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Welcome to In an Auscape! What's an auscape? It's a word my friend Katie came up with that means "The sensation of a second stretching into a minute, a mile, or a year." Is that fresh or what? This newsletter is where I'll describe my (bi)weekly minutes, miles, and years. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
What I'm About
T and I worked the polls on Tuesday. We knew that we wouldn't likely know an outcome Tuesday night, we wanted to do something useful, we didn't realize it would be an almost 17 hour day that began at 4:30AM. We figured it was a good thing to do, one that we could feel proud of.

And I feel fine that we did it, even though someone we worked with has COVID, and so we're quarantined as a result (and likely both negative, per our tests). We probably could have done something else: election defense, day-of phone or text-banking to swing states, de-escalation in Northern Virginia or North Carolina. But we chose working the polls.

Most people who came to our polling location, in the beautiful VCU Institute for Contemporary Art had a chance to vote. Some had to vote provisional, but most simply recited their address and went on their way, placing their completed ballots in the scanner, grabbing their stickers, and moving along with their day. It's easy, when people come and go, to think that it's not a hardship to vote, simply a thing people make time for.

But we were in a student-heavy precinct in the center of town: no waits, easy to get to, lots of poll workers. That's not true for everyone, everywhere. We had to tell people they were in the wrong precinct and then they'd have to spend more time figuring out where to go and how to get there. I know how many people had to work long days and couldn't make it, and how many people got up at 5:30 to arrive at 6 to make sure their ballots were counted. 

Honestly? I'm SHOCKED by the numbers, and incredibly impressed, at how many people took the time to cast their ballot. It's great, and I hope that together, we keep pushing. Pushing for a truly progressive third party, for policies that help people, for fewer police, for decarceration, for fully funded schools and services, for domestic workers and low-wage workers across the country, and for so much more we could make happen if we showed up the way we showed up to the polls. 
Who I Followed
What Now?
We may not know exactly where we are or what's coming in the days and weeks that follow, but one thing I do know is that voting, and elections, are the tip of a very large metaphorical iceberg. Or maybe the better metaphor is that voting is the first glance at an archeological site that you've been tasked with uncovering.

And it's up to us, you and me, to do the uncovering. Today, we do that by going to actions and signing petitions to count every vote. Tomorrow, we'll be pushing for those runoff Senate races. The next day, we'll be demanding better of local electeds, working toward funding people over profits. And in some distant future, maybe we see big maps of the country we live in that feel different than they do today. Maybe we see a win that feels like a win. Maybe we see a win that feels unifying and that we're proud of. Maybe.
Pleasure Fix
Every week, we spend a few minutes with our dear friends in Seattle, lighting candles together for Shabbat. I finally bought myself some candlesticks and candles, and what a thrill it was to light our candles together, even from across the country.
As you read this: I'm in quarantine, at least till Tuesday.
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Big ups to Ana Alvarez—writer, designer, cat enthusiast, and coffee whisperer—for my logo. Hire her!

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