Well I’m back in Oklahoma. My trip to Austin was good but very, very busy. I did get a little bit of time to see old friends and some of my family (at Trudy’s, home of the glorious Mexican Martinis and their tremendous chipotle sauce that I love to get on enchiladas), but mostly was pretty bogged down with the NLG’s Law for the People convention.
As far as what I’ve taken with me from the convention, the biggie is that I got two new hats to wear. I was elected as Regional Vice-President for the Texoma region and was elected to the steering committee of the Military Law Task Force.
I’m really looking forward to both of those positions. The Texoma RVP position will entail some local organizing (to the extent I can, I did tell folks that I’m awfully swamped with military law work), but mostly will involve representing the region on the National Executive Committee at its meetings (2 per year in NYC, 1 per year on the west coast, and 1 at the national convention), which should be fun. As for the MLTF work, that will encompass a lot of things but mostly will be a continuation of some of the work I’m already doing.
(BTW, for those wondering I will be scaling back in some of my other areas of activist work to accomodate these new roles. I’m not yet sure what I’ll be doing, but my thought is I’ll probably move away from much work in electoral politics after the upcoming election is over, and focus more on those areas of activist that relate more directly to the law.)
As for highlights of the convention, here are a few…
* Participating in the TUPOCC meetings in which I learned in a much deeper way the importance of true community organizing through means that empower those you are working with, and shifts the traditional roles of “activist” and “client” to “partner” and partner.”
* Having lots of good conversations with folks about how socialism IS a good way for society to function, and why we shouldn’t give up on dreaming about how the world could be a better place.
* Hearing Roger Toussaint, the courageous head of the NYC transit union who went to prison over the right of workers to strike
* Meeting dozens of amazing folks doing work to protect the rights of immigrants, workers, and GI’s
* Hearing the Venezuelan lawyer speak during the banquet about the solidarity that the NLG shares with the Socialist movement in Venezuela and across all of the Latin America
* Hearing Bill Quigly speak with such hope and joy about the work for justice in New Orleans (despite the crushing blow of racism and classism that has has needlessly left NO vulnerable to future storms and missing so many of its people, mostly poor folks of color)
There’s so much more that I can tell but I guess that is enough for now. I’ll post pictures and more thoughts later on.