02/19/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

With You at the Inauguration, In Spirit

I'll admit it. Part of me wishes I was in Washington, DC, watching our new president take his oath of office, going to an inaugural ball, celebrating with millions of others. Probably crying again, as I did on election night.

Instead, here's what I'm doing to celebrate.

This morning, I took my shovel and joined a group of neighbors at a nearby church in response to a call from the Suquamish Tribe's Environmental Stewardship Council. We are preparing some land for a community vegetable garden -- the Port Madison Reservation's first -- as one of many community service projects around the country that have sprung up in response to Michelle Obama's call for a day of service to celebrate MLK Day.

Tuesday morning early (Pacific time), I'll go to the Bella Luna Pizza and coffee shop in the center of Suquamish to watch the Inauguration on television.

Then, it's back to work on the spring issue of YES! which will focus on how people are reclaiming food and farming for the sake of their health, the climate, the health of soil and water ways, and to make sure everyone has enough to eat -- even during economic hard times.

In the evening, I'll go to a concert in Seattle's Town Hall entitled "Odetta to Obama," celebrating the music of the late singer and of others who built the civil rights struggle that makes this extraordinary week possible.

With any spare moments, I'll be preparing for the summer issue of YES!, which takes on the small question of redesigning the economy. Since the Wall Street economy has failed, what type of economy should we rebuild that can serve us better? And this time, can we build an economy that is good for children, sustains the environment, and supports things we value -- like time, and having a life, and democracy?

So yes, I wish I was there with the celebrating crowds on the mall. But I'm glad I'm here too. As Van Jones says when I asked him if he planned to join the Obama administration:

"Even though we have a great president, we also need a great popular movement to support that president. All of us can't go into the White House and hang out there. We got a lot of work to do out in these communities, and that's what I plan to do."

If you're in DC, I'm with you in spirit. If you are making things work in your own community, that's what I'm doing, too.