Paula Hendricks

Author ~:~ Writer ~:~ Book Designer ~:~ Book Producer

Archive for the ‘democracy’ Category

Milk is about all of us

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I’ve seen Milk. Twice. The first time was opening day, Wednesday before Thanksgiving and it was raining. I went to the Castro Theater by myself.

I sat in this old movie palace in a crowd of men and women, gay and straight, old and young. Quiet. Waiting. I loved this movie, Both times. The first time, it was more about the story. I didn’t know much about Milk – oh, I knew he was one of the first openly gay men elected to public office and that he had a big big smile and that he and Mayor Moscone were murdered in City Hall and that Diane Feinstein was then President of the Board of Supervisors. I knew there were marches and still are. I think I knew there was a book about him. I knew there was a restaurant on Castro Street called Harvey’s.

I saw the movie twice because there were pieces I didn’t get the first time. There were side stories and complexities that I only caught glimpses of the first time. Why did I like it both times?

The top layer story is interesting and it’s about where I live and the people who have shaped this city. The next layer is about courage. Personal courage – to be who you are, say what you think, take a stand. The next layer was about how you get stuff done in life – how messy the process is; how long it can take; how important a single voice can be.

I came out of the theater wanting to know those people – Cleve Jones and Anne Kronenberg. I wanted to know more – about how they got involved and why. Maybe I’d find out why I seem to be so slow on the political side of things and so far ahead on technology. I have avoided politics almost all my life – my mother was a political junkie and until this year, I certainly was not.

What I saw in Milk was how important politics is. How important the whole process, and it is a process, is. One of the phrases that stands out for me is “It’s not about winning.” It’s not about winning. It’s about standing up. It’s about speaking out. It’s about taking a stand and having conversations. It’s about messy relationships – personal and political and economic.

Now I know for sure I want to add my voice to the discussion – about sustainability, and the multiple bottom line – profit, people, planet. And I see now that I must get more involved… in politics. I must be willing to live a far messier life than I have so far. I must be more vulnerable and more courageous and not worry about winning. Just being in the conversation is critical.

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Written by phwebnet

December 8, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Where is my bailout? Who’s looking out for me?

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I look at all these economic experts and I don’t see anyone who represents me. Where is labor represented? Where are the unions? Where are the folks who can help the underemployed, the self-employed, and the ones who will not get any unemployment benefits? Where are the folks who can advocate for green solutions? Where is the oversight?

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Thanks for leaving us alone to vote

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We owe the world a big thank you. They left us alone to vote. There were no attacks on American soil, and as far as I know, there were no attacks on embassies or consulates. The world watched, but didn’t interfere. Thank you — all of you.

I had wondered if we would need UN poll watchers. I had been holding my breath that AlQaeda would attack or do something to push us in one direction or another. I had heard rumors that we might have troops in our streets to keep the peace. I was afraid someone somewhere would do something to draw our attention from our own election. And they did not.

Thank you. I hope we can return the favor.

Written by phwebnet

November 6, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Middle aged white women in tears on the phone

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I am still digesting last night. I chose to stay home and watch the election results alone — so I could channel surf as I wished. I was a bit concerned that I wasn’t reaching out, going out, that my being alone was not a good sign. But I wasn’t alone.

The first call I got was from a woman from the old neighborhood. Our parents were friends and she called, wasn’t even sure she had my right phone number — wanted to connect and reminisce about our parents and how much they would have loved this.

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Written by phwebnet

November 5, 2008 at 10:24 pm

I am so proud

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Barack Obama has been elected President. I’m in tears. I see all these faces on TV and I am so proud. This is a reflection on how we have changed and how we are changing. I so deeply believe this will change how we are in the world and I hope this represents how we can be with each other here at home as well. Wow.

Written by phwebnet

November 5, 2008 at 4:12 am

Vote! It’s important

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I’m sitting at the League of Women Voters here in San Francisco – answering phones about voter registration, irregularities at the polls, offering up phone numbers to others who can help.

1.866.687. 8683 (866 OUR VOTE) is the hot line for voter irregularities provided by The Election Protection Coalition.

The Huffington Post has a  whole section just for voting problems.

Later today I’ll be glued to the TV and my monitor and my crackberry – getting the latest info from everywhere. How exciting! How scary! How hopeful!

Go vote. It’s important.

Written by phwebnet

November 4, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Prop 8 and God – A challenge to author Rick Warren

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I’m posting this for my friend and colleague, Kemble Scott —

    There’s been a lot of talk about “God’s will” and the upcoming vote on California’s Proposition 8.

    The latest to invoke God in trying to get the measure passed is Rick Warren, a televangelist and bestselling author.

    I’m an author too, so Warren’s words got my attention. They sent me on a mission to look for other times in history when arguments like this have been used.

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Written by phwebnet

October 31, 2008 at 10:44 pm