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June 17, 2007

Net Neutrality

Help support Net Neutrality. Go to Save the Internet to learn more. And write your Congresspeople using their online form. Be sure to write an individualized message, so Congress knows we're netroots, not astroturf.

Here's what I wrote to Boxer. Of course, it would've been better if the site had given me a clue as to whether or not Boxer has already taken a position on this issue. It's late and I want to get to bed, so I didn't research her position myself.

Dear Senator Boxer,

I urge you to support net neutrality. As a direct marketing professional, I understand the desire of corporations to ease the transfer of their BtoB and BtoC communications.

But as the Program Chair of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, US Section (WILPF US) I have personally experienced the frustration of denial of delivery for legitimate email communication between my organization and its members and supporters.

I hope you will take leadership of this issue and rally your fellow Senators and Congresspeople to enforce net neutrality.

As your constituent, I look forward to your response.

C.J. Minster

Posted by cj at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

The Blogosphere: Already a Hotbed of Activism

I'm the national Program Chair of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF US). I'm also on the international Communications Committee and on my local branch board. In short, I've spent 95% of my activist time since 1999 in WILPF. I can wax poetic about all of the inspirational women I've met through the organization. I could tell you about all of the organizational development skills I've learned by being on the national board. That's not where my head is at. Right now I'm banging my head against this basic cold hard fact: a 92 year old organization has an extremely difficult time moving into online activism. Like many organizations, we continue to try to control the Official Statements from headquarters. Then again, the other problem we face is that the vast majority of our members are older and do not use the blogosphere nor do they have an understanding of how online activism is already connecting activists from around the world and having a significant impact on global politics and culture.

I feel like I'm standing at a crossroad: my time is severely limited. Whereas in Chicago, I had plenty of time during the workday to delve into the online world, I am now limited to time before 8:30 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m for activism (along with occasional reading during my lunch hour). Further, there is so much work to be done to strengthen WILPF and expand its influence that I often forget to keep up with the blogosphere or any other part of the online world. (I'm too busy keeping up with WILPF emails and the listserv for thyroid cancer survivors).

I guess I'm stuck with obligations to Web 1.0, and don't have a full grasp of Web 2.0. Many people expect me to translate the world of online activism for my organization, but I'm afraid that my knowledge is a tad out-dated at this point. When shall I find the time to get up to speed? Where can I look for portals into this world?

Recently, I found a fascinating portal: Global Voices. My friend, Chris Salzberg, is one of their East Asia editors. He pointed me to a great video of GV founder Ethan Zuckerman talking about the blogosphere and how it's reshaping activism.

I'm grateful to see that through online communication more people are learning the lesson I took away from my Peace & Justice Studies education at Wellesley: its not about people of the North determining the right direction for people of the South; it's about the entire human community listening to one another and working together to create change. That on the microlevel, we should allow individuals and communities to speak for themselves and that on the macro level, we must all have a voice in the decision making process. I look forward to continuing to expand my knowledge of these worlds and to garner inspiration from people across the globe.

Posted by cj at 8:35 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2007

It's Time for Universal, Single Payer Healthcare

For a peak into the life of a cancer survivor who - thanks to family help - maintained COBRA between jobs which allowed her to get life saving treatment when needed - and thanks to her current employer has health insurance, visit my other blog.

Here in California, we should all be supporting Sheila Keuhl's healthcare bill (SB 840). It is the most comprehensive one around. It is not welfare for the insurance industry. And now, it's supported by Michael Moore and the California Nurses Association.

I'm not a big fan of the CNA. I find their organizing tactics repulsive at times; but on this issue we agree: healthcare should not be a profit industry. Healthcare is a human right.

Posted by cj at 2:52 PM | Comments (0)

June 3, 2007

Seeking Inspiration

I'm going through a period of great personal upheaval (see angelheaded hipster for details). Anyway, one of the things I'm desperate for is some inspiration.

Are you following your passion while making a living? How so?

Are you part of an organization that is making a positive difference in the world?

Have you heard about some positive change that is continuing to have a positive effect on the world?

Seeking inspiration...

Posted by cj at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)