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Carpool Guy

Challenging Corporate Personhood

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Jonathan "The Carpool Lane Guy" Frieman

Throughout his professional and personal career, Jonathan Frieman has proven himself to be an impassioned community advocate for a sustainable future.

An early graduate of the University of Denver--his senior thesis attempted a phenomenological reduction of Noam Chomsky’s transformational grammar--Frieman went on to earn a Masters in Public Administration with a Concentration in Health Administration, also from the University of Denver. 

Because of an acute hearing loss diagnosed early in childhood, as well as having had Crohn’s Disease since his teens go undiagnosed for 20 years, Frieman is very familiar with our healthcare system. His hearing loss is profound, with a 100db loss at 1000 Hz.

In an attempt to heal his own body of Crohn's, Jonathan tried several alternative health practices: in 1984 he earned a certification from the Aston-Patterning Institute, an advanced hands-on bodywork discipline, now called Aston-Kinetics; and trained to the Master’s level in Upledger's Cranio-Sacral Therapy. Frieman pursued a private practice in both for over ten years, as well as devoting time to local clinics to work with fibromyalgia patients. 

In 1996 Frieman earned a Juris Doctorate from The New College School of Law. After finishing his law degree, Frieman conducted independent studies on corporate globalization as well as the legal status and structure of corporations. His drive for service led him to co-found several different non-profit corporations: the JoMiJo Foundation – a family foundation; Current Innovations – which aimed to generate complementary currencies which stay local; and the Center for Corporate Policy, an action-oriented think-tank based in D.C., which addresses the legal structure of corporations. Part of the center’s mission is to compel large-scale corporations to invest in a sustainable future.

A past vice president of the board of the California Clean Money Campaign, Frieman helped that organization run two state-wide initiatives in 2006 and 2010 in an attempt to bring publicly funded campaigns to California. He is a past board member of Teen Talking Circles, located on Bainbridge Island; is president of InSpirit, in Woodacre, CA, which raises funds to supplement IHSS payments for quadriplegics in Marin County; and was a past president of the board of Amazon Watch, located in Malibu and the Bay Area. In 2016 he was the Treasurer of the Business Improvement District in San Rafael, California; helped start New Beginnings Law Center, which concentrates on record expungement of misdemeanors; and is president of the Board of Trustees of the Marin County Public Law Library and its fundraising auxiliary, Friends of the Marin County Law Library.

Through his expertise with the legal structure of corporations, campaign finance reform, nonprofit start-ups, as well as public and health administration, Frieman has developed a passion and aptitude for navigating bureaucracies so as to better protect consumers and communities from the corporate ethos that pervades our country.

Frieman has developed a growing expertise in fundraising for nonprofits since the mid-80's.  He once turned a $250,000 deficit into a $500,000 profit in one phone call for a micro-lending outfit in Denver, Colorado. His proudest effort involved raising $1.5 million for Marin Clean Energy in 2010.

Starting in the fall of 2010 he helped lead the fight to prevent Target Stores from establishing a major super discount store in San Rafael. Working with an extremely diverse and effective citizens group called Keep it Local San Rafael, they addressed the most divisive issue San Rafael has seen in decades. They lost by one vote at the city council and then ran a signature-gathering campaign for a referendum to overturn that decision--they came within 30 signatures of the 3000 needed. In a heart-warming collaboration, Frieman then crossed the aisle and worked closely with the opposition to bring a substantial donation of $250,000 to the city, which is now aiding the future of small business in downtown San Rafael. 

In 2011, as secretary of the board of the Marin City Health and Wellness Center in Marin City, Frieman was instrumental in helping the Center acquire the status of being a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). That boosted the income of the Center from $350,000 to more than $4 million today. 

He is also an expert in the use of independent expenditures to unmask the special interest ties of candidates for office.

Frieman coined the term “deep philanthropy” to describe immersion into desperate situations so as to better perceive societal and structural wrongs. Frieman visited Haiti and Israel’s West Bank at critical times. Shortly after law school he purposefully embedded himself in Los Angeles’ tent city for five days in order to learn how to better help the clients he was working with at the Homeless Advocacy Project in San Francisco. In this way he developed unique ways of looking at our society, as evidenced by this current court case. 

His latest efforts over the last couple of years involve working with academicians, industry participants, and the Marin County Anti-Trafficking Coalition in order to not only bring about the decriminalization of sex work, but to calm the current rampant national hysteria about sex trafficking. Frieman asserts that when we, as a society, recognize the benefit of the voluntary sex industry--which scientific data shows that, by a much greater margin, participants of the industry are voluntary--we’ll see an exponential betterment of society because the role of women will be supported more strongly than ever.

Frieman is an assistant coach for San Rafael High School’s varsity football team, helping the wideouts and defensive backs develop their innate talen to become league leaders. He later was an assistant coach for a minor league football team, the Marin Pride. He is an obsessive autodidact in human prehistory. A fine amateur guitarist, he writes music daily and grasped the advanced style of Michael Hedges, and recently learned bass guitar. He lives in San Rafael, California, with Suki, a Burmese cat, and an overflowing collection of hats, cool shoes, and guitars.

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Attorney Ford Greene, CA BAR #107601

An outspoken ex-Moonie-turned-cult-deprogrammer-turned-lawyer,”  Ford Greene is an attorney with one of the most unusual backgrounds you will ever encounter.

As he will admit, "I'm a man with no skeletons in the closet— They're all dancing around in public." 

As a young man in the 1970s, Ford’s life was irrevocably altered when – in a failed attempt to remove his sister from the same organization – he was brainwashed by members of Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church (commonly referred to as the “Moonies”). A rare case, Ford was able to deprogram himself from the Moonies and proceeded to earn a reputation for himself as a deprogrammer, paid by family and loved ones to deprogram people who had been inducted into large authoritarian organizations (often referred to as “cults”). Greene's deprogramming of a young Canadian schoolteacher who fell in with the Unification Church while on a trip to the Bay Area was then chronicled in the 1980 film Ticket to Heaven.

Following these experiences, Ford decided to become an attorney and dedicate his adult life toward challenging, exposing and suing large authoritarian organizations. He attended the New College of California School of Law in San Francisco and was admitted to the state bar of California in 1983. His activism and legal work has earned him a lifelong enmity from Scientologists (who follow the teachings of the late science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard), the Unification Church (founded by the Rev. Moon, who claims to have met Jesus on a Korean mountainside in 1935), and other so-called new religious movements. 

It didn’t take Ford long to make an impact on illegal cult tactics. 

In 1979, two former Moonies sued the Unification Church, claiming to have been coerced and brainwashed; however, The lower courts ruled that constitutional guarantees of religious freedom barred such suits.

Ford Greene represented the two former Moonies in the appeal, Molko v. Holy Spirit Association, and prevailed before the California Supreme Court in 1988.  Justice Stanley Mosk’s written judgement about the tactics religious groups use to attract followers said that any burden on the free exercise of religion was outweighed by the state's interest in protecting against "fraudulent induction of unconsenting individuals into an atmosphere of coercive persuasion."

Throughout his career, Ford has continued to vigorously exercise his right to criticize absurd, illegitimate and oppressive systems of power. He values and practices his constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech because without freedom, democratic self-government is no better than a bedtime story.

Ford’s office, in Marin County, California, is housed in a century-old converted storefront that was a bakery in a past life; his home is in the basement of the same building.

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