1) Read the news. 2) Civics lessons, civics lessons, civics lessons. 3) Know your elected officials. 4) Make your opinion known to people who set policy. Call. Email. 5) Unify with others. 6) Vote with your dollars. 7) Unplug. Take back the analog aspects of your life. 8) Show up. To vote, to speak, to show support, to volunteer. 9) Retain the ability to be shocked and outraged. 10) Stay woke.
There was a lot going on in the United States in 1961. It was the beginning of a cultural revolution and the space race. It was the year of Bay of Pigs. It was a time when politics and the news of the day were primary fixtures in the minds of average Americans and elected officials. Unless, it seems, you were the Mayor of a small, work-a-day town in southern Oregon. Then you might decide you have bigger fish to fry. Jay W. Snider, the Mayor of Medford, Oregon did just that. In 1961 he sent a $1.96 check to the United Kingdom as what he had calculated was the city’s portion of reparations for the Boston Tea Party. In 2016, I am afraid to too-closely contemplate the modern implications… Read More >
Paint. So a few months ago a neighbor of mine, or really, some guy that lives in the same general neighborhood as me, stopped by with his wife to ask us permission, via signing a city petition, to paint a lovely mandala mural in one of the intersections down the street from us. Yes, I thought, felt, and said. Free public art? Community based? Why not? Because people. So in typical fashion, at least for this town, people took a good thing and made it expensive, time consuming, and a general pain in the ass. First, they complained to the city, which meant that a petition had to be signed, objections made, and everyone in the neighborhood would get a vote on the design. For a mandala. On a side… Read More >
Promises. It is hip, these days, to dog Obama. Especially, it seems, if you were among the young hopefuls that voted for him the first time around, you know, before he got the lousy economy and unrelenting Republican congress dumped on him. Before we realized that he was not the Yoda of American politics. People ask what he has done, claim he reneged on his promises, but from where I stand, the guy is doing alright. I have an income based student loan repayment program and healthcare, a government that is slowly taking steps to acknowledge intolerable behavior, public works projects that improve my quality of life, and a lot of troops have come home. He has, you know, had the deck stacked against him. Honestly though, I think that… Read More >