Just finished as emcee of this year's Ode to the Zipcode, and I just have to share it with everyone! Watch here.
Earlier today, I had the incredible fortune to share some upcoming events and plans with Lucas County Commissioners, with the help of Toledo poet Sam Wright. And all I can say is that we have so many reasons to celebrate 419! From Lucas County's profound rejection of proposed Ohio House Bill 616, to the incredible daily community activism, and the way arts weave through all of it to enhance all our lives throughout the area.
Just three days ago, at Gathering Volumes bookstore, we shared tales of union organizing and solidarity at a book signing by the unstoppable Daisy Pitkin. I was so proud at who showed up. Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers shared her struggles and successes. Dan Denton, local poet and auto worker/union steward at the Jeep plant, shared his incredible poetry. Michele Grim, Toledo City Councilwoman, shared her efforts to organize workers in Etsy. And people from all walks and areas joined in, recalling recent strikes, lamenting popular misconceptions, and reinforcing that solidarity is a community act. We are all affected by unfair practices and we all have power, even when we feel powerless.
I am just brimming with pride and hope and joy tonight.
Happy 419, Lucas County!
(Here's a pic from 13 years ago, at Artomatic 419, of me listening to the late, great John Swaile, who I like to think would also be pretty proud of this place.)