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
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