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La Vida Craigbert

Craigbert colorCraigbert, or a really accurate portrait

During my IBM and Charles Schwab years (1976-95) I lived La Vida Dilbert [dilbert.com], seriously hardcore.

Dilbert really captures the truth of much corporate life, and does so perfectly from the software worker's perspective. It's also a brilliant commentary on organizational behavior.

Personally, I have to always commit to the Dilbert attitude, that things can be better, and that can be very trying when I spend time in Washington or in the nonprofit world.

It'd be too easy to lose hope, and then to work the system much like Wally, or many of the lobbyists of K Street. (There are genuine public service lobbyists, but not a lot.)

Anyway, Scott Adams lives in the Bay Area, not far away, and I tremendously appreciate what he does. I read Dilbert each and every day, not only new strips, online, but on paper.

Scott, thanks!

Are You Ready to Vote?

Folks, we're only 2 weeks away from National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), on September 23. In 2008, 6 million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register. In 2014, Your Vote!NVRD's continuing their efforts to make sure everyone has a fair chance to vote.

And please remember that the Declaration of Independence reminds us that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes voting rights.

You may wonder what NVRD will actually accomplish, and according to their site, the purpose of this day is to:

      • Register Voters: A network of a thousand orgs operating on the ground and through social media will register tens of thousands of voters in the field and tens of thousands more online while also receiving pledges to vote from those already registered.
      • Mobilize Volunteers: By partnering with nonprofits not usually engaged in voter registration drives, and amplifying existing drives through event-based recruitment and cultural outreach, National Voter Registration Day will bring together thousands of volunteers across the nation to register voters.
      • Educate Eligible Voters: Millions of voters need to register and re-register every year. By utilizing new technology and leveraging partners, we'll educate more Americans than ever before, bringing new voters into the fold.
      • Change the Conversation: National Voter Registration Day will be an opportunity to put our differences aside and celebrate the rights that unite us as Americans; democracy.

celebrating democracy

I also want to acknowledge all the folks who really have their boots on the ground. National Voter Registration Day has been made possible in part by a working group of orgs providing coordination and support. These organizations include, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, Nonprofit VOTE, Rock the Vote, and Voto Latino.

They've also created a Partner Toolkit, which is a collection of resources for you to use in an effort to organize events and activities leading up to National Voter Registration Day 2014.

The Toolkit includes a field guide, communications guide, graphics, and legal guides by state, please check that out. Make sure to share this stuff, and use the hashtag, #CelebrateNVRD.

And, if you're planning an event, make sure to add it to NVRD's event directory so others in your community can be aware and get involved.

In the past, I created a list of reasons I think it's important to vote. Check it out, and let me know if you have anything to add.

Are you registered to vote?

8 Things Only a Nerd With an Appreciation for Nature Will Understand

  1. Craig and the Mrs are ok with our four 2am visitors…they hang out in the birdbath that the pigeons dominate in the day.
    coons
  2. It's imperative to photograph home office visitors. A recent visitor to my home office, right from The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill….
    parrot
  3. Always use the Squirrel-resistant Suet Palace, or risk full takeover from the squirrels. (note to self: refill the Palace)
  4. New bird alerts are included in my list of important news. For example, recently spotted a Swift, possible a Vaux's. Will assign spouse to get a photo.
  5. Home cooking at Eileen and Craig's place:
    home cooking
  6. So, I'm walking through Union Square, and I see this hawk flying to the roof of a clothes store, and the hawk is helping the city with its rat problem, if you know what I mean…
  7. You don't need a rainmaker when you have this sorta backyard:
  8. Some days spent working to identify the Cole Valley mystery tree! Could be New Zealand Christmas Tree or maybe Red Flowering Gum. Do you know? Thanks!
    mystery

 

A reminder: if the photo's a good one, probably taken by Mrs Newmark

6 Women Run Startups to Check Out

Good news, according to a report released by the Center for American Progress:

  • the number of women-owned firms in the US grew by 59% from 1997 to 2013—1.5x the national average.
  • Women of color are the majority owners at close to 1/3 of all women-owned firms in the nation.
  • African American women are both the fastest-growing segment of the women-owned-business population and the largest share of female business owners among women of color, at 13%.

Here are 6 women-run startups you should check out:

1. Love With FoodAihui Ong, Founder and CEO. Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Their subscription membership starts at $10/month. For every box sold, they donate a meal to several food banks, like the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry.

love with food

2. TurboVote Kathryn Peters, Co-founder & COO. A reminder system for voters so that you don't miss an election. They make voting easy by helping you register to vote (or updating your voter registration), helping you get absentee ballots and vote by mail, and by sending you reminders so you never forget to vote. turbovote

3. CakeHealth Rebecca Woodcock, Founder and CEO. A free way to manage health care. CakeHealth brings all your health care plans together online so you can easily track your health spending — without the paperwork.

4. LearnUp Alexis Ringwald, Co-founder & CEO. LearnUp solves the skills gap by empowering entry-level job seekers to learn the skills needed to get hired. They develop online trainings in partnership with employers that enables job seekers to practice real life situations of a particular job. By completing the training before they interview, job seekers are prepared for the job and increase their chances of getting hired. LearnUp is building the education-to-employment pathway for those looking for work, while helping employers hire qualified talent.

learnup

5. Samahope Leila Janah and Sivani Garg Patel, Co-founders. Samahope was one of the first nonprofits to apply the crowdfunding model to the challenges of global health. They support doctors to fund the patient outreach and transportation, food/board, medicines, treatment (personnel and facilities), training, equipment/supplies. They also focus on women and children — The medical treatments they fund, in most cases, disproportionately affect women and children living in the poorest parts of the world. By connecting you directly with the doctors in the field, Samahope closes the gap between the donation, itself, and the impact it has on someone’s life.

samahope

 

6. MoolaHoop Brenda Bazan and Nancy Hayes, Co-founders. MoolaHoop is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform that enables women entrepreneurs seeking to raise funds for their small business. MoolaHoop enables women-owned, -managed and –led small businesses to easily engage their "crowd" of existing customers, potential customers, family and friends in order to raise funds for their business.

moolahoop

What are your favorite women-led startups? And who would you add to a 2.0 version of this list? More to come…

Why Men Must "Lean In" to Support Women's Leadership

Our times call for  some innovators and women leaders who work in partnership with men. Again, this is about my commitment to fairness.

Basically, it's time we get more women into public office. I recorded this video about fairness and getting better government everywhere, maybe indulge me? It's about creating real social change, for the better.

I've joined up with the Women In Public Service Project to play my part. I'm working with them to host a call to action to champions of change around the world. You can be a part of this movement, too…

(I also recorded a video about how to use social media better, for equality. Maybe it'll help ya out.)