Research Professor of Social Development, Arizona Research Laboratories, University of Arizona
Lawmaker, elected 2 terms to the Arizona House of Representatives (2003-2006)
President, International Network on Displacement and Resettlement www.displacement.net
Applied anthropologist. Past-President, The Society for Applied Anthropology
Protecting our Democracy – when we vote.
When voters didn’t trust having their votes counted only by machines, Ted combined forces with Republican Senator Karen Johnson and, overcame opposition from the Diebold voting machine company, Ted passed a new lawgiving all Arizona voters – no matter what their party - the right to a paper ballot and a right to a hand count audit of the voting machines.
Q. “Ted, why do you like to say that “all politicians should go barefoot and not wear hats?”
A. “The public needs to know whether politicians have horns and cloven hoofs.”
” Now, I do believe in a tad bit of mystery…I don’t expect them to take off their pants to prove they don’t have a barbed tails! “ 31 May 2011read more
Ted Downing with Thayer Scudder
As the Asian Development Bank Board of Directors proposed advising their involuntary resettlement project, forced displacement experts Thayer Scudder and Ted Downing prepared an DowningScudder letter to Board for INDR ADBSPU. Ted attended the ABD Board meeting in Madrid in 2008 and stated their opposition. Their intervention was partially successful.
The Commentary sections of our major newspapers give citizens an opportunity to instantly react to the news. Unlike the Letters to the Editor or OpEds, these on-line commentary sections have become rowdy (and entertaining) as people use avitars and false names.
Breaking with this uncivil tradition, Ted comments using his own name. He encourages others to change the culture by joining him.
The results show a 78% positive ratings on Ted’s comments in the Arizona Republic – when we focus on civil discourse and education rather than name calling. Breaking with this uncivil tradition, Ted comments using his own name. He encourages others to change the culture by joining him. Join him and change America.read more
Only Diplomacy can yield Lasting Solutions.
John Adams and Ted Downing
In the Arizona Republic
Published Sat. 12 April 2008
With the departure of Admiral Fox Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command and reputed voice of reason in policy discussions on Iran, the danger of another pre-emptive U.S. attack looms urgently.
American attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities could risk all-out war throughout the Mideast.
This is the greatest fear of most of our allies worldwide. It should be ours as well. We must insist on thorough, decisive and immediate diplomatic solutions.
Until a few months ago, some in the U.S. policy community considered military action against Iran reasonable.
A previously unpublished National Intelligence Estimate, released Dec. 3, reported no credible evidence to support the idea that Iran might be developing a nuclear bomb.
Tehran halted its nuclear enrichment program in 2003 and, as of the middle of 2006, had not restarted it.
Unquestionably, some of Iran’s behavior is contrary to U.S. and international interests.
Most of the world has grave concern about potential Iranian development of a nuclear weapon.
Nevertheless, war with Iran would be a senseless way to resolve our differences.
It is time to be honest with the American people and share the potential consequences.
An Iranian conflict would place all of America’s interests in the region at great risk.
With nearly three times the population of Iraq – 70 million people – Iran presents infinitely more problems for our military operations than does Iraq.
Our overstretched armed forces would be at increased risk if we were at war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.
Iran will not allow itself to be bombed without retaliation, and it has had years to prepare its defensive strategy.
Retaliation could include more aggression in the Middle East or kidnapping of our citizens – some may remember 1979.
Consider the regional consequences of a so-called “surgical strike” on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
It would require thousands of air sorties just to strike Iran’s far-flung air and naval facilities, not to mention a massive effort to secure the Straits of Hormuz and Gulf oil facilities. And any nuclear program could resume as soon as the smoke cleared.
In Iraq, our troops would have to prepare for retaliation.
Hamas and Hezbollah actions would be unleashed in Israel and Lebanon, and enraged Muslim populations would attack anyone seen as allied with America in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
All of these risks must be fully disclosed, discussed and assessed openly and, most important, our congressional representatives must maintain their right to make any decision to attack Iran.
Our diplomatic relationship with Iran is central to improving the security structure in the Middle East and is critical to our global influence as well.
Iran can provide the security arrangements that can help the U.S. coordinate a safe and honorable withdrawal from Iraq.
Continuing to view Iran as an adversary that must be contained or pressured will only delay this process.
Conversely, America can provide the one thing that the Iran regime desires most, i.e. legitimacy and reintegration into the world community. Only effective and informed diplomacy can yield a peaceful and permanent solution to these problems.
John Adams is a retired U.S. Army brigadier general and doctoral student of political science at the University of Arizona. Ted Downing, former state legislator, is a University of Arizona professor and consultant.Also contributing to this essay: Lawyer Harrison Dickey, history professor Richard Eaton of the University of Arizona; Republican businesswoman Cele Peterson; retired doctor and UA College of Medicine professor Barbara H. Warren; and Donna Branch-Gilby, former head of the Pima County Democratic Party and a candidate for the county Board of Supervisors.read more
Months before it was clear who would prevail in the primary, Ted Downing, a former state legislator and Obama supporter and Sheila Tobias, a local active feminist and Hillary Clinton supporter, agreed to work toward unity, no matter which of our candidates won.
Rekindling American Spirit – Sheila Tobias and Ted Downing
A TV Editorial
Both of them being writers, they agreed to write an op ed together. They are hoping that their article and their appearance on Tucson Access will move Obama and Clinton supporters toward greater understanding of our respective passions for our candidates and for one another.
Tried of partisan gridlock? Hollow claims that a candidate will “work across the aisle”?
Rather than hollow promises, Ted stepped away from running for elections. He is focusing on HOW, not WHO governs.
Ted is “the architect” of Arizona’s “Top 2″ Open Primary measure – designed to end the corrupt election system where candidates are elected in closed or semi-closed primary elections which disenfranchise independent voters. The measure will ensure that every person qualified to vote, including those not affiliated with any political party, has the right to vote at any election for any candidate, regardless of the voter’s or the candidate’s party affiliation or lack of party affiliation.
- Abolishes the existing system of taxpayer-funded primary elections to select nominees for political parties.
- Creates in its place an Open “Top Two” Primary Election, in which all candidates running for an office appear together on the same ballot and all qualified voters (regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof) are able to vote for the candidate of their choice. The two candidates receiving the highest vote totals for each office would then go on to face each other in the general election.
- Allows all Arizonans, regardless of party affiliation, to vote in a single open primary for the candidates of their choice. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary will compete in the general election.
- Establishes a level playing field for all voters and candidates – ending the era of voting statutes and procedures designed to protect the monopoly of recognized political parties.
This Amendment to the Arizona Constitutional is being circulated by Open Elections/Open Government Coalition of which Ted is a member. The Open Primary – Top 2 Advance initiative is supported by the national organizations, including www.independentvoting.org.
Ted is spearheading, with his friends, a volunteer effort in support of the initiative.read more
Deferred compensation preferable to furloughs By Ted Downing
Special to the Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 02.10.2009
The state has a revenue shortfall and it is time for innovative solutions that do not permanently cripple our state. Unlike the federal government, the Arizona Constitution requires a balanced budget every year. This forces the Legislature to cut spending somewhere.
As a former ranking Democrat in the state House’s Education Committee, I strongly agree that the Legislature’s majority has mistakenly singled out education for budget cuts. But protesting and beating on our chests does not balance the budget. Nor do threats by universities to cut popular public programs.
Administrators, not legislators, set priorities and the lawmakers know that. Something (read “someone”) must lose.
Both Arizona State University and the University of Arizona have mandated employee furloughs. Furloughs cut employee paychecks, but not their salaries. State agencies are considering the same.
You don’t get paid for the days you don’t work. The employee loses pay for good. However, the state institution or agency suffers a disruption in work or services as employees are not there.
As an alternative, I suggest deferred compensation. The employee gets an IOU, a promise to pay in the future after the economy recovers or upon termination. The employees save their income and defer paying taxes.
The highly paid executives, including the overpaid bankers who got us into this mess, use this method all the time. In the aggregate, the institution operates with a lower budget and the employees wait to be paid rather than lose their pay.
A deferred compensation plan keeps all hands on deck. It avoids unintended economic consequences. It is not good for an economic recovery if some of our lower-paid employees fall behind on their mortgage payments and put another house of a bloated market.
Either plan, of course, is better than layoffs and salary cuts (permanent reductions), which decapitalize our economy.
While ASU has not yet adopted a deferred-compensation plan, they are scaling their furloughs so that those who make more take more unpaid days off. ASU administrators are being furloughed for 15 days, faculty and academic professionals up to 12 days, and other employees up to 10 days. This may save $24 million.
The UA is planning across-the-board five-day furloughs during fiscal 2009-2010, regardless of rank or current salary.
A better option would be to forget the furloughs altogether and use deferred compensation on a sliding scale. Depending on their salaries, employees defer (save) different amounts.
The legislators, who make $24,000 a year, are aware that some of our university administrators make more than President Barack Obama. With Congress contemplating capping executive pay on Wall Street, how long before six-figure public-employee incomes come under scrutiny.
The public remembers the moral leadership of Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler who gained national acclaim when he agreed to work for $1 a year during a previous crisis.
Of course, it would be nice to go without furloughs, layoffs or deferred compensation, but this is not an alternative.
Write to Ted Downing at firstname.lastname@example.org
Valuable infrastructure development need not require the people who are in the way to pay the cost. Over 15 million people a year are forcefully displaced by development projects – through eminent domain, compulsory acquisition or forced resettlement. These innocent people who are in the way risk loss of livelihoods and communities for the sake of another’s development. For almost twenty years, Ted has worked with a small community of scholars and human rights advocates to identify and alleviate the impoverishment that is risk when peoples are involuntary resettled or displaced by development projects. His theoretical contributions to understanding what happens to societies who are forcefully displaced is internationally recognized, especially the distinction he draws between routine and dissonant culture. He helped organize and is President of the International Network on Displacement and Resettlement (INDR) the only global network.
Ted interviews a Yoruba about the loss of lands that were forcefully taken by a new pipeline in Nigeria. The interviewee is standing on a dirt mound.
BUJAGALI II DAM (UGANDA). FACT-FINDING FOR THE INSPECTION PANEL COMPLAINT (WORLD BANK)
A request for inspection was filed with the Inspection Panel, the accountability of arm of the World Bank’s Board of Directors, alleging that the Bujigali II Dam along the Nile in Uganda. They Requesters claim that the involuntary resettlement has been improperly done, as per World Bank standards (World Bank OP 4.12). Claims are also made that those displaced have been under compensated and critical cultural spiritual considerations have not been made. Ted conducted fact-finding for the Panel. His findings are reported in Chapters VII and VIII of The Bujagali Investigaion Report of The Inspection Panel. A special report on Spiritual Significance in Busoga Culture is listed as Annex C, page 220. Ted suggests a link to a third party video of the spiritual medium’s ceremony next to Bujagali falls.
Client: The Inspection Panel (reporting to the World Bank Board of Directors)
Place: Uganda 2007 –2009
WEST AFRICA GAS PIPELINE. FACT-FINDING FOR THE INSPECTION PANEL COMPLAINT (WORLD BANK)
A request for inspection was filed with the Inspection Panel, the accountability arm of the World Bank’s Board of Directors, alleging that the West African Gas Pipeline project (WAGP) will cause irreparable damage to their land and destroy the livelihoods of their Yoruba communities. Specifically, the Requesters believe the Bank failed to follow its involuntary resettlement policy (OP 4.12). Ted conducted the fact-finding for the Panel that lead to significant increases in compensation for the Yoruba displaced peoples. See report on local level impacts. His analysis is found in the Panel’s Investigation Report on the West African Gas Pipeline Project.
Client: The Inspection Panel (reporting to the World Bank Board of Directors)
Place: Nigeria 2007 –2008
INVOLUNTARY RESETTLEMENT AND MINING – GLOBAL REVIEW
Under contract to the International Institution on Environment and Development (UK), Ted and his wife, Carmen, completed a global analysis of issues mining issues related to involuntary resettlement and mining. This review was sponsored by majors in global mining and the major international environmental organizations in the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project
Scope: Global Review 2001-2
INTERNATIONAL REVIEW PANELIST OF EXPERTS ON YACYRETA DAM FOR THE WORLD BANK GROUP
As one of three members, Ted reviewed technical resettlement issues for the Entidad Binacional Yacyreta at the Yacyreta dam on the Argentina-Paraguay border. This 12 billion-dollar investment will ultimately require the resettlement of over 40,000 people, including the commercial center of Encarnacion.
Client: The World Bank
Region: Argentina and Paraguay government 1996
DESIGN AND SUPERVISION OF THE INVOLUNTARY RESETTLEMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH ZIMAPAN AND AGUAMILPA HYDROELECTRIC PROJECTS
Initial design and supervision of resettlement of peasants at the Zimapan hydroelectric project and indigenous peoples near the Aguamilpas hydroelectric projects constructed by the Mexican Federal Electrical Commission (CFE). Ted later supervised CFE compliance to World Bank operational involuntary resettlement policies. A student/colleague, Dr. Inga-Lill Aronson and Ted continue to periodically monitor post-displacement changes at the Zimapan site.
Client: The World Bank (IBRD)
Region: Mexico 1987, 1993-1995, and sporadic visits until the present.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND MINING
Contracted with the MMSD (see above) through the International Institution on Environment and Development (IIED-UK) for an industry-wide, global review of the strategies and tactics that develop when mining is on or near indigenous peoples.
Scope: Global Review. 2001- 2004
CO-FOUNDED and PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK ON DISPLACEMENT AND RESETTLEMENT www.displacement.net
In 2000, at the Tenth World Congress of Rural Sociology in Rio de Janeiro organized by Michael Cernea, Shi Guoquing (Hohai University, China) and Ted organized an ad hoc meeting of 60 resettlement specialists from over 20 countries. They formed the International Network on Displacement and Resettlement (INDR). The INDR provides a virtual, global communications network of scholars, practitioners, and policy makers attempting to prevent development-induced impoverishment through its website atwww.displacement.net . Ted has serve as its President and principle patron.
Client: Primarily Ted’s Compnay: Q5 Inc., with generous donations from Thayer Scudder, Susanna Price, and Michael Cernea.
Scope : Global via internet with occasional meetings. President 2000 – presentread more
View a 2 min video form Who is Ted Downing? by Tani Sanchez.
Review Ted’s on-going work to end government financing of political parties and institute a new open election system. The Arizona Open Primary Election Initiative gathered over 350,000 signatures and was on the ballot in November 2012, but failed to pass. As it California, it may take several attempts.
Professionally, Ted and Carmen continues with this attempt to avoid and mitigate the impact on millions of people worldwide who face needless impoverishment by being in the pathway of development projects. Their internationally recognized theory of Routine and Dissonant Culture explains the psycho-social and cultural disruptions facing the displaced.read more