Senate, and Working Together
is the ultimate men's club.
any boy can become president.
Put it this
way: Jazz is a good barometer of freedom
. In its beginnings, the United
States of America spawned certain ideals of freedom and independence
through which, eventually, jazz was evolved, and the music is so free that
man people say it is the only unhampered, unhindered expression of
complete freedom yet produced in this country.
reminder that the 2nd Annual SF Political Trivia Contest will be held on
Wednesday, March 2, 8-10 p.m. at Dylan's, 2301 Folsom (@ 19th Street).
Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Chris Daly; School Board Commissioners
Sarah Lipson, Mark Sanchez, and Eric Mar; activists Michael Goldstein,
Calvin Welch, and Lisa Feldstein; playwright Terry Baum; and others. The
categories will include Famous San Franciscans, SF Landmarks, LBGT,
Political Scandals, and others.
is free but the purpose is to encourage you to register as an absentee
voter. For more information, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 290-2708.
going to "Jazz Conversations and Listening Party" with jazz musician
Marcus Shelby at Cafe Royale, 800 Post (Leavenworth).
listened to Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Chick Webb, Charles Mingus,
Ahmad Jamal, and Miles Davis. Throughout the wonderful series, Shelby has
hammered home the point that every musician has to bring his/her own
individuality to the music and yet use that individuality to support the
entire ensemble. "Jazz is a dialog," Shelby said.
that there is a cycle: young musicians learn from the masters and then
create their own voice and become jazz masters themselves. We listened as
musicians first followed an idol, then improved the standard rendition of
a song, and finally created their own music.
came back to me as I read Nine and Counting by Catherine Whitney.
The book is
about the nine women who served in the U.S. Senate in 2000.
four women (all Democrats) were elected to the Senate. Billed as "The Year
of the Women," the press made much of the fact that there were now six
women in that august body. But Senator Barbara Mikulski, the first woman
to serve as senator from Maryland (and the female senator with the most
seniority) did something better.
When her new
colleagues arrived in Washington, Mikulski invited them to her office and
conducted two separate seminars to explain the complex workings of the
Senate. She also gave them thick notebooks containing key details about
committee assignments and procedures.
this for a reason she knew that an entire senatorial career could be
stymied in the early weeks of a first term if a senator failed to secure a
committee assignment that could have a positive impact on her state.
1996, the Republicans took control of Congress, and tension was high both
in the House and the Senate. Mikulski decided to make the first move. She
created a bridge to the other side of the house and invited Senator Kay
Bailey Hutchison (Republican from Texas and the female senator with the
second longest tenure) to lunch. They agreed that each new female senator,
Democrat or Republican, would be the beneficiary of the Mikulski welcoming
agreed to bring all of the women senators together each month for lunch.
The female senators don't vote as a bloc. Each brings her own voice and
her own energy to issues that matter to her constituents. But once a
month, they come together for lunch to learn from the others' experiences
so that they can better represent their constituents.
Just as in
jazz, there were great exemplars who came before them. But just as in
jazz, each senator (and each of us) has to find an individual voice in
order to truly make a difference in the world.