Hi everyone - I'm back.
I haven't been blogging much in the last couple of months because keeping our family's financial head above water has been taking up my time 24/7 - physically, mentally and emotionally. I won't go into the gory details, and we're still not 'out of the woods', but we're hanging onto our house for a little while longer, and that's good enough for me. Eight years of the tsunami that was the Bush Administration (and 30 years of 'trickle-down') has taken its toll on us, and, like so many other supposedly 'middle class' families, we're one emergency away from bankruptcy (that is, if we're lucky! - thanks, Bankruptcy Bill of 05). Financial stress has a way of eclipsing everything else in your life, and I just feel so lucky that my husband and I have made a pact to not allow financial troubles to damage our relationship, but to use it to pull closer together. So the last couple of months have been about personal and family survival, which is not a bad thing.
Now, I have an important reason to be back on the blog scene - Marcy Winograd has officially launched her Congressional race to challenge Jane Harman once again!
I have been a supporter of Marcy's since I learned about her three years ago and joined as a volunteer for her first campaign. My friend DivaJood told me about Marcy and I was anxious to know more about this teacher/activist who was going up against the incumbent, well-financed and hawkish Jane Harman for California's 36th Congressional District seat. Marcy is a true progressive - a strong peace activist, an advocate for single-payer health care, Marcy supported a woman's right to choose; legalization of gay marriage; workers' right to organize (bipartisan Employee Free Choice Act ); decriminalization of immigration; abolishment of the death penalty and censure and impeachment of Bush and Cheney for high crimes relating to the war in Iraq and for attacks on civil liberties, including illegal wiretapping. That sure sounded better than supporting the military/industrial complex and giving Bush the green light as Harman did. As much as I hate phone solicitation - not to mention phones! - I did phone-banking for Marcy. Volunteering for her campaign took me the next step - from blogging to physical action. I joined Progressive Dems of America and the group that Marcy presided over which was Prog Dems of LA, and from there began to work locally, in my own community.
Marcy Winograd entered the race with only 3 months to go before the election in 2006, as a complete political unknown, yet served up a serious challenge to Harman, garnering 38% of the vote. This time around, Marcy is ready! She has continued to stay active since the last race and now has name recognition, supporters, and a whole year to work on the campaign and introduce herself and her positions to CA's 36th and to the rest of America.
Her website is still under construction, but for a great introduction to Marcy and what she's all about, check out yesterday's FireDogLake for a discussion with Marcy, where she takes questions from all comers!
She also has a Facebook page up for the campaign - Marcy Winograd for Congress.
I've gotten to know Marcy personally over this time, and the more I know, the more I like! One thing I hate about our political system is that the requirements for getting and holding onto public office seem to preclude anyone of character and ideals becoming elected, but every once in a while, you come across the exception - Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, Donna Edwards, people like that.
I know, not 'believe', that Marcy is that kind of exception.
She is someone of strength of character and firm convictions who is gutsy enough to stand up for what's right, whether it's popular or not. She doesn't water down her ideals in order to get over. She is intelligent and passionate, and has always walked her talk. She teaches English at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, which makes her a hero in my book without public office! She is warm-hearted and caring, as anyone who talks to her for five minutes finds out, yet tough enough to stand her ground. I can't imagine a better person to have in public office. We need her badly - even those of us who do not live in her district.
Now, for my cool news - Marcy has asked me to sing at her campign kickoff rally tomorrow! It's Monday, May 11, at the Venice Pier at 4:00 in the afternoon.
I am so very thrilled and honored. Marcy has supported and encouraged me over the last few years as well, both with my book and my music. I sang at her mother Teddi 's memorial (Teddi Winograd was an incredible woman and progressive supporter - the apple did not fall far from the tree!) and although events of the past few months have resulted in everything else going onto the back burner, inculding promoting my book, Marcy has been in my corner ready to help out whenever I could get it together :). So I can't tell you how excited I am to be able to be a part of her campaign launch!
Those of you in the LA area - come say hi! It's going to be an inspirational afternoon, I know that much!
It's ON, bitchez!
***update*** Thanks to Mike from Crooks and Liars for the mention, and to SeattleTammy for the link!