Circle Round Around the Circle

Different attic room; same job. Wait, the job just ended. Once again, Bram let me crash in his empty upstairs master bedroom. This is where my whole Priorities adventure began, so I like the idea of ending it here on the edge of Stick season. Hard to flash back to that April day when Duane, BLSP Executive Director, pulled up at the Burlington airport and introduced me to the CarnyMobile. After buying me dinner, he dropped me off here, my home away from home away from home away from…..

Amid champagne toasts to the demise of Donald Rumsfeld, address swapping, handing over my credit card, and buying a bus ticket out of Burlington to NYC, I once again go on the dole. I also stopped in the office to wrap things up with Ian, the CFO, but he took the day off. So I had to set up my receipts and strongly urge Erin and Courtney to encourage Ian to get that check to me on time.

Had a final lunch with Ben and Duane and they picked my brain again about lessons learned. I’m glad that I got to tell them how much I learned on the road and they were happy with my work. On the elevator down, I told them that I felt “personally responsible for Rumsfeld’s demise” due to getting the Priorities message out to average folks. We high-fived and then I got hugs from Ben.

Felt good to turn the TV on in my Bennington, VT hotel room this morning to see Democracy Now’s post-election coverage. Nader reminded us all that the Dems swung right to win this. Meanwhile, Amy Goodman interviews Vermont’s very own Bernie Sanders, a newly elected “Independent” congressperson. The big news about that? He’s really a “socialist/democrat,” making him one of the most liberal members of congress. Hope that he can keep the balance in the new Democratically led Congress (AP has officially called it) and bring some anti-corporate/lobbyist/greed sensibilities to the mess that is our federal government.

So good to land into Vermont on election day yesterday! So good to end the job by welcoming the world to “San Francisco Values.” Not sure what that means, since the Republicans coined the phrase. I have my own ideas about what SF values are, but am not sure if San Franciscans themselves would ever agree on my version. Maybe that’s an SF value.

My views of SF Vales include a world where politicians don’t spend most of their time raising money to get reelected. They don’t take corporate campaign contributions. My vote matters and politicians listen to the needs of their constituents, not the lobbyists that constantly swarm them. SF Values mean helping folks who need it, spending money wisely (i.e., not on the Pentagon), investing in the future, working for the environment, the homeless, the uninsured. If we’re stuck with a government, then let’s quit legislating morality and work on issues that will help the poor and elderly.

Why is the most powerful country in the world also full of people in need? Why are politicians too concerned about raising money?

OK, rambling here. A bit emotional after an amazing six months of being on the streets of USA, trying to tell it like it is. I need to sleep because I have an early wake up time to catch the bus to NYC. Like connecting the dots, I hit the liberal spots on the trail west.

On the trail to my beloved, multicultural city of dirt, grime, graff, weirdos, and radicals. San Francisco here I come!