November

I have certainly fallen off my posting since the election. I think I was just exhausted physically and emotionally from all of the months of working so hard on encouraging voters to get out and make their voices heard. I continued to greet at the polls on Election Day and the mood was upbeat. Although I expected Biden to win, or at least held out high hopes that he would, I was still nervous going into the evening when the votes started coming in. We did have tacos and flan, so that made me feel somewhat better. 🙂

Of course now we know what a baby Trump is and that he can’t find it within himself to concede even though it is obvious that he will be leaving on Jan. 20. The elation I felt on Election Day has given way to more exhaustion and frustration with the way it has all played out, the people who encourage Trump in his worst instincts, those who value power and influence over what’s true and real, the direction of the country in general…it’s all so unending. Here in Texas, we were disappointed that we didn’t gain more seats in the state and national legislatures and I was shocked that so many people actually voted for Trump again. I don’t get it. We have a lot more work to do, obviously and unfortunately. But on the happy side, we have a female VP, a female of color, and it looks like Biden is making some diverse picks in his Cabinet, even if he still hasn’t been offered the courtesies usually given to an incoming President. Okay, enough on the election. Let’s move on!

Grandkids and cousins Emery and Beck celebrated a shared birthday; she turned 11 and he turned 10. She is super creative, loves to read and write and draw, and is currently the “creative writing” and “jokes and riddles” contributor to the 5th grade newsletter at school. 🙂 She played volleyball this year, loves her family, friends and animals, and knows all the lyrics to the songs from “Hamilton.” I asked her mom “even the curse words?” and she said Emery just pauses on those. 🙂 Beck is likewise very creative, can put together any Legos project in record time, enjoys reading, videogames, and hanging out with his family, has joined an acting program in Tyler and is rehearsing for a show to be held in January. They are both very inquisitive and ask lots of interesting questions, as well as being silly and funny and full of life. We love these two so much!

I got to see Angela Davis speak in a virtual event put on by the SMU Human Rights Council. She was so interesting and all of the students asked great questions. Davis said something to the effect that “the arena of struggle is where you find yourself,” and it seems very fitting.

This is What Democracy Looks Like

I am consumed by the election and have been working nonstop poll greeting, block walking, highlighting flyers and distributing flyers, and I cannot think about much else till tomorrow is done. Poll greeting has been lots of fun and super inspiring. I’ve met first time voters who just became old enough and first time voters who are new citizens, a woman in labor on her way to the hospital, a woman on an oxygen tank in a taxi, people on walkers and in wheelchairs, people of all ages and ethnicities, people who rarely vote but decided this year was too important to miss, couples and families of all configurations, parents bringing children to teach them how urgent the situation has become. It gives me hope that TX has been moved to a “toss up” state rather than a definite Republican stronghold. In the end, I still feel that TX will break my heart when all the votes are cast, but no one can say I didn’t give it my all. 🙂 Even if Biden doesn’t take TX, we have a good chance to win some state and local elections and put more progressive individuals in those seats.

I keep thinking what if Trump wins again and I am furious about the Electoral College, voter suppression, voter intimidation, Republican lawsuits to keep votes from counting, the freaking Supreme Court, Republican enablers of Trump who haven’t had the ethics to stand up to him, anyone who still thinks he is a worthwhile human being or president. I don’t want to live my life in a rage but I need to get through the next few days or weeks or whatever it takes to determine the outcome. The thing is that Trump getting reelected probably won’t affect Rich and me personally all that much (other than our mental health and perhaps our Social Security??). But I can’t help but worry about all of those who will be severely affected by his administration’s policies or lack thereof, the criminality, the hate and discrimination, the loss of so much that we hold dear. Biden was not my first choice but I have been encouraged by his stance and I feel he will at least surround himself by good, smart people who believe in science and human rights and equality. Maybe it’s a pipe dream but if nothing else, he’d be better than what we have now.

Tomorrow it’s all on the line. Do your part to save democracy….please.

Here are way too many photos but I love them all. Be heartened by your fellow citizens.

Getting out the Vote

I and many others have been writing postcards to voters throughout the pandemic, encouraging participation in the upcoming election. Now we have collected all of those postcards and are meeting in small groups, masked, distanced, to put labels on all the cards and get them ready to mail. With all of the current issues at the Postal Service, we want to get our bulk mail project out sooner than planned. Wouldn’t it be a shame if all that work was in vain and people didn’t get their mail till the election was over??!!

This is such an important election. I hope everyone who can do something to help save our democracy will get out there and get busy! Make sure you are registered to vote and make sure your loved ones are, too. Do you know where you can check? Go to this website if you have questions. You can also contact your county elections office. If you are eligible for voting by mail, request your ballot now! As soon as you get it, fill it out and return it right away. If you can take it in person to your elections office, do that. If not, mail it immediately. If you can’t vote by mail, vote in person EARLY. Most states have early voting for days to weeks before November 3. You can find this out through your county elections office as well. Wear your mask, go early, and vote in person. Don’t wait till election day if you can avoid it. If you have to wait till election day, go early, make sure you have any documents that are required in your state (in Texas we need a picture ID), wear your mask, take some water and snacks, and be prepared to wait in line. IF you are already in line when the polls close, you must be allowed to vote. Don’t just leave. If you are told you cannot vote for whatever reason, ask for a provisional ballot. You are entitled to one and cannot be denied a provisional ballot, no matter what anyone says.

In the meantime, volunteer for a candidate or an organization working on voter issues. Become a volunteer voter registrar and get people registered. Take part in educational events. Put a sign in your yard. Contact your legislators and make sure they know where you stand on issues. Donate to a candidate you support. Write postcards. Block walk. Make phone calls.

Let’s do this, people!!