Saturday, October 18, 2014

Photo by Shirley Butt
Balancing my career self (with the limitations imposed by the Hatch Act ) ... .

... and my very political private citizen self has been challenging over past weeks.

This election cycle has been so volatile in my city (Richmond, California) since the passage of the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Citizens United which grants corporations unlimited opportunities to participate in -- not only national and state -- but in city elections as well with obscene amounts of money.  Here in our city corporate largesse is overwhelming our local candidates.  We're reeling from the effects of that ruling, and I've been diligent in respecting those limitations, but adamant in expressing my rights to participate in the electoral process as a private citizen.

I've agreed not to ever appear at a political event in uniform (a requirement), and to try to avoid ever being identified in my official role as an employee of the federal government.   The local press has been very cooperative and I've been able to enjoy relative freedom to express myself and my political interests with the consent of those to whom I'm responsible.

All that being said, I'd say that I've done pretty well, all things are considered, and -- being photographed with the dynamic Senator Bernie Sanders and two of this year's candidates was accomplished without identifying me at all.  Senator Sanders is a brilliant man, and a great speaker.  His strident advocacy for our shared goals is heartening.

I suspect that I'm firmly enough identified by the amazing amount of public exposure I've had over the past months so that labels would not serve any purpose anyway.

It's a wild ride to November 4th!