I took this picture at the reservoir on 152 between Highway 101 and
It was a good way to take a break from driving.
The first official stop on the
trip was KFCF, where Todd, Kent, and I had our first debate, a live
hour hosted by Richard Gomez on his monthly show. There was consensus
among the three of us that getting out
of Iraq needs to happen soon. Todd was very mass organizerish,
demanding that the Green Party get into the streets to take on
Feinstein and Bush. Kent was urging everybody listening to register
Green and vote Green, "because it really makes a difference." I said we
need to stop voting for oil companies at the gas pump.
After that I went down to Tulare
to meet up with David Silva and go to an event in Porterville. It
turned out to be an interview with a photographer and reporter from a
foothill newspaper. The candidates being interviewed were John Miller
(shown in blue shirt), who is running for Congress in the 21st
Congressional District, David Minton Silva (State Assembly, 34th
District) and me. Also there was the owner of the very nice home where
we met, who is running for Green Party County Council. The reporter
asked questions for an hour or so, and then she left. We had key lime
pie and talked about mailings and other Green Party tools and
techniques for a while after that.
I'd told them that I just wanted a
place to pitch my tent, so it turned out that the Tulare Voice (another
newspaper) wanted to take a picture of me by the tent where I was going
to sleep. You can see that above.
The light woke me early in the
morning. I puttered around a bit and then picked and ate a couple of
oranges from the tree. They were delicious. Tulare has a great climate
The first campaign stop of the day
was at Starbucks, where we talked to about half a dozen Greens and
their fair trade coffee, which was good. Now I'm kicking myself because
I didn't give a speech.
David Minton Silva talked some
about his political history. It turns out that he first became
politically active during John Kennedy's winning run for the White
House. Many years later he was doing well in Hollywood when his
producer, lawyer, and many friends died of AIDS during the early 1980s.
As someone living with HIV he has many experiences that can be shared
in brief stories that give you practical insight into how to deal with
many problems. For example, when he moved from Santa Cruz to Tulare he
had to go through a lot to find a pharmacy that would fill the
prescriptions for the drugs he needs to keep his T cell counts up. Some
of them just didn't want to work with him. He said "I have a Supreme
Court injunction protecting my right to smoke Marijuana", so he wasn't
worried about my taking this picture.
That cat/butterfly has been his
logo ever since the '60s, when they used it during the first Peace
& Freedom Party Campaign. It was designed by one of his previous
lovers that died of AIDS. I saw a reporter ask him how he feels about
gay marriage and he said "When my lover died his birth family came in
everything. I got nothing. I think spouses deserve legal protection."
The next stop was the Cannabis
Club, where David and his partner get their herb. I shared my little
speech with everyone there. One guy suggested making voter signup
sheets. I came away from the experience with a
strong feeling that I should campaign every Marijuana Club in
California. Anybody know where there is a list of these places? I live
in a dry county...
The next stop
was the wastewater treatment plant, where they are doing some exciting
That was followed by a brief but nice visit with David's mother. I was
introduced to her by David as "somebody I've known since '94 or '95."
The essence of David's activism is caregiving, and unfortunately his
mother has become one of his projects. She's started to forget to eat
sometimes, so he has to go over and put food in front of her every day.
During the brief time I talked to her she was great, so it can't be
that bad yet.
The last stop
was the Visalia Times-Delta, where we got interviewed by a reporter in
Special thanks to David's partner for fixing the tail lights on my