When we got there the show had already started. Anne and the Vets were singing a bouncy tune that asked the musical quesiton "How did a Connecticut Yankee born with a silver spoon in his mouth become our Texas Cowboy President?"
The moderator, Sam Houston, was great fun. He had a rollicking sense of humor, and kept things moving quite well. When speakers were timid about getting up close and personal with the mike he would tell them to "put their lips very near the head of the microphone" as if that was a delicious thing to do. Another time after he had made everybody give somebody another hand he announced that "The President just had a brain scan." In alarmed tones he continued "The news report said there was nothing right with his left brain and nothing left of his right brian."
The folk singer played about three songs. The last one was a strong promise to keep doing what she could for Mother Earth until there was nothing left of her...
Karl Kramer is part of Drop Lantos Not Bombs. They are furious because Tom Lantos, the incumbent Pat Gray is running against, voted for both the PATRIOT Act and the resolution that gave 43 the powers he needed to invade Iraq. Drop Lantos not Bombs signs and information was available at the table at the back of the room.
The head of the Healthcare For All San Francisco, Don Beckler, organization announced that Single Payer Healthcare is an issue the Greens can really run with. He explained that back in the early '90s 30 Democrats from California's Congressional Delegation had signed up as cosponsors of the legislation, but now only two were still with him. Those two are Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee. He said that with 42 million uninsured taxpayers, the need for public healthcare was more pressing than ever. He urged us to take the ball and run with it. Electing Pat Gray is part of that!
Meanwhile, ten year olds with raffle tickets were urging everybody to get another raffle ticket again. I ended up with quite a few.
Jo Chamberlain gave a rousing endorsement of Pat Gray, calling her fearless and reliable.
Ross Mirakarimi was introduced as "a Founding Member of the Green Party of California". The moderator asked him what kind of name Mirakarimi was, and he said "I'm Persian-American". Then he said some nice things about what had happened since Matt Gonzalez got 47% last fall. He then did the pitch, and a lot of people dug hundreds of dollars out of their pockets.
By the time Pat Gray took the stage, I had been sitting for two hours. Click her picture to visit her website for the scoop.
I remember that the two poets on the left, Nicole Henahres and Rudy Waltz, were talking about the raw urban experience, and that the guy in the Hawaiian shirt was very funny. He had been a soldier during the Vietnam war, and the experience gave him some very warped ideas about our current policies.
There were so many prizes to give away that the raffle went on for longer than some of the speeches. These girls kept pulling numbers, and the Houston kept reading them.
On every table were a number of these sunflower seedlings. Everybody was invited to take one home and plant it.
Tigris and Euphrates is a political activist band whose songs are inspired by the struggle to find peace and justice in our world. We have Paul Ponitkoff and Mark Doberman on guitar and Troy Fullerton on drums. We didn't hear songs though, they just played mellow jazz while people mixed and cleaned up. The afternoon had been a full program...