sweet anjali, sweet april

this post is not about you anjali, but since you are such a dedicated poster i felt like you’d earned it 😉 finally some dialogue!

my sister april is the best host in the world, and is now living in a townhouse with some wonderful kids (woah! am i sooo old? how did i say that?)

yeah the immigration thing i am thinking about a lot, would there be such a black/brown divide on this if we had a guaranteed living wage and universal healthcare in the u.s.? then we could focus on fighting to make sure everyone had access to that opportunity, then we would be asking a better question…but we have to do the work of tracing the blame back to the top and then looking for cause and effect.

why are people coming to this country – freedom, peace, economic opportunity…and why aren’t they able to find this freedom and opportunity at home? how often is it because of unethical and unfair trade with the west, how often is it because the agricultural or resource-based income options are gone…because they have been sapped by someone like US or because the natural environment has made it impossible to keep up. i am going to do a strategy session with these brilliant young people who focus their work across the arctic north, where global warming is showing a real outcome. shit is actually melting and the environment is rapidly changing. there’s some folks trying to go across the north pole right now – last year they made it 18 days, this year they are about 6 days in.

is it too big a leap to think about the environmental impacts that cause immigration, as well as the economic ones. not to mention – ‘my country is a war zone.’ which, unfortunately, can often find a root in us soil as well. not conspiracies, just theories.

and then the higher grade gas – my question is can anyone buy that now? i want to see the clear case for clean fueling options being cheaper than gas now.

and taz – i am sorry about the stupid fucking floating ad and am looking for other options cause this shit is wack. maybe i will experiment with putting lots of space on there. also when i post from my sidekick it looks like there’s no spaces in the post. special. 

you know i came on here to blog a bit about my ongoing battle with blogging. on one hand, i love it. on the other hand, i sometimes go through periods where its boring as hell – i am literally running around to meetings.

but to be real…those meetings excite me – today i talked with the dude working on a separation of oil and state campaign that is really brilliant and exciting, and this woman doing web organizing for s.e.i.u. which was inspiring, and then met with this beautiful and brilliant funder who deepened my faith that there are these really smart people who grasp the need for long-term well-managed youth-specific strategies that are led by the effected communities, who get the need for leadership development and that outside the box thinking – and many of them are at foundations and want to be pulled in. i even got to have a malia lazu experience, heightened exponentially by anasa troutman and rev sekou and alexis mcgill. and for a closer, sarita gupta, who reminded me why jobs with justice is quite possibly the future of the labor movement.

jwj has this dope thing where folks commit to helping on 5 campaigns other than theirs as volunteers – imagine where we would all be if every organization had their members take this pledge?

in terms of buying a house – i am torn. i just read a dope harper’s article on the real estate market and coming crash. but i also really get on a logical level how dumb it is to pay rent instead of paying towards owning something. i want orgs i work with to own their buildings – i want donors to start giving people buildings as offices that they can deck out. thats an investment in longevity.

anyway, i have a piece to write for clamor that i am super excited about, not to mention sleep to get. its hard to sleep because this new job has my brain buzzing, looking for all of the cross sections of direct action and strategic youth organizing is exciting. i took benadryl though, so its a race to the clock to think and write before sleep comes. my mom comes through here tomorrow on her way to japan, so everyone, all at once, say: hi jane!

ooh wanna see some pics of my family and our weekend together for april’s graduation (she mah massuh now!)

at least its better than watching the cavaliers and the spurs back to back spankings. i am definitely getting into this basketball thing.

ok, here’s some pics! love y’all – amb

autumns new shoes:

how we feel about april graduating:


my adorable new shoes, and then april’s and autumn’s…shoes say a lot about a woman, eh?:


the graduate, already making moves:


and with her cutie-friend:

my cousin’s prom date and ride. yeah the goof runs in the blood:

my grandfather and grandmother (she is literally pouring food on me in this shot)!

the graduate with our strapping boy cousins:

my uncle and cousin, michael and michaela

and michael’s youngest BABY with my baby sister

the graduate with my uncles and aunt and dad:


and then i found some photos and a family tree for the black side of my family – the search continues: