Georgia Senate Runoff Elections – How YOU Can Help!


The great state of Georgia – a place known for its tasty food, fantastic musicians and bands, and legendary Civil Rights leaders – is now also a state that played a key role in electing Joe Biden as President and repudiating the cruel and corrupt Trump administration. But the election is not over in Georgia! Both the regular Senate election and a special Senate election held on November 3rd ended with no clear majority. And so there will be TWO runoff elections on January 5, 2021.

If the stakes weren’t high enough, the United States senate is hanging in the balance. If both Democratic candidates win their Senate runoff elections the Democratic Party and the Republican Party will each have 50 Senators each. Vice President Kamala Harris will the tiebreaker on any votes that go 50-50. So it is absolutely crucial that anyone who cares about COVID-19 relief, healthcare, climate change, the rights of Black people and immigrants, and other progressive issues to focus on helping the Democratic candidates win their elections in the Georgia Senate runoffs.

If you live in Georgia, and you will be 18-years-old or older on January 5, 2021, make sure to register to vote or confirm your registration by December 7, 2020. Make sure you have the proper ID, and if you’re not sure Spread the Vote can help you out. You may request an absentee ballot starting November 18, 2020, and early voting will begin on December 14, 2020. More information will be available at Georgia’s My Voter Page.

Regardless where you live you can support the two Democratic candidates with donations directly and sign up to volunteer at their web pages:

There are also several grassroots groups organizing voters within Georgia who can use donations and volunteers to help bring about Democratic victories:

Additionally, They See Blue Georgia created a spreadsheet of BIPOC-led voter outreach organizations in Georgia. And there is a presentation, Volunteering for Georgia’s US Senate runoffs on Jan 5, 2021, with a whole lot more information.

UPDATED DECEMBER 3, 2020

#WinBothSeats allows you to make a single donation that will be strategically split among 16 BIPOC-lead organizations.

The Civics Center is also organizing a campaign to send postcards to young people in Georgia encouraging them to register for the first time to get out the vote.

Another postcard campaign from Postcards to Swing Voters more specifically encourages Georgians to vote for Warnock and Ossoff.

Please share this post widely on your social networks. If you know of any other resources to help people participate in this election, please let me know and I’ll update this post.

Boston By Foot Tour of the Month: Tory Row


Boston by Foot’s Tour of the Month took us to Cambridge and the venerable neighborhood of mansions along Brattle Street known as Tory Row.  The name is due to the number of wealthy Loyalists who either sold their houses before departing the rebellious colony or had their property seized.  Of course, Cambridge moved on so there are plenty of 19th & 20th century houses as well, not too mention Revolutionary Era houses with later modifications.  Architectural styles include Georgian, Stick Style, Shingle Style, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, French Second Empire and other styles of the Gilded Era (I refuse to use the term Victorian to describe anything in the United States).  Architects include H.H. Richardson and Henry Van Brundt (the latter building his own house just off Brattle Street).

Online photo gallery of the tour.

Better yet are the stories of the people who lived here.  Farmers and statesmen.  The poet Longfellow and his family occupied several mansions. An American traitor and a Hessian General were both held prisoner here. A lexicgrapher and an ornithologist. Presidents Washington, T. Roosevelt, and Taft all stayed in these houses.  Elmwood was home to Vice President Elbridge Gerry, poet James Russel Lowell, and now the official residence of the President of Harvard University.

There were a lot of houses on the tour and a lot of stories so I’m sure I didn’t get everything correct.  A couple of sights worth checking out for more in-depth visits are the Longfellow National Historic Site and the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House, headquarters of the Cambridge Historical Society.  If you missed the tour, don’t fret at this tour will be offered again next season as part of the 2009 Boston By Foot Tour of the Month offerings.  A new way to get involved and getting reminders of tours is the Boston By Foot Meetup Group.  If you’re interested in the history and architecture of our fair city, sign up today.

Update on Walk for Hunger 2007


As previously mentioned back in February I will be participating in Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger for the fourth consecutive year in just about two & a half weeks on Sunday May 6. Due to some incredibly generous donations by a handful of sponsors I’ve already reached my original goal. On the one hand I’m tempted to call it day because I don’t like asking people for money and people don’t like being asked for money. But on the other hand I think what if I can just get a few more people to contribute some money? How many more meals can be served to impoverished Bostonians at the Wednesday Night Supper Club or the Haley House? How many more poor families in Massachusetts will be able to have their pantries stocked because of donations to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Additionally, Susan won’t be able to walk this year so it would be cool if I could raise more donations than I normally would.

So I’m asking again. Even if you’re just a casual reader of this blog please consider putting in a few dollars at my personal walk page. Write me an email at liammail at verizon dot net if you prefer to donate by check. 400 emergency food programs in Massachusetts and countless number of our fellow human beings will benefit. You can learn more about Project Bread and the Walk for Hunger online.

Thanks!

Franklin Park Spring Clean-up


On Saturday April 7, I participated in the Annual Spring Clean-up at Franklin Park along with the Boston Cares’ BOOYAH and the Franklin Park Coalition. Along with some eager youth from the Madison Park High School I picked up trash and pulled out invasive weeds and roots (and I managed despite all precaution to give myself poison ivy). We got a lot done but it seemed to be a drop in the buck compared to the park on the whole.

Luckily, most of the interior of Franklin Park is in good shape and actually quite beautiful. Due to it’s proximity to some of Boston’s poorer neighborhoods the park is something of a neglected gem. I took the opportunity to stroll around and take some photos of the startlingly natural areas that feel miles away from Boston urbanity.

A few of my favorite photos are below and the full album is online at Othemts.com.