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Carl Pope

Carl Pope

Posted: August 2, 2006 08:35 PM

Do More Than Vote!


San Francisco -- That's the message from an awesome new young activists group that (full disclosure) my son, the DJ, has helped set up here. About three weeks ago, they asked me to speak at a club near our office, to help encourage active engagement among 20- to 35-year-olds, many of whom were particularly concerned about climate and the environment. As the event drew near, I received a flood of Evites giving me awesome updates --

* 16 activist groups would be there tabling and recruiting for volunteers.
* Another eight would be represented by walk-around contacts.
* In addition to my son, three other DJs would spin, and a young Korean-American poetess would perform.
Eventually, if I can read Evites correctly, Do More than Vote invited some 1,700 people, and about 320 showed up in spite of competition from a stunning gorgeous, rare, hot Tuesday evening in San Francisco. Do More Than Vote also sent me a summary of the comments and activist backgrounds of many of the early respondents, and it was one of the most inspiring moments of the year for me. Their hunger for solutions, for hope, and for positive energy was intense, but it was combined with a range and depth of commitment and imagination that puts my own generation, the 60s crew, to shame.

One attendee wrote, "I am a teacher in East Oakland, a political activist and I co-run a small NGO called InterAlianza Foundation ... a good friend of mine, Eden James, is a political activist who volunteers a good portion of his time for an organization called Democracy for America (DFA). I also want to recommend checking out the website of another friend and mentor, Bob Graham: NamasteDirect. He works with (his model is partnership-based as opposed to charity) the most marginalized member of the world community abroad. ... Another cool organization is called the Paul Wellstone Club for Democratic Renewal. ... Check out the website of mythologist and story-teller, Michael Meade. He has started a campaign called the Poetics of Peace. He is dedicated to the power of language, both for individual emancipation and for social change."

So I hope that Do More than Vote and its equivalents are springing up all over America -- because we need to take this country back, now, and it's this kind of energy that will do it.


Here's What Science Said Global Warming Would Be Like:

The National Weather Service posted heat advisories and warnings from Maine to Oklahoma. Triple-digit temperatures were forecast Wednesday along the East Coast as far north as parts of Maine and New Hampshire. By 11 a.m., the heat index at Washington's Reagan National Airport was 103 -- a combination of the 94-degree heat and 51 percent humidity -- and up north in Boston thermometers read 93, for a heat index of 101, the National Weather Service said. The temperature at Newark, NJ, already had hit 95 .... In the stifling subway tunnels, there was no air conditioning on three cars of the train Sayed Bukhari rode into Manhattan.

"People were crying," Bukhari said.

And Here's What We Can Do About It:

The Sierra Student Coalition affiliate in Montgomery County, Maryland, the Montgomery County Student Environmental Activists (MCSEA) campaign, persuaded the County Council to purchase 20 percent renewable energy for all county municipal buildings by the year 2011. The clean, renewable energy will come from a wind farm in West Virginia....making Montgomery County the biggest County purchaser of renewable energy in the country.

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