Sunday, January 18, 2009

With You, In Spirit

I'll admit it. Part of me wishes I was in Washington, DC, watching our new president take his oath of office, going to an inaugural ball, celebrating with millions of others. Probably crying again, as I did on election night.

Instead, here's what I'm doing to celebrate.

This morning, I took my shovel and joined a group of neighbors at a nearby church in response to a call from the Suquamish Tribe's Environmental Stewardship Council. We are preparing some land for a community vegetable garden -- the Port Madison Reservation's first -- as one of many community service projects around the country that have sprung up in response to Michelle Obama's call for a day of service to celebrate MLK Day.

Tuesday morning early (Pacific time), I'll go to the Bella Luna Pizza and coffee shop in the center of Suquamish to watch the Inauguration on television.

Then, it's back to work on the spring issue of YES! which will focus on how people are reclaiming food and farming for the sake of their health, the climate, the health of soil and water ways, and to make sure everyone has enough to eat -- even during economic hard times.

In the evening, I'll go to a concert in Seattle's Town Hall entitled "Odetta to Obama," celebrating the music of the late singer and of others who built the civil rights struggle that makes this extraordinary week possible.

With any spare moments, I'll be preparing for the summer issue of YES!, which takes on the small question of redesigning the economy. Since the Wall Street economy has failed, what type of economy should we rebuild that can serve us better? And this time, can we build an economy that is good for children, sustains the environment, and supports things we value -- like time, and having a life, and democracy?

So yes, I wish I was there with the celebrating crowds on the mall. But I'm glad I'm here too. As Van Jones says when I asked him if he planned to join the Obama administration:
"Even though we have a great president, we also need a great popular movement to support that president. All of us can't go into the White House and hang out there. We got a lot of work to do out in these communities, and that's what I plan to do."
If you're in DC, I'm with you in spirit. If you are making things work in your own community, that's what I'm doing, too.

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At 7:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cheerleading for Van Jones is not helpful for him, and detrimental for the environment. You just wrote in YES! magazine a few weeks ago how Van Jones will "remain independent" during the Obama Administration. Now he is a paid shill. The guy is already compromised in so many ways, it is not helpful to boost him more!
He is already down with Reid and Pelosi and the NRDC sellout crowd on top of the world watching the penguins at the pole. Who will call him to task for supporting carbon trading, nukes and accepting the slightest bit of possible incremental change and deflating the movement while getting less than crumbs for green jobs while he goes on and on with speeches and books and keeping the masses in check for a few years??? Change... and I don't mean spare change are going to their pockets. be critical of him and Obama and all the rest, the adoration does no one a service!

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Sarah van Gelder said...

Editor's Note: Van Jones told us he would remain independent when we interviewed him in November. Van Jones explains why he changed his mind and decided to go to Washington here:


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