Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I don't think Seattle is ready for my son

Shea was walking home from QFC yesterday with Debi, and he noticed a stretch of sidewalk that had a lot of trash on it. According to Debi, he stopped and got this look on his face. When I got home from the KCDCC meeting at about 9:45, he was all over me saying that we had a job to do today. Picking up the trash.

We were out until 7, meaning we're having dinner around 8. Which is ok.

On our way home, picking up paper as we went, we passed by a middle eastern gentleman who joined us for about a block. He said that the apartment complex behind him had a bunch of kids that needed something to do until school started, and asked Shea to organize them into a neighborhood cleanup crew.

Seattle, are you ready for this? Shea is a recycling fiend! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Today's sign that the corporations have too much power.

This is fascinating. I'm curious if there is a rail line between Lewiston, Idaho and Spokane, Washington. So I do a Google search for "rail lines in the Northwest". Northwest of Chicago? No. NorthWest Rail in Australia? No, but at least that link gets me to Wikipedia. So, let's zoom out to the "rail lines in Sydney" category, then Australia, then "Railway lines by country". That's where I see the fascinating thing.

Every other category description has "Railway lines in XXX". Except the United States. "Railway companies of the United States".

So not only have corporations taken over our government, they're actually more important than the lines that they are supposed to manage on the global encyclopedia?! Freaking weird.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sustainable Works in Seattle

Sustainable Works, a project of Sound Organizing and also working with IAF Northwest, is beginning a campaign over the next few years to retrofit and assist homeowners in North Seattle. Here is the area they are looking at; NE 65th St to NE 85th St, and 30th Ave NE to 30th Ave NE. Here is a map of the area:

View this map full screen.

They sent me two documents to help explain who they are as an organization, and what this project is all about. The first is a Q&A about Sustainable Works, and another page going into some details about what they want to do. Please read those two pages and if you are interested, please contact Richard Wells, 206-930-6377.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One form to rule them all.

Three forms from the Navy on the sea,
Seven from the medical halls of Florida,
Nine from Washingtonians doomed to try and rhyme,
One for the Superintendent on her throne,
In the City of Seattle where his school district lies.
One Form to rule them all, One Form to organize them,
One Form to bring them all and before September 8th bind them
In the City of Seattle where Shea doth lie.

Can we please move to electronic medical records?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Election Maps and History Project Update

I would like to announce a major milestone for the Maps and History project of the Washington State Democratic Chairs Organization. Roger Crew, our Maps project lead, has completed his collection of precinct shape files for all 39 counties in the state of Washington. The maps are viewable on our website here:

This project began in 2006, when I figured out a way to include the maps that Roger had been working on with the Election History data pages that Fred Morris had developed. We have gotten help along the way by many of the local party chairs, and Ben Johnstone-Anderson and Michael Snyder joined our efforts and did a lot of legwork getting the shapefiles. Thanks to everyone!

The Maps project will continue as we gather updates, and we will be very active over the next two years as the US Census does their work and the counties work on redistricting based on the new population data.

There are 6732 precincts in the database now if you want to use the number. We started in early 2007, won the Blogpac contest which was broadcast all over the country, I went to Netroots Nation in '08 to talk about it, I went to the 2008 Washington GIS Conference to speak about it, and I'm making contact with other states to ask how they are doing and what we can do. It's interesting, because we reached 100% coverage in Washington nearly two years to the day of my submitting the project for consideration to Chris Bowers of and Blogpac. Our next step is to do an inventory of the election history data that we have, that we can get, and figure out how to make use of it all. I'm looking forward to seeing the project grow.

Here is the project history, as you can find it on the Blogosphere:


Here's a video put together with Emmett O'Connell with some older maps that I had put together in 2005 showing how representation had changed in the Washington State Legislative Districts between 2002 and 2004:

This is where I want to go, showing election results on the maps themselves using data and KML. That's the eventual goal.

There are other groups around the country working on similar projects as well. Here are some highlights:

Have ideas? Want to help us collect data for the rest of the country? Contact me, and let's put this country on the map.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Rep. Doc Hastings lies to his constituents on his publicly funded website

In case he changes it, here's a screenshot from earlier this morning.

"Were you aware that individual private health insurance plans will be outlawed in 2013 under the Democratic health care plan?"

Show me in the language of the current legislation being considered by the committees in the US House and US Senate where it says that individual private health insurance plans will be outlawed in 2013. You can't. It's not there. Neither can Doc, and he knows it.

Even under HR 676, Medicare for ALL, private insurance would not be "outlawed" for anything beyond basic care, which is our national responsibility TO EACH OTHER in a civilized country. Because that's the way it works in all the "civilized" countries around the world whose citizens decided that they care about each other.