Mar 19, 2011

Save Public Broadcasting

Yesterday, House Republicans passed an "emergency" bill that would ban any federal money from going to NPR.
This is it: our last chance to save public broadcasting, after more than a decade of fending off Republican attacks. More than 600,000 people have already signed the petition, and we're aiming for 750,000 to show the Senate how much support public broadcasting has.

I've signed the petition to save NPR and PBS. Can you join me?

Mar 11, 2011

Keep Your Info Secure on Facebook

These instructions are part of CalPirg's new guide to help you control who can see your pictures and updates, whether or not outside websites can use your information, and much more. Check it out and pass it on.

Shame on Chevron

After a nearly 18-year-long struggle pitting indigenous communities against the world's fifth largest corporation--Chevron, was found GUILTY of massive environmental contamination in the Ecuadorian Amazon and ordered to pay $8.6 billion to clean up its mess, provide potable water, and fund health care.

I stand with Global Exchange and other allies in celebration and solidarity with the 30,000 plaintiffs who have achieved this tremendous milestone in their struggle for justice.

But just as is the case in Egypt, the struggle is not over. Chevron has announced that it will not pay and that it will appeal the ruling.


Mar 10, 2011

2 surveys to take

We are talking about personality types in my class. As part of homework, I took this survey and found that I am a "transcender."

The leading edge. The Transcenders are the most self aware and contented of the Pioneers, but also the ones most likely to push their perceptual boundaries, in an attempt to gain greater harmony with their own value set and gain connection with others and the environment around them.

They are the “scouts” for the rest of the Pioneers, pushing farther, faster, yet with a “lightness” that is not often felt by the other Pioneers.

For the majority of the time, life is fun. They are intrigued by the unknown, and have a need for openness in their lives. Forgiving of themselves, they are the most likely to be forgiving of others.

The survey is based on Abraham Maslow's Group Theory. I tend to agree with the results!

Then, I took a second survey to find out what kind of consumer I was. It's from the Strategic Business Insights. From here, I found that I was mostly an Experiencer but I also had characteristics of an Innovator.

Experiencers are motivated by self-expression. Young, enthusiastic, and impulsive consumers, Experiencers quickly become enthusiastic about new possibilities but are equally quick to cool. They seek variety and excitement, savoring the new, the offbeat, and the risky. Their energy finds an outlet in exercise, sports, outdoor recreation, and social activities.

(This is so interesting! I do have energy and excitement for these things, and I can also be very impulsive and can regret buying things sometimes.)

Innovators are change leaders and are the most receptive to new ideas and technologies. Innovators are very active consumers, and their purchases reflect cultivated tastes for upscale, niche products and services. Image is important to Innovators, not as evidence of status or power but as an expression of their taste, independence, and personality.

(Wow, I didn't really think about this for myself...but I can see it now. I gravitate towards unique art that I feel captivates "me" as a person and I don't mind spending more to support local artists versus generic in-store items.)

Mar 8, 2011

Facts About Women and Girls

Pregnancy is a leading cause of death in young women aged 15-19.

70% of the one billion people living in extreme poverty are women and girls.

When a girl in the developing world receives 7 or more years of education, she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children.

53,000,000 girls in developing countries are denied access to primary school.

Source: Because I am a girl

One out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries. This type of violence and abuse ranges from rape to domestic violence and acid burnings to dowry deaths and so-called honor killings. Violence against women and girls is an an extreme human rights violation, a public health epidemic and a barrier to solving global challenges such as extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS and conflict. It devastates the lives of millions of women and girls--- in peacetime and in conflict --- and knows no national or cultural barriers.

We know that violence against women is an atrocious human rights violation that must be stopped. What many people don't know however, is that violence against women is also a major cause of poverty and a huge barrier to economic opportunity - it keeps women from getting an education, working, and earning the income they need to lift their families out of poverty. In Nicaragua, for example, a study found that children of female victims of violence left school an average of four years earlier than other children. In India a survey revealed that women who experienced even a single incident of violence lost an average of seven working days.

Source: Women Thrive Worldwide

Happy International Women's Day!
...from the South Bay International Womyn's Day Network:


We are reviving a movement that has not seen such a celebration since the 1970s –– to illustrate our solidarity in sisterhood and to build a network that will serve as a catalyst for advancing our human rights work in the South Bay and ensuring the healthy wellbeing of womyn in the process, who many times are the solid model of leadership in the household.

It’s vital for our city to hold a march like this because we are home to an amazingly diverse and global population, with representatives from all around the world. Womyn are bringing social justice to the forefront of our local politics, and we are a key to any political discussion, given the place and time in which we live. We are attempting to move away from a politics that defines us solely as victims and instead move forward to politicize us in order to improve our social conditions. We are agents of change; we will march, speak out against injustices, and celebrate our victories such as as reproductive rights and labor rights while continuing to put pressure by advocating for policies that may positively impact our healthy well-being, our families and communities –– such as health care reform and civil rights for all, including the right to marry.

Some of our local efforts are aimed at creating a network among womyn-based organizations in San Jose, educating on organizational projects, services and campaigns, building support for each other’s future work, while dedicating the march to migrant rights and anti-war efforts.

International Solidarity

We will honor International Womyn Day and Womyn’s History Month, as we join peoples and organizations around the world, including the International Migrants Alliance, made up of 118 organizations from 25 countries, to advocate for womyn’s rights. The deepening crisis of world economy leads to a more vicious exploitation and oppression of millions of people in the world but especially the more than 200 million migrants around the world.

Imperialist plunder, war and terror victimize, kill and displace whole families, communities, and nations, especially womyn and children. Womyn migrants are often the most victimized and abused. On the 8th year of the U.S. war on Iraq, the United States will spend $1 trillion to continue its criminal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. spends approximately $700 million each day to fight a war in Afghanistan where women make up the majority of “collateral damage” in non-combatant attacks.

Being womyn, they experience added oppression – lower wages, stereotyped work opportunities, first to be laid off, sweat-shop slavery, sexual harassment, rape, etc. They are the most vulnerable in the human trafficking for forced labor, prostitution and other forms of slavery. We call for full and strict implementation of conventions protecting and upholding the rights of all womyn, womyn immigrants, and womyn refugees –– and addressing their specific needs on local and international levels.

It’s Everyone’s Struggle!

It is important to note that respect for womyn and their integration in the social justice struggle is not just a feminist thing, or a womyn’s event, but it is the obligation of society as a whole, including men, to create a culture of respect and ensure womyn’s rights everywhere. The community planning includes a male contingent in solidarity with this womyn led process. This male solidarity prove that it becomes everyones obligation to fight for womyn’s rights as part of the larger labor to fight for human rights, our resistance in the peace movement and our solidarity with the most vulnerable during economic times –– womyn and children, especially as migrant.

We will take back our power in an effort to draw attention to systemic oppression as a result of imperialism that indeed impact us in a most intimate level as womyn, migrants, mothers, lesbians, workers, youth, educators, and artists.

Feb 4, 2011

How to Support the Egyptian People's Call for a Peaceful Revolution

Protest and March in solidarity with the Egyptian and Tunisian people; Join the International Day of Mobilization in San Francisco, Sat. Feb. 5th, 2011, 1 pm at the U.N. Plaza, Market and 8th, San Francisco, CA.

Protest in front of Egyptian embassies near you.

Blog, tweet, and share information! With access to internet and social media cut, we need to be the voice of the Egyptian people. For continual updates, check our People to People blog.

Call on the U.S. government to end military aid to the Mubarak regime.

Sign Avaaz's statement of solidarity online.

Jan 17, 2011

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ~ MLK

On this Martin Luther King day, let us do more than reflect and celebrate a visionary’s legacy. Let us become visionaries. Let us become change makers. Let us rub the sleep out of our eyes and get out of bed with a new hope. Let us live our dreams in full capacity.

How? Start with a mission statement. Describe your personal mission. What is the fire in your belly that drives you? What gives you meaning? What are your values?

Then, create a vision statement. What is your vision for the world? If others were to jump in your head and look out your yes, what would you want them to see?

Define the problem(s) that make you cringe. Meet the stakeholders and listen to their viewpoints.

Create an action plan. Be as detailed and specific as you can. Draft and redraft. Break it down to include even the smallest steps. Grab a calendar and set deadlines.

Read books and surround yourself with motivating mentors. Here are some good titles to add to your library list: Stick Out Your Neck: A Street-Smart Guide to Creating Change in Your Community and Beyond; The Art of Framing: Managing the Language of Leadership; The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective Ways to use Social Media to Drive Social Change; The Leadership Challenge; and How to Re-Imagine the World: A Pocket Guide for Practical Visionaries.


My Mission Statement
  • To educate and empower my fellow citizens (particularly women and girls) towards positive change in our local community of San Jose, CA.
I think my love for life and trust in others can be harvested in a community campaign or movement. Using my passion for compassion, I want to make a difference in a particular community that is disadvantaged or oppressed in some way. I want to do this from the bottom-up.

  • To let my sensitivity be an asset, not a weakness and to show compassion towards others, in hope that others will follow this model.

I have a strong belief in the interdependence of all living things. I realize that I am drawn to the emotions and lives of all the people I meet. I have a desire to reach out and offer help. I trust others very easily. This has not always ended in a positive way. Some people have told me that I need to protect myself and be cautious. I find this difficult to do because I believe we are innately involved and entangled in each other’s lives and well-being. Humanity is a beautiful web.

I am not ashamed to show compassion. I don’t understand why some people shy away from it. I admit that I am quick to shed a tear whenever I hear someone’s story. The fire in my belly rumbles and I begin to melt. I get very concerned and I hate feeling helpless. I want to act. If I can’t act, for some reason, then I feel very guilty.

I can be very gullible and naieve. I don’t take sarcasm well. I often take things too personally. I am working on this. I am open to criticism, but I do much better if it is delivered respectfully. I tend to shut down when I hear hateful comments presented in angry tones. I often avoid conflict and debate. I wish I was braver to face and befriend my enemies. I want to say that I’m a tough cookie, but I’m more delicate than that. I’m just not there yet.

I enjoy the company of close friends and often take the nurturing role. I even get urges to offer strangers a ride in my car, a hug, or a cup of coffee. I prefer to host, cook, give and take care of things for my friends and family. Even if I’ve been burned, I am quick to forgive. (Perhaps, too quick in some cases?) I find true pleasure in crafting personal letters, handmaking gifts, exchanging hugs and laughing. Even at my own wedding or on my birthday, I strive to make sure others are happy. I don’t really like feeling this way, but for some innate reason, I always do.

My Vision Statement
  • San Jose is a great place to live. However, since the city is so big and spread out many resources are difficult and services are not always accessible to the communities that need them. Instead of this current fragmented culture, I envision:

Shelters and community centers united. There is a multi-lingual resource directory that is shared and widely distributed. A co-op house, hosts free events, workshops, and a vibrant reuse market. Zero-waste potlucks are held every month with hosted discussion on topics such as health and sexuality. Each March a rally and celebration occur on the streets to honor International Women’s Day (March 8) and Women’s History Month. Women and girls living in San Jose feel safe, empowered, and supported. They vote, organize and participate in city council meetings demanding better schools, gardens, parks, equal pay, and reproductive justice.

Jan 6, 2011

Reflections of the old and hopes for the new decade

2001 – School dances and football games. Aaron graduates from Laguna and begins at SCU. Al-Qaeda terrorists hijack four U.S. airliners and crash them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

2002 – Yosemite, high school theater performances, concerts and scavenger hunts with friends.

2003 – Renee and Jordan get married. Arnold Schwarzenegger elected state governor. Drama, dance, driver’s license, SAT and zits.

2004 – Lani graduates from Laguna, travels to Spain and begins at Cal. Kathleen and Chris get married. Aaron graduates from SCU. President Bush wins reelection over John Kerry. Tsunami and earthquake strike Southeast Asia. Sarah Mclachlan concert at Arco.

2005 – College roommates, new jobs, and Facebook. Travels to the ancient Mayan ruins of Oaxaca and razzle-dazzle of Las Vegas. Romantic getaway to Monterey. Dennis and Jane get married. Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast.

2006 – Lani studies abroad in Morelia, Mexico. Population of the United States reaches a scary three hundred million. Visit to Nashville and Disneyworld Orlando.

2007 – Ruben and Juliet’s 50th wedding anniversary. The first female speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, is sworn into office. Tree sitting at the Berkeley Oak Grove. New Year’s Eve in Hawaii. Climbing up the Empire State Building and watching Lion King on Broadway. Family road trip to Ashland, Oregon.

2008 – Lani graduates from Cal and starts internship at VTA. Aaron and Lani get engaged and adopt Peluche from the Humane Society. Barack Obama, Democratic Senator from Illinois, wins presidency. Rowan is born. Ani Difranco and Tom Petty concerts in SF. Adventures in Guatemala and Los Angeles (NOW state conference).

2009 – Busy with work at VTA and SCU. Dean is born. Kayak in Half Moon Bay. Visit Ryan in Amsterdam and travel to France, Switzerland and Germany. Wicked the Musical in San Francisco for Lani’s birthday. California fun in Pismo, Huntington and Laguna Beach. Belly dance lessons. The H1N1 virus, or Swine Flu, is named a global pandemic. Marriage Equality march in Fresno.

2010 – Bike riding in the spring and summer. British Petroleum deep water oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Health care reform passed. Whirl-wind of weddings and graduation parties. Honeymoon in Italy. Lilith Fair and Transiberian Orchestra concerts. Catastrophic earthquake hits Haiti. Ashlyn is born. Explore Washington state, Santa Cruz, and Yosemite. Jerry Brown elected governor. LSAT.

2011 – Road trips in our new Subaru Outback. Bowling, line dancing and drum circles. Eating healthy and lifting weights. Campaigning for marriage equality and the environment. Discovering new parts of the state, country and world. Quiet time with good books. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repealed. Celebrating life and love with family and friends.