How would I describe myself? Wow! That's a loaded question. I'm a 34 year old pacifist hippie roaming in Portland, Oregon who feels like he's finally found a home here after having spent my life younger years in the American South, having grown up in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina and gone to high school in Lynchburg, Virginia. I'm very happy to have left the Bible Belt behind, and Oregon certainly is a more friendly place to my politics, religion and culture.
If you're into the Myer's-Brigg's at all I'm an Extroverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving (ENFP) personality type, and think I fit those characteristics quite well.
I'm a political activist who has been involved in a lot of progressive causes and campaigns over the years, most recently severing an intern for Amanda Fritz's successful campaign for re-election on the Portland City Council of Commissioners in November of 2012, and before that working on John Kitzhaber's successful campaign for Oregon Governor in 2010, Jeff Merkley’s successful campaign to unseat previous Oregon U.S. Senator Gordon Smith in 2008. I also worked on Pete Sorenson's (sadly unsuccessful) campaign for Governor of Oregon in 2006. I was also a major player in Dennis Kucinich's campaign for President here in Oregon back in 2004, and served as a Kucinich Delegate at the Oregon State Democratic Party Convention in July of 2004. I feel compelled to keep giving politics my all believing that a better world is still possible. If nothing else, Portland (nicknamed "little Beirut" for it's political activism) certainly brings me hope that at least I've found a little safe place. Sometimes I have found myself getting a bit discouraged when it seems true liberal progressives are silenced and some Democrats feel like they have to act like Republicans to get elected. As I've grown older, I've found if I want to make a real progressive difference, I need to work from the ground up and build alliances and make friends who share common goals in the political process. Accordingly, this year I re-upped myself as a Precinct Committee Person (PCP) for the Multnomah County Democrats for the 2012-2014 legislative cycle. I had served as a PCP from 2004-2006, but had not run for re-election since, but was motivated by Thom Hartmann's famous radio show quote, "Activism Begins With You, Democracy Begins With You, Get Out There, Get Active! Tag, You're It!” I'm proud to serve as a Precinct Committee Person in House District 42, Representative Jules Kopel Baily (the bluest House District in All of Oregon!) and try to stay active in Oregon Democratic Party politics. Additionally, I am currently the Elected Vice Chair of the Multnomah County Young Democrats (MCYD), as well as actively involved in the Young Oregon Democrats of America (YODA). I very much believe in the words, actions and deeds of those like Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Russ Feingold, Paul Wellstone, Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich who have constantly encouraged us to stay positive and remember that there is hope after all fear and distress. I have not totally given up my dreams, but admit I sometimes find myself wishing for more like-minded individuals to keep my spirits up. Getting more involved in Oregon State, Multnomah County and Young Democratic Party politics is causing me to regain some of the hope and faith I had lost after 8 years of George W. Bush and the Tea Party Revolution of 2010. I'm still hopeful and optimistic that a better world is still possible. Let's work together to enact positive change!
I'm actually a very religious person. I'm a Unitarian Universalist which is probably the one thing I identify more with than anything else in my life. I attend Unitarian Universalist Church services just about every week, sometimes more than once a week. I identify heavily with The Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism and try hard to live every aspect of my life in accordance with those principles and I believe the world would be a much better place if everyone else did. The Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism are: 1) The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person; 2) Justice, Equity and Compassion in Human Relations; 3) Acceptance of One Another and Encouragement to Spiritual Growth in our Congregations and Our Society At Large; 4) A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning; 5) The Right of Conscience and the Use of the Democratic Process within our Congregations and in Society At Large; 6) The Goal of World Community with Peace, Liberty, and Justice For All; 7) Respect for the Interdependent Web of all Existence of which We Are All A Part. Check out http://www.uua.org/ if you're not familiar with Unitarian Universalism. I try to take these principles into consideration in just about every decision I make every day. I was raised Unitarian Universalist and in the past have been actively involved in various UU organizations throughout the Pacific NorthWest District of the Unitarian Universalist Association and throughout North America. Some of my recent interactions with some of the people who make up the Unitarian Universalist faith have led me, sadly to determine just as there are many hypocritical conservative Christians, so too are there Unitarian Universalists who do not always practice what they preach. Nonetheless, my faith in the theory and ideology of a religion based on an open mind, an open heart and sense of social justice and responsibility is something I keep very near and dear to my heart, and my religious faith remains very strong. I think it's largely my religious faith and calling that motivates me to work for peace, justice and true equality.
One thing that is probably very important that I provide is that I have Asperger's Syndrome and have had issues relating to unspoken social rules of etiquette. I'm a very warm-hearted person who always has good intentions and feel I am betraying my ethical and religious duties by ever hurting others, and would never attempt to provide any pain or suffering on anyone, even my enemies, as I do believe in universal unconditional love and the need for acceptance and tolerance with all people, even those who cause me distress. However, I've many times unintentionally (figuratively) stepped on the toes of others and not even realized I've upset someone until they start screaming at me. Obviously, by that time it's too late to have much success in defusing the situation. My heart is very warm and strong and I want a world of universal love, acceptance and communal responsibility and I do feel strongly that if anyone, anywhere in the world is suffering, we all as a society all bare some responsibility. I've found it increasingly difficult, though, as I've had countless friendships and relationships with people blow up in my face, often ending to with someone I thought was a friend or companion deciding they don't even care to speak to me any more. My Asperger Syndrome has led me to considerable depression at times. Over the years I have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dysthymic Disorder (one step below bi-polar disorder in the depression cycle) with tendencies in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Anxiety Disorder. I think generally I'm a fun and exciting person to be around (at least I like to think that way), but I do go through moodiness. I expect someone who is patient, compassionate and understanding may enjoy spending time with me, so long as they can keep up with me!
I am a Unitarian Universalist, a male feminist, a hippie, a pacifist, a political activist, hopeless romantic and a bleeding-heart sentimentalist.