October 2020; issue 1.1
Our Right to Vote
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” — Abraham Lincoln
The first issue of Peace & Justice is about our right to vote. We hope you enjoy these articles, and that you will share them with your family and friends.
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Why I Vote
I vote because voting helps to make our country a more just and democratic nation for all of its citizens. How do I know this? I have seen it. I have lived it.
On 22 August 1964, I was 12 years old. I was living in Dallas, Texas, in an all-Black community and attending a segregated and unequal public school. Blacks had not been allowed in most restaurants or other places of public accommodations. We traveled using the Green Book to find hotels and restaurants that would serve Blacks. We couldn’t even visit national parks. We lived in a world where the majority of Blacks worked in non-professional jobs. We lived in a world where, when we saw a Black person on television, we would immediately get on the telephone and call our friends and family and tell them to turn on the TV because a Black person was on!
And, indeed, a Black woman was on national television speaking at the Democratic National Conventi>on on that night in August. She delivered a historic speech to the credentials committee and to the nation. She told, in bone chilling detail, about how she was kicked off the plantation where she had worked and lived with her family for 18 years, just because she dared to try to register to vote. She talked about how she was beaten within an inch of her life, sustaining permanent damage to her kidney and losing vision in one of her eyes, all because she had helped organize a voter registration drive for Blacks.
That speech was scary, confusing and powerful to me as a 12-year-old. It told me more than I already knew—about what it meant to be a Black person in America in 1964—even after President Johnson had signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a few weeks earlier on 2 July 1964.
I learned later that the reason Ms. Hamer had attended the convention was because she and others had formed the Mississippi Freedom Democratic party in opposition to the fact that the Democratic party of Mississippi didn’t allow Blacks to participate. So, they formed their own integrated Mississippi Democratic Party and hoped the Democratic convention’s credential committee would recognize them as the real Democratic Party from Mississippi. But sadly, it did not. Her story, and her fierce determination and perseverance for the rights of Black Americans to vote, despite death threats, told me that if I wanted things to be different, that voting was one of the most powerful tools I could use to change things. It would not be easy and we would all have to persevere. And we could not let fear stop us.
In my lifetime I have seen the power of the vote to elect officials who will change things. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or national origin. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed the use of literacy tests as a voting requirement and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 established equal housing opportunities regardless of race, religion or national origin. And let’s not forget the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregated schools. Just those three laws and the Brown Supreme Court decision, which were fiercely fought for by people like Fannie Lou Hamer, changed the trajectory of my and other Black American’s lives. That is why I vote!
Why I Vote
Voting means exercising my right to be heard; voting ensures that I have a say and that, at the end, the majority’s opinion will prevail, which I will respect, whether I like it or not.
Exercising this right allows me to be part of this process called Democracy.
Many, all over the world, are deprived of this right, but not me! I am fortunate to live in a country where all citizens have the right to cast our votes, so I am not giving that up . . . period!
On the other hand, not voting allows others to speak while I remain silent; others would make choices for me, in the case that I may have lost the courage to “speak” through the ballot; others would take advantage of my ignorance and would use their voices over my silence; others would take advantage of my absence; they would show up and make a difference to their benefit over mine because, after all, I did not speak!
If I don’t vote, I’ll be submissive and I will not have a second chance to amend my mistake. If I don’t vote, I don’t matter.
There will be not time later on, for tears over the fact that I may have been a scaredy-cat during the election.
So, come November, I will show up and vote, because I am not afraid to win or lose; because my voice is as important as anyone else’s; because I have the right to speak up; because I am not submissive and because generations before me gave their lives so I could vote and therefore I owe them this treasure called Democracy. I have the civic and moral obligation to exercise this right and I will!
My ballot is not going to stay inside one of my drawers or on my dining table. My ballot is going out so my vote is counted. I hope you, my friends, do the same!
Votar significa ejercer mi derecho a ser escuchada; la votación asegura que yo pueda opinar y que, al final, prevalecerá la opinión de la mayoría, cosa que respetaré, me guste o no.
Ejercitar este derecho me permite ser parte de este proceso llamado Democracia.
A muchos, en todo el mundo, se les priva de este derecho, ¡pero no a mí! Tengo la fortuna de vivir en un país donde todos los ciudadanos tenemos el derecho a emitir nuestro voto, así que no voy a renunciar a eso... ¡y punto!
Por otro lado, no votar permitiría que otros hablen mientras yo permanezco en silencio; otros tomarían decisiones por mí, si se diera el caso en que yo hubiera perdido la valentía de “hablar” a través de la boleta; otros se aprovecharían de mi ignorancia y usarían su voz sobre mi silencio; otros aprovecharían mi ausencia; harían acto de presencia y tratarían de lograr cambios a favor de su beneficio por encima del mío porque, después de todo, ¡yo no hablé!
Si no voto, seré sumisa y no habrá una segunda oportunidad para corregir mi error. ¡Si no voto, no importo nada!
No habrá tiempo para llorar luego por el hecho de que pude haber actuado un gato asustadizo durante las elecciones.
Así que, cuando llegue Noviembre, me presentaré y votaré, porque no tengo miedo de ganar o perder; porque mi voz es tan importante como la de cualquier otra persona; porque tengo derecho a hablar; porque no soy sumisa y porque generaciones antes que yo dieron sus vidas para que yo pudiera votar y como consecuencia les debo este tesoro que se llama Democracia. ¡Tengo la obligación cívica y moral de ejercer este derecho y lo haré!
Mi boleta no se quedará dentro de uno de mis cajones ni en la mesa del comedor. Voy a entregar mi boleta llena y así se contará mi voto. ¡Espero que ustedes, mis amigos, hagan lo mismo!
So, what is “suffrage?” The term “suffrage” comes from the Latin word “suffraguim,” which has since had many definitions, but originally meant “the right to vote.”
Exclusion from suffrage has had a long history, dating clear back to the Greeks, where only adult males who owned land were permitted to vote. In 1893, New Zealand became the first self-governing nation to extend the right to all women.
The U.S. Constitution did not originally define who was eligible to vote, allowing each state to decide this status. Most states allowed only white male adult property owners to vote (about 6% of the total population). Blacks were not given citizenship or the right to vote, thus excluding both slaves and freed slaves. Native Americans, indentured servants and Asians were also disenfranchised. By 1856, property ownership requirements were eliminated in all states, giving suffrage to most white men. Prior to the Civil War, freed male Blacks had actually gained suffrage in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, their right to vote was rescinded in New Jersey (1807) and Pennsylvania (1838).
African-American women began to agitate for political rights in the 1830’s. Throughout the 19th century, women such as Harriet Forten Purvis, Mary Ann Shadd Carey and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper worked on obtaining the right to vote for Black women. After the Civil War, Reconstruction Era laws favored Black suffrage, but in practice Blacks still faced obstacles to voting. Blacks seeking suffrage were often met with violence and were driven from enfranchisement. The Black Codes were enacted in 1865-66 by Southern states, which allowed local authorities to arrest freed people and commit them to involuntary labor (i.e. slavery by another name). Jim Crow laws enforcing legal racial separation at the state and local level in the Southern states were enacted to disenfranchise and remove the political gains made by Blacks during the Reconstruction Era. A poll tax for voting and also a “literary test” requirement were also enacted. Blacks continuously worked toward overcoming these barriers.
After the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 giving women the right to vote, Afro-Americans still faced a number of disenfranchisement methods, particularly in the South. These included having to wait in line for up to 12 hours to register to vote, paying head taxes and undergoing new tests, including bodily harm and fabricated charges designed to land them in jail if they attempted to vote. This unjust treatment of Blacks in the South continued up until the 1960’s. The 19th Amendment did expand voting rights substantially, but it did not address the racial terrorism that prevented African Americans in Southern states from voting, regardless of sex.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was formed in 1910 and pursued voting rights through litigation. However, in 1937, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a poll tax requirement for voting. It wasn’t until the 24th Amendment was passed in 1964 that poll taxes were banned for voting in federal elections.
Women such as Fannie Hamer, Ella Barker and Diane Nash continued the fight for voting rights for all, culminating in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Although the Voting Rights Act prohibited a range of state discriminatory voting practices, some enforcement-related provisions have required reauthorization over the years. State and local enforcement of the law was weak and it was often ignored outright, mainly in the South and in areas where the proportion of Black people in the population was high and their vote threatened the status quo. In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a portion of the Voting Rights Act, holding that the racist practices that necessitated the law in 1956 no longer presented a problem.
Native American Voting Rights: The 14th Amendment of 1868 was interpreted by the courts to not apply to Native peoples. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 (the Snyder Act) granted citizenship to the indigenous peoples of the U.S. However, even Native Americans who were granted citizenship under the 1924 Act did not have full citizen and suffrage rights until 1948. The right to vote, however, was governed by state law. Nevertheless, some states had still barred Native Americans from voting until 1957. Nipo Strongheart (a member of the Yakima Nation) was an advocate for Native American issues. In the end, Native Americans were only able to win the right to vote by fighting for it state-by-state. The last state to fully guarantee voting rights for Native people was Utah in 1962. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped to strengthen the voting rights that Native people had won in every state. However, this act is no longer fully intact. In 2013 a Supreme Court decision dismantled one of its key provisions, i.e., a requirement that states with a racial bias in voting get permission before passing new laws. In 2018 North Dakota’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of a new voting requirement that requires Native Americans to obtain a proper ID card if they wanted to vote.
Not all women gained the right to vote in 1920. Native-born Asians received U.S. citizenship in 1920, but first-generation Asian-American immigrant women were therefore excluded from voting until the Immigration and Voting Act of 1952 allowed them to gain citizenship, more than three decades after the 19th Amendment was passed. Asian suffragists such as Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee worked alongside white native-born women in the years up to 1920. Latinx women contributed to the success of the suffrage women’s movement at both the state and federal levels. In Puerto Rico, suffragists such as Luisa Capetillo worked to obtain women’s voting rights. These rights were first given to literate women in 1929 and to all Puerto Rican women in 1935. Yet, literacy tests remained an effective means of keeping some Hispanic and other women of color from voting. It took a 1975 extension of the Voting Rights Act to expand voting access to women who rely heavily on languages other than English.
“The Awakening” by Hy Mayer (1915):
The illustration shows a torch-bearing female labeled “Votes for Women,” symbolizing the awakening of the nation’s women to the desire for suffrage, striding across the western states, where women already had the right to vote, toward the east where women are reaching out to her. The poem at the bottom of the illustration is by Alice Duer Miller:
Look forward, women, always; utterly cast away
The memory of hate and struggle and bitterness;
Bonds may endure for a night, but freedom comes with the day,
And the free must remember nothing less.
Forget the strife; remember those who strove—
The first defeated women, gallant and few,
Who gave us hope, as a mother gives us love,
Forget them not, and this remember, too:
How at the later call to come forth and unite,
Women untaught, uncounselled, alone and apart,
Rank upon rank came forth in unguessed might,
Each one answering the call of her own wise heart.
They came from toil and want, from leisure and ease,
Those who knew only life, and learned women of fame,
Girls and the mothers of girls, and the mothers of these,
No one knew whence or how, but they came, they came.
The faces of some were stern, and some were gay,
And some were pale with the terror of unreal dangers;
But their hearts knew this : that hereafter come what may,
Women to women would never again be strangers.
As the 2020 election approaches, I’ve been reflecting on the fact, when the nation was founded, that the majority of voting age adults had no voice in electing the people who governed them. It’s been an ongoing struggle to secure voting rights for all citizens and we’ve come a long way. (See the previous article on Suffrage.) Yet voter suppression persists—particularly for people of color, low income persons, and youth—and tactics have taken on new forms.
The prevailing story of our nation’s birth and its democratic ideals is silent on the fact that voting rights were reserved for a privileged minority. We were to be governed by white, male, mostly Christian property owners. It fails to acknowledge the accommodation made for slave-owning states that gave them disproportionate representation in the electoral college—the method by which we elect a president. To gain southern support for direct election of the president, states were allowed to count three-fifths of their slave population toward their share of electors, even though slaves could not vote. This arrangement gave southern states an advantage in the outcome of the presidential election and a strong incentive to prevent African Americans from voting after slavery ended.
This origin story gives context to the legacy of voter suppression and the constant vigilance needed to protect our right to vote. In this context, it is hardly surprising that extraordinary—even life-risking—effort has been necessary to gain and protect the right to vote. It is fundamentally about dismantling privilege and sharing power. Federal law and constitutional protections have provided a counterweight to state restrictions on voting. But election law remains largely in the domain of the states and, in 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a section of the Voting Rights Act that required federal preclearance of voting law changes in states with a history of discriminatory practices, as if it were a thing of the past. In her dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote, “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”
Voter suppression has resurged in the wake of the Supreme Court decision, with adoption of strict voter identification requirements, voter registration purges, and polling location closures. The 2018 election in Georgia, documented in Suppressed 2020: The Fight to Vote, is a case study in how these and related measures curtail the right to vote.
The stated rationale for voter ID and removing voters from the rolls is to prevent fraud; however, in-person voter fraud is extremely rare and usually due to an honest mistake by the voter or an election worker. When the value of one additional vote is weighed against the consequences of committing the felony offense of voter fraud, it defies reason that many voters would intentionally undertake this act.
Voter ID: In The Challenge of Obtaining Voter ID, the Brennan Center notes that 10 states have restrictive voter ID laws that require specific types of government-issued ID. The problem is not that ID is required but that voters lack the types of ID that are required and they are not equally accessible to all. Even when the ID itself is free, locations and office hours of ID-issuing offices are inconvenient and documents required to obtain the ID, such as birth certificates, are costly. About 11% of US citizens do not have government-issued photo identification, including up to 25% of voting age African Americans.
Voter Purges: Cleaning up voter rolls is necessary to remove people who have moved, died, or become ineligible to vote for reasons such as conviction of a felony offense. States also often remove people who haven’t voted in recent elections. However, some states have undertaken purging without providing the voter notice and waiting period required by federal law. Some have relied on faulty databases to confirm voter addresses and require exact name matches, which fail on differences as minor as a hyphen between two names.
Purges: A Growing Threat to the Right to Vote reports that eight states, representing one quarter of all voters, engaged in unlawful voter purges between 2013 and 2018 and voter purging between 2016 and 2018 increased by 33% over the period 2006 to 2008, greatly outstripping the growth in registered voters (18%) and population (6%). Additionally, 2 million more voters were purged from jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination, than would have been if they had remained subject to federal preclearance.
Polling Place Closures: Democracy Diverted: Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote describes poll closures as “a common and particularly pernicious way to disenfranchise voters of color.” Closure decisions are often made quietly and at the last minute, resulting in confusion and an array of burdens to the voter including long lines at the polls, transportation challenges, and lack of language and other in-person assistance. The report notes that between 2012 and 2018, 1,688 polling places were closed in 13 states. In communities that had been but were no longer subject to federal preclearance, there were 1,173 fewer polling locations in 2018 than on 2015, despite a significant increase in voting.
I applaud the work of all who are working to protect the vote in the upcoming election, including many SPC members. I take heart from the organizing and advocacy taking place in many states to expand absentee and early voting, bring legal challenges to restrictive and discriminatory laws, restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals, and remove politics from redistricting. I’m inspired by the memory of Rep. John Lewis and his life’s work. It’s sobering to think that without the victories of civil rights movements, more than half of us would not be allowed to vote. Our vote is not guaranteed. To paraphrase the song Pass It On, the right to vote “is a hard-won thing. You’ve got to work for it, fight for it, day and night for it. And every generation has got to win it again.”
- VOTE411: Our one-stop-shop for election-related information provides nonpartisan info to the public. Register to vote, find candidate information, & much more, League of Women Voters, VOTE411.ORG
- Better Know a Ballot: How to vote in your state, Stephen Colbert, Late Show
- So You Moved During the Pandemic. Now How Do You Vote? Bryan Pietsch, New York Times, 16 September 2020
Quotes about Voting
“Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world. — Sharon Salzberg
“There is no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters.” —Barack Obama
“The right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, as individuals, control over their own destinies.” —Lyndon B. Johnson
“Democracy is not just the right to vote; it is the right to live in dignity.” —Naomi Klein
“The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it.” —.John Lewis
“Lower voter turnout is generally a sign of a demoralized society, and people of power feed on that demoralization, knowing that they can then easily gerrymander, suppress and limit voting rights, and give elections to the rule of money and lobbyists - and there will be little outcry, because there is so little trust or even interest in the whole system anyway.
Yet, this is largely where the U.S. is today.
The powers that control society are quite happy that it is always minorities of all stripes that first feel this powerlessness and this demoralization. Since the early days of representative government, it has been believed that democracy would only work if there was a truly free and informed citizenry. We presently seem to lack both in the U.S. This is why voting is a deeply moral act for me - in rebuilding confidence and encouraging an intelligent and hope-filled society. It is also a decisive act of Christian faith that I matter, society matters, justice matters, and others matter.
Not to vote is to hand our power and our dignity over to people who fear actual freedom, honest intelligence, and faith in the very goodness of humanity.”
—Richard Rohr, the founding director of the Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, NM
“I can’t stand being out of the loop on what is happening in my neighborhood, city, state, country and the world! Voting is an opportunity to learn about issues, decide how I feel about them, and participate in our democracy.” —Sherry Tuinstra, Alto, Seattle Peace Chorus
“Having a voice is pointless unless you use it.” —Tom Sharp, Baritone, Seattle Peace Chorus
“I vote in all local, state and national elections because I’ve taught thousands of students as a teacher and raised five kids of my own. I find voting to be the most direct way I can benefit their future.” —Dale Rector, Baritone, Seattle Peace Chorus
“Voting is a right for which we’ve struggled and will keep struggling! There are many issues to vote for on the ballot in addition to the president and representatives.” —Straton Spyropoulos , Baritone, Seattle Peace Chorus
“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” —Julie Eriksen, Alto, Seattle Peace Chorus
It is a very proud family tradition with my Mom and Dad faithfully voting for candidates whose values aligned with theirs. My vote follows the same path because we need leaders who put people over profits. —Sue Hurley Rector, Alto, Seattle Peace Chorus
- Save the date for our virtual fall concert: Freedom Rings: get out the vote! Saturday & Sunday 24 & 25 October 2020, 6 pm PST each evening. This performance will feature our version of Fred West’s composition, “Let America Be America Again” based on the poem by Langston Hughes.
- Both Seattle Peace Chorus and SPC Action Ensemble have channels on YouTube. SPC’s performance of “Courage My Soul” has had over 1400 views. AE’s performance of “Together Apart” has had over 1400 views. Subscribe to both channels.
Seattle Peace Chorus receives support from:
Words from our director: Peace Crosses All Disciplines
In Bali and Java, there is a thousand-year-old tradition of story telling which involves the use of shadow puppets.
It is called Wayang Kulit. Wayang means shadow or imagination and denotes “something of the spirit.” Kulit means skin, as the puppets are made from thin sheets of buffalo hide.
This tradition is also found in Cambodia and parts of India where the Hindu epic of the Ramayana is told from dusk to dawn.
When I was first studying music, I read about this exotic land of shadow puppets and the extraordinary monkey chant where hundreds of singers would gather to deliver the explosive sounds of the drama.
What struck me was that this was a part of everyone’s life. The farmer by day, came home and had a key role in the shadow puppet stories of the evening. One did not have a separate class of dancers and puppeteers.
I have now spent nearly four decades as a choral director working with singers who by day, are to be found as teachers, lawyers, mental health counselors, social workers, physicians, and carpenters and so much more. By night they are too be found in the rehearsal halls studying the Beethoven “Mass in C,” or “Canto General,” or “People of the Drum,” preparing for epic concerts with full orchestra.
These times will come again, and now we keep the lamps of hope lit in our own homes nurturing the dreams of our singer gatherings to come, and they will happen!
My revelation as a young conducting student and pianist when I read about Balinese culture, was simply that all people may share in this great passion of the arts, and in so doing, all people may find the balance in their lives that music in this case provides, no matter what their profession.
Now, as we find we are more home-bound, I would like to extend to all people the mission of the Seattle Peace Chorus. Whoever you are, can you sing in your language with us?
The first part of our mission is: “We sing with a desire for a more just and peaceful world.”
How does the teacher, the architect, the engineer, and people on the front lines of the medical world addressing the COVID virus, join with us? How do we join with you? How do you put one step in front of the other creating a path of peace and equality in your field? How do you practice your art and pursue the dreams of your profession with a desire for a more just and peaceful world, as that is the dream of more than just singers. It is the worthy goal that imagines the world that we may hand down to our children and their children. Out of our very skin, with the power of our imagination, how will our story be told?
Action Ensemble: Putting One Foot in Front of the Other and Leading with Love
The SPC Action Ensemble is the activist wing of the Seattle Peace Chorus. I help three other long-time singing activists coordinate this “channel” of the SPC mission. My colleagues are my wife Sue Hurley Rector, Margarita Muñoz, and Doug Balcom. Doug is also our director-composer and quite simply an astute fire-brand that motivates and provides force and finishing touches.
After a long period of more or less “informal” activism among those SPC choristers who chose to do so, our group has coalesced substantially over the past few years. AE provides any SPC chorister the opportunity to sing with us whenever the issue at hand moves them. We participate in local marches and demonstrations promoting peace and social justice, collaborating with a variety of groups in the Seattle community to advance a gamut of issues. These include: opposition to nuclear weapons, protecting/nurturing our environment, Black Lives Matter, Immigration Rights and a host of others.
We also perform at community gatherings for any local organizations working on related projects. During both marches and performances, we lead sing-a-longs of traditional activist music, often adapted to the task at hand, or we sing lively compositions provided by our creative director, Doug. As an example, a couple of summers ago, we opened a demonstration at the Federal Detention Center near the Angle Lake light-rail stop, just past SeaTac. We sang Doug’s stirring piece, “Bridges, not Walls,” before a crowd estimated at 10,000 strong. Speaking of numbers, it’s worth mentioning our participation in the 2017 Women’s March through downtown Seattle, along with a couple of thousand others, as you well remember. Until COVID, we’ve been doing 15-20 such events each year.
I called us a “channel” above, because we are open not only to current or ex-SPC choristers, but also to anyone who believes it is hard to resist singing with passion to improve our world for all. Although, we’ve been maddeningly dormant during the current pandemic, we will rise again in vibrant song, as soon as the appropriate moment arrives, as it surely must. If you are interested in knowing more and maybe joining us, call Dale or Sue at 612-327-6515 or email us at email@example.com. We hope to hear from you soon.
What is Nonviolent Communication?
Nonviolent Communication, (NVC), is based on the principles of nonviolence that are grounded in compassion. Marshall Rosenberg popularized the idea in his book, Non-Violent Communication available at www.nonviolentcommunication.com. NVC assumes that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. Nonviolent communication helps resolve not only conflicts with others but also within yourself through the power of empathy. The techniques of non-violent communication can be boiled down into a four-step process found here: https://www.nonviolentcommunication.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/4part_nvc_process.pdf. More information can also be found at www.cnvc.org
Another useful link concerns how to have a difficult conversation: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/some-assembly-required/201703/how-have-difficult-conversations, and the books Difficult Conversations by Stone, Patton & Heen and Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler.
Whatever happened to . . .
I still love and miss the Seattle Peace Chorus and wish everyone to please stay safe. I’m staying safe and refuse to let COVID-19 cripple me.
I retired from SPC in 2010. At that time I was the longest standing member of 22 years. I love to say connected with the chorus through volunteering at concerts. Since retiring I remained active in other ways. My passion for travel and the arts have not diminished. I attend many performances of music, dance, theatre, museums, art walks, spoken word, etc.
I still volunteer every summer for the week-long Tribal Canoe Journey. I visit home (Cambridge, MA) every few years to be with family and friends. October of last year I attended my 55th high school reunion there. I also visit my second home, the Bay Area. Three years ago I went to the African American Museum of History and the Native American Museum in Washington DC, which I highly recommend.
Two weeks ago I spent four glorious days on San Juan and Orcas Islands. I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon, God willing. Life is still filled with curiosity and pleasures.
If anyone would like to get in touch or hang with me please call the SPC at 206-264-5532.