Posts from — July 2010

Knowing the flow

July 30, 2010   Comments Off on Knowing the flow

Enjoying the glorious season of summer by tubing down the Clarion River. Bright, warm sun; deep, tall pines; cool, clear water — bliss.

While afloat and reflective, I am reminded of Advocacy Lesson #6: Know when to go with the flow.

On days when the water is running a bit low, one navigates one’s tube to find the strong current and the deeper water so as to be able to ride a bit faster. Sure enough, there are more than enough times when the water is too low and there are too many rocks and one must pick up the tube and walk (Note: When tubing a good pair of “creek shoes” is essential).

The same wisdom for tubing the river holds true in advocacy.  One must read the signs and the times and know when an issue is “hot” and when is the time to “ride” it for effective change. So too, one must know when to simply ride the current and not push; to wait for the better opportunity to move on an issue.  Indeed, there are times when no movement on an issue means one just rises up and makes the push and sometimes on very rocky ground.

In these next months in this election season (read: when courage and heart in our elected officials are at a minimum) we must be smart and patient; observant and ever ready to know when to move, when to let it ride, and when to  push.



July 29, 2010   Comments Off on Lineage

Today, 29 July, is the birthday of acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns.  He’s made quite a name for himself telling through photos, artifacts, letters, and interviews the foundational stories of our nation:  the Civil War, baseball, jazz, and our national parks system.

How would you tell your story?  What are your archives?  Who is your lineage? 

Advocacy lesson #5: the power of the personal story.  Part of  my personal story is a lineage of strong women; women who broke stereotype; who were teachers, farmers, makers of houses into homes.  I carry that with me. When I tell my story, theirs weaves in mine, I carry them with me.

 What do you carry? What’s your story?  Tell it well.


Press it…

July 28, 2010   Comments Off on Press it…

Clearly, I am in the “Ma am” stage of life….I’m old.  I’m so old, in fact, that I prefer to get my news via a newspaper.  I love newspapers…I love the smell; I love the way you fold it up; I love to see the daily paper sticking out of someones work bag.

Newspapers and the dissemination of knowledge are vital to a democracy; we need an unbiased, fair, and truth telling media.

All these “nice-ities” about newspapers leads to today’s advocacy lesson #4: Work the press.  Be creative with angles on your events so that the press will want to provide coverage.  Get to know your local paper’s reporters.  Make your own press by writing and having printed a letter to the editor — if it’s good, you can get a “run” of folks responding and that raises public awareness on your issue.

Stay informed, folks and make use of the press to keep others informed.


HCPD Letter to the Editor

July 28, 2010   Comments Off on HCPD Letter to the Editor

Be sure and check-out the following link and today’s letter to the editor!  This was a team effort by our Health Committee for People with Disabilities and to quote Martha Stewart, “it’s a very good thing.”  (our letter is at the bottom of the page)

ADA at 20: Time to Celebrate!

July 27, 2010   Comments Off on ADA at 20: Time to Celebrate!

Yesterday’s celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act was a grand success!  Please read the coverage from the Post-Gazette and note the great story of Janet Evans!

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