Friday, October 01, 2010

Day 1 of Being a CODEPINKer at One Nation Working Together

October 1 Logistics

12:30 - 3 a.m.
Worked on orienting myself, getting internet installed and working, figuring out my schedules and getting my materials together for the next few days.  Finally crashed around 3 a.m. I'm still very much on west coast time.

Mundane details, but good to know information (especially for women activists of a certain age:

9 a.m. - 2 p.m.Woke up later than I should have -- 6 a.m. AZ time.  9 a.m. here.  Very glad I gave myself a day to orient and do a bit of lobbying.  I transcribed the letter to my Representative and Senators onto my computer -- wrote it by hand on the plane here.  Loaded it onto a flash drive and printed it at the business center in my hotel.  Grabbed a good breakfast.  Got a metro/city map.  Figured out the locations for shuttlebetween hotel to metro.  Got a metro card.  By the time I emerged from the metro at Capital SW stop I was sweating like mad.  We south-westerners forget how much we sweat in the heat because it evaporates instantaneously.   Here when I encounter the humidity that is always present in Washington, D.C.  my body tries to cool itself, sweats, it doesn't evaporate as it usually does when I'm in Tucson and thus my body thinks it isn't cooling off, so it bumps up the process and cranks out even more sweat.  I look like hell and I don't stay sweet smelling very long in this condition either. 

I'm glad I've had a day to adjust to everything.

As I said above, I have letters for all the Rep/Senator types from my part of AZ.  I did manage to deliver my letter to Representative Giffords today around 3.  I wasn't impressed with her staff. 

 Boy Staffer mumbles some sort of a greeting.

Me:  Hi.  I've come to drop off a letter.

Boy Staffer:  Good.  

That was it.  I gave it to him.  No "Oh, where are you from?" or  "Why are you here?"  or "Welcome to D.C. " Nada.  Zilch.  Pretty good mirroring of the way Gabby treats her constituents by her staff. 
I know D.C. is old hat to them, but here I am, a constituent who has come across the country to support working together for progressive reasons, and takes the time to write and drop off a letter, and I'm pretty much ignored.  I was hot & tired and on my way out I told the guy what I thought about how I was treated and even though I vote for Gabby only as the lesser of two evils, I do not feel she represents any of my interests, hears what I tell her in letters, petitions, and the like, nor cares.  Giffords is basically a pro-choice Republican from what I can tell. 

Then I went to a room in the Capitol Visitor's Center to a room Rep.  Raul Grijalva had reserved for use by the PDA.  On Sunday I will go into detail on what John Conyers said when he spoke to maybe 50 or so people from the PDA and associated groups. 

Will also report on the great dinner and orientation session I attended at the CODEPINK Convergence Center this evening.  

But for now I have to sleep, and tomorrow I'm on the ground all day and at Poets and Busboys in the evening.  I will be posting images here, on Flickr, and on Facebook and Twitter until I can write up things later this weekend. 


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