Indivisible SE IN “Where’s Waldo” Town Hall

28 February 2017 Indivisible Southeast Indiana (@IndivisibleSEIN on Twitter and Indivisible Southeast Indiana on FB) met on Sunday, 19 February, for our second meeting. We gathered in the home of one of the organizers and decided that we needed to act immediately. One week later, on Sunday, 26 February we hosted a “Where’s Waldo” themed constituent town hall. We invited Congressman Luke Messer (R – IN-6) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN). Both declined to come. In fact, neither held any open-to-the-public town halls or events anywhere during this recess. We persisted.

Our  Where’s Todd? Where’s Luke? Town Hall was held in front of the lovely and historic Ohio County Courthouse (the oldest in continuous operation in Indiana) located in little Rising Sun, Indiana (population 2304). Sunday was cold but sunny and with little notice and very little publicity in this red, red corner of Indiana, about fifty people turned up. In San Francisco this would be an embarrassing turnout but in Rising Sun it was exceptional and you could feel the excitement in the air. We even had (briefly) a tiny Trump contingent but they left when they didn’t draw attention or a fight.

The event featured life-sized Todd and Luke Waldos, lots of handmade signs and really darling Waldo scarves that one of the organizes made and handed out. Several planned speakers told their two-minute stories and then other attendees asked to speak and we were thrilled to have them. The thing which most struck me was how well informed these voters are and how wide ranging their issues of concern.

For Hopping Mad I recorded a brief interview with two of the organizers, Rebecca Barhorst and Christine Craig, just after the meeting on the 19th and then the entire town hall on the 26th. I think what people had to say during the town hall was as important as any of the interviews we have done on this show. I think you will enjoy this and when you imagine what people are thinking about in these midwestern states, remember what you heard here today. Carrots! – Arliss

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PS – For anyone wondering, the show will remain on hiatus for another few weeks. Will may try to host a show on his own but I will again be unavailable. I went in for surgery, as I had previously mentioned, on 6 February but the surgeon found a conflict in the diagnostic reports just a few minutes before the surgery was supposed to begin. I was floating on a cloud by this point but, as I understand it, the decision was made to run another entire battery of (hideous) tests over the following two weeks. Ultimately, those tests confirmed the original diagnosis and I go back in for the originally planned surgery on Thursday, 2 March, which means I will be down for the count for a while. Already I have a backlog of things I want to talk about so by the time I am back with you I will be brimming over. Take care of yourselves. I miss you already!

“Hopping Mad” Debuts!

21 September 2015 – We survived the launch! It would have been better had it not taken us about eight hours to record the show only to later discover that we still had a strange audio problem in a couple of places but all-in-all we are still in one piece and we are downright hoppy with the result. It’s hard to be anything but thrilled with the end product because we had such a wonderful time talking with SUNY professor and Daily Kos feature writerDenise Oliver-Velez. I think it’s obvious that Dee is basically a progressive rock star. She answered questions about hope, Puerto Rico, the Latino get-out-the-vote effort and education. I especially loved the conversation about the fact that the Moral Mondays platform and the Black Lives Matter platforms are putting forward issues that are not “new” contrary to the commentary by mainstream media. Dee, with her wealth of perspective on progressive movements closed out by commenting on the difference between getting out the word in the 1970s versus the social media of today but she was sure to say, “The revolution will be slogged, not blogged.” We make change by talking with one another directly.

Will and I began the show talking a little bit about how we got started in the space that ultimately lead to “Hopping Mad.” We then went on to talk about the need for a new New Deal via job guarantee programs.

So, here it is, the very first Hopping Mad