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The Chili Bowl Democracy Cell
Ben's chili is hot, and so was the weather tonight. But about 40 people gathered to think about the various issues facing DC citizens.
For more on the issue of DC voting rights, go here.
But the lesson I want to share here is the one Ven Neralla, from Rep. Barbara Lee's office, shared with the group.
This group, by the way, is a Democracy for America group, one of many meetups discussing the Lee Resolution of Inquiry tonight.
It was hot. People were a little uncomfortable. Someone asked how we could get Congressmembers to respond to our requests. After all, we have no vote in Congress.
Ven pointed out that it was pressure from constituents in Rep. Adam Smith's district that brought him in. And that Delegate Norton needs to hear from us in order to come on board.
There was some silence in the room while people thought about empowerment, futility, and what it will take.
I was reminded of something Howard Zinn wrote when we asked him how we will know when the actions that need to be taken start:
"Must we know when they start? Instead of looking, waiting, observing, we should just act and it will gradually become obvious. John Dewey said: 'Don't predict, so you'll know what to do. Do, so you'll know what to predict.'"