Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Monday, June 30, 2008

Not been posting much

I know, I know. I've been slow in posting. It's been a wacky - crazy month with travels and such. One short update: Melissa and I went to see Robert Plant / Alison Krauss at one of my favorite place, the Greek Theatre on the Berkeley campus. This was truly an amazing and inspiring show. Alison could be one of the best female singers I've ever seen live. And what can you say about Robert Plant? He did a couple of reworked Led Zeppelin songs that were nothing short of brilliant. The musical chemistry between Robert and Alison was obvious. Who would have ever thought the 'rock god' Robert Plant would be singing Gospel bluegrass songs about Jesus. Wonder if anyone will play those backwards?

Drummer Jay Bellerose was perhaps one of the most intriguing drummers I've seen in a long time. He's different and plays a strange looking vintage kit. He was the backbone of the whole event.

If you were at the show and took some other video PLEASE post it on YouTube!!!

As a side benefit T-Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller backed them. Buddy is one of my favorite guitarists. T-Bone is a producer extraordinaire. It was a wonderful show and a unforgettable evening. Here's a video from the event:

Here's a video of them singing "The Battle of Evermore" from another show. Although it's a different show - they sang this in Berkeley.

Finally - here's Alison singing, "Down in the River to Pray".

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

In Dallas

Just arrived in Dallas. I'm here for the National Federation of Community Development Credit Union's annual conference. I arrived late, so I had to grab a bite to eat in the lounge before crashing. It's in the same hotel the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) conference was at a few years ago. We attended that conference with the Bayshore Christian Ministries staff. I still remember the BCM folks playing broom hockey at the rink nearby.

It's good to be here. "The Federation" provided us council and assistance as we organized the partnership that brought about Community Trust Credit Union of East Palo Alto. I hear Juan Hernandez will be here tomorrow. I hope to connect with him. Juan spoke at the CCDA conference a few years ago also.

I do a workshop tomorrow afternoon then jump on a late flight back. In the last six weeks I've been in NYC, LA (twice), Chicago and now Dallas. As much as I like to travel, I'm ready to be home for a spell.

I'll post an update soon. In the mean time check out Crissy Brooks' post on Jeremy Del Rio's website. Crissy is a great friend and colleague who leads MIKA Community Development Corporation in So Cal. I was honored to visit her and her staff when I was in LA last week. She has a great young team that are doing excellent work in the poor areas of Orange County (yes, there is poverty in 'the OC').

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Samuel Liotti TV Interview about Obama's Nomination

Check this out this link!

Samuel, his best friend Malik and other students at East Palo Alto Academy were interviewed on TV  where they were asked about their views on Obama. 

The students has some interesting and revealing comments. With all the politics, it may be easy for some to overlook the significance and importance of the first truly viable African-American candidate for president. Obama's nomination to especially many young people in our community speaks volumes about who they are and what they can become. This is an exciting and important time in our history. 

Please join me in praying for both our candidates, but especially Obama. I've felt impressed that I should pray specifically for his safety during the next months. 

Follow the link and check out the interview!

What about you? How significant do you feel is Obama's nomination?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Yes we can!

Obama fan or not - this is a moving piece and shows off Obama's oratory skills. Whomever wins this November - this is a timeless message of hope and potential. For all my cynicism, I believe that in the middle of the mortgage meltdown, soaring gas prices and a seeminly endless war in Iraq and Afganistan, a message of hope and healing is important.

Thanks to Will I. Am from the Black Eyed Peas for this...

Q. What do you think? Is this the right message for today?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Self Sufficiency Standards in San Mateo County

Some interesting information about self sufficiency in San Mateo county. Short story: a single mom with an infant and school age child needs to make $67,617.00 to live. That equals four minimum wage jobs. Check out the Insight website for more information. 

Some other facts about basic costs in San Mateo County (not including rising gasoline prices which is further straining families):
  • Food costs have gone up 15%.
  • Health care costs have climbed significantly, up 30%.
  • Since 2003, the rise in costs resulted in an increase in the Self-Sufficiency Standard of $10,116 to $67,617 a year for a family consisting of one adult, a preschooler, and a school-age child.