My heartfelt appreciation to those who helped me and supported my Congressional bid. It was a learning experience for my son and I, and a great organizing opportunity for many of us. Jonathan Fluck, who came out from New York to help with the campaign, told us that our campaign happily avoided much of the drama that he had witnessed in previous campaigns. Our team actually got along and enjoyed one another's company and the campaign was not an intense, high pressured ordeal. We kept busy and couldn't do all that we had hoped to do, but we did our best to overcome the challenges that came our way. The most stressful challenge for us, particularly me, happened on May 26th when I received a Bench Warrant in the mail advising me to surrender to the Sunnyvale Police Department and to have $10,000 in order to post bail and stay out of jail. I had failed to appear for a hearing on May 18th that stemmed from my arrest at the action at Lockheed Martin on Good Friday, protesting nuclear weapons production. My friend, who had been in Europe, received a similar Bench Warrant. Since it was Memorial Day weekend, we couldn't do much until Tuesday when we tried to get a hearing to surrender to the court. We were given a new date, June 15th. The other people, who were arrested with us, were scheduled to appear on Thursday, May 30th. I went with them to court that day, their lawyer was unable to come, they were not formally arraigned, but given a new court date- July 12th. I drew attention to myself and asked to be included with my friends, but the judge didn't have my paperwork and indicated that I could resolve the date later when I returned on June 15th. He didn't call off the Bench Warrant.
On the last weekend before the election, we were at the Farmer's Market and precinct walking all day. When I returned home with Jules in the evening a police car was in front of us and drove by our house. I wondered aloud whether they were after me and Jules said, "Oh, it's just their usual patrol." The car went by our house and I pulled into our driveway. The police made a U turn and came back to arrest me. At least the car was at home. My husband came outside to see what was happening and I was able to give to Jules and Jean-Luc my valuables, my wedding ring, and asked them to bring the bail money. Jules loaned me his cell phone, which was a good thing, otherwise Jean-Luc wouldn't have been able to find me after my release. It was a bit of an ordeal and an eye-opener to see the gears of the "criminal" justice system.
I didn't get any sleep that night and was "in custody" about 15 hours. Jean-Luc drove to San Jose three times to post bail and fetch me. At least I was back in time to do a little precinct walking with a great supporter, and make it to the Eagle Scout Ceremony where three scouts, whom I had known since they were cub scouts, were celebrated by the community, family and friends.
The next morning, before I had a chance to even communicate what had happened to those who were arrested with me, the press called. I told my story to a couple of reporters who only had police records available to them. So on election day, both stories (Congressional candidate Carol Brouillet arrested
Palo Altan failed to attend court hearing after April civil disobedience arrest) appeared with a mixture accuracies and mistakes. It seems that Green Party candidates must be arrested to be mentioned at all by the press. The primary had a record low turnout- 35% of the registered voters made the effort to vote.
I spent most of the day cooking for the Election Night Party, but I also had to grocery shop, feed the hungry kids (including the son returning from Dartmouth who had to finish writing a paper that day for school). We did have a great turnout at the party, including a late appearance from the Republican candidate who received 30% of the vote. I received about 4% of the vote. The incumbent received 60%.
On Election Day I also briefly watched the transit of Venus across the sun, which no one would ever even notice with the naked eye, but I was given an opportunity to look at it through a neighbor's telescope. The event is rare and made me think of my favorite Jimmi Hendrix quote "When the power of love is greater than the love of power, the world will know peace." Our grassroots effort of directly speaking with people produced some surprising results and conversations. On Saturday an elderly Republican wanted me to come inside his home and speak with him. I sat down and he grilled me for about ten minutes and then voiced his support, told me that he would ask all his friends to support me. He gave me his blessing and said that he would pray for me. He was a Catholic priest. He also asked for a yard sign, and said that he would like to meet my husband and my sons. I received a nice letter from him with a $100 donation at the Election Night Party and Jules decided to follow up and invite him over to the party. He was a bit shocked to discover that Rev. Raymond V. Dunn, M.A., STL, J.D., OSJ, Founder and President of the St. Peter Claver Society had passed away on Sunday.
I am, again, in transit, reminded of Life's fragility, and wondering where to redirect my energy. With my three sons back at home, the demands of family are likely to eclipse the political demands of a world hurtling down an unfortunate trajectory. I doubt very much if I will ever catch up with my mail, let alone be able to support all the causes, issues, people that I care about, but I do know that I will probably never be able to resist trying, since that has been my main path for over twenty years now. I feel fortunate to find that I am not alone and despite all the resistance we've encountered, we continually find new sources of inspiration, hope and strength.