High fives!

High fives on market st

[photo by Doc Pop]

Here in the Bay Area many of us are probably feeling good about last night’s main election result. Obama won. (Spoiler?)

I think it was an exciting night for our country. Especially that it was decided and not dragged out and brought through various legal möbius strips. Personally though, I’m feeling dismayed by the overall results of the state propositions. We really want to keep the death penalty? We don’t think that consumers should be able to have questions about what’s in their food answered? Well, at least 30 passed and it’s not all on George Lucas’s shoulders to save education.

Yet I’m excited overall that our country generally seems energized to head in a direction that I think is best. It was a good night for LGBT rights, people overcame voter suppression and intimidation to get their voice heard, and we re-elected a president who best represents the majority of the people in this country, not just the most privileged. If this sounds like very careful, faint praise, it is. In last night’s acceptance speech, President Obama once again set the standards perhaps impossibly high for what we’d like to expect from his presidency. He mentioned really taking care of our returning veterans, LGBT equality, a lot of feel good things that I really wanted to hear. Does he believe in those ideals? I think he does. But how much will he actually do? How much can he do?

Election Night in the Mission
[November 3rd, 2008]

Four years ago our neighborhood exploded with joy and celebration when Barack Obama won the first time. This time around, not as much. While I think most of us are grateful that we didn’t see the chaos that followed the recent World Series win, maybe we were still a little underwhelmed by the relative quiet. The Castro partied. And why not. But the HOPE and CHANGE that we felt four years ago feels a bit more like PERSIST and SUSTAIN at this point.

And keep hoping.

Anyway, the rest of the internet has much better election breakdowns than you should expect to find here. I’m just rambling. Elections are big and broad and complicated and it’s all still sinking in for me. Feel free to ramble on in the comments. If you haven’t yet, check out Mission Local’s great coverage of our neighborhood’s experience of voting day.

For now I’m hanging on to the little things, the things immediately around me. Things like the picture at the top of this post, taken this morning. Doc explains:

It was an extra gloomy walk down Market Street this morning until I reached this Muni stop full of schoolkids cheering along every cyclist that came their way. Perfectly lined up along the bike path, the kids started reaching out their palms for some extreme high five action. Even the most serious bikers popped a smile at the scene. Perhaps in a post election world, this is a sign of pedestrians and bicyclists finally coming together ;).


Fun vote card

Meligrosa sent along a cool card she made that you can print out and stick your proof of voting sticker onto:

She adds:

hola all;
I made this little card for the United States 2012 presidential election, which is tomorrow Tuesday, November 6th.
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! Laminate it, bike it as a spoke-card, postcard it, read as bookdivider Etc.

// Get the (4x) set per letter-size sheet on Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/112253114
Print › share › use them as you’d like.

And we all know where to vote, right?

Rainbow endorses Prop. 37

[graphic via The Cornicopia Institute]

We don’t do that much politicking here (there’s plenty of that on the internet already), but it is a big election year, so expect some issues to pop up as we find them relevant or particularly pressing.

Local grocery cooperative, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, is officially endorsing California’s Proposition 37, the Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food Initiative. This endorsement is not shocking, since 2000 Rainbow has officially opposed the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs):

“We will ban these foods from any private label product we carry, and support efforts to label and/or ban such foods until a time when they can be proved safe for consumption and the environment.”

Christa Irwin, of Rainbow’s Ecology Committee says of Prop. 37:

“People want to know what they’re eating. Just because a product says ‘natural’ does not mean that it hasn’t come from a GMO crop or possibly processed with or contaminated by one. This fight is imperative and hopefully will change labeling on a national level.”

You have to wonder why the food companies would pay so much money to stop us from knowing how they’re making our food and what they put into it. Since the above graphic was made the numbers on the red side have continued to go up. Fog City Journal has an informative write up on the matter. I just don’t trust companies like Monsanto and Phillip Morris, excuse me, Altria, to hold our health as their top priority. Anyone remember StarLink? If it costs less to do recalls or payout lawsuits…

I think the consumers have a right to know. If the companies believe that GMOs are safe then don’t hide them, convince us. It’s a bummer though, I like a lot of the products in the left column. I think Prop 37 is just the first step in getting to a better place with the development and use of GMOs. Much more testing should to be done, especially focusing on long term effects. Unfortunately there seems to be very little push back on the chemical/food companies making them, and much of the changes they are making are likely irreversible. If Prop. 37 passes consumers will be able to weigh in on the matter with their wallets, which is what the Big Ag companies are afraid of.

Election Day!

Whew. That was a lot of fun last night and also way too crazy at the end. We hope everyone finds themselves this morning, because now we’ve gotta vote! If you’re still undecided The SF Appeal posted some handy voting guides that Matt Baume put together. If you need to find your polling place, go here and enter your address in the upper right corner.

We’ve got Sit/Lie, pot legality, a new governator, Board of Soup, all kinds of big ones. Go work it out!

It's Time To Pick A Side

In The Middle
Just kidding. It’s not about choosing sides. Right?

It’s time to vote. Matt Baume at SF Appeal has laid out the ayes and noes with some colorful graphs in a very helpful way, divided between the props and the candidates.

Look up your polling place and get a sample ballot at SFGov.

The San Francisco League are Young and Pissed Off and after the ballots are in you can join them at El Rio from 8:01pm-12:00am.

Anyway, go out there and do it, it’s fun and I always wear a tie on election days for some reason.