The Eleven September 2019

The Eleven – September 2019

Creek near Carson, WA
Greetings!
I hope you’ve been having a great Summer. If this is your first time here, welcome! I’ve been writing this newsletter, The Eleven, since 2008 – that’s right, 11 years! How time flies 🙂 This month I want to share with you some thinking I’ve been doing about world/neighborhood change – the concept is basically issues vs. candidates.
There are many ways to effect change in our world, and boy does it need changing. From logging old-growth forests in the PNW to climate change we have our work cut out for us. There seems to be mostly one path towards change that is encouraged in our society and that is getting behind a candidate or political party. If that’s exciting to you – by all means – I do think it’s valuable service – especially voter registration and voting! And, the type of work that is involved in politics is not for everyone. It can often be confrontational – and I think the biggest problem might be our inability to get behind leaders. Leaders are people and people are fallible. We want perfection in our leaders and it’s just not going to happen. So, we get stuck trying to get behind Warren, Sanders, Harris, or a local leader and then feel disillusioned when their humanness is revealed. For some, it’s no matter, and they’ll keep on fighting for their candidate(s). For others, though, there seems nowhere else to go where one can make a difference. I think issues are a great place for many people to put their energy.
The Case Against Leaf Blowers by Singer
I’m going to use an example that I’ve been working on for the past year. Eliminating gas-powered leaf blowers (GLBs). If you’d like to receive news on this topic, click here .
About a year ago I met Michael Hall at a candidate meet and greet for Joanne Hardesty who was running for Portland City Council (she won!). Michael had just written an article I’d read about gas-powered leaf blowers and raised the issue in this meeting. That led to our meeting and Michael invited me to join a group of people who meet at his house every 2 weeks to discuss what we can do to eliminate GLBs in Portland and beyond.
There are a lot of interesting aspects of meeting together as a group (home-made baked goods being one of them!). There is a lot of warmth, shared vision, a chance for group members to shine, successes, challenges – just like with a candidate running for office. The difference is that if one stays with the issue there’s a real chance that something can be changed. Long-time readers of this newsletter know that I’ve been involved in societal change for most of my adult life.
How to use Nextdoor.com to effect Neighborhood Change

I posted an article about my love of Nextdoor.com and why it’s useful a few years ago. Since then, my thinking about nextdoor.com has changed and grown. I see Nextdoor as a much more powerful tool for neighborhood change than I did in the past.

Read more
albertideation.com

Working on an issue rather than via a candidate or party really is a completely different thing. Here are some issues I’ve been working on at the neighborhood level. There is something about working with a small group, too. So, if any of this has resonated with you and you have room and interest in your life to make a difference at some level in society, pick an issue and see what you can do. If you’d like to discuss which issue might make the most sense for you to get involved in, please write me and let’s talk.
On a personal level I’ve been doing a bunch of yoga lately. I got to visit Breitenbush for 3 days last week, which is one of my favorite places on Earth. Last weekend I attended Epic Jam #2 in Carson, WA ( pic @ top ) – and got in some great playing with some of my favorite musicians. This week I get to hear one of my musical heroes – Martyn Joseph, of Wales, perform in a house concert and Dave Bromberg on Saturday! Btw, I didn’t make it to Burning Man this year – though after attending so many years sometimes it feels like I’m there while the event is going on 🙂
Here comes Fall. I hope life is treating you super fine.
Keep in touch and let me know how things are going.
Sincerely,
Albert
PS – If you want to keep up with politics I’ve found an interesting channel. Robert Hubbell of LA writes an interesting newsletter 5x a week and I’ve been very inspired by it. For instance, he encouraged people to put http://vote.gov in their email signature lines with this note:
Visit Vote.gov to register to vote and to learn about voting requirements in your state. Tell a friend.
If you write Robert @ rbhubbell@gmail.com and ask to subscribe, you’ll be subscribed to his newsletter. Like mine, you can hop off at any time.
Albert @ Beloved 2019 by Carlton Ward

The Eleven August 2019

The Eleven is my monthly newsletter for friends and family.

It comes out on the 11th of most months. You can sign up for it, here. Archived past versions of The Eleven, are over here.

Beloved Festival by Carlton Ward
Greetings!
Hello from the Beloved Festival year 12 (photo above by Carlton Ward). I’ve been attending this one every year and it just keeps getting better. On Sunday, the 11th, 2019, it will be a late morning after a very long night for many of the attendees.
Before I start with a review of the last couple months – please take a moment to donate to Amy McGrath who is running against Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. Donate any amount. You’ll feel better after that.
Well, it’s been quite a full time on my end these past months. The main reason I didn’t send out an 11 for July was because I was busily preparing for the Oregon Country Faire. Here are some highlights from recent travels around the area.
June : Summer Solstice Healing Retreat @ Breitenbush – my 24th year. I started attending this event in 1995 when my friend Shelley G. asked if I wanted to travel from my new home, Seattle, and volunteer for something fun in Oregon. I had no idea how influential this event, Breitenbush, and the family I’ve met there would be on my life. It’s a sweet gathering where we all offer healing workshops for one another and I get to play a ton of music and sing my heart out. This year was, as they say “the best solstice ever!”. Come join me next year – send a note to be alerted when tickets go on sale (usually in April). It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to visit Breitenbush, too.
June : World Domination Summit : This was my 2nd year attending this incredible conference. My write up from last year still stands as an accurate reflection of what this is all about – how to live an extraordinary life in a conventional world. But this year I really dove deeper and tried harder to understand what was going on. And, I offered 2 meetups of my own to fellow attendees. Yes, it’s an incredible group of people from all over the world coming together for a week sans cynicism and sarcasm. And, when that happens, and people are there to learn from one another and collaborate on each others projects and personal growth – incredible results occur. I’m still in awe of my experience this year and bought a ticket for the final year, 2020. This is probably the most expensive ticket that I bought this year, but the price was worth it for just one day. Join me next year!
July : 2 weeks later I was helping out in the Wileyware booth at the Oregon Country Fair – 50th Anniversary. I finally realized that what I do at OCF is visit with friends old and new in a 5-day long conversation-fest. I played music naked at the Ritz on Friday this year, which is certainly fun. And the Wileyware gang is a blast – our annual cocktail party on Thursday night featured many of my favorite musicians – Steve Bennett, Timothy Michael Shaw, and Katie Sontag. Overall, one of my best Faire’s ever. Then, it was home to rest for a couple days before the …
Northwest String Summit or, Strummit as it’s known. This was my 4th year attending Strummit and I have to say it was one of the best musical highlights of my life. The quality of the music is very high – it’s mostly jamband/bluegrass – which I love. Think Danny Barnes meets Yonder Mountain String Band meets Dark Star Orchestra meets a bunch of traveling bands that you’ve never heard of who are full of such heart and stories it makes you wanna cry with joy. See below for some links to the Saturday night Yonder Mountain set and music by SideBoob (a collection of all of the women who play the festival who are available to play at the time appointed). Their outfits were incredibly outrageous this year. Strummit has some work to do to improve – some of the same issues I note in my review above from 2018 are still prevalent. I’m particularly concerned about the amount of time bright spotlights are focused directly at the audience and I’m working to try to get this across to whomever is running the mainstage lights. I’m mostly discussing this in the Strummit FB group . Btw, it would be great to have more friends at this event next year. Come dance with me!
August: This past weekend my friends and I played @ Destin and Kellie’s wedding. That was delicious and fun – here’s a picture of me with Mt. Hood behind from Husum, WA!
Albert in Husum 2019
Then, there is the ongoing work with QuietCleanPDX ! I’m meeting with a group every other week to push for a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers. Check out our Resources page. If you want to stay abreast of what we’re doing click here and that will automatically add you to our email list on that topic.
I’m also still busy trying to protect and increase Portland’s tree canopy. I organized a group to go see Canopy Stories, recently, and that was fun and educational. If that topic interests you, join us in a group on Facebook .
There were also some community building activities – I instigated a fun 44th Ave. SE block party on 8.2.19. It was the first time some neighbors who’d lived on the block for years had ever met one another. And, the mix of generations was awesome to experience, too. On another day I gave a lesson in “birthday autoresponders” to 2 local 13-year olds while their parents watched. I’m trying to figure out how to pass along the knowledge I have about social media and email marketing to the next generation – because they are powerful tools if used well. I’m also playing way too much online chess on chess.com. Just one more game…
Like you, I’m pretty upset about the gun violence that’s been happening. It’s the fault of Republicans and especially President Trump – that is where the blame lies – and I hope you’re excited as I am to throw them out of office in 2020. They are also responsible for our inaction on climate change. Until they are gone we can all keep speaking out and working on issues and for candidates who speak the truth and do not for support white supremacy. I do have hope – and will continue speaking out.
In the meantime, I think it’s also important to take care of our health – physical and emotional. Do what you have to to get enough rest; drink water; and stay connected with friends and family. We will weather this storm – let’s do it together and laugh, cry and live in the world we want to see – NOW!
Take care and happy Summer.
Albert
PS – Here’s a great set of music by the Yonder Mountain String Band from this year’s Strummit. And Sideboob’s show – all the women who played at Strummit.
PPS – If you like the work I do in the world please take a moment and post a review in one of the spots below. This is something I asked of business connections, but I’d love it if you’d say something if you would. Thanks!
Greetings!
If you are willing, I’d love your review on the following platforms. If you have a Constant Contact account a review in the Constant Contact marketplace would be fantastic.
If not, a review on Nextdoor.com , Yelp!,FacebookLinkedIn or Google , would be welcome – thank you!
I hope you’re having a great Summer.
Sincerely,
Albert Kaufman
PS – if you leave a review in 5 of the 6 places – let me know and you will receive something very fun.

 

Hawthorne Farmers Market Week 3 – 2019

Today at the Market

1844 SE Cesar Estrada Chavez Blvd, Portland, Oregon, 97214

2019 Season: June 4th – August 27th

Tuesdays 4:00pm – 7:30pm

Hawthorne Farmers Market on Facebook

On Instagram

Here’s a newsletter I did about Market 2, 6.11.19

Friends Nextdoor

How to land in a new place and create community
Stars

Ever since I learned about Nextdoor I saw its potential to help people land in a new place more quickly and build a community around themselves. Most of the time when we move it takes a while to acclimate and find a new group of friends. But it doesn’t have to. 

Using Nextdoor.com and other online tools such as Constant Contact (email service provider + survey capability) and Facebook (for group functions) it’s possible to quickly build a list of people who live close by who share your interests. This means that when one relocates, it is potentially possible to create a new group of friends, quickly.

Steps I have taken to try this out.

  1. Sign up for Nextdoor.com
  2. Create an email list for potential new friends – ie, a sign-up form that people can use to sign up for your friend’s list (or, just a simple group in your email client like Outlook or Gmail). There can be more than one list – ie, I like to play chess; I like to play music; I like to effect change to make the neighborhood more livable. A person can join one or more lists.
  3. Instigate conversations on Nextdoor around the above topics or ones of your choosing. **
  4. Via private messaging – ask people who seem interesting to you to either join your list (provide sign up link) or tell them what you’re up to and ask for their email address.
  5. Once you have a group – you can start inviting the people in that group to events or meet for coffee and see how things go. This could also be a time to start a Facebook group so that the members of the group can speak to one another and possibly instigate activities themselves – the cool thing here is that you’re acting as matchmaker – and all of the connections are local!
  6. Repeat the above until your social life is full of interesting people who live close by and may enrich your life.
  7. Show others what you’ve done (we learn by teaching).

I’m always open to feedback. (or, better yet, advice 🙂 Please feel free to help me improve this concept in the comments section below or write me @ albert@albertideation.com.

As of 9.26.19 I have been doing this for about 11 months and I’m learning as I go. I have a list of 75 people in my Portland, Oregon, USA neighborhood who have been invited to various events at my house (mostly house concerts and an orphans’ Thanksgiving) and the experiment continues.  I also just learned about fellow traveler, Rachael Lynn’s new book At Home Anywhere which looks promising! 

**Another way to find people who share interests is by creating a survey. That way you can find people who share your interests and ask for their contact information all in one effort. And, people love to provide feedback 🙂

Here’s some of my past writing about Nextdoor.com

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