Social change takes work on multiple fronts, usually simultaneously. Popular, electoral, cultural, intellectual, emotional, juridical fronts all need to advance. Â The most integral work is free: people talking to people, helping move the moveable, ideally by listening more than talking. Other free social change work entails getting one’s arse out into the public sphere to demonstrate to allies and onlookers both how deeply felt one’s beliefs are, and how determined one is to stand with others and do what it takes to get us closer to what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the beloved community.”
When the battle for social change entails an electoral one, at least in contemporary politics, money makes a difference. A huge difference. Â And a few hundred LD readers (and their friends, and friends of LD), honored below, doled out a heaping helping of support on behalf of the effort to preserve the California Supreme Court’s recognition that (a) marriage is a fundamental right, and (b) there’s no defensible reason to prohibit same-sex couples from exercising it (nor, for that matter, is there any defensible reason to treat this group unequally under the law, period).Â
This is not the only LGBT social justice battle of the day, but it sure as sh#t has become the biggest one. It’s where anti-gay forces Â — from national organizations to religious entities to activist individuals — Â are pouring their resources and attention. Fortunately, so have you. Since September 11, when I initially posted the fundraising graphic and link, all the way up until a day before election day, two hundred and twelve of us, many donating multiple times (some up to four), collectively raised $16,763 to try to fight No on 8.
Four times I upped the goal, always on the cajoling of one or another of you. Started with $5,000 (thanked a bunch of you back then), went to $7,500, then to the highly obscure $13,758, and finally $18,000.
Other blogs with higher traffic pulled in gobs more money for the No on 8 campaign (Daily Kos folks pulled in a huge amount one weekend; Towleroad readers hauled in a ton as well), and of course other fundraising means (house parties, events) helped individual donors contribute at least that much in one night. But I’m very proud to say that of the various individual fundraising pages that the No on 8 website hosted, the LD Love Train thermometer jobbie saw the greatest number of contributors bringing the greatest amount.
Dozens of other bloggers either put the thermometer up on their blog (check ’em out here) or posted Looky, Daddy’s promo photos with the link for donations. Or just included a link in a post. I do hope, over the coming weeks, that I can scare up a definative list to archive over at my LD Love Train Hall of Fame, simply for posterity.
But I can’t begin to convey how dearly I wish your generosity was better rewarded. Since the election I’ve often thought about this group of people, most of whom are unknown to me. To you, I feel both indebted and apologetic. Many of you dug very deep, I know; some to the bone. For many, this was on top of active engagement as a volunteer for the campaign. The pain I feel is magnified every time I read some fresh critique about how the No campaign was conducted. I was very very far from the war room, and only saw how g_d d___ed hard people at the regional community level were working. People tried as hard as they could, I can say that.
I also get the sense that the critiques of the shortcomings of the No on 8 campaign are being thoroughly examined and duly noted. At least if blog chatter is any useful guide. So much so that the one sound bite I’ve heard from two different No on 8 sources is: “Lesson learned.” Â There will be ample opportunity to deepen the learning, and walk that talk in the coming months and years. Â Any of us now kibitzing will have the opportunity, too, to put on our walking shoes. Â Since it’s not like this time around we couldn’t see it was a battle royale from the beginning. Â And unless one tried and tried in vain to offer wise counsel during the campaign, and was rebuffed, well. Â Any among us who is squeaky-clean of complicity is welcome to cast the first kibitz.Â
(In other words, like this. Â Step one: What I didn’t do. Â Step two: What they didn’t do. Â Step three: Â What I commit to doing, together with others, the next time.)
Yet and still, regardless of whether No on 8 lost — by a bare margin — rather than won by it (500,000 votes, and the difference is LESS THAN that, is 1.3% of the state’s population), Â your support went far. Â Together you bought heaven knows how many lawn signs and club cards, underwrote hours of data gathering on most promising potential voters to call. Â You worked to combat the TV ad lies, by helping screen the No on 8 counterpunches in times and places they’d be most effective. Â And Â you bought people coffee and donuts on election day morning.
You answer to the names of Abigail, Alex, Alice, Alicia, Alison, Amanda, Angela, Angelina, Ann, Anne, Ann Lyn, Anna-Maria, Anne, Bebhinn, Brian, Brianna, Caitlyn, Cari, Carolina, Carolyn, Carrie, Casey, Catherine, Chelsea, Cheryl, Cheyenna, Cheyenne, Chip and Lisa, Cristianna, Cristina, Crystal, Curtis, Dana, Daniel, Darren, David, Deborah, Diana, Diandra, Dodie, Donna, Dorothy, Doug, Elisabeth, Eliza, Ellen, Emily, Ericka, Erika, Erin, Evan, Gibson, Ginger, Harmony, Heather, Jacqueline , Jaime, Janet, Jayme, Jeanette, Jen, Jennifer, Jessica, Jim, Joceline, Jody, JoEllen, Jojo, Julia, Julie, Justine, Karen, Karon, Karrie, Kate, Katherine, Kathleen, Katy, Kellie, Kelly, Kelsey, Kendra, Kim, Kimberley, Kristin, Laura, Lauren, Laurie, Lea, Lesley, Leslie, Linda, Lindsey, Lisa, Lorraine, Lucy, Luisa, Lynda, Lynn, Lynn, M.E., Maggie, Marcey, Maria, Marissa, Mariya, Martha, Mary, Matthew, Megan , Megin, Melissa, Melody, Meredith, Michael, Michelle L., Moira, Nancy, Nicole, Paul, Phyllis, Polly, Rachel, RC, Rebecca, Renee, Robert, Ryann, Sandy, Sara, Sarah, Scott, Skye, Sonja, Stephanie, Susan, Susannah, Suzanne, Sybil, Tamara, Tania, Tanyia, Tara, Taylor, Teal, Tessa, Timothy, Todd, Traci, Tracy, Valerie, Vikki, Wendy, Zach, and Zachary.
The occupations you’re engaged in include Accountant, Actor/composer, Administrator, Administrative Assistant, Administrator, Advertising, Anesthesiologist, Architectural Designer, Artist, Artist/Art Teacher, Assisstant Professor, Assistant Editor, Associate, Asst. Professor of Microbiology, Attorney, Audiology Technician, Bookkeeper, Bookseller, Chef, Childcare, College Professor, Computer Technician, Consultant, Conventions Coordinator, Designer, Development Assistant, Director, Director of Pricing, Directory, Student Publications, Editor, Editorial Assistant, Education Consultant, Educator, Educator & Facilitator, Engineer, Environmental Scientist, Epidemiologist, Event Manager, Extension Specialist, Public Health Initiatives, Finance Director, Forensic Accountant, Foundation Relations Manager, Freelance Videographer/Editor, Freelance writer, Full-time grad student, Part-time Non-profit Development Asst., Grad Student, Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Graduate Teaching Fellow, Graphic Designer, Historian, Home Builder, Homemaker, Instructor, Investment Operations, IT, IT Manager, Lawyer, Legal Secretary, Librarian, Library Tech, Licensed Clinical Social Worker/ High School Counselor, Lifestyle Editor-in-Chief, Manager, Marketing, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Marketing Manager, Mom, Mother, Musician, Naturopathic Physician, Network Administrator, Nonprofit Admin, Non-profit mgr., Not Employed, Nurse, Nursery Mgr/buyer, Opera Singer, Paralegal, Paramedic, Paraprofessional, Pharmacy Technician, Photographer, Physician, Physicist, Post Doctoral Associate, PR, PR Director, Producer, Product Complaints Specialist, Professor, Professor of Mathematics, Program Director, Programmer, Programmer/Analyst, Project Administrator, Project Manager, Psychologist, Registered Nurse, Research Administrator, Research Assistant, Research Manager, Residency Program Administrator, SAHM, Sales Associate, Sales Operations Analyst, Sales/Service Rep, Scholar /Teacher, Self-employed, Senior Financial Analyst, Server, Singer/Actor/Teacher, Small Business Support, Social Services, Social Worker, Software developer, Sound Editor, Speech-language Pathologist, Student, Student/Librarian, Teacher, Teaching Assistant, Technical Team Lead/Senior Engineer, Television Host/Reporter, University of Nevada, Reno, Voice over actor, VP/Director, Delivery Management, Waitress, Web Developer, Web Master, Writer, Writer and Lawyer, Writer and Teacher, Writer/Editor, Writer/Professional Development Specialist, Writer/Tutor (PT), and Yoga Instructor.
You hail from Agoura Hills, CA; Alameda, CA; Albuquerque, NM; Alexandria, VA; Anaheim, CA; Ann Arbor, MI; Annandale, VA; Arlington, MA; Arlington, VA; Astoria, NY; Attleboro, MA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Berkeley, CA; Bloomfield, NJ; Boise, ID; Boonton, NJ; Boulder Creek, CA; Branchburg, NJ; Brockon, MA; Brookline, MA; Brooklyn, NY; Buellton, CA; Burlington, VT; Burnaby, BC; Cambridge, MA; Canton, MI; Castro Valley, CA; Champaign, IL; Chapel Hill, NC; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Danville, CA; Decatur, GA; Denver, CO; Douglaston, NY; Edison, NJ; Emeryville, CA; Escondido, CA; Eugene, OR; Everett, MA; Falls Church, VA; Fayetteville, NY; Felton, CA; Ferndale, MI; Fort Worth, TX; Fredericksburg, VA; Glen Ridge, NJ; Greeley, CO; Greenfield, MA; Greensboro, NC; Happy Camp, CA; Harrisburg, PA; Hartford, CT; Higginsville, MO; Highland Village, TX; Holyoke, MA; Houston, TX; Huntington Beach, CA; Huntsville, AL; Idaho Falls, ID; Iowa City, IA; Jersey City, NJ; Kansas City, MO; La Crescenta, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Lees Summit, MO; Lenexa, KS; Lexington, KY; Los Angeles, CA; Malden, MA; Minneapolis, MN; Montpelier, VT; Moore, OK; Moscow, ID; Mount Vernon, NY; Nashville, TN; Natick, MA; Nevada City, CA; New Haven, CT; New York, NY; Newtown, PA; Normal, IL; North Olmsted, OH; North Reading, MA; Northport, NY; Northridge, CA; Oakland, CA; Oceanside, CA; Old Zionsville, PA; Olympia, WA; Omaha, NE; Palo Alto, CA; Pasadena, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Pine Grove, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, ME; Portland, OR; Prairie Village, KS; Princeton, NJ; Providence, RI; Raleigh, NC; Reno, NV; Richmond, IN; Ridgewood, NJ; Rockville, MD; Rockville, MD; Royal Oak, MI; San Anselmo, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Santa Ana, CA; Santa Cruz, CA; Santa Fe, NM; Santa Monica, CA; Santa Paula, CA; Sarasota, FL; Saratoga, CA; Scotts Valley, CA; Seattle, WA; Sharon, MA; Sherman Oaks, CA; Silver Spring, MD; Smyrna, GA; Snohomish, WA; Somerville, MA; Sonora, CA; Soquel, CA; South Pasadena, CA; South Pasadena, CA; South Portland, ME; St. Johns, MI; St. Joseph, MN; St. Louis, MO; Studio City, CA; Tampa, FL; University City, MO; Vancouver, BC; Walnut Creek, CA; Washington, DC; Watertown, MA; Waxahachie, TX; White River Jct., VT; Whittier, CA; Wilmington, NC; and Worthington, MA.
And I thank you all. Â For everything: support both monetary and emotional, organizing both virtual and actual, Â work both widely visible and known only to you (and the person whose heart you might have just touched). Â One of my two oldest friends — the Special Auntie to my children — brought me a fresh-baked loaf of cinnamon bread the morning after the election, wrapped in a cloth, and sealed with a No on 8 sticker (she did GOTV the day before) and a note saying “Yes we can.” Â Gestures like this, along with this LD microcosm of the larger community engaging this battle, give me the best hope that this statement might actually be true.
Please stay ready to engage the next phase of this fight, when it begins to emerge. Â You can pledge your support here, and sign up to be notified of what work is needed next, as it becomes clear.Â
Meanwhile please consider joining the Fight the H8 protest nearest you this Saturday, November 15. Â
Yes we can.