Lampson, Mistry, Dance-a-thon, LinkUp
Nick Lampson is running against Tom DeLay in 2006. He was in town. I went to his fundraiser last week. There were all these white men in formal attire. I was in my jeans and totally enjoyed working the room.
"Excuse me, it was nice meeting you, but I got to work the room."
And I took my jacket off, and a colorful shirt came up for air.
There was this one woman, maybe there were two, otherwise it was a white male crowd.
I struck a conversation with this lawyer who had offices in both DC and NYC. I teased him he had turned lawyering into a franchise concept. I ended up saying I was new in town, six months.
"That's new. Where did you move from?"
"That's a step up."
"It sure is. Indiana was too white for me. I appreciate the diversity in this city."
He looked like he wished he had a tan.
There was this one guy, amazingly happy, cheerful, almost bubbley, who was running for Congress from somewhere near Westchester. He said he used to work on Charlie Rangel's team and had his "blessings." He was part of DL21C. The founder of that group was in the room, and was pointed out to me.
I asked the candidate guy if he knew Jimmy.
"Yeah. He is running for the State Senate from somewhere in Long Island."
What a stupid thing to have asked. It is like when Colin Powell joined the army, and he would meet white folks who would know this one black guy, and Powell would get asked if he knew that guy.
Met this one guy from Texas. He got real comfortable and he related this story of having hired this woman for real cheap. "We are totally overworking her." Was that supposed to have been a male bonding moment! Beats me.
Lampson gave a great speech. He gave a brief talk spot on "foreign students." I think he might have noticed my colorful shirt.
Nick Lampson for District 22
Nick Lampson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I showed up for Abhishek Mistry's Research and Advocacy meeting. Quite a lot of the talk there goes over my head, but I show up anyway. I might build an Indian caucus some day.
There was this Jewish guy who showed up. He gave a talk on something called a dollar van. And then he gave a very alternate view on the Taliban. It was refreshing what he had to show. He had some UNDP charts he showed to make his point. Some people rudely interrupted his presentation. I did not like that. After the program ended, he told me he had an uncle who had lead the UNDP in Nepal at one point in time. I was like, no wonder I liked you, I must have known there was something to you. If we had more Jews talk good about Arabs here in America like he did, that could lead to peace back there.
One woman, and one guy took turns going after what it looked to me like India. What is the reference to calling centers and outsourcing? I geared up to respond. Mistry must have noticed. He said discussion on that topic was over. But I went to meet both afterwards. She claimed her ire was up on the multi-national corporations. He talked China and Walmart.
It was between a fundraiser for Nepal by the NYU Rajeev Goyal and this AIDS Dance-a-thon fundraiser that Merle was egging me to go to. Merle had showed up for the Nepal rally on September 16. So there were these two non-Nepali Nepalis pulling me. I donated $15 online to Rajeev's effort, and showed up for the dance. Cost me $75, not something someone in my income bracket can afford. But swiping a credit card can feel painless, and the event was loud and fun, though not as much fun as hip hop. But overall great.
And I ended up the only DFNYC person there. The number one group had raised $16,000.
At the entrance thing, the lady who checked in asked if I needed a pink wrist band if I wanted to drink so I don't have to show my ID. I have taken to combing my hair recently. When I do that, I look younger. But that young?
AIDS is a big deal in Africa, it is a big deal in NYC.
The crowd was huge. The place was next to the New Yorker hotel.
Showing up for a LinkUp can feel such a disconnect. I do Nepal work round the clock, it feels like, and it is a movement, and there are real possibilities of loss of lives, and then you show up for a LinkUp, and it is such an anticlimax. It is winter, it is a political off season. I don't have time right now, at least not much for US politics, but I have a few ideas I would like to cultivate.
I might do some video blogging to reach a potential national audience with my ideas. The DFNYC framework is not the best venue for it. And there is this group that if it gels, I might try and experiment with some ideas in that small group setting: Does Hell Have A Kitchen?
Looks like the next month or two will be real slow with DFNYC. And the next two months are going to see some major action in Nepal.