Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thank You Active Citizens

When I watched President Elect Obama make his speech last night, I felt it was just him and me. He was talking to us individually, wasn't he? I've never really felt that way about a leader before. I appreciate the restoration of patriotism. Maybe it's newly found.

Neighbors were over last night and I made rice and beans and we fist-pumped every announcement of a freshly-anointed blue state. When red states were called I secretly thought, Oh no, even though we were far ahead the whole night. It was hard to trust anything. Even when the screen switched to the words "Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States," I shook it off. I was on the phone with Betsy. I told her and she said, "Really? Already?" We both switched to other channels and the internet. Really? Really.

My girls were hugely involved in this election. We had many discussions about propositions and the candidates, and they campaigned enthusiastically for Prop 2 & Obama. Prop 2 passed by a landslide here in Cali (whoohoo!) and I told the girls this morning, "The hard work that you guys did for Prop 2 will now help ease the suffering of 20 million animals. That's amazing. You guys should be so proud of yourselves." They blushed and smiled. The impact was great; the realization that with action and a voice they could accomplish something. Most people I know haven't felt that before, or hadn't before last night.

Maya volunteered two separate times at the Obama call center. The center was packed with middle school students every single day. Some days it was so crowded the center said there were no more phones and the kids would have to make calls on their own cell phones. And they did. It was ingenious to recruit the youngens of liberal parents. They were knowledgeable for the most part, easily given permission from us, and they were uninhibited to make phone call after phone call to strangers in Montana. "Hi, can we count on your support for Senator Obama this Tuesday? Yes? Oh cool!" Or "You're voting for McCain? Oh ok, bye." Or "Oh yea, sorry we'll take you off the list. Sorry 'bout that."

Both Maya and Mina were able to vote at school. At Maya's middle school they held a more detailed election where they voted for the presidency and on the major propositions. At Mina's elementary school, they got to go into mock booths set up in the cafeteria and cast their vote for president. And again I was thrilled to see their voice reaffirmed. They believe their vote matters. They haven't been shown or told any differently.

And to you my friends and to the country in general, thank you so much for your involvement and action during this election. We all made a difference. I found the spirit of democracy infectious and inspiring. I feel alive and hopeful.

I leave you with this year's school pictures.

Mina, 9, 4th grade. Awaiting her photo is always a surprise. Like, surprise! I'm wearing something completely different than what I left the house in on picture day. Or surprise! I decided to water down my bangs at recess and go for this look. Oh Mina, I love you so much. Maya, 13, 8th grade. A true beauty inside and out. I love you so much too, Maya. My little citizens are steady on their pace to become world-changers, if they aren't doing it already.

15 comments:

j-boo said...

Your girls are so beautiful and SO FANTASTIC for making a difference in this election!

You are an amazing mom and are teaching what it means to be a kind, caring, compassionate person that leaves a positive impact on this world!!

YAY for Obama's victory and YAY for having regained such a long-awaited positive outlook to our future once again!

xoxoxo, Jinxi

j-boo said...

PS - YAY for Prop 2!!!!

I am sooooo happy about this!!

Woo hoo is right!

madness rivera said...

Thank you Jinxi. Back attcha, for reals. I realize that I downplayed the Prop 8 bullshit because I really do believe it will be veto'ed by Schwarzenegger. Have to. By the by, Prop 8 was defeated at Maya's school by a landslide. These kids know right from wrong.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

You're such a great Mommy! And your girls are just beautiful!!

greenish gold said...

The school defeat of Prop 8 is awesome.
The pics are great, such smiles!

The regional proposal I worked on here, for public transportation $, passed and I am so happy. We are such a blue state this year, officially experiencing a depression as opposed to a recession in Michigan, and I think that helped. But for people to pass tax $ for public transportation in the capital city of the auto state really moved me.

You guys did great work for the animals. Wonderful job!!!

hotelindialima said...

Awwwww! I love the school pictures!!!! So adoreable. I am so glad that there are moms like you out there.

Marigoldie said...

So happy about Prop 2. Look what you did!

Vegyogini said...

I felt the same way; I couldn't believe the election was called so early...8:01 p.m.! I expected to be up all night waiting.

We're so fortunate as a country to have parents like you encouraging your kids to take part in the political process and educating them on the props and president. How wonderful that they feel they have a vote, too.

madness rivera said...

Thanks so much, my friends. I'm very lucky to have them too.

Rennmaus said...

Your girls look beautiful!!!!
I like that they help so much in this election!!! Great job!

Hey: and YAY for Obama - we Germans/Europeans are very very happy for you Americans and for the whole world!!! YAY!!!!

madness rivera said...

Thanks Rennmaus! I love the picture of your dog and his/her scarf. Bark!

Jonathan K. Cohen said...

It is a source of disturbing irony to me that Californians extended their solicitude and kindness to farm animals when they would not do so to their fellow human beings.

It's difficult to hate animals, though; much easier to hate people.

Carroll said...

I am astonished that we live in a state enlightened enough to have endorsed such an exciting new president, yet so narrow-minded as to have passed that shameful (ugly!) prop 8. Here's hoping you are right that it will be vetoed or otherwise disabled, and soon!

But yes, yay (oh yay!) for the animals, and for your gorgeous and entirely wonderful daughters and the role they continue to play in making our world a better place.

You too, you gorgeous and wonderful mom, you :-)

madness rivera said...

Hi Jonathan, I agree it's probably easier for some people to drum up feelings of hate towards other humans than for an animals. I do think it is much easier though for people to forget that animals are living, feeling creatures. This is probably the fundamental difference between the props. Prop 2 is reinstating (in a very small way) that these animals are not merely a commodity. The cruelty has been dredged up to the surface -- acts that big biz farms would have gladly kept hidden -- and voters recognized this. Prop 8 is a blatant disregard against another humans rights masked behind a veil of religious (im)morals. I'm disgusted about 8 passing. The church -- and not just the Mormon church -- played upon the religious fears of people with their misunderstandings of spirituality, though spirituality often has not been a factor of the church. Had factory farms been able to come up with a biblical angle on why the animals should stay cramped and tortured, Prop 2 might not have had a chance. The fact and sights of torture would have been bypassed like the rights of other humans have been bypassed with the passing of Prop 8. The crutch of misinterpretation of religion for a group's own agenda, which seems robotic and cult-like --the most frightening kind -- was the reason 8 passed. Jesus, I believe, is outraged.

It's not over. If we the people cannot separate church & hate, then hopefully the courts will break them up with a literal translation of the Constitution and not a literal translation of the bible which in itself is impossible given that the book was still translated by men of an agenda-driven church.

Rennmaus said...

We in Germany were soooo reliefed that Obamo won the elections..... It's a very hard job he will have to do and I hope they do not put too much pressure on him... I wish we had someone like him in Germany...