Friday, October 26, 2007

frankly ohio, i don't give a damn

i'm way overdue for this, so i apologize to the true statements community. i had meant to post and meant to post and suddenly i was staggering under the weight of weeks of change, but, here we go!

why i left dennis the menace (for a shortened version, skip to the end of the post):

there were actually a myriad of different factors involved in my decision to leave the kucinich campaign and seek/get employment elsewhere(buffalo). first and foremost was the work i was doing; i was stuck in an office managing a national fundraiser and heading up a portion of student outreach. demanding work? check. valuable to the campaign? check. the type of organizing i believe to be truly valuable in a community and its inhabitants....?

what i mean by that is i wasn't hitting the pavement, talking to folks in neighborhoods, finding out what their concerns were and helping the cleveland community manufacture change themselves. instead, i was stuck in an office all day, slowly realizing that although i did feel like i was working well, my heart is in community immersion, i want to live where i work etc and organize that way. however, i still resolved to buckle down and said to myself, "fine. i can do this. i can do office shit for a little while" i could've dealt with that. i do realize it's the national office and that the majority of my responsibilities were going to be centered around life in the office.

the dirty little secret of cleveland HQ i did NOT count on though, was how dysfunctional the office was(and is), due to no clear staff leadership, and a divide between them and the campaign manager as deep as the mariana trench (or whatever the hell that deep deep ocean trench is called. it's in japanese waters, check it out, it's cool, they find crazy fish there). there was an old school/ new school divide and it really hurt the campaign. with no clear leadership, there were massive, and i mean MASSIVE communication failures in the campaign. no one knew anything for sure and the interns were left by and large to their own devices. which was not an always terrible thing, but, it's a presidential campaign, i wasn't really expecting a large degree of autonomy.

in addition to the grudge match between old school and new school, there were staff members on board solely to draw a paycheck. very disheartening on a campaign which is supposed to be all ideals. blah. there's a woman who gets paid 2k a month to manage the fucking myspace. ridiculous. all because her brother is the national media director.

regardless of the staff, i just became disillusioned with the failure of national electoral politics and i wasn't doing the work i wanted to do. it seemed as if i was assuming the collective guilt of the progressive wing of the democratic party. with every angry phone call i received imploring me how dennish SHOULD do this, or how i SHOULD listen to that i questioned more and more what i was doing here. after all, it isn't as if there aren't liberal democratic candidates EVERY election. it's not like dennis was advocating for anything particularly new, in the grand scheme of things. this pattern has not produced everything the kucinich campaign is advocating for, and, i don't think it will unfortunately. on the campaign, i felt like i was slowly becoming what i was trying to work against. "getmoneygetelectedgetmoneygetelected." integral part of any campaign definitely, but, after awhile, i lost faith in the honesty of the campaign and kucinich's ability to manage people/hire the right ones (more on this later).

let me be clear though, this is not my manifesto against politics, but rather a sober reflection of my time spent on a national presidential campaign. if anyone tells you there's no difference between having a democratic or republican president, with reasonable certainty, you could point to the war in iraq and say we probably wouldn't be there if.... i think, especially on the local level, being involved in politics (voting) is incredibly important and i leave the campaign with this belief intact as i head to PUSHbuffalo to do more localized work in the west side community of buffalo.

reasons why i left cleveland:

1. wasn't doing the type of community organizing work i wanted to be doing
2. got a job with (check out the site ) presented itself.
3. i did not feel comfortable accepting donations for the campaign anymore, knowing how much of a disaster it is.
4. i did not have a comfortable or stable working environment with some of the people i would work daily with.
5. everyone else moved to new hampshire and i thought it was an ample time to jump ship
6. student loans kick in circa Nov 1st and i need to confront that
7. i learned everything i set out to learn and am glad i left when i did.
8. i was gettin' 400 bucks a month to live on (just sayin'. i mean, very doable but still....)

that was a long one! i'm home in albany with my family until i start at PUSH on Nov 5! i may end up living right next to stephen and whitney! i visited geneseo for a week and stayed with fiona and gabby! it was great!

also, the one and only matthew lapennas came to visit for a weekend which was amazing. we watched sports, ate a lot, saw a movie about vampires and played basketball. solid.

i think i'm gonna slowly tell my repertoire of campaign stories over the next month or two... i'll keep everyone posted. much thanks for everyone's love and support!

Monday, October 22, 2007

this is to confirm that matt, colleen, and fiona, did see each other and hug on october third 2007; you should scroll down and read fiona's entry for more information

p.s. in real life they are much healthier shades of porcelain and golden brown

Saturday, October 20, 2007

b & w pictures and words of love.

(L-R feliks, lisa, tim, fiona, colleen, molly, ashley & colin.)

yay! blog post!

i thought i'd take some time on this sleepy saturday morning to say hello, since there has been a lull in my telling of true statements.

the weather has been crazy! it's supposed to be 76 & sunny tomorrow! and 80 on monday! whoa baby!

i really want to go to an apple orchard lately and buy apple cider and doughnuts, but alas, i have yet to make it out to one...

last night colin, tim, coll, winston & i went to a dance party put on by BSU, it was super fun. colleen & i were dancin' super hard, and i got super sleepy.

matt came to visit a couple weeks back! that was super nice. we [not fiona] made lots of good food. we also marched in the 175th anniversary of geneseo parade, which was really nice. we marched with Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace. it was just really nice to see matt. hopefully i can make it out to the farm once more as well, before he heads out.

harrison came to visit last week! he helped out with the last day of voter registration. we registered 662 students, 632 locally. i added a picture of tgvl that was in this new paper called the Genesee Sun Times.
we [harrison, tim, colleen & i] went to the Genesee Valley Hunt Races! it was great! even though we only stayed for about an hour. i think others are supposed to update on that bizarre escapade, so i'll leave the discussion to them.
it made me really happy to see harrison & give him a big hug.

it was really nice to show matt & harrison what we've been up to lately & introduce them to people i've been telling tons & tons of stories about. i only wish you could all come out to see us. or, i could send you snapshots through my mind! i'd like that better...

oh! and serena stopped into town on her way out west. we made dinner, talked it up and said our goodbyes the next day. i love her so & can't wait till the next time we cross paths & i can hear about all her wonderful new adventures!

been helping out with FARI's documentary. Take Back the Night is this week. public hearing on Lowe's on monday. i invited the nine candidates running for town board this election to infoSHARE on sunday & almost all of them are coming! woo baby! that will be fun/interesting. i've been getting really sleepy lately. i've also been making lots of vegan cookies! other than the first batch, which was a TOTAL failure, most have been pretty good if i do say so myself.

i love colleen with all of my heart, we have been so wonderful for each other this semester.
tim & i have been taking little jaunts to wegmans quite frequently, ranting about our society, and also ranting about our goofy classes, all of which have been lovely. getting to know colin & molly better has been wonderful. they both make me so happy. feliks is a goof & it's ridiculous, but great.
i'm so thankful for all of them.

i miss you all so much.
i wish i could just catapult myself all across the country (because we're all scattered) to see everyone & then hop over to france to say hey to em! i know we'll all see each one day though, and it'll be great!
julie's coming to visit in november sometime! yay!

all my love & smiles. <3