Monday, September 21, 2020



September 17, 2020

The Most Important Thing/
Mea Culpa #2/A Mistake/Funny Link


The Most Important Thing: We've got so much to keep track of, to watch, to be outraged by. It's easy to lose track of THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, which is defeating Trump.

I am NOT talking about just voting for Biden. I certainly hope you are planning to vote for Biden. If you're not, you should skip this section. I'm talking about WORKING for Biden, doing all you can to urge others to vote for Biden so that we can get as many Democratic votes as possible, especially in the swing states. Even if a majority of voters support Biden, there are so many obstacles to victory -- election day chaos, the pandemic, US Post Office subversion, Russian interference on social media, voter suppression, the Electoral College... What else? Because of this, those of us with a fervent belief in the necessity of getting rid of Trump must do EVERYTHING we can to increase voter turnout of Democrats.

Above is a letter I wrote for the VOTE FORWARD project, which sends personalized letters to registered Democrats in swing states who are not regular voters. These letters do not mention a candidate because research shows it's more effective to just urge Democrats to vote. You need to print out the letters and write in your OWN personal message about why you vote. I've written 30 letters so far. I write on all my VF letters:
"Making laws and spending tax money is REAL power.
I want to have a say in who has that power."

Other people write more personal statements about how voting makes them feel, or their parents' commitment to voting. Then you put the letters in envelopes, stamp and address them and wait to hear from Vote Forward for instructions on when to mail them. According to research, this tactic increases voter turnout by 2-3%.

I went to a Buddhist "election retreat," as they called it, on Zoom, where we wrote letters, meditated and heard a dharma talk. They encouraged us to decorate the envelopes in any way we wanted, to induce people to open them. I was thrilled, because I have so many stamps and stickers.

For all local Bloggelinis, I offer to print out a packet of 20 letters, and also supply stamped envelopes. You can pick them up at my place, which is located at 547 Douglass St., the precise center of San Francisco. Then I will contact you when it's time to drop them in the mailbox. Email me if you'd like me to supply you. I'll tell you when you can come pick up your supplies. I'll also give you instructions on the most efficient way to fill them out.

Vote Forward is just one option. There is also phonebanking. Here is a list:

You've got to plan ahead for this one. They meet every other Sunday, 10am-2pm. They send you EVERYTHING in advance, including a large prepaid envelope for you to send them all your finished letters. They ask for a $25 donation for the postage. This is organized by Berkeley Zen Center, and they have very well-known Buddhist teachers giving the 25-minute talk. I thought it was great.
Indivisiblesf has many phone banks to choose from, some focused on Senate races and other elections. I worked on one for Amy McGrath, who is running for the Senate against Mitch McConnell.
Manny's is a very innovative community space with exciting programs all the time. During the primary campaign, almost all the Democratic candidates came to Manny's to speak. Manny is now organizing phone banking which you can do remotely from anywhere. IF YOU'RE LOCAL, you can go and work in their Victory Booths at the corner of Valencia and 16th Streets. Yes, while everyone else built space for people to eat outside, Manny's built space for people to WORK ON THE ELECTION outside! Thanks, Manny! You need to reserve time in the Victory Booths:

Also, Stephen Colbert of THE LATE SHOW, has a website where you can watch a video on what you need to vote in every state in the union. Fifty different videos. Pretty impressive. So please spread that news around.

I think that's enough, at least to start off with. Please please consider working on the Biden campaign -- and if you don't want to do that, then choose another campaign. Certainly getting rid of McConnell from the Senate is a noble endeavor. There are MANY noble endeavors out there. Your joy will be intensified if we win. And you'll feel less terrible if we lose.

If you know of any other resources, please tell me. I'll make a Google Doc with all the info, so you can access it easily.

MEA CULPA #2: Two Bloggelinis wrote me with outrage at my casual contempt for the fate of the Snowy Plovers of Ocean Beach. One of them is a friend, passionate birder Laurie Graham, and we had a very enlightening email exchange about it. Thank you, Laurie, for taking the time to share with me information on the very shaky future of these little birds (which were not, by the way, the birds in my photo -- but that's irrelevant.) I will treat them with deference in the future.

You wouldn't know that was a really big couch just by looking at that picture, would you? Allowing Nikki on the couch has really gone to his head. Now he's trying to commandeer my BED. That is out of the question because if he gets on, then Loulou will demand to sleep there too. Then where will I sleep? I guess if they're on the bed, that would free up the couch for me.

FUNNY LINK: I have watched this excerpt of The Daily Show four times now. It starts at 8:44, at the end of Trevor Noah's discussion of the uproar over the Academy Awards' new rules requiring diversity in the movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. One of the ways to satisfy the requirement is to have a person of color in a major role. Roy Wood Jr., part of The Daily Show team, is one of those people who is just naturally funny. I'm going to watch it again right now. It makes me laugh just to think about it.

Bloggelinis, that's it for now! I will try to blog more frequently. Somehow my days have gotten a little blurry and I end up at night having done.... what? Often I can't figure it out. An eternal problem, but I think magnified by the pandemic, the fires, the political insanity..... Anyhow, the letters I get from you keep me going. Thank you so much for responding, even when -- especially when -- I've outraged you. Terry

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