The Red States are Stirring on the Road West

Ideas and Issues Organizing
Sunflower Act Rally
Sunflower Rally

Houston   Happy Independence Day!   I’m headed west again for the 4th straight summer for a piece of time.  Part work and part vacation. I’m trying to finish a book.  I’m going to celebrate 45 years in this work.   Friends and fun!  So this is by way of a warning.  I’m going to be thinking about some of the same things and some different things, so let the readers and listener beware.

This morning with friends we celebrated the 4th of July with a slice of watermelon to start the day.  Earlier I had gotten to walk down the beautiful paths between Heights Boulevard in Houston before dawn with Lucha, my Australian shepherd, and listen to the quiet in this huge city.

At the break of day it was wonderful to hear about the work of the Sunflower Community Action in Wichita, Kansas and its partnership with the Communications Workers of America.  As importantly, they are also going toe-to-toe with rightwing radical extremist, Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, who threatened the organization directly in the name of the second amendment and gunslingers everywhere.    It was rougher to hear about the progress of some organizing drives both domestically and internationally in telecommunications.

These are crazy times, so I’m looking forward to thinking about them more deeply.  What do we make of a military coup to depose the first elected leader in Cairo? Can a court really restrain the government in Turkey when they rejected the development plans in Taksim Square in Istanbul?  Is watching Edward Snowden try to find asylum somewhere the global equivalent of OJ Simpson and his Bronco on the Los Angeles freeway?

One of my friends was charged up from the rally of thousands this Monday in Austin at the Capitol in the on-going fight for the rights of women around choice versus the anti-abortion men.  Texans can see the state dark blue in 20 years given the demographic changes and this fight and Wendy Davis’s filibuster has enlivened progressives throughout the state.  Frighteningly, many of these same political experts can see the Midwest going red at the same time.

So for a month we will look at some things differently on the road in the West and from the front steps of an Airstream in Montana.  Hang with me.   Let’s see what we come up with.