Just Believe

Still image of Shephard Book from the Firefly moving holding Malcolm Reynold's face and saying "I don't care what you believe. Just believe it."

After the election last year, where I had spent time every week working for a campaign (despite working a regular job), I was crushed. But Hillary Clinton reminded me of something that I've always believed but had never taken quite so personally: goodness can only win if people stand up to do good. So I took a "leap of faith". This is awful, but I will get more involved. The Democratic party is the obvious place to help make change, so I'll find a way to participate even more.

Here I am, almost a year later. Today, aside from regular family stuff, I did two things. I knocked on doors in the 31st Legislative District to help support Michelle Rylands campaign for state senate:

Picture of a large group of volunteers at Michelle Rylands campaign event

If Michelle wins her race, then the state senate will be controlled by Democrats and we have a hope of passing legislation including full funding for schools, climate change and tax fairness. By the way, union people know how this stuff works and they SHOW UP.

But I also decided to go to a tiny candidate 'meet and greet' with a port commission candidate, Ryan Calkins, organized by Tom Schmidt who lives in my neighborhood and is all around fantastic. I've met Ryan before but was yet again amazed at some interesting ideas he had to make the region stronger. Here's Ryan talking to someone who showed up to meet a candidate. Just someone, a neighbor maybe, who wanted to talk to someone aspiring to be a port commissioner and understand how to make the world better:

Future Port Commissioner Ryan Calkins talking with a community member in a local pub.

I spend my time doing these things because I feel compelled. I believe that I can make a difference. That I can help make the world better. Somehow I've never believed it quite so personally.

I've learned a lot the past few months. About how organizations and campaigns work. About how volunteering works and about how government works. And while I have lots of strong opinions about what we should do to make things better, I don't pretend to believe I know better than anyone else. But I do believe that if more people showed up and noticed and wondered about what is going on and how they could make it be better and we all negotiated a compromise, then we'd all be better.

So I'm not here to ask you to come volunteer for Michelle Rylands (but please do, the signups are here). I'm here to ask you to believe we can make society better.

Believe so hard that you'll show up to something every week (especially during election season).

Believe so hard that you wonder how you could have felt any differently.

Just believe.