Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A real Public Servant announces his bid for office in Ingham Co.

Like it or not, Ingham County is not immune to the nation-wide financial crisis caused by the 7 year mis-management of the Bush doctrine, but that doesn't mean we can't fix it.

I've always thought that government was supposed to be about making life better for others, but have regretted that it doesn't actually happen as much as it should. It's why men and women like you and I step up and decide to become public servants. It's not an easy life and for those who actually serve the people as opposed to powerful special interests, it can often be a thankless one.

So when a real public servant steps up, it's exciting news that deserves recognition. True, I've known and respected this particular public servant since I was in high school when we both came to Lansing to learn what it meant to serve the people, but he deserves it all the same.

Curtis Hertel Jr. is currently an Ingham County Commissioner serving East Lansing. He's a regular working guy, trying to make a good life for himself, his wife, and their two young kids and has seen how hard it can be for some.

That's why he's running for Register of Deeds of Ingham County.
“The role of Register of Deeds in Ingham County is absolutely critical to ensuring the accessibility and security of Ingham County property records,” Hertel said. “In the 21st Century, these two issues are even more important, and I believe that my long experience as a county commissioner makes me an ideal candidate to continue to deliver essential services to the residents of Ingham County.”

While the position may be a bit foreign to some, it makes sense to have someone you can trust to look out for the safety and security of your personal property records. But that's not all. Hertel is also looking to expand the technology in the office for better accessibility and to promote financial literacy to Ingham County residents like you and I, and who couldn't use a little extra knowledge on that subject?

If you're interested in helping out the campaign, check out his website, donate, volunteer, and I look forward to seeing you out there knocking a few doors!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The 'Auto Show' of Michigan Progressives

Last year a couple friends convinced me to attend an all-day summit here at the Lansing Center of Michigan progressives. It sounded like a good idea, and I in turn, convinced a few others (including some bloggers) to join me.

We showed up, laptops and if we had them, business cards in tow. We had no idea quite what to expect other than Donna Brazile as the keynote speaker. We met hundreds of people, papered them all with info about MichiganLiberal and the miracles of the Intertubes.

I walked away highly impressed. Progressives from all walks of life and issues got together and set a progressive agenda for the state. It sounded good, but when I started seeing visible movement on that agenda in the coming months, I was really impressed.

The Michigan Policy Summit moved some serious mountains in it's first year. Now in it's second year, the possibility for even more incredible change is quite likely. With keynote speakers like national activists Jim Hightower and Amy Goodman, a large contingent of bloggers from the state's most prominent blogs (MichLib, BloggingforMichigan, and West MI Rising, just to name a few), my favorite local progressive bookstore - Everybody Reads LLC and some other truly impressive names from the state's progressive leaders I don't think anyone will be let down.

I'll be there again as well. This time I'll be working with the great Policy Summit team through my employer. We're cooking up something cool to bring folks through the Internet and I'm excited for the entire package.

If you can make it on Saturday May 10th, you should definitely come. I was attempting to describe it to someone unfamiliar with it and struggling for an apt descriptor. Suddenly the light bulb went on and in true Michigan fashion I explained that it was like the Auto Show of Michigan progressives. The more I thought about it, I agree with it even more.

So if you're free, and you can spare $30 for a day that could change the way you look at issues here in Michigan, stop on by and join us.

Change and Ethics in Blogging

I'm blessed with a great job where I can give back to many of the issues that I feel strongly about, but it's caused a quandary when it comes to blogging.

There's a lot to be said for the need in ethics and integrity in politics and blogging. I've always prided myself on trying to maintain high standards of each and I credit that goal with my success as a political blogger.

I got involved in politics and blogging because most of my life has been spent fighting a chronic illness that has brought many policy issues to life. My illness has shaped not only who I am, but also my professional life.

I'm going to keep blogging about the issues that I feel strongly about here when it's appropriate, and that I'm going to always disclose my work affiliation if it's needed in addition to the permanent disclaimer at the bottom of this blog.

My work on some of the other blogs has been and will be more limited in part because of my career, part by personal reasons. This blogging thing is in my blood, it's a part of who I am, and no matter what I do, what I experience, I feel that Liberal Lucy will always there.

Since entering the world of Internet activism (circa 2001, which makes me practically ancient) so much has changed. It's been absolutely amazing to chronicle how the Internet has changed the face of politics by so many.

Here in Michigan, there's definitely been a blog boom, and our state, our political process has been all the more richer for it. I'm proud to be a small part of it, but even prouder to have had a role in introducing the political internet to so many. That "Aha! Moment" as I call it, when someone discovers this whole new world literally laying at their fingertips. A vehicle for their voice, a medium for a wanted message, a community of their own. It still gives me goosebumps.

For now, I feel as if I'm still supposed to be a part of that constant change, and I'm going to continue to do so. I'm human like the rest of us, and sometimes change can be difficult to accept, but like most things, we usually end up richer for it in the end. A fellow blogger and friend reminded me recently on her own blog that some of the hardest things to go through can end up being some of the best for each of us.

So there's been a lot of change, and there will surely be more to come. This electronic evolution is far from over, and the same goes for my role in it all, no matter the path.

We've come along way, baby

Ten years. Some short, some long, some tired, some sad, some exciting. But it's been 10 years and I'm still here.

April of 1998 found me in one long hospitalization following 40-50 previous stays in the couple years before. My immune system practically gone, my veins shot from all the tests and IVs, my digestive tract resembling something you might see on Mars. My high school classmates thought me moved, sick with leukemia, or just - gone. My parents, my siblings, my doctors feared for my life. I thought I was terminally ill, but damnedably determined to graduate that year with the rest of my class, even if it took my dying breath.

I had just played guinea pig for the last time, trying out the latest chemical cocktail approved by the FDA, only to nearly die from an allergic reaction. It was official. The doctors were out of options, afraid of what would happen if I got any sicker.

The first time they spoke to me about ostomy surgery I cringed outwardly and inwardly. My own idea of what it was so horrid, so different, so opposite of what it really was. I knew that it was my only option, inside I knew I wouldn't get better without it but I couldn't handle the thought of living with it outside of the fact that it could keep me alive. Honestly I didn't care, I just wanted to graduate, and if that meant having a "temporary" ileostomy, then sign me up.

My coping mechanism was convincing myself that it would be reversed, and I'd go back to being "normal", which meant no ostomy. I suspect that I always knew that it'd never be the case, that I was just too sick, and that I was playing a zero-sum game with a horribly diseased colon and rectum. One of us was done, and it wasn't going to be me.

Obviously, that wasn't the case. I had the temporary loop ileostomy without having any organs removed. Follow that a year later with a partial (four and half feet of the six) removal of the colon two days before my birthday, and six months after that, the total procto-colectomy with the remaining colon and the rectum out.

After the inital surgery it took me literally years to be able to look at myself in the mirror, to accept that was who I was, and too many more years to embrace who I am. I'm still not completely over that hill yet, but without a doubt, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Ten years ago I would have barely recognized myself now.

All that I am has been greatly influenced by being an ileostomate these last ten years. I'm proud of who I am. I'm passionate, political, witty, geeky, funny, smart, loving, involved and many other things that make up who I am today.

Ten years has been a long time, a tough road, and while I'm still a bit surprised I've made it that far, I wouldn't change a thing, especially the fact that I live with an ostomy. It truly is a badge of honor.

Welcome Back

Hello again. Remember me?

I say that only half-joking. I've been absent from blogging for a while due to a couple of issues, but just like most of my other absences, I believe I've come back richer for it. When I'm not blogging, I get very introspective, start thinking about issues in new and different ways than the norm. I like to think it makes these electronic musings all the better.

There's much to say, but I think it's best broken up. So read on to the next post or pick one that sounds interesting and as always, thanks for stopping by.