Culture Shifting and Education
Workshops: Uncovering Our Hidden History
Democracy Unlimited understands the importance of transforming the
ideas that shape our world in order to make it more just and
democratic. To that end, our local education program engages
community members to reconsider what the idea of democracy is, and
to rediscover anew the history of the United States from a
framework of radical democracy.
In Humboldt County, we offer our all-day introductory workshop,
“Challenging Corporate Rule,
, three times a year. This workshop provides
understanding for how corporations have been granted both the
rights and decision-making power which we as citizens should have,
and presents ideas and strategies for creating a genuine democracy
in which people, not corporations, rule.
Our local education program also involves work with other local
community organizations, schools, and universities.
★ To invite Democracy Unlimited to
speak to your group or class please contact us.
★ To find out more about our different
workshop offerings please visit our Workshops Section.
The Honor Tax
The Honor Tax is a project to encourage individuals, community
organizations, and businesses to recognize and pay tribute to those
Native tribes whose land they occupy. The tax is self-imposed and
the amount is self-determined. The act of paying the Honor Tax is
meant to recognize the sovereignty of Native nations, many who were
forced off the lands that white people and other immigrants now
The Honor Tax project aims to place power in the hands of
individuals and communities to take action to recognize not only
our national history genocidal, but to help eliminate current
racist discourse that both makes Native peoples invisible in our
society and fails to recognize the sovereignty of Native
governments and their right to self-rule.
This project is co-sponsored by Democracy Unlimited and the
Generation Fund for Indian Development
, who each pay the honor
tax to the Wiyot Nation in Humboldt County. Our groups do not
collect the tax from others interested in participating, or involve
ourselves in any way with handling of the funds. Rather, both
groups seek to educate fellow citizens on the importance of
recognizing Native sovereignty and to encourage payment of the
★ Participation in the Honor Tax is
simple: determine how much you wish to pay and contact the
governing authority of the tribe on whose land you live or work
to figure out how best to send them the tax. If you don't know
which tribe or nation to contact, do a little research and find
★ You can sign up to pay your Honor Tax
on the project website: www.HonorTax.org.
★ Check out the Honor Tax Networking Group on this website to
stay informed or get involved.
In our consumption driven society many of us have forgotten the
skills necessary for self-sufficiency and autonomy. There is a
growing resurgence of interest in these skills, but often community
empowerment is still left out of the equation: what good does it do
us to learn to take care of ourselves in isolation or for purely
selfish reasons? We need to re-awaken our communal preservation
Since 2005 Democracy Unlimited has hosted free Community Skillshare
events, offering the opportunity for neighbors to teach and learn
from each other about a wide-range of valuable skills including
herbal first aid, sock darning, changing your car's oil, baking
break, bike maintenance, putting a website online, making tamales,
saving and starting seeds, sewing outdoor clothes, canning, making
mead and beer, and many, many more.
Now instead of an annual event, we host a workshop each month at
our Pancake Breakfast to spread the skills around the entire
★ To find out about upcoming Skillshare
Workshops, check our Upcoming
★ If you have a skill to teach, please
fill out the workshop application form
Economic Democracy and Sustainable Alternatives
Humboldt County Independent Business Alliance
Independent Business Alliances are a proven tool for protecting
unique community character, ensuring continued opportunities for
entrepreneurs, building local economic strength, and preventing the
displacement of locally-owned businesses by chains.
HumIBA has four main areas of focus:
1) Informing citizens about the value of
community-based businesses and their importance to the local
economy, culture and social fabric. To that end, it annually
publishes the Local Options Directory, a listing of Humboldt-based
2) Strengthening the voice of the
locally-owned independent business community by creating strong
relationships with local government and the media.
3) Elevating the profile of our
community-based businesses through group branding and advertising
to help level the playing field with national chains.
4) Developing and supporting policies that
promote community-rooted enterprise.
In this way, HumIBA seeks to support local economic democracy
through support of both businesses and policies that place power
over important economic decisions in the hands of community
members, and creates a viable sustainable system for doing
community-minded business in Humboldt County.
★ Help support independent businesses
by using your Local Options Directory!
★ If you own a local business, make
sure you're in the Directory by signing up at www.HumIBA.org.
★ Check out the HumIBA on this website to stay informed or get
Note: The HumIBA was started as a project of Democracy
Unlimited, but now it is a separate organization. We still share
office space with the HumIBA.
Food and Democracy Project
The Food and Democracy Project seeks to lessen the dependence of
the Humboldt community on corporate agribusiness by connecting them
with healthier, more democratic food systems.
To that end, we partner with
Green Fire Farm
in Hoopa to coordinate a Community Supported
Agriculture program with drop-off locations in both Eureka and
Arcata. We also provide a Eureka drop site for Neukom Family Farm
of Willow Creek. We also help to encourage participation in other
CSA farms, as well as community gardens and other sustainable and
democratic food systems.
Twice a year we partner with Redwood Roots
to hold a Food and
workshop. The workshop challenges participants to
consider the possibilities for reclaiming our decision-making
authority over our food system and potential individual and
★ Find out more about our partnership
with Green Fire Farm, or sign up for a share.
★ Check out our complete list of all the
CSA Farms in Humboldt County.
★ Check out the Food and Democracy Networking Group
on this website to stay informed or get involved.
Organizing Skills and Training
We provide intensive training and hands-on experience for two
interns every spring, summer, and fall. Interns provide valuable
support for us while gaining the skills they need to pursue a wide
variety of organizing opportunities. Local, national, and
international students have all participated in our internship
program, and gone on to help build the democracy movement both
locally and abroad.
★ Click here for more information
including dates and application instructions.
★ Local supporters of Democracy
Unlimited can help our internship program flourish by offering
financial support or by providing host housing for out-of-the-area
interns. If you would like to be an intern host, please contact
Monthly Organizing Skills Trainings
We host monthly organizing skills trainings for community members
of all skill levels. Come learn methods for everything from holding
better meetings, doing media work, tabling and volunteer outreach
to running canvasses, fundraising, and coalition building.
We believe that skills are a form of power; come empower yourself
to be as effective as you can in working for social change.
★ Trainings are the second Tuesday of
each month, from 6:00-7:30pm at the Duck House in Eureka.
★ Click here for a list of all topics and
Challenging Corporate Rule and Asserting Community Rights
Arcata Committee on Democracy and Corporations
The CDC, or Arcata Committee on Democracy and Corporations, is an
official standing committee established by the Arcata City Council.
The CDC seeks to create policies and programs “which ensure
democratic control over corporations conducting business within the
city, in which ever ways are necessary to ensure the health and
well-being of our community and environment.”
Democracy Unlimited helped pass the ballot initiative that brought
the CDC into existence and played a lead role in organizing the two
Arcata town hall meetings which shaped the formation of the
Committee. We continue to provide ongoing organizing support to CDC
members. The committee remains a unique and valuable resource for
local residents, the only local entity of its kind in the
★ To get involved with the CDC, see the
official Committee webpage on the City of
Arcata site, or attend the monthly meeting: third Tuesdays, 4:30pm,
in the Arcata City Council Chambers.
★ You can also help out by letting your
City Council members know you support the work of the CDC,
including policies brought forward by the CDC like the Formula
Retail Ordinance. For more info, contact
★ Check out the CDC Networking Group on this website to stay
informed or get involved.
Asserting Community Rights
In 2006, Democracy Unlimited helped provide leadership for the
Coalition for Community Rights
, an organization that
successfully passed the Humboldt County Ordinance to Protect Our
Right to Fair Elections and Local Democracy, or Measure T, a county
ballot initiative banning non-local corporations from donating to
local elections and challenging the legal doctrine of Corporate
We continue to look for local issues that can be used to educate
and work for greater community and human rights while challenging
corporate rights and corporate rule. We also recognize the
importance of doing this work in partnership with other
communities, and to that end we provide training and consultation
for local organizing groups across the nation who are interested in
passing legislation that challenges corporate power and asserts
Once a year we also host a weekend-long retreat that brings
organizers from across the country to Humboldt County to learn
about Measure T and to gain networks, skills and strategies for
building a movement for genuine democracy. Creating a network of
strong national allies increases our own ability to pass and defend
truly democratic laws here in Humboldt.
★ Help support our Deep Democracy
Retreat by hosting visiting organizers in your home or by
volunteering the weekend of. To help out, email
★ Interested in bringing Democracy
Unlimited to your community to challenge corporate rule and assert
your town's right to democratic self-governance? Contact
Move to Amend
We are a part of a broad coalition of grassroots groups and
national organizations that are asserting a bold call to amend the
Constitution to restore the power of people over corporations.
Since the Supreme Court's January 2010 ruling on Citizens United
, several different groups have amassed to challenge the
decision. The Campaign to Legalize Democracy is the only group
taking a broad, grassroots, movement-building approach. And we are
the only group that has done the work to ensure that we are
multi-racial, geographically and ethnically diverse, and
gender-balanced in our leadership.
At Democracy Unlimited we believe it is time we confront the entire
current Constitutional framework that puts the "rights" of property
above the rights of people. It's time to make the promise of
democracy a reality. We also see this moment as an opportunity to
continue building a grassroots movement to assert democratic local
control over corporations.
★ To sign the petition of support for
the Constitutional amendment, or to learn more, check out the Move to Amend campaign
★ Check out the Humboldt Move to
Amend Campaign Network on this website to stay informed or get