Post-Election To Dos

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Category: sideprojects

After a very exciting victory for Barack Obama, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

My friend Ryan summed up the current feeling of elation in a recent post:

“I didn’t think I’d ever see masses of people on the streets of San Francisco chanting “USA! USA! USA!”. You see, the left coast liberal elite loves America too, we just sometimes can’t get excited about it.”

Now the thing is, we actually have to show that all the bake sales, fundraisers and concerts can translate into ongoing action.

I’m totally impressed with the transition website, http://www.change.gov/,  but what excites me in this time is the number of places people are talking about what they can do. Check out the thread on Get Satisfaction about “What Can I Do to Help?” What are the things we should be doing to change our own behaviors to create a better country and deal with the abundance of domestic issues at hand.

My comments on this thread are related to Barack’s nomination acceptance speech, in which he stated that we would all have to make sacrifices. While I am anxious to hear specifics of what he envisions, I also feel that this very much has to come from the populace as well. This is our duty as citizens, to figure out how we fit into the overall fabric of this country and how our actions impact everything.

I want specifics on the sacrifices we can make from our President-Elect’s perspective, bucketed into different areas: finance/economy, education, environment, etc.

I think there’s some basics: increase the amount that is put into your savings account each month, live within your means, take public transportation where possible, shop local, buy made in the USA, pay attention to key local initiatives, attend a school board (or other governmental meeting), reduce your electricity needs.

What suggestions do you have?

2 comments on “Post-Election To Dos”

  1. As we have talked about, the one thing that pissed me off the most in the last debate was that neither offered an iota of what was needed when asked about sacrifice. It was the question of the campaign and was really disappointed that neither candidate paid it any mind.

    I want him to talk about community gardens and incentives to convert misused space to grow food as a community. And I really think this is an area that as a nation we can sacrifice to make happen. Both space and comfort levels. And frankly I am more concerned with needing to sacrifice the comfort levels of our proud individualism to make this work.

    Obviously, we can not just be told to go and grow vegetables. Far too many of us are too removed from agrarian roots to know how to sow and reap all that dirt candy. And I am certain if prompted with lessons on how to work the soil, with encouragement to meet with our neighbors — to work with our neighbors, that we can unplug our electronic connections for awhile and master not only the dirt but relationships with our neighbors.

    This is so key if we have any hope of moving past the horribleness of the recent hyper partisan world. To be encouraged to leave our homes and work and create with one another, to know, understand, and share with one’s neighbors would make any other sacrifice far easier to meet.

    And from there it might be possible to work on share programs like 3 or 4 families pitching in a buying 1 lawn mower, reducing the redundancy and expense for all. (Though I hope deeply that wasteful lawn space is mostly converted to garden space making the need for a lawn mower nil and void.)

    The biggest hurdle in sacrifice is showing that while a change is needed, it does not have to be as painful as total withdrawal. This will have to be taught to us though, as sharing with others was failed by so many of us in school.

    randyhate
  2. randyhate, i absolutely agree with you, and it’s these sorts of ideas that need to permeate, but your commentary about the need to eliminate some of our individualism to do what is right collectively is the rub. while many of us would be ready to subvert some of that, we end up with these fear mongers who despise that sort of change and interaction.

    but i ponder your words and think about things like city car share and other communally owned goods that we could all share. and it’s easy in a place like san francisco to have access to these things, while i think those who live in strip mall suburbia or off concrete jungle highways have it harder just for physical reasons. there it has to be a choice, and so few are willing to move away from comfort.

    urban_ mermaid