter and summer holidays.  I married when I was 20.  I went crazy for lack of meaningful ways - as far as I knew - to spend my time; I bore my son when I was 21.  I worked as the Education Organizer at a Community Action Program in Roanoke, Va. when I was 34; I had high hopes that I would approach the problem of why we hate school so much - but I didn't - didn't get any clarity about it.  I created an after-school school, which the children put up with but really just hung around and fooled around.  The heads of the TAAP (CAP) Total Action Agains Poverty just wanted me to follow the example of moving the poor people into line to find ways to be be less poor or something.  I wanted us to - well - enjoy ourselves and be relevant in society, instead of in the role of figuring out how to fit in.  I had a planned child when I was 35. When I left Va. I moved to California planning to live with fellow people in some communal configuration, and to a great degree I did.  It was based on a 'food conspiracy', wonderfully basic effort to buy and distribute food together weekly, in San Francisco.  I had thought I was going to L.A. to do this but having the 2year-old child I worried about the smog.  I needn't have; the communal groups were near the ocean.  So I came to the gloomier S.F. weather, and crowds of people getting together over this and that. 
All in all the story is very slow-moving, no sharp experiences.  I've always been communist, very conventional - I smoked marijuana once; classical music - old and modern - is always right next to me - although I like Zydeco and Dixieland and TexMex and Eastern European folk and the folk songs of my people in struggle - 'Arise...'!, Burl Ives, cowboy songs, TinPan Alley, BoogieWoogie,  songs of the Red Army Chorus and Band, Joan Baez - what a mIRacle that voice and her songs are.  Martha Schlamme. Pete Seeger concerts.  Singing these with movement friends. Square dancing.
I put my darling husband up to be on the rent board.  What a spectacular person everyone found him to be - just brilliant; a classical working man who could fix whatever - the cars, the house, ideas, friends, souls; read libraries. I am unspeakably less without him, was immeasurably wonderful with him - his devotion expanded me - caused me not to need, not to be on any of those anguished searches, to stop having stomach aches.

revolution

Summary

complete versions of my priorities 

Failure is caused by the system, not by the individual person, child, old person, anyone.

 

1.   I work to give people the space to build increasingly stronger organizations that reflect our understanding that we are the workers who maintain our wealthy and powerful people and entities.. This relationship is that of servitude to capital. It is our servitude to the capitalist structure by which we maintain our Owners' control over our lives, our minds, our expectations and experiences. Our submission causes us great anguish and confusion as well as enormous suffering throughout the world. School is a fundamental structuring force creating to one degree and another, our obedience. Like job, prison, police, army, we are enveloped by institutions to which we submit. We try to rise out of them and face enormous challenges doing so. Can we revise the structure? Not as long as the institutions are venerated, as we are made to do.

2. ...to build oppositional structures, for instance, age-integrated activities that defy our forced separation from people by age, to see the enormous value of interacting as what education is, that it's not the rigidified schedule of attendance in classrooms. ...to allow people to identify the structures which control our everyday activities, all done to maintain our Owners' profit and power.

3...to see what we're allowed to do as opposed to what we begin to see that is necessary to do. Yes there's no place for 3 year olds to be around doctors, if they – both – choose to do that. Let us then, work to build the structures that permit reasonable ways to be together. We are all teachers and students all our lives. Not doing those – teaching, studying – is what Marx noticed is alienation.

I am and have been an elected Alameda County and State Central Committee member of Peace and Freedom Party for 18 years. I march and meet with us all building socialist,communist revolution, working to supplant/overthrow capitalism. While Marx found valuable advancements in capitalism, time has pointed to questions about the 'achievements'. Medicine, manufacturing, institutions – school; civil relations; housing, communications, our thinking – capitalism's mind control, all have become stifling of humane life among us. Earth has been so abused by practices under profiteering policies as to cause us to cry a lot.

 

Mine is a platform on which people can say at last, what they feel and think, disclose to themselves and among others their sense of suppression in service to the viciousness of profit, the enrichment of a tiny few people – who will kill us when we resist their self-established, murderous authority, the millennia-old structure in its several forms in which we've labored all our histories, even until today – and tomorrow.

 

School is just a structural service to that relationship through which we are channeled and transformed into willing victims, unable to detect our role.

 

We live with the selective amnesia that lets us feel school was tolerable, or wonderful. It wasn't. It was painful – painful to bear for ourselves, and to watch pupils who were less able to cope with the requirements be scolded, humiliated and bullied.

 

School's role is to stratify us – which of us passes, gets along; who of us is doomed to one degree or another of failure, ever to lead stultified lives – one of the 9-5 cattle shuttling back and forth, away from the people we kiss all day, making ourselves live with the 'job', that activity available to us to feed ourselves by.

 

And make no mistake, that is the construct even if people have 'their own' business, or a highly vaunted position with one or another business.

 

Proceeding as though these statuses are not the case is unfair to us all. It makes for the soldiering required by our warriors and the uncontrolled reproduction of ourselves and the goods and services of profiteering.

 

Now comes the difficult part of this statement, the alternative. It is not 'home schooling' , or Montessori, or what have you. The newborn comes out of its mother and says 'whahh'. It's communicating. There's an exchange between the new child and their parents and members of their community. That is negated by saying that school is the educating device. Education starts at birth and goes on constantly until death. But that is negated by the schooling requirements – to pass through grades, to achieve diplomas, to surmount the incessant failures and many derogations embodied in schooling.

 

There should not be 'failure', or grading, or asking to go to the 'bathroom', or lining up to go into the building, bells ringing to tell us to go here or there.. There must not be failure. Those are the mechanisms of the separating process – who will achieve what in society. Us protesting demanding 'education', meaning school, is fitting ourselves into our Owners', capitalists', institutions of self oppression. We need to build the alternative.

 

We must allow ourselves to see we are all teachers and students all our lives. Our great joy is to share our skills and ideas and knowledge. Our joy is to be with people we love-like to do what we need-like to do. My campaign is to allow this challenging thinking – and then planning. How do we live lives where children do not spend six years in school learning how not to read – or write, but where we just do that in a few days – or weeks. Where we stand and deliver – together, children and adults working and not working , together, enjoying our functions together. The two-year old and the 90 year old all having a productive role–relationship in society, so that no one is outside – marginalized by those false standards, from the system. No venerated eight hour day. Just doing our stuff together as we want and need.

 

It's another way of thinking how we can live.The alternative is we're all teachers and students all our lives. We are educated in myriad ways. Those go along with age-integrated living and meaningful 'work'; no venerated 8 hour day. Just us us ALL doing necessary, pleasurable activities.

 

School Is The Opposite Of Education a study to release us from our confinement https://tinyurl.com/ycn23r53

 

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