Recently I was endorsed by the Thurston County Progressives. Some people think that can’t be. Of all three candidates the white straight male is the most progressive? It caused a lot of strife and for the interest of the causes and other candidates I withdrew from their endorsement. However, I am the most Progressive candidate in my race. The best I can do is allow you to read about my history of activism and grassroots organizing and judge for yourself.
I’ve been active in politics from a young age, although I started out in Virginia as mostly an environmentalist and in journalism. I remember my first election when I was shocked that Bush won and horrified. I imagine it was the same level of disgust that many felt who’s first election was Trump.
I moved to Seattle in 2003 and marched against the war. I also worked with Earthcorps as an Americorps volunteer in environmental restoration work where I got more engaged in radical environmental issues. I then spent eight months as a Field Manager for the Fund for Public Interest Research going door to door for the Sierra Club mainly.
In 2006 I went to Evergreen and studied Sustainable Design at first as well as Community Design Community Action. I was obsessed with global warming and got a small grant to cement my car into a parking space. The next year I got a Gilman award to go to Ecuador to study ecology for a quarter. That opened my eyes to Latin America’s politics. They had just gone through 10 Presidents in as many years and were then under Rafael Correa who was part of the Pink Tide. That made me interested in political economics and when I came back to Evergreen I enrolled in an economics course with a Marxist slant, which predicted the economic collapse months before it happened. I also participated somewhat with Port Militarization Resistance. That summer I went to a Rising Tide Activist Direct Action Camp and later travelled to Minneapolis to participate in shutting down the RNC.
I went on to take a year studying Venezuela with Peter Bohmer including a trip there to study Socialism for a 21st Century. I got to see Hugo Chavez speak in person and I spent a couple weeks working at CECOSESOLA which is an enormous cooperative. When I returned I started working more against stopping state budget cuts as part of the Olympia Coalition for a Fair Budget. That summer I went to my first Backbone Campaign Localize This Action Camp and continued going to those eight more summers and have been involved in Backbone Campaign ever since including working for them for a bit.
The next year I went to Honduras for two weeks, six months after the coup and participated in marches to the airport to watch the legitimate President Manuel Zelaya leave after months holed up in the Brazilian Embassy. When I came back I helped folks start the Latin America Solidarity Organization (LASO) which connected me to Media Island International. At some point I organized a small group to go to Arizona as part of Arizona Freedom Summer to fight HB1070. I came back and organized about 5 protests at the NW Detention Center through Media Island.
In 2010 I organized a bus of 25 activists from the PNW to go to the US Social Forum in Detroit. In 2011 I worked with Teresa Mosqueda in helping with Occupy the Capital in solidarity with Wisconsin where we turned Media Island into a 48 hour staging zone for the protests. That fall I helped with Occupy Olympia. In the winter 2012 I organized the Occupy Solidarity Social Forum with a small cadre of folks that was the first national occupy gathering with 450 people from all over the country attending. I also got a job with the Alliance for Global Justice, which was the fiscal sponsor for Occupy Wall Street, as National Grassroots Coordinator. One project was working on a national protest against Bank of America’s shareholders meeting in Charlotte, NC. I also went to the NATO protests in Chicago and the Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia. I organized through them a conference in Tucson called Tear Down the Walls National Gathering for Global Justice. I also took a delegation to Nicaragua for two weeks on climate change.
In 2014 I quit to be Campaign Manager for Charlie Hardy for US Senate in Wyoming. His campaign lost but a great documentary came out of it called “Charlie Vs Goliath” which showed at OFS and on PBS nationally. I came back from that and rebuilt KOWA 106.5 lp fm out of Media Island. After that I went back to Wyoming in 2016 to help Charlie run for Congress although this time he didn’t win the Democrat primary. I then took a job as Western States Coordinator for the Jill Stein Campaign and was in charge of the ground campaign in nine states.
After that I came back and helped as a Board Member for the NW Alliance for Alternative Media and Education. This past year we were fiscal sponsors for Portland Freedom Fund amongst many other notable groups and helped pull in over a million dollars. In 2020 I started Power to the Public for another attempt at a Thurston Public Power Initiative and brought Dennis Kucinich to speak here and about four other events all over Washington.
In between all that is organizing too many speakers to remember, workshops, direct actions, writing, endless meetings, trainings and special events. I organized Earth Day to May Day events a few times which I really enjoyed. I also showed up for pretty much every Idle No More event, every early Black Lives Matter march, organized community meetings about Andre and Bryson, came out to some events surrounding George Floyd and also was core to the first March Against Monsanto that had about 850 people.
Nothing I have ever done was completely on my own, I worked with amazing people, organizations and coalitions. Usually I was in the background, not a speaker, not up front in all the photos, that’s just how I am, so this is really strange for me to be running for City Council Position 2. Because I haven’t been shwocasing myself continually I think there is a lot of misinformation about who I am and what I’ve done and what I believe in. I’m hoping listing broadly some of the things I’ve been a part of, sometimes very core, folks may actually get an understanding for who I am.