Wednesday, November 05, 2003

My calendar has become cluttered ...

with short-term events that nonetheless demand complete attention. Assemblywoman Loni Hancock is here in the district since the legislature is in recess, though Governor Terminator has called them back on the 18th for a week of extraordinary session. That means more staff meetings, usually, and additional occasions to accompany her to one place or another.

Visited a huge plastics recycling firm on Monday that was pretty impressive. It was one of the many California firms that is considering relocating to China in order to remain competitive by taking advantage of dramatically lower wages. It's hard to argue with this practice that's so devastating our economy - not when you sit across the conference table from these CEOs and listen to their woes (i.e., rising Workmens' Comp, costs of energy, competition from the many corporations that have already moved offshore). It's grim. Can't imagine where it will all end, but the shifting elements in this huge movement seems equal to that of the Industrial Revolution that occurred early in the last century.

Find myself watching for a matching rise in worldwide unionization to take place, some attempt at bringing foreign and domestic workers into alignment so that ordinary folks can begin to benefit by globalization. That will be cause a monumental upheaval, I'm certain, and it hasn't yet begun to take shape in any meaningful way, though there are signs ... .

Today I visit two high school classes for a look at some small attempts at raising the awareness of teens to the environmental hazards waiting in the wings.

It's far easier on some days to get to and from my various involvements in my car than it is to move my brain from one era to another -- especially when it requires leaping years and decades -- back and forth. That takes some down time, and this week has offered little.

I'm off now to attend a meeting of the Federal Task Force on North Richmond, a coalition of nonprofits and agencies working to rehabilitate one of the more needful areas of the city. We've been at it for about four years, and only recently has it been possible to measure some real progress.

More later ...

Oh! In the rush I've neglected to tell you that I'll not be doing the Rosie piece on national television on Veterans Day after all. Will be involved in some public service announcements about the new website and the Rosie Memorial, but they're going with a real Rosie who actually held a welding torch and wore a hard hat, I believe. I spent the war as a clerk in a Jim Crow union office (Boilermakers A-36) far from the shipyards, so I represent something of an anomaly. That feels a little less than completely "authentic," to the media so that won't happen. Getting up at 3 in the morning to go to San Francisco to satisfy the east coast schedule wasn't something to look forward to anyway. Stardom will have to wait.

However, there is now a web site (Put in Rosie The Riveter or go the Ford Company web site for the link) so that you can see what they're planning. I'll be involved in the interview portion with lots of media at the old Ford Plant building on November 11th, but that will be at the reasonable hour of eleven o'clock.

Gotta go... .