Saturday, May 09, 2015
A Facebook post pointed out that our political leaders were distant figures. The truth is politicians are surprisingly easy to meet since they need not only votes, but the volunteers and monetary contributions to get them. Many of the politicians are people persons, energized and delighted to be in crowds, and the more successful ones have no small sense of charisma and charm. The gateway to getting to know them are the civic groups and more mainstream activist leagues. I went to an Italian-American gala in San Jose and met a county leader, who was one of the sponsors. He and I were not Italian-American, and I did not live in Santa Clara county, but I still got postcards and invitations for years from both him and the group. I worked a phone bank for a state legislator, who later became Berkeley mayor, and I had some interesting conversations at receptions with other politicians, including the congressional representative and a superior court judge. These days, though, I am very careful not to leave my contact information at gatherings and caucuses.