politics

the combination of a long and hot friday combined with the jet lag, i think resulted in me waking up on saturday morning feeling pretty bad, so rather than hauling myself back into the city, i chose to lay low at the hotel. better to fend of any illness than push thru and end up being forced to miss part of the convention: the whole reason i’m in philadelphia to begin with.

so, on to day three….

by sunday i was feeling better, which was fortunate, because there was a “climate change march.” i’m not usually keen on marches, as i find them little more than pep rallies that do little to actually advance a particular cause. however, given the timing and location of this one, i thought it important to participate, if only to show solidarity with other so many other progressives who turned up.

it was huge! it’s hard for me to guess how many progressives and bernie supporters participated, but it was easily several thousand. plus, a few of us wandered into the march after it had already begun so i’m not sure may people had started ahead of us.

it was what you’d expect, so there’s not much more for me to say and here’s a couple clips (sorry it’s a bit shaky) and some pictures can be found below:

the march found it’s end at the mall between the constitution center and independence hall.

by sunday, volunteers from the dnc were in force spread out across the city to answer questions, offer assistance, and promote “politics week,” a series of events, meetings, and programs. it also provided free access, for credentialed delegates, to some of the museums and special exhibits. so a few of us got our passes for the week and spent some time in the main exhibit of the constitution center.

though it was an interesting place and i’d recommend it to folks, there was nothing that struck me as particularly great or memorable. as much as anything, it was a chance for us to get out of the stifling heat and humidity that had descended on philly.

as the day was moving into the afternoon, we decided it was time to grab a pint and a bite to eat. i had been told the day before by one of the dnc volunteers who lived in the area, about a few good micro-brews and foodie spots, so we decided to check out strange loves. it happened to be not far from where we were, though the heat made the walk feel long…. though the food was ok and served its purpose, i thought the beer was pretty good.

while there, we heard from reed, who had been the bernie campaign staffer who had “parachuted in” to hawaii with a handful of staff in february to help us organize and prepare for our caucuses in march. though the rest of the “gladiators” had moved on to other jobs and weren’t able to join us in philadelphia, it was good him. he’d spent the day volunteering with the bernie campaign and offered to drive us back to our hotel, where we talked story for a while before he went back to his parents’ house, where he was staying, and we turned in for the night. monday promised to be a long, busy, and emotional day.

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in roughly 30 hours, i’ll be on my way to philadelphia for the democratic national convention!

it’s hard to describe how i feel. there’s always an apprehension that builds in me the day or two before i fly and a little more so this time because not only am i traveling to a new city, but i’ll be doing so on my own (at least for the first few days), which will be a new experience.

but for some of the same reasons, i’m looking forward to the trip. philadelphia is one of a few cities in the US that i’ve always been interested in seeing. i’m definitely eager to see independence hall, the liberty bell. i’ve heard good things about the history museum there, as well as the art museum. and doing this on my own, at my own pace and on my own schedule will be very nice.

then, of course, there’s the democratic national convention; the whole reason i’m going to philly in the first place. it’s my first national convention and to be able to participate, especially as a delegate for bernie sanders, is a privilege and i can’t wait to cast my vote for him.

in addition, and partially because of the huge groundswell of support for sanders, there will be numerous activities, meetings, forums, and events, put on by and for some great progressive organizations. these represent opportunities to network, meet, and talk with progressive activist from across the nation. while i intend to my delegate responsibilities seriously, it is these events about which i’m the most excited and interested.

there are still a lot of details about which i’m still unsure and any amount of information i still need to sift through, but one way or another i’m going to be prepared as best i can come next monday.

upon arriving in philadelphia and leading up to and during the week of the convention, i will endeavor to post regular updates here; i may look into some kind of live-tweeting plugin for my wordpress. i won’t promise anything, as i have no doubt it will be non-stop craziness, but i will try for my family and friends back here in hawaii and around the country.

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earlier this week bernie sanders, sadly, endorsed hillary clinton for the democratic nomination for president. i, like so many other bernie supporters was disappointed to hear the news. rather, i had hoped to see him take the nomination fight to the convention.

still, to call bernie’s endorsement of hillary a sellout i think is hyperbolic. it’s impossible to know the details, the nuances of the conversations and agreements made between bernie and hillary. it seems to me the “bernie-or-bust” folks who have turned their ire on their one-time hero and leader is egotistical and, maybe, short-sighted. bernie hasn’t called it quits on the “revolution.” quite the contrary, in fact.

we have to remember that bernie’s been fighting the good fight longer than many of his supporters have been alive. as for myself, i’ve been navigating the ebbs and flows of local and national politics as an activist for a decade and i won’t presume to judge the strategic decision bernie made to endorse his former rival.

but let’s take a look at what bernie’s actually saying.

has it called off the revolution? nope. in fact, despite his endorsement of hillary, his campaign hasn’t officially been suspended and it continues to actively engage its supporters, particularly those who have been elected delegates to the national convention.

the contrary is actually true; he’s talking about next steps and about how to transform the presidential campaign to a long-term enduring movement for economic and social change. from the beginning he’s told us it’s not about HIM, it’s about US.

he’s talking about working and channelling our energies into congressional races and local races in which there is a progressive candidate that share’s bernie’s, shares OUR ideals. it’s not as if a magic veil would have lifted and all our hopes and dreams would be realized if bernie were the next president. this work that would have been necessary even if he were to be the nominee, even if he were elected the next president.

sure, with clinton as the nominee and potentially the next president our work may be more difficult, but no less important. nothing ever truly worth-while came without hard work and a long-term commitment; in politics, forward movement comes in excruciatingly small steps. don’t give up, don’t be angry with bernie. instead, stay focused on the issues.

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as i begin, yet again, to try and post regularly, i’ve been giving some thought to the kinds of things i’d could write about. in addition to personal matters and glimpses at my life, i think it might also be good to share my thoughts on current events, politicts, etc. i had originally set up a entirely separate blog for that purpose, but years later i’m not sure it’s valuable.

to that end, i’ll be closing down and migrating my other blog, peoplesdialectic.com, to this site, and forwarding the domain. maybe making it a sub-domain of this site, though i’ll need to do some research to ensure that’s the best choice.

in the meantime, i’m looking for good new agregators. though facebook is my default, a recent announcement to what it prioritizes in our newsfeeds, has sent me on a search to find an alternative. initial searches suggest flipboard may be the best option, based on how it functions and some of my own personal preferences.

still, i’m curious what sources others might use, or if, similarly aware of facebook’s announced chagnes, if anyone has found other interesting new aggregating alternatives.

as an aside, now that my flickr account is easily accessible via the blog, i’m hoping to share more photos, both recent and not-so-recent. so come back occasionally and take a look.

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happy new year! it had been my intention to have all this finished and have a set of goals, and a plan for them, before the bell tolled midnight on december 31st. the holiday, not to mention a growing to do list for the coming week, kept me sufficiently distracted. so, here i am on january 3rd still struggling to prepare for the year ahead.

here we go with the last question….

~ thinking about the person i aspire to be, how do i imagine myself in 5 year? what does that person do, know? how does that person spend their time?

in my reading, these questions all seem closely related to one another, thus my lumping them together with one answer….

this is incredibly difficult for me to answer. the realist/pessimist in me is hesitant to predict my future; predictions so seldom rise to meet reality. still, for the sake of the exercise; i see myself as a lobbyist, activist, organizer. i’ll be working for a progressively-focused organization, non-profit, pushing forward on issues that affect working and middle-class people and their families.

i see myself with a masters degree of some kind: either in political science, public policy, or political management. getting accepted and figuring out how to pay for it all is part of a plan still in the development stage.

i see myself with more friends, maybe a “special someone,” and a more well-balanced life. for the last several years, my existence has revolved, almost entirely, around my career and gaining the experience and making the connections necessary to continue climbing to my goal. while i generally don’t have any problem with the choices i’ve made in this regard, it has become clear to me that i’ve neglected other parts of my life, leaving me somewhat socially isolated. i need a life away from the politics and volunteering. i have no doubt that this bit in particular will be instrumental to mental and emotional health.

after all this, i’m nearly set on my “yearly theme” and my “top goals.” in typical fashion, i’m a bit concerned that i’m being to ambitious; i don’t want to make the mistake of setting numerous lofty goals, only to fail at too many of them. so, even though the year is already a few days old, i’m going to ruminate for a few more days before settling on anything.

in the meantime, let me say “happy new year” to everyone. i hope you reach all your goals for the year.

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