{ metropolis devoured }
a tribute to my san francisco

3/4 oz scotch whiskey
3/4 oz local politics
1/4 oz public policy
1/4 oz disaster preparedness
1/2 oz alamo square

Shake over neighborhood dives & venues, strain into a chilled cocktail dress, garnish with a sprig of gov 2.0, and serve.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When good women do nothing...

Edmund Burke may have said that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Yesterday, at the 3rd Annual San Francisco Women's Policy Summit, which convened more than 170 public sector representatives, nonprofit leaders, and advocacy partners with the unifying cause of promoting policies that increase the status of women, Campaign Boot Camp author and advocate Christine Pelosi wisely closed the Summit by saying, "DO something, don't just be something." And my boyfriend once paraphrased the introduction to The Life of the Mind as "Don't just jack off to your brain."

Thinking is great. Thinking begets ideas, theories, plans. But those ideas need to have an actionable aspect, and those plans need to be carried out. 2010 is going to be a tough year both locally, with important Supervisorial seats up for grab in San Francisco, and on the State level, with constitutional reform and ballot initiatives aimed to fix - and some to further cripple - our fragile economy. Anyone who's ever purported to care about the state of our existence needs to be ready to act, and furthermore, to give.

It takes roughly $2.5 million for a statewide initiative to qualify for the ballot.

It takes more than $15 million to win.

Here's where I'm going with this: A FOURTH ballot initiative seeking a California constitutional amendment requiring parental notification and a 48-hour waiting period before a minor can obtain an abortion was filed at the California Attorney General's Office this month. Parental notification initiatives were defeated by California voters in 2005, 2006 and 2008, but moneyed right-wingers are still attempting to sink Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice providers by exhausting their funding streams with excessively repetitive ballot initiatives. They may not win (if we do our job right), but they will make sure that money that can be used to provide services is instead spent on politics.

So I'm just saying, be prepared to act and give, and give as generously as you can. If you're constructing your budget for 2010, don't forget to work in your future political contributions. Men, too. We appreciate it more than you know.

I will leave you with this the following quote that my colleague Heidi Sieck has just posted on Facebook (I almost hate to say it, but it's a great tool for exchanging ideas):

"There is a special place in hell for women who don't help each other" - Secretary Madeleine Albright, 1:15 PM 10/27/09 at the Women's Conference


Thursday, October 15, 2009

I really like maps...

Virtual maps, vintage maps, maps of population proportion, maps of the "old world" the way the old world saw it, topographical maps, simple linework of jurisdictional divisions (we have a number of those in our city alone! police districts, fire/emergency districts, supervisorial districts, water districts, etc., and all with different borders), maps that illustrate a region in a book.

Sidenote: I don't understand why some books - fiction and non - fail to include these when they mention specific placenames in a region. I know it's not hard to look them up on my phone which is usually 3 inches from my hand at any given point in time anyway, and maybe I should be better at geography by now, but they just can't hurt. Plus they are visually stimulating and a map in print always lends gravitas to the text, saying, "Look, these cities are a travelable distance, I didn't just make it up because I figured you wouldn't know any better."

I also really dig collaborative approach theory lately, as well as framing the future success or stagnation of global states in a geopolitical context. I've started to form a "big picture" for my (hopefully) future graduate studies: that true cooperation, not just political like-mindedness or similarity in social and economic goals, are necessary for states to succeed in the long term, to form a symbiosis of sorts. So when I stumbled across this video while randomly seeking some inspiration on the TED website, I thought, Perfect!, but also, "Damn, someone already wrote my thesis, and he did it in under 20 minutes." Oh well. I'm sure there's something out there for me still.

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