anitalorraine.com

Musician and Activist devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage


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It’s morning time… and I’m very nearly on the road again

Road trips make me giddy …and lighting a candle before I start my work in the political world helps me to feel more cozy.  That’s what I’m doing right now.

So I live in Beech Mountain now and it’s been in the lower teens as far as temperature goes for the last week.  I moved and stacked a cord of wood last night in 25 degree weather and I’m leaving town today.

Excited to go and sing with my dear friend on his newest album.  I’ll be there for the weekend.  It is going to be lovely embracing the musical spirit in someone else’s dreams and making them a reality.  I love to harmonize with other voices.  This is where my musical background comes to the forefront, singing in choirs fills my heart with gladness.

Next I’m traveling home to Alamance County where I will be celebrating thanksgiving and visiting with all of my dear pals from Saxapahaw, NC.  I am very much looking forward to Jazz night at the Eddy and hostScreen Shot 2014-03-13 at 11.06.14 PMing Trivia with a music theme.  I hope that all my homie humans will be there and they can commiserate my leaving and staying gone while also celebrating my momentary return.  I will also be purchasing a couple of jars of Saxapahaw Honey.  That makes me happy.  I will be staying with my grandparents during this visit, that also makes me very happy.  I am so glad they are happy and healthy and I look forward to spending some quality time with them.

On the 30th I will be taking the TRAIN to New York City.  It’s an all day ride and I can’t express how excited I am about that.  I love love love traveling by train.  Once I was taking the train from Minneapolis to Chicago and it was glorious.  I was sitting in the all glass car, playing guitar and singing for the people around me, making friends, and discussing politics when suddenly, there she was! The Julia Belle Swain! Shining in all her glory and oh how I wished that train would have slowed down so I could have stolen a better look at her.  I stood up from my seat and exclaimed, “The Julia Belle Swain!” pointing out the window looking like a child who’s just seen the moon for the first time (maniacally and excitedly with bug eyes).  Needless to say, everyone on that train was wondering what else was wrong with this woman they have to ride with for several more hours.

When I get to NYC, I hope to see some dear friends and catch up with the city of a million smells.  On the 1st, I’ve been invited to a gala in Brooklyn recognizing my executive director for her amazing dedication to the cause of getting money out of politics and advocating for fair elections.  Joan Mandle is an amazing woman whom I admire very much.  I have worked for her now for about 4 years and I hope to continue because I believe in the work that we do.  Tuesday, I travel to Sarah Lawrence College to speak on a panel about student engagement, local civic participation and money in politics and then I am giving a training/workshop on lobbying in New York.  It is very encouraging that my student at SLC has worked so hard and is very passionate about getting this event together.  I must say however, that public speaking still makes me nervous.  Singing, dancing, speaking, all of it gives me butterflies.. at least in the beginning.  It’s because I care.

After I’m done in NY, I’m flying to Tallahassee.  YAY for Tallahassee! They are the first city to pass the Anti-corruption act (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LhEFehRWApM ) and I get to go there the same day that there is a Granny-D (famous public financing of elections advocate) commemorative walk for campaign finance reform! Link to the event webpage: https://www.facebook.com/events/1510499305868963/  I’ll be arriving late, which means I may not be able to make it to any of the events, but hopefully I get to meet up with my alumni student who’s been helping to organize these events.  The main reason I am traveling to Tallahassee is to visit my sweetheart who is down in Thomasville, GA selling Christmas trees. I helped move about 100 of those trees, so I hope I sell at least one.  I am very much looking forward to being in the deep South for a few weeks – mostly for the cuddling factor and getting to see my man in his holiday Elf suit, but also for the frequent visits that we will take to the Bradfordville Blues Club.  The BBC is on the chitterling circuit, otherwise known as the blues trail.  http://www.bradfordvilleblues.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chitlin’_circuit

That’s about it for now, safe holiday traveling for everyone and remember to think about and pray for those in need, and then actually DO something about it.

xoxo,

Anita


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You can’t just throw money at the problem of money in politics

You Can’t just throw money at the problem of Money in politics

We’ve all heard the old saying, “You have to work for what you have,” and this is true, for some.  In the fight to restore democracy in this country, a representative republic for which all people have a voice and don’t have to have millions in the bank to be represented by politicians, we are now seeing a trend of money being poured into a conundrum where money is the problem in the first place!

On the ground, discussions are not about money in politics, they are about the impending threat of terrorism, ebola, health care (or lack thereof), marriage equality, Obama and his perceived failures, student loan debt increasingly growing, lack of funding for public schools, the cost of milk.  These subjects do not lie in the realm of money in politics or in Supreme Court decisions, yet all of them are directly affected by this legalized corruption we have for an election system.  Our populations’ discussions are also highly influenced by corporately controlled media who decides what subjects are discussed (or not discussed) at the dinner table.

If we want to get money out of politics, and 96% of us want it badly, we must start on the ground, with teams of people making this the discussion amongst neighbors and friends, church-goers and teammates.  Teachers and auto-workers, librarians and McDonalds line cooks all need to be talking about how corruption has cut our ties with the very representatives whom we elect into office (if we vote at all!)  North Carolina’s Forward Together movement is a great example of mobilizing and turning out citizens who realize that we are all in this together – money in politics is the issue that lies at the heart of our problems.

To return to working for what you have, I must say that if the strategy continues on the path of say, the Mayday PAC and others, we will not win this cause to get money out of politics and restoring our democracy by throwing more money into a corrupt system.  That money could be used to build a groundswell of people, college students and grandmothers, farmers and lawyers, restaurant owners and county commissioners, all of these people are the ones who need to be tapped for their disdain of a bought and sold government  These are the people who could benefit from millions of dollars being spent to organize and mobilize a national discussion.  Throwing more money into this situation, and ignoring the means to which people power is harnessed (grassroots organizing) creates an elitist opposition to an elitist right-wing monopoly of our elections.  We’re in need of a social movement from the ground up to get money out of politics, this tactic of pouring money into a broken system couldn’t be farther from what this country needs right now.

Realize that while our heads may be filled with the problem of money in politics, as we work within the realm of education to make this change, we must understand that we are nowhere near the national level of awareness to create a change in 2016.  If we poured and pooled our resources into organizing people on the ground, young and old, we could encourage people to start at their city level in making the change we so badly want to see – a democracy not bought by money, but represented by people who care.