This guest post was written by Margaret Schultz, who is alive and well and living in Oakland with her musician husband BZ and her two boys, Max and Aiden. In addition to holding down a job, keeping the family fed and watered, Margaret has picked up a running habit and loves discovering new routes throughout Oakland, preferably in the flats. Margaret also volunteers at the local elementary school and calls Bingo with her 8 year old son at an Oakland Senior living facility once a month.
My name is Margaret Schultz and I am competing in Democracy For America’s scholarship competition to attend Netroots Nation in June, 2011. Netroots Nation is a great annual event that trains Progressive activists to better use our online resources to reach out, create communities and to influence change. I am competing for one of the last 8 scholarships being offered. I’d like to represent Oakland at this international conference and I would love your vote. Often people think that since Oakland has such a Progressive leaning that it needs no attention politically. But as you know, that is simply not true. It may seem that someone like Rep. Barbara Lee is always a shoe-in for office, but none of our office holders are safe from the crazy money and tactics of the far right. There are also plenty of local issues that need fighting for every day.
I am hoping to go to Netroots Nation to get further trained as an activist, to meet other activists from all over the country (and the world), to combine our efforts on and off line to move the political line back toward center and then hopefully back further to the left. Actually, I don’t really think of it as left but just toward people, toward us regular citizens who just want and deserve a good job, a roof over our heads, good education for our kids and maybe even affordable healthcare. Oh and yeah, equal rights would be OK too.
I have been a progressive activist on and offline for as long as I can remember. Much of my recent activism has moved online as I juggle my job and two young boys. During the 2008 election cycle I worked around the clock here locally in Oakland to put on a fundraising concert called Oakland Rocks For Change at the Malonga Casqualourd Center for the Arts (formally Alice Arts Center). We had 5 amazing bands (Blame Sally, Tuck & Patti, Maria Mudaur, Hot Buttered Rum, Tommy Castro), my favorite comedian, Marga Gomez, as MC and Ayelet Waldman as a special guest. It was an amazing sold out event which led to adding 100’s of inspired new volunteers for the last few months of the campaign.
My hope is to capture that same energy again, bring back Oakland Rocks For Change in 2012 and to partner up with other local Oakland resources to create more events and opportunities for Oaklanders to get involved in supporting progressive candidates locally and around the country. Not all of us are cut out for licking envelopes, not all of us can go volunteer in Nevada for 4 weeks but there are definitely ways to give back no matter what our schedules and lives.
So, that’s a bit about me. You can read more HERE and even click a vote if you are so inclined, and I would appreciate it! Thanks!!
A Note from Becks: I hope you do take 30 seconds to vote for Margaret. I went to Netroots Nation for the first time last year, and it was an amazing experience. I met some great organizers who I still stay in touch with and learned skills that I apply on my blog and at work. Please vote for Margaret to give her the same opportunity and to help build skills and contacts for a dedicated Oakland advocate.