Monday, July 31, 2006

Tonight I went to a meeting of the Syr Progressive Coalition, held at the Syracuse Labor Council building. I almost didn't go because I was up to my ears in work at Peace Action, but I was motivated when I remembered there was going to be free pizza. Well, it didn't turn out to be entirely free, as we all pitched in to pay for it, but it still made me think of TAA days in Madison when I lived at the TAA office and tried to join every committee I could just so I didn't have to worry about finding my own dinner. The pizza at TAA meetings was awesome. I almost forgot about it until tonight. So many of us were vegetarians that I never had to worry about whether I could eat it. The varieties were delicious -- margarita, greek, couch potato... and usually we had enough money in the budget to cover the costs with no problem. Well, tonight's pizza was just fine and the company was interesting. The group represents a variety of local progressive groups -- Peace Action, Syracuse Peace Council, Partnership for Onondaga Creek, AFL-CIO, Syracuse Greens, People for Animal Rights, Sierra Club, NOW, Planned Parenthood, League of Women Voters, and Caribbean Latin American Coalition are some of the groups I can remember off the top of my head. The group is mostly working on issues related to the elections right now -- fair voting machines is a BIG issue -- also there is much interest in educating voters on where candidates stand on issues.

On my way back home I stopped by my office. When I got there, a petite older lady dressed in a tank top and shorts was standing in the middle of the driveway looking for her cat. She came over to my car window to ask if I had seen him. The cat was sitting on a recessed part of brick on the building on the other side of the car. I told her I did see him *right there* and she was relieved. He was pretty much a rag doll that flopped in her arms when she picked him up. A big long haired cat -- mostly white with some black on him. I've seen him stretched out on the front steps of our building several times before. She spoke to me at some length about how her grandfather designed the building I work in, which used to be a Jewish temple. She interrupted herself several times to tell me that she wouldn't lie about such a thing. She finally decided to go back inside "to watch Jeopardy" and I told her to "keep cool", after which she told me she has no air conditioning in her building and it's really hot in there. That worried me a little, because it is really hot and she is an older lady, so I asked if she thought she had enough water and she said she did. She said it was nice talking to me and went inside. I went into my office to turn off the computer and put off my work until tomorrow. I left feeling a little sad for older folks who have no air conditioning. I mean, in general I'm not for using it, but there are some people who really need it. There are so many places that are air conditioned to the point that the building becomes a veritable refrigerator. Wouldn't it be nice if there was some way they could share a little of it with people who need it?

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