Monday, June 26, 2006

A Few Words

I promised to update today, so here's a few words:

"nitwit, blubber, oddment, tweak."

- In Memorandium

Monday, June 19, 2006


For all you out here in the blogsphere, I thought I'd post on the results of my interview: which is that I was nominated to the Peace Corps. This means, as I understand it, my name is temporarily joined with a program and my file now goes to the Placement Office for further consideration. Right now the program I am nominated to is in Eastern Europe and I would leave in May of 2007, but that can change. I still have to get physical examinations and issued a health clearance and a legal clearance (gov't background checks and the like.) As always, I will keep you updated on the process. It looks like I will be leaving to serve in the Peace Corps sometime within the next year...and hopefully sooner than May, but we'll see.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I'm off to see the Wizard!

No, but that's what it feels like. I'm bound for Minneapolis tomorrow for my Peace Corps interview so everyone wish me luck! The interview should take an hour and a half and will determine if my file gets sent to Washtington D.C. for further review.

Because there's nothing more I can say about the interview because it hasn't happened yet, I thought I'd update my readers once again on all things Brokeback Mountain.

Specifically I'd like to congratulate Jake G. and Heath Ledger for winning Best Kiss at the MTV movie awards, and to inform some people that it's not the first time a male-male kiss has won the award. Jason Biggs and Stifler won for American Pie 2 but that was kind of a high school - isn't it funny that two guys kissed- nomination. This was different because as far as I know it is the first time a male-male kiss with actual attraction between the characters has won. This time it is a real honor, and true to honesty and brutality of the film, not making fun of the situation of two men kissing in a movie, and I just wanted to say I love how Jake G acknowledged that with his acceptance speech.

And now, forever Up On My Soapbox, I present you with another link: you can use to sponsor me and the People Escaping Poverty Project in the Walk for Justice on Sept. 17th. For more information about the walk or about PEPP you can email me or see the June 12th blog entry below.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Happy Birthday to PEPP!

Last weekend I celebrated the 20th Birthday of the People Escaping Poverty Project with a folk fair in the park! There was music, free food and tie-dying, although I was one of the face painters who spent a day at a table adorning all kinds of children in colorful hearts, rainbows, the occasional peace sign and the frighteningly complicated tie-dyed “Hello.”

I know I’ve mentioned PEPP before on this blog with a casual – I’ll have to explain more about that later. PEPP for instance is the group that offered the free community organizer training I attended every Saturday in April. PEPP is a community nonprofit organization in Moorhead and I am on their board. To be on the board of a nonprofit is usually a big deal. As Duke who’s worked at PEPP for some number of years pointed out to me, I’m technically his boss. It’s a great experience getting to see the inner-workings of a nonprofit, and PEPP’s board is really involved so I also get experience doing fund raising and loading chairs on and off trucks for events like PEPP Fest.

I should say that PEPP is not part of my job with Americorps. It’s just something else I’m involved with in the community. And how I got to be involved was the last person who had my job with Americorps was involved, so when I came into town they called and asked if I would be interested – and what am I not interested in?

Her Story of PEPP

PEPP was founded in 1986 by a small group of women who received financial assistance organized, fighting a 30 percent cut in Minnesota’s Aid to Dependant Families with Children program. These women started a grassroots movement in the Moorhead community fighting the welfare cuts. The group organized and collaborated with others groups and individuals throughout the community, and ultimately defeated the cuts.

PEPP’s work is focused on developing a shift in power, resulting in real and immediate changes in people’s lives by impacting the issues at the policy level, rather than the individual being assisted by direct service. PEPP’s goals are to be a powerful organization led by people with low income and to develop alliances and partners to working together as a collaborative community force to creating positive changes in Fargo Moorhead and regional areas.

PEPP’s Vision is committed to building community, empowering people, and uniting for power justice and equality.

PEPP’s Mission is to strategically challenge the power dynamics of systems and institutions, by organizing powerful people and resources through intentional relationships.

The best thing about the important work PEPP is doing in this community is that you can be a part of it!

I am counting on my friends to sponsor me in the Headwaters Walk for Justice on September 17th in Minneapolis. Headwaters raises and distributes money among nonprofits like PEPP that are dedicated to social justice. For every dollar the PEPP team raises we keep 70%! The rest goes to Headwaters so they can continue giving organizations like PEPP grants like the $10,000 we just received to start a Tenants Action Network in Moorhead.

Just go to and click on sponsor a walker, then type in my name! It’s that easy! Help me reach my goal or raising $300 for this worthwhile organization!

And if you have any questions about PEPP please email me or check out our webpage at

Friday, June 02, 2006

Rogers for State Senate 2016!

I know it's been a little while, but I wanted to give my gentlemen readers a chance to contemplate how their lives have been improved by the statements on the below poster. (See "I'm not a feminist, but...")

So I went to this awesome Women's Leadership Conference where I met a lot of cool people and felt a little bit like I was at summer camp - staying in the dorms at NDSU, but it was fun. Let me say too that I now finally understand what it meant by networking. I always thought before that networking was something scuzzy self-promoters in wing-tips did in bars with martini's in one hand and business cards in the other. That might be someone's version of networking, but I like my version better.

Networking is also when you meet someone and hear about what issures they're passionate about and think "hey, I should connect you with so-and-so." It's also when you meet a campaign manager for a candidate you support and say "I need a job in August! Do you have any long-term volunteer opportunites?" It is especially cool when networking can be a woman you met four days ago announcing she will run for office in her community and you say "can I make a campaign contribution." That's what made this conference different than summer camp. There was a real sense of mutual support among all the participants (which I've also experienced at summer camps) and with a higher purpose. I found myself quoting Arlo Guthrie's song Alice's Restruant from time to time.

"They'll say it's a movement. Because that's what it is."

I do find that business cards help.

I could say more about NEW Women's Leadership Institute but I'm hungry and I don't want to bore you with details of what I learned about public speaking, public policy, fundraising, campaigning, what it was like to hear Winona LaDuke speak (if you don't know who she is - when I voted for Nader, I voted for her for Vice President. Once.)

Instead I'll just say that this conference did make me think more seriously about seeking office one day - which I was already thinking about - but now it's not just the school board. It's the state legislature. As I put it to one person (you know who you are) Who do you want voting on issues in the state that affect your life? Me, or some other guy? So watch out state of Wisconsin and watch out friends or as I like to think of you - future campaign contributors!

Can I count on your vote in 2016?