Friday, February 29, 2008

Obama's Pittsburgh Office - Real Intent Versus Good Intentions

Tomorrow I’m going to my first Obama training session. Yes, I’m the woman sitting with her son on her lap - on the dinosaur mat - at home school class. The same woman who dances in the dance class; strings beads in the number class and chants the Mandarin alphabet in Chinese class. Me - I am going to leave my son and husband at home alone for three hours on a Saturday afternoon.

Yes, I’m also the woman who can count on one hand how many dinners I’ve had alone in a restaurant with my husband. I’m the same woman who - in 4 1/2 years - hasn’t spent so much as 20 quality hours of 1-on-1 time with her husband. Let us be clear that I am counting quality time as time we are both wide awake. After the child goes to bed at the end of a long day does not count.

I am going to give Obama those three precious hours of “family” time. You heard me right. This is extra “me time” I’m getting. I’ll still get lots of the other “me-time,” after all everyone likes the results of grocery shopping.

I know I’ve made the right choice. I haven’t figured out how to break it to Winston, yet. Little Man seems to think Obama is taking up waaay to much of my emotional energy.

Everyone on the net has videos of their children chanting “Obama! Obama!” Not my little man. Two days ago, he let me listen to NPR. Then, the inevitable report about Obama.

“Obama?!? Obama?!? Uguchshhh!” I hear from the back seat, “Put on Kiss dance party.”

I comply. I’m trying my best not to make one of the few decent role models out there into his personal nemesis. Some choices Mommy makes - unlike attachment parenting, extended breast-feeding, self-weaning, co-sleeping and home schooling - will not be appreciated. Obama is one of the unappreciated choices.

And sometimes, a mother has to make choices in the best interest and for the future of their children. This is Mommy’s job. I must be denounced, reviled and abhorred or I would not be a good Mommy. It will be my job for the rest of his life to make him angry from time to time. But - I need to pick and choose my battles carefully and with great consideration.

But, I wonder. is it worth it? What if Obama doesn’t win? How will my son feel then? It will be a valuable lessons in civics, ethics and reality. But, I knew my decision was solid when I called to sign up. The woman who answered the phone gave me some details and told me where the training would be.

It seems that Barack Obama’s people have placed his Pittsburgh office in an extremely strategic location. It seems they'll be setting up headquarters in what some people are now calling "EastSide."

I had to ask her point blank. “Do you mean the gentrified, recently renamed travesty ‘Eastside’ or “East Liberty proper?” She corrected herself. It seems she has been having problems with people (White?) who don’t want to attend an event in East Liberty. Regardless, this campaign office is in the heart of East Liberty. So, I'm right proud of my candidate. He could have been a wimp and gone to Eastside.

Y'all national and international people can learn more from wonderful filmmaker, Chris Ivey’s “East Of Liberty: A Story Of Good Intentions” trailer below. Even folks from my old neighbourhood in Hackney were excited when he brought the film there. It truly demonstrates what happens when corporate interests side swipe politicians. See more about Chris Ivey here:

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK, Ms Springer, you are hereby my new fave blogger; I found you through UndercoverBlackMan and FieldNegro via NancyNall dot com (who is about to be world famous tomorrow).

So that's how I found you; lucky me.

I'll come back soon to sing your praises in several keys, and for now -- because it's clear the care you take with language -- I hope you'll indulge this tiny copy-edit comment:

"Y'all" is a contraction of "you" and "all." Consequently, it's never spelled "ya'll," which, I imagine, would be a contraction of "ya" and "will."

Zillions of smart folk spell it the way you did. They're just not from the South; it's not their fault. But now you know!

Signed,

A Carolina Obama volunteer

Christina Springer said...

Thanks Carlina Obama volunteer! And welcome!

I'm always grateful for any constructive criticism. After all, I write my blog between wiping noses, playing play dough and cooking dinner! LOL!

So, thanks for explaining that contraction thing. It makes sense - or nonsense- depending on how it's spelled.

inkognegro said...

um..where is this mystical EastSide of Pittsburgh?

I keep hearing rumors of a gentrified East Liberty but I don't know that I have actually SEEN it.

I can't even say im annoyed about gentrification, but they can't take the name though.

THat just ain't right.

Its bad enough they Put Reizenstein in Mothballs and they declared that the Shakespeare Giant Eagle was always in Shadyside (liars.) NOW they wanna change the name of East Liberty?


In my last political effort in Pittsburgh, I volunteered on the Byrd Brown for mayor campaign...you know, the one he lost to Sophie Masloff....and I dont think he even carried the Black Vote in that one.

I hope things have changed politically since then.

Christina Springer said...

You wouldn't believe EastSide if you saw it. Eastside is the part of East Liberty which borders Shadyside. Everything on the other side of Centre is Eastside. It now boasts a Whole Paycheck...Foods, a Borders, and Starbucks. The Shakespeare Giant Eagle is now in EastSide. And the mall just down near Reizenstein's is Eastside Village with Trader Joe's a massage store and a fancy natural yarns store. (Ok...parts of me like gentrification.) They've torn down parts of the Nabisco Factory to begin building "Bakery Square" which will boast, living, dining, and shopping. Maybe even a Target.

Penn Circle is the same old torn-up, run-down mall filled with Black businesses struggling to serve the community. Even PNC Bank closed their East Liberty Branch and opened in Eastside. They also closed the East Liberty Wine & Spirits and opened an Eastside Superstore. (Cause you know Black folks can't cross a street ... not even for some liquor.

Obama's new headquarters are right smack dab in East Liberty proper, next to Steel City Ribs. (Someone will be volunteering during the dinner hour.)

Can't say much has changed on the political scene here. Sala Udin shook things up a bit. (And is still shaking.)

As to Byrd - I hope you caught my tribute to him. He was something fantastic.