Friday, January 13, 2017

The Most Important Office in Democracy: Citizen

One week and counting to the anti-inaugural and Women’s March on Washington, friends. And the prez-elect’s antics continue.  Got hope? 

He’s hired his wheeler-dealer son-in-law as his chief advisor. On what? How to make the most hay out while the sun shines on the Trump White House? He spends his time tweeting like a twit about Schwarzenegger’s performance as host of The Apprentice. Presidential much? I can’t help but think of Trevor Noah’s Trump the Toddler routine, balling-up his little baby fists and stamping his feet to demand attention. Even mild-mannered Biden said on a PBS NewsHour interview last week, “Grow up, you’re President now.”

To add salt to the wounds, we all watched Obama’s farewell speech Tuesday night with a box of tissues handy. Or we didn’t watch because we couldn’t face saying goodbye to that guy and his lovely wife and all the loveliness that surrounds them. But if you did watch, as did I, shedding a few tears along with Podus, you had to catch his main message.

It’s time to…

“Hitch our trailers to something bigger than ourselves.”

 Take-on with aplomb “the most important office in democracy:  citizen.”

“Lace-up [our] shoes and do some organizing…and if you don’t like who’s in there, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.”

This is great, I’m thinking, as I’m scribbling furiously in my notebook. Obama as coach. And as a citizen himself very soon, he assured, he is “staying in the fight.”

Okay, dear Obama, si se puede, yes we can, and yes we are.

And yes we did.  Please indulge me as I take a veer down memory lane…back to this time in 2009 when I was knee-deep in preparations for the Samba-O-Bamba Inaugural Ball. Was that a hoot, driving through the streets of MtP with my friend Gigi, dressed in our ball gowns, 11 frigging degrees out and we’re freezing because we have our new black President in the back seat, a larger than life cutout so big we have to roll down the back windows of the Toyota so he head can poke-out. It was a Bacchanalian celebration of democracy with a Brazilian twist, samba music and dancing and a piñata bashing of W’s head to top-off the evening. 

This year things are going to be a little different. I’m leveraging my organizing power and facilitation skills for What NOW? An evening of drinks, dialogue and dissent! Not so much dancing, but it’s going to be a ball, transforming anger and dismay into action –taking active part in “the joyous task we’ve been given – to continue to try to improve our country.” 

So please come out, friends. Move past Denial and Resistance and into Exploration. Come fueled with march energy. Come tired. Come with rage and joy and hope and hopelessness. Come with ideas, even if they are messy and muddled. Come open to the possibilities. 

My colleague and I, as your facilitators, will come with the questions, the power of questions, to help you clarify the ideas and make connections.  And once those flip charts come out, you’ll know we're ready to make shit happen.
As Obama said in his farewell, “The constitution is just a piece of parchment …We the people give it meaning – with our participation.”

Start now. Post a comment, reserve your space, let your voice be heard. For tix:

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