25 September 2005

A busy day of activities

I headed for the Mall in the morning to join the Peace and Justice Festival, and look for the Democracy Cell Project table there. I had no luck. Calling Karen Bradley of the organization, I found that she was doing some planning work at home, so I headed for her place right away. I ended up meeting a number of key members, including user oncall visiting from Chicago, founder (and Karen's husband) Dick Bell, editor Victoria Ellen, and others. We ended up, under Dick's direction, unveiling a new five-point plan which we uploaded to the Democracy Cell Project blog, where the rest of the users are commenting on it now.

Dick and Karen's frugal lifestyle was something to note. Dick's living standards were pretty ordinary despite having been a stellar web-based activist (and the John Kerry blogmaster last year); his vehicles consisted of a bicycle and a Honda Civic hybrid, as environmentally friendly as anything can get. The home was a very old, narrow 3-story brownstone, with bookshelves lining all walls of the living room - I liked it.

I also trained for tomorrow's Lobby Day at American University, meeting with other activists from throughout the nation - including about three dozen from California alone - and planning on what to do with our elected representatives. I decided not to bother with meeting Congressman Gary Miller, even though the organizers wanted me to make a "drop in" appearance at his office. I'll just be doing Barbara Boxer, and if there is room, Dianne Feinstein; I am going to let other activists do the bulk of the communicating, and try to learn from the experience.

One downside though: because of all the time I spent preparing for Lobby Day, I was unable to join Code Pink's activities. No time to meet with Cindy Sheehan and Medea Benjamin - or my writing teacher Gayle Brandeis for that matter. She'll need to wait for another day to be able to see me as Rachel, it seems.

I'm exhausted. Another night of laundry, and I'll need my rest to prepare for tomorrow.