Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Take a Blog Break for Activism

No, I'm not quitting the blog, but expanding my horizons. Being a Green Mom and an APLS has sparked my interest and, most importantly, made me get off my duff and volunteer.

Thanks to Green Bean's back to school post, I pitched the idea of a sustainable schoolyard to my oldest three son's middle school PTSA president and we have a meeting this Friday to explore the concept in tandem with our Science Department and Life Management classrooms.

I sent my school district leaders my post on the importance of commenting on the USDA's website to improve the future of school lunches before the reauthorization of The Child Nutrition Act in 2009 - and got great feedback. Then I took it a step further. After reading The Green Parent's back to school post I also threw out the idea of the Farm to School project to the school principal and the PTSA and again, we are meeting soon to explore the idea of allocating Michigan's $1.9 million in funding for fresh foods (currently purchased from Tennessee?!?!) to our local farmers. This program only operates in four school districts in our entire state and I would love to be the fifth.

Yesterday, while driving to Whole Foods, I passed a small strip mall with a little sign and arrow pointing to my city's 'Michigan for Obama' campaign office. I went inside and met with the Field Organizer to see how I could help. You are now looking at the official blog host and website organizer for the local campaign in my city. (If you're in Southeastern Michigan and want to come by, click the link, we'd love to have you!) I blog about upcoming events, canvassing and volunteer opportunities as well as Obama's policy and reform stances. I'm getting the word out and using a skill that can help make a change.

My own personal blog may look a little scattered for the next couple of months while all these programs get off the ground, but isn't that why we blog anyway? To make change? To inspire change? To be the change? I have been inspired by many of you bloggers out there and I hope to inspire you today. Democrat or Republican, stand up for what you believe in. Volunteer to help. Teach your children the importance of democracy in our country. Vote. Knock on doors. Put a sign in your yard. Blog. Stand up and be proud.


Green Bean said...

I gotta tell you, I LOVE THIS POST! It is amazing what you are getting accomplished and putting out to other people. Things like activism and building community can be tough. It's hard to put ourselves out there but that is how stuff gets done and someone has to do it. Let's not make this election another one where we stage a "sit in" on our living room sofas. You and Cindy (Organic Picks) have inspired me to also get involved with the presidential campaign. I'll be squeezing in some phone banking over the next couple weeks. I hadn't thought of the blog thing. I'll have to see if they have some use for that.

eco 'burban mom said...

GB - Just ask your local campaign office, mine didn't have a single person who knew how to blog or do websites, so I set one up for them last night. Easy-peasy. Now I just have to maintain it!! ;o)

And, I agree. It is tough (and sometimes out of my comfort zone!) to get involved, knock on doors or make phone calls. But, I find everything easier in numbers. Canvassing the neighborhood isn't so strange with fellow supporters!

Good luck, I know you superhero types will totally ROCK the vote!

Stephanie said...

This reminds me of how small steps turn into big steps, and once the small steps are taken, the bigger ones don't seem so scary and hard. I guess activism isn't something you can jump headfirst in and be completely confident at, as I've always thought it was (except for me, who can't jump into anything). It's inspiring to hear how people have gone from making small changes in their homes towards sustainability, to blogging about it, to finding a community, and then to community organizing and action offline. It's a journey.

You are doing SO MUCH! It's amazing.

MamaBird said...

I'm so impressed - thanks for sharing your progress cause it makes it more attainable for me, somehow, just hearing what you've accomplished. You're an inspiration!

Mama said...

Building community is a tough thing to do, but it is well worth the effort! We need to have our eyes open this election, but I'll have to tell ya, I'm not happy with either choice. One's better than the other, but I still feel lousy making a "better of two evils" choice. Am I alone when I say I want more choices? I hate the 2 party system, and hope that one day we'll have a viable 3rd party that will really change things.

fearlesschef said...

Wow... I am so impressed with your tenacity! On that note, I have followup calls to make to my my school boards!

Bobbi said...

Getting away from the computer, where I talk to all of you in my head, and talking to real people about issues and action is the next step, isn't it. Community building. It's like it's in the air.

I went to a Green Drinks meeting in Ventura County, CA last night. It was a small group, maybe only 6-8 people showed up. But it gave us a chance to get to know each other instead of just frantically passing out business cards.

I hope everyone blogs about what they're working on so we can all learn and take ideas back to our own communities.

Kirk said...

Regarding all things public school...In case you haven't already seen it, check out the website of Ann Cooper - Her book has some excellent ideas/suggestions as well as great recipes for lunch & snack alternatives.

I'm new to the school system and am still figuring out where to focus my limited time. Food & gardening are on my short list and my son's school is now part of a 2 year study involving kids & gardening with a high-tunnel (unheated greenhouse). Good luck in your endeavors!

Robin said...

Good for you! Consider yourself fist-bumped! I love the change in the air. Everyone is chafing and champing, people are debating, thinking, researching, getting interested, getting involved, getting noisy.

If not me, who?

Melinda said...

That's what I'm talkin about - yeehaw, go girl! That is truly awesome. I can't wait to hear all about it when you do return to share your experiences.

Anna said...

Good for you! I wish I had more people who thought like you who lived in my area! So, if they rolled their eyes at us, at least we would have each other. You go girl! Anna