Showing posts with label Reshma 2010. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reshma 2010. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Reshma 2010: A Post Mortem

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseI very much stand by this blog post: Positivity, Excellence, Dark Matter.

There are three departments - money, message, organization - and Reshma Saujani is excellent at all three. Reshma 2010 was an amazing operation. I marveled at all the details that Reshma 2010 worked on day in and day out. I marveled at the long hours the Reshma 2010 team put in and still stayed in good spirits. It was an amazing effort.

Maloney won because there is power in incumbency, there is power in raising three million dollars for a primary, there is power in getting endorsed by a former president and two sitting Senators. And a sitting president. And the entire congressional delegation in the state. Maloney is mediocre, not exactly headed for greatness, but she has consistently voted the party line. Party leaders like that. She has been reliable.

But I felt victory was possible. And getting 6,000 votes when you could have won at 16,000, I am calling it close.

Now that the race is over, I am in a small mood to do a slight post mortem. Could we have done a few things differently? I hope this does not come across as Monday morning quarterbacking, that is why I started with words of heartfelt praise.

Social Media, YouTube

I never understood why there was no prominent, direct link from the main page to the Reshma For Congress YouTube channel, and why the Reshma bio video was not prominently displayed on the front page itself. Perhaps on the sidebar. We did want TV debates and we were not too happy we got a radio debate, but we did not make enough use of YouTube in the same spirit. I put in a request. Give me YouTube versions of all of Reshma's HuffPo articles. I did not go anywhere with that request. We should have attempted to go viral on Facebook with those videos. Forget Maloney, we should have debated the voters.


Reshma 2010 stayed staff centric. It burned the midnight oil like a tech startup, but it also stayed staff centric like a tech startup. It might have hired perhaps two fewer people and had a much larger budget for volunteer barbecues.

The New Woman Push

Barack Obama did not talk much about race. Reshma Saujani did not talk much about gender. But perhaps she should have. There was a South Asian push, but there was not a similar New Woman push.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

110 Knocks (2)

Norwegian Nobel CommitteeImage via Wikipedia
Saturday I showed up at the Astoria Reshma 2010 headquarters after lunch. Reporting for duty, Sir! Or, rather, Ms. I reported to Lwiza.

When staffers compete over you - work my turf, work my turf, work my turf - you know you are smoking it as a volunteer.

Lwiza first game one map. I told her I had plenty of time. I was going to stick around for as long as it takes. So she gave me three maps. I ended up knocking on 110 doors. This was just the best canvassing I have ever done, like ever ever ever. The best part was working the housing projects. These housing projects were the exact opposite of their movie images. You could actually see little kids playing around on the green lawns between buildings.

I said to Lwiza before heading out, when I was a kid, and when somebody ran, and I needed to catch that person, I would go after that person, and I would send another kid to run around the building from the other side. You guys are already making the phone calls, and knocking on doors. Let me just go talk to people wherever I can find them, in stores, on the sidewalk, parks, wherever. She said no. We have a list of potential voters, and I need you to go talk to them specifically, she said. I said okay. She said she had already flooded the stores with Reshma 2010 literature.

But I did a little of both. I did everything she expected me to do. I knocked on every single door she asked me to knock. But I also talked to some random people in some random places. The two best ones were in two small parks.

The first one was this senior woman, she had seen Reshma on TV. I kept meeting people who had seen Reshma on NY1. That NY1 appearance by Reshma has been the turning point for the campaign, I think. Ends up this woman had sat on all sorts of committees while she was still working. She said she had friends among local labor organizations. I asked her to get 10 people to vote for Reshma. She said fine. After I left I had regrets. I should have asked for 20, I thought.

The second such talk was in another park when I felt like I was half done knocking on doors, and I took a small soda break. I found myself talking to these two elementary school teachers. These two women were special ed teachers. They said they were not even planning to vote on Tuesday, but now they were going to vote for Reshma. I got them to also promise that they will get 10 others to do the same as well.

The idea is that if one person will talk to 10 people, those 10 might talk to five each on average without even being asked to.

When I got back Lwiza had vitamin water for me. For me vitamin water is acquired taste. I learned to drink vitamin water when I showed up to make phone calls at the Reshma 2010 headquarters.

There was tremendous energy in the office. You could sense this quiet confidence among everybody. These people were plugged in all the way to midnight. And they come back to work early in the morning.

Reshma 2010 has felt like a tech startup to me from day one. It sure acts like one. Tech startups are known to burn the midnight oil.

I am going to keep showing up day after day. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. I am going to the Hudson Terrace party Monday evening.

In knocking on doors for Reshma 2010, I am rescuing myself. Slowly but surely my atrophied social muscles are building back up.

110 Knocks

My personal plan is to raise 150K plus to do Iran democracy work. Third World dictators are my absolute favorite things to hate on this planet. Do the work, win the Nobel Peace Prize.

"I need the money," like Russell Crowe says in a movie.

I already did Nobel quality work in 2006, but they did not "get" it. Maybe after they see a repeat in Iran, they will "get" it. (Iran: A Brief Survey Through Time Magazine)
Russell Crowe - The Cinderella Man: "What the hell, I'm a working man," the former champion explained today. "I worked as a longshoreman before I was a fighter, and now I need the money, so I'm working again. I always liked hard work; there's nothing wrong with it."

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110 Knocks

September 13 Hudson Terrace Party: Young Professionals For Reshma

September 13, 2010 at 8:00 PM
Hudson Terrace
621 West 46th Street
Between 11th and 12th Avenues
New York, NY 10036

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Assigned To The Astoria Office

Image representing Reshma Saujani as depicted ...Image via CrunchBase

I have been assigned by Reshma 2010 to work out of the Astoria office the final few days that I signed up to volunteer. I will be making phone calls and knocking on doors. And I will do whatever else I am asked to do. One thing would be boost the morale of the staff/interns/volunteers/gawkers in the office, and any passers by on the sidewalk.

I signed up for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. But I have a feeling I might show up also tomorrow, Friday. The idea would be to show up after lunch and stay as late as possible.

I have emailed some key people on the staff saying we need a ton of cookies and vitamin water in the two offices. Every time I have sat down to make phone calls, it has felt like a sea voyage. I have labored over it. Phone calls don't come naturally to me. I do much better with small group small talk. Did I say I don't own a phone?

I showed up for the office opening party in Astoria. (Reshma 2010: Queens Office Opening Party: August 9) My first reaction that I shared with many people was, I actually like this office better than the Manhattan office. The Astoria office is democracy, the Manhattan office is capitalism. Voters are not elevator fodder. Voters are sidewalk people.

The Astoria office is on the ground floor. It is at street level. The entire office is see through. People on the sidewalk can see the entire office except the inside of the restroom, and that probably is by design.

I really like that proximity to the sidewalk. You can step out and suddenly you are a man of the people. You could be someone gawking in while passing by.

Before I started volunteering for Reshma 2010, it is like I had never been to Astoria proper. The neighborhoods are so great. They are so very inviting. I mean, I had been to the Beer Garden during Obama 08. Alexis, who was a key Obama person in Queens, was out of there. That Beer Garden place is really something. It has got to be the best beer place in the city, and I am not even much of a beer drinker. It is the setting I dig.

The last time I was at the Astoria office was right after the community conversation event in Queens 10 blocks away. I walked the 10 blocks to the office and picked two more Reshma 2010 red, white, and blue shirts, my uniform for this election season. Right before that 10 block walk, I got lost for a few blocks after I stepped outside the Holiday Inn where the event was. It is much easier to not get lost when you follow the train tracks.

Jon Gardiner in tow, I showed up. My first reaction, we need Reshma 2010 posters all over that thing at the top of the entrance. That is so much wasted free advertising space. That would work 24/7.

NY1, NY1, NY1, NY1, NY1
Roosevelt Island: Community Conversation
Community Conversation: Upper East Side
Reshma's Lower East Side Community Conversation

NYConvergence: Custom Shirts, GPS Dating And Hyperlocal News At The NY Tech Meetup: The NY Tech Meetup celebrated Rosh Hashanah last night the traditional way: hosting 800 people for a full course of startup demos. Thrown into the mix were a presentation by Google and an appeal from Democratic Congressional candidate Reshma Saujani (running in New York's 14th district) to get involved, specifically by voting or volunteering for her. She has emphasized technological innovation and tax breaks for investment in her campaign.

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Friday, September 03, 2010

The Nitty Gritty Of Politics And Idealism

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, head-and-shoulders por...Image via WikipediaSometimes in the nitty gritty of politics, in all those hourly, daily details that have to be taken care of, in yet another hand that has to be shaken, yet another speech that has to be given, one more time of telling the same story, sometimes it can feel like the idealism has been diluted, possibly even lost, especially when it has been a down hour, or a down day. But the idealism has to continue to burn. The purpose can never be lost sight of.

It is important to learn the mechanics. It is important to get to know the tools of technology that are so important. But beneath it all it is all about the larger goal.

I have long maintained meeting "ordinary people" is the best part of being part of a political campaign.

You can have the best intentions, but if you can't navigate the political process, your ability to deliver gets hindered. Good politicians are like good doctors. They know their stuff.

But often times a lot of politicians get lost in the process. The process took over the purpose a long time ago for them. They are going through the motions. Incumbency can do that to you. You can lose touch. NY-14 Money Matters: Carolyn Maloney V. Reshma Saujani
NY-14 Hopeful Reshma Saujani No "Uptown Girl"
UK Asian: Interview w/ Reshma Saujani At Netroots
Inspire@BTHS: “Don’t Ever Let Anyone Tell You That You Can’t Do Something”- Reshma Saujani:Ever since she was a child, Reshma Saujani was extremely passionate about law and public service. Saujani says her father, a prominent figure in her life, provided her with the tools for a successful career in both law and politics. “Law and politics were always in my interest. I always wanted to be an attorney. My father would read to me about Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt. They were inspiring because they were always working on social justice issues. That was very empowering to me.”.... Saujani used her teen years to build experience in social work. ..... “I did a lot in high school to prepare for attorney skills. In college, I was part of student government. I led marches and I was an activist. .... I want to make this country a better place.” .... asked if being a first-generation Indian-American woman has ever held her back from doing anything, Saujani was very firm in her answer. “No,” she says. “It has never held me back.” On the contrary, it seems that being a first generation Indian-American woman has pushed her forward...... the strong, confident and incredible woman that is Reshma Saujani. ..... She constantly stresses one idea:dreaming big...... Don’t worry about making money. Money will come. ...... Favorite fictional character: Atticus Finch, the lawyer from To Kill a Mockingbird ...... Your most treasured object: A bracelet my father gave me when I was thirteen. .... Greatest achievement: Running for office. ...... Greatest influence: My father...... The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again .... if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. ..... A passionate, determined and strong-minded woman, Saujani is working towards winning the Congressional seat. Brilliant, courageous, and caring, this woman is undoubtedly reaching for the stars. She’s working ardently to help rebuild Main Street and work with Wall Street. ..... cannot wait to see what this phenomenal woman will do once in office.
Pennsylvania Lemon Law: “Maloney and Saujani spar on Wall St., L.G.B.T. issues”: includes America's wealthiest voters on Manhattan's Upper East Side, as well as some of the nation's largest and most troubled public housing projects in Queens .... will experience a very rare event later this month — a Democratic primary challenge to its nine-term representative. ..... an effort she describes as generational, ethnic and based, as much as anything else, on "leadership style." ..... could in time land the congresswoman in front of the same sort of ethics investigation currently plaguing Charles Rangel ...... Saujani now explains that her concern about the banking industry's health has to do with the availability of credit, which she said is vital to the prospects for small business owners in Queens to survive. ....... the press has uniformly ignored an inspiring immigrant story ..... widespread frustration among L.G.B.T. voters with the slow pace of change two years into the Obama presidency and after four years of Democratic control of Congress. ..... Her passion for not waiting, Saujani explained, is "generational," an example of her willingness to emphasize her age difference with Maloney. She would challenge the House speaker in the same way that she took on the organizers of the Aug. 15 India Day Parade, whom, she said, she threatened to "call out" prior to their agreeing to allow the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA) to march openly. ...... Saujani readily acknowledged that she has no endorsements to speak of, saying she really never expected any. True to her insurgent form, she turned that lemon into lemonade, noting, "Membership has its privileges."
MSNBC: NYC House Race Boils Down To Wall Street Visions
Community Conversations Wrap-Up

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Maloney Should Concede To Reshma Saujani

The Huffington Post: Murkowski Concedes Alaska GOP Senate Primary To Joe Miller: Sen. Lisa Murkowski was booted from office in the Republican primary Tuesday by a little-known conservative lawyer in arguably the biggest political upset of the year..... amid deep dissatisfaction with the Washington establishment..... defeated a sitting senator in a primary ...... Murkowski is the third senator to lose this year, along with Bennett and Arlen Specter, D-Pa. ..... after more than 15,000 ballots were counted, she remained 1,630 votes behind...... the Miller camp had no idea what to expect Tuesday. ...... Murkowski has proudly touted her seniority after eight years in office, and said her roles on the appropriations and energy committees put her in a strong position to ensure Alaskans' voices are heard ...... with Murkowski holding such a name-recognition and fundraising advantage ..... Miller connected with the voters and tapped into anti-incumbent anger ....... the Kansas-raised Miller had no experience running in political races ...... in the race's final weeks, when Miller's camp said it sensed momentum was on its side and that Miller would win.

Maloney should not wait until September 14. She should concede now. And here's why.

It is about the cause. It is now time for The New Woman to step forward. (September 14 Will Birth The New Woman) Conceding to Reshma now would be the biggest thing Maloney ever did for women worldwide. It would be a masterstroke.

It is about the party. Maloney could do her part in letting the Democratic Party ride the strong anti incumbency mood sweeping the country. (Obama Needs To Ride The Reshma Insurgency Wave To Victory)

It is about time. Maloney has had a 18 year run. That is long enough. She should exit the state in dignity.

It is about the ground reality. Reshma 2010 obviously has the momentum in this race.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NY1, NY1, NY1, NY1, NY1

Reshma Saujani, Scott Heiferman and Chris Hugh...Image by TCDisrupt via FlickrThe highlight of my Reshma 2010 community conversation in Queens yesterday evening (Roosevelt Island: Community Conversation) was the news that NY1 has decided to call Maloney's bluff and is slated to give Reshma Saujani a 30 minute slot. They invited Maloney. She declined. So they have decided to give Maloney's share of time to Reshma. Now that's what I call courage. Courage on the part of NY1. This was so necessary.

For me it has not been about the first Indian American woman running for Congress thing. I have been too individualistic to bother joining the Indian American community in this country so far. So far I have followed interest groups. For me it has been about Reshma's political talent.

And now we are about to see the turning point. (We Intend To Swamp Maloney: The East Side Is Going Electric)

I give the credit for this wonderful move to Brian Lehrer. He did something really innovative. And that is how the dam burst. (Brian Lehrer's Message To TV Journalists In Town)

How am I going to watch this though? I don't own a TV. I hope they put out the whole segment on YouTube.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Iran Feelers To The CIA And The California Society For Democracy In Iran

I sent out a feeler to the CIA through its website several weeks ago. I have not heard from them. I guess that is a cold track. Today I have sent out an email to the California Society For Democracy In Iran. I am not positive they will respond.

California Society For Democracy In Iran

When they awarded Albert Einstein the Nobel Prize, it was not for the Theory Of Relativity. It was for something much more benign called the photoelectric effect.

I have a really hard time getting people to take my butterfly effect talk seriously, even when the same also impacted a presidential election in this very country. It only works when the conditions are optimum, which is rare, but it works. And the optimum conditions can be created over time.

The First Time I Heard The Obama Name

At first I was hesitant regards to the CIA. But then I figured, what the heck. It is not like the regime in Iran is ever going to think I am on their side in the first place. Besides, what I was shooting for was open intelligence, information that is publicly available to anyone. Right now I am thinking it is a no go. I don't get to raise money, I don't get to put in the work for Iran. And that is how I end up with the tech sector. (Larry Ellison)

I have beat Bill Clinton two times so far, and I was hoping to beat him a third time. But I guess perhaps not. My calling perhaps is in the tech sector. I really like this Reshma video where she is making fun of Indians who change their names to Bobby and Nikki. But even this talk does not go far enough for me.

I am the Bobby Kennedy Hillary talked about. I am the reason why Hillary did not become Vice President although she really, really wanted to. Charlie Rangel was not sitting next to Hillary at the Democratic Convention in 2004, but he was in 2008. That did not look good, not good at all.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hillary Clinton Just Endorsed Reshma Saujani

New York Times: Blazing Campaign Trails In A Certain 3-Inch Heel: I found myself increasingly, and in spite of myself, wondering about her shoes..... Despite the three-inch wedge heels on her black patent leather shoes, after hours of walking, Ms. Saujani, a former hedge-fund general counsel and a successful political fund-raiser, seemed as calmly cheerful as she did at the outset of the day. .... Finally, as we returned to her office, I asked: About those shoes? .... “They’re the Kate Spade wedges,” she said, sagging slightly, as if she had only just then been reminded that she had feet. “They’re these politician-woman shoes.” ...... She had gotten the tip from someone who worked for Hillary Rodham Clinton. They are apparently something of an “it” shoe right now for women in politics: Ms. Saujani said that Kathleen M. Rice, who is running for attorney general, also wore them (a photograph on Ms. Rice’s Facebook page bears that out). The chief of staff for a prominent woman in Congress told me that she, too, religiously relied on her Kate Spade wedge heels (though she spoke on the condition of anonymity because she preferred not to be known for her brand of footwear). ...... “They’re very comfy,” said Annie Mullaly, Ms. Saujani’s finance director. “They’re like Crocs. You’ll see them everywhere once you’ve identified them.” ...... I know. We, the news media, are not supposed to ask female candidates about their hairstyle or their choice of pantsuits over skirts or their shoes. It is irrelevant. It is trivializing. It is sexist. “You would never write about Chuck Schumer’s shoes,” Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand said in a New York magazine article in response to a question about her flats. ...... But the Kate Spade wedge heels are not just one candidate’s shoes. They seem to be the shoes of a circle of younger women aspiring to power or already in it, women directly and indirectly passing on to one another ways of navigating the particular challenges of being a woman in the public eye. A woman must look put-together, but not as if she is a slave to fashion; she must look groomed, but never be spotted grooming..... “we made a bulk order,” said Ms. Mullaly: a pair for Ms. Saujani, and pairs for two campaign workers. Ms. Mullaly said she had a friend in the State Department who raced around airports and bought several pairs.... There was something distinctly next-generation about the sight of Ms. Saujani, in a red dress just above the knee, legs bare atop her three-inch wedges. Ms. Saujani’s comfort level with fashion, with showing off her own good looks, could be considered progress — the latest evolution for female candidates, who first wore versions of male drag, then graduated to the salmon or aqua skirt suits that seemed sold out of a catalog distributed exclusively to female members of Congress..... Whether the news media discuss it or not, women running for office still walk a fine line when deciding what to wear. Their shoes had better be comfortable.

Credit For Credit Card Bill Goes To Barack Obama
Reshma Is Bigger Than Hillary
Political Office, Political Essence
Carolyn Maloney Is The Problem
Mainstream Media Kept Saying John Liu Was Losing
How My Grandfather Became Mayor The First Time
My Progressive Political Religion
Reshma Saujani Loves America
Barack Obama Just Endorsed Reshma Saujani

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Arthur Schwartz, Jeff Kurzon, Reshma 2010

Barack Obama’s Presidential CampaignImage by cliff1066™ via FlickrI am so looking forward to the Reshma 2010 event tomorrow. (Gandhi, Reshma And Tornadoes) I did 400 push ups already in preparation. I will likely do more. It is good to see Arthur Schwartz as one of the listed names. Slowly but surely the Obama crowd is rallying behind Reshma 2010. A presidential campaign lasts months, but for a congressional race these final weeks are when the coalescing happens. It is now a sprint to the finish line.

An Empire State Of Mind: The Final Countdown
Baruch Plus Radio Plus NY1 Could Work
My Progressive Political Religion
Reshma Saujani Loves America

Arthur is the first person featured in my first Obama video. He was the key speaker at the Manhattan For Obama organizational kick off meeting.

NYC Video: 10 Hours

Another person featured in that video is Jeff Kurzon. The first time I met Jeff was near the Gandhi statue in Union Square. I was not even aware there was a Gandhi statue there until that day. That was the summer of 2007 right before the walks for Obama. Well, Jeff asked for a Gujarati and he got one now: Reshma. (Reshma Is Gujarati Like Gandhi, I Am Bihari Like Laloo)

Crain's New York: An Insurgent's Long Shot: Last year, Reshma Saujani was no more than a foreign-sounding name on a long list of candidates who wanted to run for the seat on the verge of being vacated by Rep. Carolyn Maloney. When Ms. Maloney decided last August not to run for the U.S. Senate, the other would-be candidates dropped out in deference to the incumbent. Ms. Saujani, a 34-year-old hedge fund lawyer, stayed in. .... eliciting scorn from the city's Democratic political establishment, which sees Ms. Maloney as the unassailable matriarch of a district that she helped transform into a Democratic stronghold.... Ms. Saujani has eschewed the more traditional route of first running for a minor office and cultivating endorsements among labor and elected officials to build a base of support. ..... her fundraising prowess ..... “I think we need to have new people, fresh faces running for Congress,” Ms. Saujani says—”people who are passionate and energetic.” ..... Ms. Saujani's campaign has captured the attention of many, including Bishop Mitchell Taylor, the influential senior pastor of the Center of Hope International and the chief executive of the East River Development Alliance. He invited Ms. Saujani, just as he had Ms. Maloney, to speak to his small but fervent congregation in Long Island City. ...... On Jan. 14, 1973, her parents landed in Chicago wearing T-shirts and shorts, with $50 in their pockets. ...... a compelling political biography that has impressed wealthy Upper East Side donors, financial services executives and Internet entrepreneurs. She first demonstrated her fundraising skills at age 28, when she raised $1 million from South Asians on behalf of John Kerry's run for the presidency—an accomplishment that gave her access to Hillary Clinton, whom she supported in 2008. Ms. Clinton later offered her a job in the State Department as a senior adviser on South Asia, which Ms. Saujani turned down in order to run for office. ....... Maloney's $2.1 million in cash. ..... Of about 228,000 registered Demo-crats in District 14—68% of whom are white—37,529 voted four years ago. ..... her opponent has portrayed her as a creature of a greedy industry ..... One of her biggest supporters is Diana Taylor: a lifelong Republican, former New York state superintendent of banks, and the girlfriend of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Ms. Taylor is part of a coterie of high-powered women who are advising Ms. Saujani and encouraged her to run on her corporate experience. ..... “She sees Congress as an entry-level job,” says one exasperated Democratic consultant. .... She was twice denied by Yale Law School before getting accepted as a transfer student. Becoming a member of Congress has also been a lifelong dream. If she loses, she says, she will begin her campaign for 2012. “We run the next day in the same race,” she says. “We start the next day.”

New York Post: The Underdog: 35-year-old Reshma Saujani, is generating an unusual amount of interest for an untested candidate ....Saujani, who has never served in public office, has become a darling among the city’s power brokers, including Maureen White, former national finance chair for the Democratic Party; Judith Dimon, wife of JPMorgan CEO Jamie; hedge fund billionaire Marc Lasry; and Mayor Bloomberg’s daughter, Emma — all of whom have helped her amass a $1.2 million war chest..... Hillary Clinton, for whom Saujani once worked, gave her campaign an unofficial nod of approval..... Mayor Bloomberg’s girlfriend, Diana Taylor, is even advising Saujani’s campaign after meeting her and being impressed with her go-getter attitude..... Saujani also has developed a cult following among the city’s burgeoning tech community, with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Facebook honcho Randi Zuckerberg and Gilt Groupe founder Alexis Maybank all tweeting her praises. High profile bloggers like Rachelle Hruska have helped generate buzz among the 20- and 30-something crowd that usually doesn’t follow local politics...... A practicing Hindu, she lives in an East Village rental, and is still paying off some $200,000 in student loan debts after putting herself through school. She works out at Equinox so that she can afford to cave to her favorite temptation: the black and white shake from Shake Shack..... “At age 28 I was one of John Kerry’s top fundraisers in the country,” Saujani said in an interview from her makeshift campaign office on 33rd Street and Madison Avenue. “It’s unusual for a young woman to be sitting with trustees who had been donors for generations. I had never asked anyone for a check before besides my parents.” ...... She’d be the youngest woman elected to Congress if she wins, as well as the first Hindu. She claims she was the first New York politician to come out strongly in favor of the Ground Zero mosque...... it’s when she talks about tech that she becomes most engaged....... “When I set out to run, one out of three of my friends was unemployed, laid off from law firms or media firms, and it wasn’t going to get better until 2013,” she said. “I believe people need to start their own companies. I’ve gone to tech meet-up after tech meet-up and asked people, ‘What is it that you need to start your next company?’ It’s that first $50,000 or $100,000 they need.” ...... Until now Maloney had no particular reason to acknowledge Saujani’s campaign, but after three months of nipping at her heels, Maloney agreed to a radio debate scheduled to air Sept. 7 on WWRL at 11 a.m....... “You don’t expend that political capital for name recognition. You do it to win.”
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Progressive Political Religion

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...Image via WikipediaReshma Saujani Loves America

I am a political animal. I have looked in the direction of tech entrepreneurship since my personal Obama 08 fiasco, but volunteering for Reshma 2010 has brought back spring to my steps. And with a green card at least a year away, there is nothing to do in tech entrepreneurship in the first place.

Even in tech entrepreneurship I kept thinking in terms of internet access as the voting right for this 21st century. Well, how about the actual voting right itself? How about the mission of a universal spread of democracy? We are only half way there.

Personal money will be made. All it would take is one Nobel Peace Prize and I could be asking for speaking fees forever after that. When my tech blog did 3,000 page hits for a day several weeks back, I remember thinking, this alone could be a full time income. It is possible to become a six figure blogger.

I like to keep things simple for me personally. For example, freehand exercise is more appealing than working the machines. When you keep things materially simple, you get to become voracious about mindfood. Words, music, movies, people, conversations, concepts, ideas, places.

Broadband meets most of my needs.

Which is more appealing? The concept of universal broadband, or the concept of universal democracy? It does not even compare. Of course democracy. Universal broadband will necessarily follow universal democracy. Although broadband will help the democratic cause like few other technologies. And with democracy I have a track record. What I did for Nepal, I could do all over again for Iran. I don't seem to give a f___ about China's size. I could do it for China. I want the town where the Burmese dictator lives bombed according to the Bush doctrine. That still would fit my concept of nonviolent militancy. A lot of people think nonviolence is about putting up with evil. The truth is Gandhi said he'd rather people resisted injustice nonviolently, but if it is between inaction and violent resistance, he would go for violence. (Reshma Is Gujarati Like Gandhi, I Am Bihari Like Laloo)

I keep thinking in terms of being able to engineer the pouring of a trillion dollars into microfinance globally. That might be more possible from the political arena than from tech entrepreneurship.

My progressive political religion is like a religion to me. I sure put way more time into my progressive political religion than I do into my religion of birth Hinduism, or my second adopted religion Buddhism, or my religions of curiosity Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

And there are people I think of as coreligionists. It is like Barack Obama is a Jew. Bill Clinton is a Jew. Hillary is a Jew. I am Jewish. We are coreligionists. We all belong to the same progressive political religion. (Please Fund My Work For Iran Democracy: Email)

I love Barack Obama like a brother. (The First Time I Heard The Obama Name, Extrapolations To Reshma 2016, Sep 15 - Oct 31: Obama-Reshma Should Crisscross The Country) Obama 08 was personal therapy to me, until it was no longer so. (Obama, Reshma, Charlie Rangel: Motherfucker)

Barack Obama leads the church for now. He is the top guy. His FDR aura is felt far and wide.

Bill Clinton and I know each other like serial killers know each other. We don't have to meet. We seem to be able to recognize each other's moves. (Rangel Has Gone Radioactive) I followed the 92 race through Time and Newsweek magazines in Kathmandu. It was my final year at high school.

When the Monica Lewinsky thing erupted I was sitting in front of a computer after dinner in Kentucky. I was up all night trying to track down any new development on the story, and instead I ended up watching that hug video clip countless times. My first, middle and last thought on the topic was the guy did it for his wife. He got sick and tired of what Ken Starr was doing to his wife and so he did what he could.

I had been watching the Ken Starr drama in pain. I had been in disbelief the entire time. In a country like where I grew up, Ken Starr would have disappeared the day after he pointed his finger at a Hillary figure. The queen of Nepal showed up at some remote police station unannounced, and the police constable was not able to recognize, and the dude lost his job. He could have lost more. And here was a guy who was supposed to be the most powerful man on earth, and he could not even protect his wife! This was a strange country. All the allegations were proven false. Starr spent taxpayers' money. He spent more money than Bill Clinton spent running for president. And he hounded everyone Bill Clinton had ever said hello to in Arkansas. It felt bizarre.

As early as 92, Hillary became my idea of a strong, smart woman. I hoped some day I could meet a woman like her. A partner in the truest sense of the word.

Ken Starr was not Hillary's fault. He was Bill Clinton's fault. So the dude authorizes him and then takes him on a personal tour of the White House. Talk about blind spots. That is taking optimism a little too far.

So Bill Clinton is on a three way with his wife Hillary, and his aide George Stephanopoulos. Hillary is saying do not authorize the investigation, there is nothing to investigate, it is all political. Boy George/Judas argues otherwise and Bill Clinton makes the mistake of his life and he goes for the Boy George/Judas line of action.

And Bill Clinton's Boy George mistake went a few years before that. In the fall of 91 Boy George shows up in Arkansas. And Bill Clinton is changing his pants. And he is like, it's okay, stay. We can keep talking. That scene led to the three way call a few years later and that resulted in the biggest pain on Clinton's family life.

Granted he was a desperate southern Governor in 91, but never make a political aide feel like they are co-family, because it is false, that just is not the case. Staffers can be fired. It is a professional relationship.

Hillary has always been a better judge of character than Bill Clinton. She earned better grades at Yale than Bill Clinton. I do feel like Hillary is a woman who was not able to reach her full potential. Monica Lewinsky contaminated her life, and at some level Hillary never really recovered. Here was a power couple that took for granted that the woman was going to have a career, and then suddenly the whole thing felt like one grand illusion.

Hillary is a wronged woman. She deserved her revenge. It was not about sex - there was not much sex - it was about the sexism. It was like Bill Clinton threw her Beijing speech right out the window.

"I wanted to wring his neck."

The First Time I Heard The Obama Name
Extrapolations To Reshma 2016
Sep 15 - Oct 31: Obama-Reshma Should Crisscross The Country
Obama, Reshma
Charlie Rangel: Motherfucker
Rangel Has Gone Radioactive

I know Hilary is passionate about microfinance, and that is all the racial hint I really need.

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Reshma Saujani Loves America

Reshma Saujani loves America like no white American I ever met. You should listen to her say things like "I am the daughter of political refugees," and "I went to public schools all my life." She makes it sound like political asylum were a spiritual concept.

The closest thing to that I have is my appreciation for the democratic framework. It is like religion to me. I appreciate democracy like people who always grew up in democracies don't.

I belong to the progressive political religion. I put way more time into my political religion than I do to the religion of my birth, Hinduism, or my second adopted religion, Buddhism, (in Nepal the two don't feel like separate religions) and my religions of curiosity, Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

As for love and all that, I am more of a netizen, a global citizen. I don't feel like there is anything special about the American landmass. The riches of this country can be created anywhere where we can take the ideals of democracy and the market mechanism, and universal broadband would be the best, fastest way to do that.

But I must admit the red, white and blue Reshma 2010 shirt is growing on me. That is all I wear these days. I have three. I think I might pick up a few more the next time I am the Reshma 2010 headquarters.
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