Wilder Petitioning: August 16, 2008 report

My husband Ian and I are helping to petition in Long Island, New York for Cynthia McKinney for President. A total of 15,000 signatures is needed statewide. We heard an informal comment a few days ago that there were 10,000 collected. Today, someone from a different camp inside the project stated he was fairly sure that we were at over the 15,000 mark with more coming in. I am hopeful. (We should really have had about 30,000, to be extra careful in case we are challenged. So, please, please help get more in!) The last date to file is Tuesday, August 19th. If anyone has signatures, or can get signatures, and then drive them, ferry them, messenger them, or bicycle them to Albany by this Monday, it would be a great help. For information on where to bring or send them, you could go to www.gpnys.org, or contact the statewide Petition Coordinator Michael O’Neil at 917-825-3562.

Ian and I tried a few places today. Full report and some photos below.

First, we went to a supermarket in Wyandanch where we often have luck. We were kind of tired, so not sure if it was us, but we got a lot of no’s and decided to move on. (Got one man’s signature and thanked him profusely!). We went by a Wild by Nature in Huntington. But, it was slow and the outside set up was not conducive to petitioning, so we moved on.

We landed at a Waldbaum’s in Huntington, where the people were very friendly. Huntington is a somewhat progressive town. And, fairly affluent. It was interesting to have people thank us and be so polite. One woman said an emphatic no, and then said sincerely, “But, thank you for asking me.” One woman said very strongly “No, not the Green Party, it is really important to stop McCain.” I couldn’t resist saying, “But, we just need a chance to get on the ballot”, and I was shocked, she came back and signed. One man told us very directly he would not sign as he was for Obama. There was a pretty average percentage of yeses.

At the bottom of this post are photos from our experiences in Huntington today. We actually encountered some anti-immigrant protesters on the way to our late lunch.

I have been determined to collect some signatures for Green Party Congressional candidate Evergreen Chou. Evergreen is running for the seat currently held by Gary Ackerman. The district covers Queens all the way to parts of Nassau (interesting gerrymandering the Dems and Reps have done.) With hail a couple of days ago, and various levels of exhaustion, the time slipped away with us not visiting Nassau. So, we took out our list of neighborhoods in Evergreen’s district and headed over towards Roslyn Heights. Wound up somewhere near there at a Whole Foods Market. The people were open to our message. We got about a dozen signatures, and then faded with the heat and the long day.

Returned home to find that one person left 18 signatures on our door. One person called to report that he wasn’t able to meet the goal for his area. Ian is dropping our collection off to someone locally who will mail them out overnight.

Everyone cross your fingers. And, if you see Petition Coordinator Michael O’Neil, give him a back rub, buy him a donut, tell him thank you. (But, don’t, whatever you do, call and bother him on August 20th!)

Go Greens!

A very small car parked in Huntington

A very small car parked in Huntington

Above: I think that it is becoming chic to have a small car again. You can tell because on our trek through Huntington today, a lot of the new and show-stopping cars were very, very small. I am not one to advertise cars, and, if I wanted to buy one, it would probably be electric or hybrid. But, this car was interesting and it gets 40city/45highway miles to the gallon. It is a Smart Car by Mercedez-Benz. (Eek! That is not an endorsement, except to buy some kind of small car if given a choice.)

Immigrant Hater with Sombrero. Huntington, August 2008

Immigrant Hater with Sombrero. Huntington, August 2008

Above: Immigrant Hater in Huntington. August 2008. The man behind the telephone pole has a beautiful, rainbow-colored sombrero on–see the red brim of it? He is wearing it to mock. He is holding a sign with something on it like “Deport Illegals.” What I found is that the sombrero captured my imagination, and I thought of pleasant associations with Mexico and Mexicans. I thought of the wonder and culture diversity brings to our day. Then, I realized that he was doing it to be mean. And, I think he may have undermined his purpose. There were only 3 or 4 people at this protest. They held signs that said, “Deport Illegals.” When we had driven by (coward that I am) I shouted “Go back to the Bering Strait”, which doesn’t exactly make sense. Another of their signs said that a local politician is a traitor. I know the spiel. The man is allegedly a traitor because he does not persecute immigrants and Hispanic people (who, in the eyes of suburban immigrant-haters, might be immigrants.) I kind of wished that I was not on a petition mission, so I could counter-vigil, or try to educate them or something. But, probably not worth the time. And, I knew I could talk about them on the blog…


Immigrant Haters In Huntington Walk Down The Street

Immigrant Haters In Huntington Walk Down The Street

Above: Altogether, I think there were 3 to 5 people protesting immigrants today in Huntington. They were all white men. People mostly ignored them.

The Hippies Were Here

Huntington: The Hippies Were Here

Above: There are always little hints all around Huntington that you are in progressive territory. There is more than one health food store. The whole town is known for its social circles of poets and musicians. There is the Huntington Folk Music Society (with a venue in Centerport, Town of Huntington.) And, there are actual jazz clubs. Also, an IMAC Theatre where national acts play. And, The Conklin Barn, which Ian’s friends Nylon and Steel helped make a venue for local, cultural scenes. I don’t think you are supposed to put stickers on street signs. But, it was very cheery to know someone else is thinking about peace.

For good measure: While I am posting petition adventure photos, in case you don’t go back to the local petitioning report, which I revised, wanted to repost the bunny Ian spotted while out petitioning a few weeks ago (or days ago? the time is blurring…)

See more about the bunny in Part Two of the read more...

The Petitioning Bunny

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