Thursday, February 26, 2009

24 hours in Olympia

I spent 24 hours in Olympia.

I initially headed down to participate in Housing & Homeless Advocacy Day, an annual event staged by a coalition of non-profit housing developers, service providers, housing activists and homeless people. Our themes were simple - however critical the state of the budget, for God's sake don't cut funding to the few programs (like the Housing Trust Fund) that actually get families off the streets or help people in trouble (like GA-U.) No matter your opinion of this or that policy, it's always impressive to see how accessible the capitol is. It's easy to walk into the congressional offices, meet with your officials, and speak your mind. I've been more challenged trying to enter a bar. I was with a group of some 60 people who invaded the tiny office of Rep. Jamie Pedersen, forcing him up onto his desk to hear our forcefully held opinions and answer our questions. Were we effective? Who can say, but it was an empowering experience all the same.

I took a side trip to the Diamond parking lot on 4th Avenue to fill my water bottle with some free Artesian Well Water. The open well draws thousands of people each month for the drinking water that comes straight from the aquifer, unfiltered and with no chemicals added. The “Friends of Artesians” have been working with the City of Olympia to create a public park with the well as the focal point, but for now the stream is in the center of an asphalt lot surrounded by concrete blocks.

In the evening I checked in with some old friends who are working with Free Radio Olympia, the badass pirate radio station broadcasting since 2001 within the city limits and streaming live right here. We played some records, drank some beers, and struck a blow for free speech, dammit!

After that we headed out to sing at the aptly named "Crippler" karaoke bar, at which point the details get kind of fuzzy...

1 comment:

The Corey said...

You have a fun life baby maker