Safety First! Danger Second!

If you’re dumb enough to move here, then you belong here.

June 16, 2009
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Mood Music: “All of California and Everyone Who Lives There Stinks”- The World/Inferno Friendship Society

Jack Terricloth can’t stand California, but I love it.

I realized that this weekend while sitting at a high point of town looking over the Bay with someone I never would have thought I’d get romantically involved with. Literally anything can happen here.

California is a state of possibility. A state of change.

That sounds like a cheesy cliche, I know, but it’s true. I mean, I work for EQCA, which is making California the example of what a state can be. We mobilize communities on the ground, and go door to door talking to people, to fight for LGBT rights. We’re a state of people who work together. As large as we are, we’re working to create a community within ourselves, always trying to rediscover what exactly the changing identity of California is.

A friend of mine once told me I have no idea how lucky I am to have grown up in this state. I’m starting to get it.


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Making change, one doorbell at a time.

June 9, 2009
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Mood music: “My Girls”- Animal Collective

One hell of a first work week.

Monday, I had orientation and my first day in the field. Talked to people in Kensington about the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. Raised no money. Finished out the day exhausted and depressed. Thought I was doomed to termination; started to think about other options for how to spend my summer.

Our field director told me that bad days happen and that I would do better tomorrow.

Tuesday, did the same Sierra Club campaign to people around the Berkeley/Oakland border. And had a great day. Raised enough money to make staff (praise God). Realized I had hope in this organization after all.

on Wednesday, suddenly, we switched gears from the Sierra Club to Equality California (again, praise God).

This is exactly why I joined this organization. This is the kind of work I want to do. I want to be part of the movement that overturns Proposition 8. I want equal rights for all of us in the LGBT community.

It’s not a matter of my future, necessarily, because I really don’t believe in marriage or think I’m ever going to get married. But there’s a certain stigma placed on a group of people that the state doesn’t think deserve equal rights. We are removed of our right to equal protection under the law. That’s why I’m so passionate about this. That’s why I’m so proud to be working on this campaign.

My first day with EQCA we were in Albany. I raised twice what I raised the day before and got so much support and love from everybody. I have found my ideal job.

Because I grossed so much money the day before, I became a field manager on Thursday. I led my first crew into west Berkeley. My trainee got to staff, and I raised even more money than I did the day before.

And on Friday I led another crew into the same neighborhood. And we did really well again. This was when I realized how much I really do love what I do. One girl on my crew told me I was her favorite field manager she’s ever had. I talked to a group of children about why Prop 8 needs to be overturned and they enthusiastically agreed with me. I got a lot of contributions, signed up volunteers, and might have even recruited a new staff member.

Life is good. I love it.

Yesterday I gladly went to my first field manager training session, and then today my crew raised $1500. Unheard of.

I’m finding that I’m also starting to really love the people who work here. I love my bosses, I love my fellow field managers, I love the staff.

One thing that I don’t get:

Isn’t going to work supposed to be something you don’t want to do every day?

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Good evening, Berkeley.

June 1, 2009
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Mood Music: “The World Should Revolve Around Me”- Little Jackie

I used to say all the time that there is nothing more beautiful in all the world than a San Diego sunset.

I’m starting to rethink that statement.

The reason I always thought San Diego sunsets were the most beautiful thing in the world was simply because I really haven’t seen that much of the world.

How fitting that on my last day in San Diego County (Wednesday), it was overcast and I didn’t get to see the sunset. But on the Greyhound up to Oakland I saw the sunrise over Tracy.

The metaphor is not lost on me.

At this point I’ve seen the sun rise so many times that it’s lost its romantic quality. In college, a sunrise lets you know that your all-nighter has come to an end and that paper you’re still not done with is due in a couple of hours.

But on Thursday morning it was like a new beginning. Tracy looked beautiful for the first time I can remember. The world kind of made sense again.

I’ve been crashing at my friends’ apartment in Walnut Creek for the last couple of days, and this was my first full day as a Berkeley resident.

I couldn’t be happier.

There’s something about this town that always called to me. I didn’t want to go to Cal, but once I was settled in at SMC I always found myself spending a lot of time in Berkeley. So when I got the job here, I was stoked. And when I got this apartment, I was beside myself.

Now that I’m actually here, living it all, starting work tomorrow, I still can’t believe it’s real. But it is. I keep reminding myself of that. This awesome set of circumstances really is my life.

I’m short on money. But that should change soon. I have a great network of support up here, and my job will take good care of me.

If you’re reading this now, and tomorrow someone comes to your door to talk to you about issues facing our planet, be kind to him. It’s probably his first day on the job, and he’s trying to figure his way into a global movement.

For now, I need to do some laundry and some grocery shopping.


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About author

Student, Actor, Poet, Activist. Third year at Saint Mary's College of California. Friend of the Berkeley Poetry Slam and California Shakespeare Theater. Field manager for Grassroots Campaigns, Berkeley. Resident of Berkeley, CA.