Posts Tagged ‘environment’

NIKIASHTON&ME

Five years ago I had the pleasure of meeting, knowing and working with Dave McPherson when he managed a campaign and pulled me in, far in, and empowered me to be a strong voice for the candidate and the party. He also knew how (so clever!) to engage my workaholic nature and get the most of my skills and talents during an election. How I miss him! davemcpherson

This year, another  election, another campaign manager of similar construction… Paul Mason, equally clever, equally progressive, equally funny AND with the same capability of getting the most from me…just when I had been somewhat disengaged from a campaign, Paul had me in that place where one is living, breathing, thinking, dreaming, working campaign 24/7. And of course, for progressive leaders (yes leaders) like these, one would work 48/7 to achieve the goal.

Now during that first campaign with Dave…one evening, staffing the office alone because Dave set hours for the office of pre-dawn to 11 PM or some such, I was surprised to receive, totally on my own, then Federal NDP leadership candidate, 29 year old Niki Ashton.  She arrived to help with our by-election and, of course, to meet the people.  Some communication failure had prevented my candidate and any “important” campaign staff from receiving her as they had with all the other leadership candidates. In fact, every leadership candidate except Thomas Mulcair had been in that campaign office! Repeat, I was alone in the office…just me. Showing not a shred of disappointment, Niki and her partner wanted to immediately get to work! We settled on some phone lists and I overheard her enthusiasm as she talked to OUR local voters. We also talked to each other, a lot… and her easy, friendly warmth truly impressed me. My disability and those issues, my issues, DAMN, forgot to chat about them; the evening ended too quickly. My thoughts were, “Not now, Niki, Canada isn’t ready, but when you run again, I will support your leadership campaign because you are AMAZING!” Of course things change, the country changes, the needs of the party change and I must be open-minded, but listening to Niki in debate last night, I have to say she is that same person, so clear, so able, so intelligent and SO PROGRESSIVE! Like the campaign managers who could get the most from me, who keep me from being swallowed by the politics of politics, Niki is that New Democrat who has distilled it all to what we need. No environment = no planet so nothing else matters – and inequality is utterly unacceptable. The calibre of the other candidates is amazing. I love them all! Jagmeet pulls community like no other. Guy is very prime ministerial, he speaks slowly and carefully and stays on message. Charlie has the history… All wonderful but Niki, you had me five years ago. Like John Horgan, you roll up your sleeves and jump in with the people. You are the people. I have no money to contribute to your campaign. I am disabled and therefore marginalized. But I have my words and I can campaign like the wind in a hurricane … with the right  (I mean totally left) leadership.

Is it wrong to say… You Go Girl!

 

Advertisements

Last night I attended the Vancouver YWCA Women of Distinction Awards as a nominee. The nominees were truly an amazing group of women. I was truly impressed with the achievements and passion of the group.  I recognized that, collectively, there were many world changers sharing the stage with me.

I did suffer some chemical sensitivity issues early in the evening, especially when we were sent into a tiny room, where the newly perfumed women were gathered to practice going on the stage. Oxygen at maximum was not stopping the symptoms of watery eyes, extreme irritability, inability to concentrate and the strong feeling of a need to escape. The inner me was trying to stay calm but the inner me disappears and the animal me comes to the fore. Lucky for me, my dear (and I cannot emphasize this word enough), dear, dear friend, Dr. Lynn Elen Burton, acting as attendant (and she is not that kind of doctor, she’s an academic) was with me trying to stave off the reactions she has seen up close. Fortunately, in their wisdom (or was it due to Lynn’s pleasant attentiveness to the situation and her ability to communicate with the volunteers?) those in charge allowed me to wait by the ramp rather than repeating my entrance and exit from this little room.

From that point on, the evening was delightful. I was flanked by my scent-free friends on both sides through the dinner. Long time friends Lynn, and her husband Mario Piamonte, former Anmore Village Councillor, attended to my every need at my right. On my left,  Joe Trasolini, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam and Gray Giovannetti. With tickets to the event at $200.00 each, most of my friends were eliminated from participation. How lucky I was to have these four with me!

It is easy to become caught up in the competition when the reality of the event is quite simple. It has two purposes. It is to raise awareness and much-needed funding for the wonderful programs for women sponsored by the YWCA. And, in doing so, this night of celebration raises awareness of some of the women in our community who are truly outstanding in several ways. These are identified as:

1. Breaking new ground or old barriers
2. Showing vision, creativity and initiative
3. Being a leader and role model
4. Guiding, supporting and encouraging the development of others
5. Participating actively as a volunteer
6. Being recognized by her community for her contributions (i.e. awards, accolades)

I am truly grateful for the recognition and the opportunity to participate.

Musings to Peter

Posted: May 29, 2009 in 1
Tags: , , ,

Been following today’s dialogue on my BLACKBERRY through traffic jams and other busy-ness of the day.

First, thank you to Mossom Creek for connecting me to Ruth.
Then, thank you to Ruth for connecting me to GRAHAM (yes CLONE HIM!)
Then, thank you to Graham to connecting me to Peter.
The networks are good and like the universe… unfold as they should.
Hurdles are meant not to discourage us, but rather to teach us. The difficulties are lessons and paths that lead us to new truths, good people and hopefully to our important goals like social justice, sustainability, environmental consciousness….

A lost election is like falling off your bicycle. You get up and ride again. A broken bone heals stronger where it was broken…

Do I sound like a cheerleader?

My new calling!