Neponset River path, Aug. 30, 2011. Fall is peeking out.
What a night. It was my honor to host one of the first house parties for Elizabeth Warren, as she talks to Democrats about whether she will run for the United States Senate. She came to my house in Dorchester, and stood in my living room talking to about 60 of my friends, who shared their stories and frustrations, and asked brilliant questions, which she fielded with charm, charisma, and thoughtful, plain-spoken answers. It was fantastic and inspiring. I’m one of the loudmouths with a laptop and an internet connection who has been urging her from afar to run for a couple of months now. Before, it was more about thinking that she, unlike the current Democratic field, could beat Scott Brown. Now, for me, and I think for most who came to my house tonight, it’s about much more than that. It’s about choosing the kind of America we want to live in, and then working for it. I want to live in the kind of America that has Elizabeth Warren in the United States Senate, because her vision of America is one that uplifts all of us.
She talked about the squeezing of the middle class, and the damage it’s done to our country. She said that we have to invest in infrastructure and education, but most importantly, we have to invest in our people. She talked about reframing our message, as Democrats, to make people understand that we should want to realize the potential of all other Americans. She spoke at length about her work to build the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and said that it is strong, and will protect Americans in very real ways. (She also gave full and emphatic credit to the President for this.) More importantly, though, she listened. My friends told her about the challenges they see at non-profits they run, and facing the at-risk kids they work with; the underfunding at the public universities at which they teach and the suffering that they see out there every day on the streets. We talked about people who are out of work and in trouble. There were particulars, but there will be time for that later. Right now she is exchanging ideas with those of us who would have to do much of the work to get her elected. She listened and responded, and what began to emerge was the start of a powerful campaign message, planted by the grassroots and articulated by Professor Warren, that will develop into something vibrant and compelling should she decide to move forward. But most importantly, what was plain to anyone in the room was the passion, conviction, empathy and logic she’ll bring to any job she decides to take on.
I have no idea if she can soften the acrimony. Much of this Congress seems hell-bent on destroying the President and the country along with him. But I know that I want her down there, at least trying to talk some sense into them. And if the Democrats control the White House, Senate and Congress in 2013, as I hope, they’ll need people with vision, like her, to create groundbreaking programs.
As my friends filed out of my house tonight, they offered to host fundraisers and plan benefit concerts, knock on doors and call friends. One by one they said, “Let me know what to do. I’m in.” Christ, I hope she’s in too!
Photos by Mike Ritter – www.ritterbin.com. Use without permission makes you a bad person.
They might want to rethink this sign on the Morton Street Walgreens.
UPDATE: An anonymous donor is offering a $250 reward for the return of the “Real Men Fry Turkies” chef’s hat. No questions asked. Email email@example.com or call 617-265-8444.
You may have seen some mention last weekend of a neighborhood mystery: a chef’s hat placed on the Sleeping Moon sculpture in Peabody Square, by Ashmont. It was stolen, and we’d like to get it back.
The Boston Phoenix had this post about it:
The whole story about how the chef’s hat came to be on the Sleeping Moon is a very moving one. It was a tribute to Vince Droser, a beloved neighbor, who died suddenly on Jan. 4. Vince was a visionary civic leader, who is largely responsible for the revitalization of the Ashmont neighborhood. I could go on and on about his contributions, but let’s just say that he left this neighborhood an even better place than it was when he came here.
The chef’s hat was made by his children, who stayed up all night before his funeral making it. Among the many things Vince was well-known for around here was his family’s annual post-Thanksgiving turkey fry, which I had the privilege to attend several times. The whole neighborhood got together and friend a bunch of the most delicious turkeys you’ve ever tasted. The hat said “Real Men Fry Turkeys,” and included his initials, VAD III, on the top. The kids affixed it to the Sleeping Moon so that it would be seen by the people attending Vince’s memorial service at All Saints, as they made their way to Tavolo for a reception with friends and family.
Unfortunately, the chef’s hat was removed and taken, sometime after the memorial service last Saturday afternoon, in broad daylight, with lots of people around. I just learned about this today. I assumed the family had taken it home. We would LOVE to return it to Vince’s children, who would really like to have it back. Have you seen it? Can you help me? No questions asked. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-265-8444.