Based on numerous requests from friends, I’m sharing my endorsements for the (tremendously long and difficult to understand) Nov. 6 election here, see below. Next election, I’ll give a summary of my thinking but I have too much on my plate to do so now, which is why this is a “cheat sheet” not a thorough endorsement with explanations.
After spending several hours researching the ballot, I’ve realized the following:
Ballotpedia should be praised for making our complicated and hidden election processes transparent. As a mostly volunteer organization, it’s totally deserving of your monetary donations, after all “Giving Tuesday” is right around the corner.
Our so-called democracy is set up for those who are highly educated. Most of the state measures require at least some graduate school in order to just read the language used on the ballot, according to Ballotpedia’s “Readability Score.” How’s the average bear supposed to navigate it all?
Measure 7, on Daylight Saving Time, is the only state measure that had $0 money for-or-against it. This gives us a glimpse of what our democracy could look like if millions of dollars weren’t used to pay for advertisements to sway us one way or another.
Secretary of State
Betty T. Yee
Member of State Board of Equalization: 3rd District
You’re invited to join us for an afternoon launch party and reading of Feminisms in Motion: Voices for Justice, Liberation and Transformation. This anthology is a culmination of 10 years of publishing of the feminist magazine make/shift, which Daria, Jess and I started a decade ago. I’ll be reading my essay from the book and there will plenty of food and hugs for all. You can buy a copy of the book online for a discounted price now. See you there!
Remember when Jess, Daria and I started the intersectional feminist magazine make/shift in 2007? The mag. was published for 10 years and the new anthology Feminisms in Motion: Voices for Justice, Liberation, and Transformation is a collection of some key pieces written by the “most inspiring feminist writers of the decade,” including yours truly! My essay and book review “Bathing Beneath the Lebanese Sky” is included in this stunning book.
Angela Davis has said this about the new anthology: “This wide-ranging collection of extraordinary writings—drawn from a decade of the important work of make/shift magazine to document feminist cultures and organizing strategies—offers a snapshot of ten years of incisive political and cultural analysis centering the work of women of color artists and activists. In the contemporary political moment, when there is such urgency to act, these writers insist that we consistently critique our analyses and approaches, and remind us how vitally important explicitly intersectional, multi-issue organizing strategies are to the success of our movements. Feminisms in Motion provides both a historical record of significant antiracist feminist interventions and a roadmap for moving us in the direction of freedom and justice.”
Buy your copy today! You can preorder now at 25% off the list price ($15 instead of $20) and they’ll ship it to you in early October. Stay tuned for details of a release party on Oct. 20 in L.A.
Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider has sat on my shelf unread for decades. Thankfully, I picked it up last night and found these much-needed words for these times:
“We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.
The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.
A friend of mine who’s overwhelmed by making ends meet and mommyhood asked me if I could tell her how to vote in the upcoming primary. Given how non-transparent electoral politics are, I assume she’s not the only one who could use a hand. So, I spent most of my Sunday figuring out which bubbles to fill in so that you don’t have to! (I highly recommend Ballotpedia.org to help sort through it all.) See my recommendations below.
My beloved brother Petey A. would have turned 47 today. We miss his light and laughter daily. I don’t have any video of him but these candid shots show a glimpse of his charisma. I’m so sad that his life ended at 46, but so blessed to have known and loved him.
Come on out to LitFest Pasadena at the Pasadena Playhouse on Sat., May 19 at 5:30 PM. I’ll be talking about my experience as an Arab American feminist writer from LA. Join in the thought-provoking discussion and give me a hug. Much-needed medicine in these times.