Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gettin' Out, Meetin' Folks

I was invited to a Hills and Dales barbecue and business meeting that was held last Saturday. (Valerie Corte, Frank’s stand-in, was invited as well, but did not reply to the invitation or attend.) This was my first invitation to an event where I knew no one. Diane and I decided to go together; it was pot luck, so we brought a side dish like everybody else. We wondered all week what this event would be like, remembering that all the pundits say HD 122 is any where from 70% to 75% red. We drove to the location and found a small lake surrounded with picnic tables and a pavilion the association built with their own labor. They have a 40-year-old swimming pool, which was full of kids under the watchful eye of adults. The organizers who invited me were delightful, and provided us a history of the association and how they maintained their park area. I had several other interesting conversations about the neighborhood. One gentleman was a Korean War vet so we talked a great deal about the military and our personal experiences. We found we are both against the current war in Iraq. A woman veterinarian was very anti-toll and disgusted with urban sprawl. We talked at great length about the housing developments going up in their area. She said there was no green between the homes and I commented that the builders wanted to build as many houses as possible to maximize profit regardless of the environmental consequences. After a short business meeting, where the new officers were introduced and a discussion of speed bumps and traffic problems ensued, I was introduced and talked about two minutes; I explained that I am adamantly against tolling our freeways, against school vouchers, for gender equality in health care and very much in favor of protecting our drinking water. One gentleman asked me for a campaign card (I actually gave out a couple of dozen) and told me he was against public school vouchers and a member of the Sierra Club. He stated point blank he would vote for me in November. I shook hands with all of the association officers and thanked them for the invitation. Being a born and bred Texan, I found the cook and praised him for the great barbeque. More importantly, we were invited to their Labor Day celebration which normally has over 200 attendees. These folks are really aware of the serious issues facing HD122, and the further environmental damage and harm to public schools Corte and his sidekicks have planned for them and their neighbors. I can’t wait for the next meeting with strangers. They won’t stay strangers long, we all want to protect what we have – our schools, our freeways, and our rights. The issues are clear, the solution simple; VOTE BLUE.