On Friday the new Perception, Election, Deception, Greenback Dollars arrived in Palo Alto. It was a totally crazy day for me, as the accountant called to remind me that taxes were due (I had completely forgotten to give her the numbers for the first quarter for the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance). There were so many things to do and remember, and of course I spent most of my time baking cookies and a cake for the Campaign Kickoff Party. I persuaded Jules to make a cheesecake, which kept him up until midnight. Jonathan handled the presswork, which I hate doing. I don't mind "being the media," but chasing down the mainstream media is far too frustrating and unrewarding for me, at this point. I prefer cooking which produces tangible results and an immediate response from real live people. Unfortunately, my husband was sick and the noise we made prevented him from sleeping.
Saturday I got up early to bake more cookies and cook the main dishes, bake bread and naan. Jules and Jonathan loaded the van and Jean-Luc found the energy to take them to the party. I had tried to do more than time permitted and was running late, arriving after the party had officially started. Volunteers and friends helped me to unload the car and I was so impressed at how well organized everyone was. Brian Wallace was playing beautiful music, the whole apartment complex and the room were well decorated with our colorful yard signs, people were socializing and having a good time. Merriam and Marilyn took over the kitchen, the food serving, and allowed me welcome new people and greet my friends. Not surprisingly, the schedule was stretched and bended a bit over the course of seven hours, as some people arrived late, some were lost, some never made it, and some completely unexpected guests showed up. We needed seven hours for all the speakers, all the music, all the food, all the socializing, all the vital conversations, and even then, I was so engaged with what was happening that the only thing I found time to eat was a small piece of Jules' delicious strawberry cheesecake, which was a big hit.
Gérard Angé, a dear friend, heroically came all the way down from his home in Northern California to shoot some great video of speakers and musicians and subsequently edited them into some awesome music videos, in addition to capturing the speakers. I felt so blessed to have so many great friends, and phenomenal activists, willing to speak on my behalf and articulate the issues that we all care so much about. Peter and Richard generously donated books and DVDs to the campaign. Jeremy Goodfeather also donated sales of his CD. Cindy Sheehan, Maria Gilardin, MaryBeth Brangan, Jim Heddle, MaryAnn Thomas, Ken Jenkins, Dr. Paul Rea all spoke. Rebecca Cross and Vic Sadot sang and played their guitars. Two other Congressional candidates- Jay Cabrera (Running against Zoe Lofgren) and Barry Hermanson (Running against Nancy Pelosi) also spoke and Jay played his guitar and sang some original music. People spilled out of the clubhouse onto the veranda, but since not everyone was there for the entire time; there were always chairs available, and even enough room to dance when Jeremy Goodfeather and his percussionist topped off the evening with some powerful lively tunes.
I hope that everyone had as good a time, as I did! Someone mentioned how Kevin Danaher's strategy was building irresistible lifeboats, so that those on the Titanic might feel compelled to jump ship and and join the parties on the lifeboats. My hope is that all of us working for systemic change, for the long haul, on multiple fronts (not every year is an election year) should enjoy it so much that the movement will completely outgrow the failing institutions that have dominated so many for so long.
I guess I failed to do what traditional candidates do at traditional campaign kickoffs; I never made the pitch for donations. I did urge people to take the new money that we just printed, to spread the wealth, to take bumper stickers, yard signs, books, to join us at the Occuparty, the May Day actions, the May Fete Parade, precinct walking and talking, to get involved, volunteer, and have fun. Fred and Lois Duperrault generously hosted the event (and vacuumed and washed dishes and loaned us their vegetable peeler...) I was so grateful to friends who came from far and near to be with us, including Greg Jan, who had come up with many of the ideas for the Greenbacks, and picked up 16,000 of them to share with the Alameda Green Party. I felt energized and inspired by everyone's participation, generosity, words and actions. Thank-you to all who came, who spoke, who helped, who contributed, who care, who are working to make the world a better place. No matter what the results of the primary are; I can promise that I'm in this for the long haul and will continue to do what I can to help move us in the direction of truth, peace, justice, ecological wisdom- a world that works for all.
Here's a write up by Jonathan Fluck- Carol Brouillet Running as Green in the 18th Congressional District
Here's a write up with photos by Tian Harter- Tian's Photo Blog.