About Elisa

I am a journalist and online organizer who is the co-publisher of this blog. When I am not online, I am shuttling around my two kids, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

TGIF: All About Cuba

What’s up?

I am still on la-la land regarding Cuba. Following President Obama’s announcement to ease restrictions on U.S.-Cuba relations, I couldn’t stop googling speeches, reactions, and reaching out to family. I emailed a cousin on the island and began looking for photos from my visit to Cuba in 2002. I shared in great and painful detail my father’s immigration story and had my kids watch the President’s speech. Just as Cuba was a big part of my childhood in Miami, it is part of their history, too.

Here are the items that piqued my interest immediately following the President’s historic announcement:

Video of President Obama’s speech
Video of President Raul Castro’s speech (transcript in English)
Video of protesters — divided along generational lines — in front of the historic Versailles Cafe in Miami

Here are two nuanced — and hopeful! — pieces by extraordinary Cuban-American writers:

Sound bites don’t capture maturity of Cuban exiles,” Fabiola Santiago for the Miami Herald

“Cuba has always been a fantasy. Can it ever be something close to normal?” Cristina Garcia for the Guardian

For my family’s part, it is bittersweet. Yet necessary. It is a painful experience to be uprooted from your country when you didn’t want to leave. But we realize that the embargo hasn’t worked the last 56 years. It is time to move on.

The morning following the President’s announcement, I received a response from my cousin on the island. It was warm, inviting and she ended it with, “We are all family and we are all Cuban.” I am getting the itch to return to the island and take the kids.

On that note…Happy TGIF all! What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

Glad to see my holiday photos put to good use — including this fundraiser for MomsRising!

It’s that time of year, folks. I am sure I am not the only one approached by friends’ and friends of friends’ non-profit organizations asking for donations. But I do want to share with you why I gave to MomsRising long before I became a staff member here, and why I continue to give annually even though it is nowhere near required of me as an employee.

MomsRising is the one organization that speaks to all of the issues I most care about: healthcare for all, fair pay, food justice and immigration reform, to name a few issues. And our organizing model, both social media campaigns and lobbying in person in in-district offices across the country and on the Hill, is unique and effective. Just check out this list of 26 victories from 2014!

I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of it all. Please do keep us — MomsRising! — in mind at any end-of-the-year charitable giving. We have a donor who has offered to match all donations dollar-for-dollar.

Thank you so much! How are you this morning?

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I did it! I was rundown with a cold, but I managed to send out all holiday cards and package gifts to ship to family and friends this morning. Whew!

I can let down my hair and sip some wine — which I did, too! :)

And yet, one more reason Shonda Rhimes is a bad ass. Her speech accepting the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award is available in its entirety at BuzzFeed. Make sure that the tissues are nearby!

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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TGIF Open Thread

What’s up?

I’ve got nothing. I laid in bed most of yesterday with a cold. I feel much better and am ready to tackle all awaiting in my inbox.

Oh, and we survived the storm yesterday. Actually, it wasn’t bad for us at all. We kept our power and were able to order food to be delivered to our home. DH wondered why the kids were off school at all.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

It’s the second night in a row, in which protests in Berkeley have gone awry with business windows being shattered and graffiti scrawled all over the place. A lot of it has happened in our neighborhood, including our local Walgreens right around the corner from the Daily Kos office — I am terribly disappointed.

Two things I need to get off my chest: the vast majority of the protesters were peaceful. A minority from the anarchist movement starting wreaking havoc. Second thing I wish were made more apparent by the media as “looting” and “rioting” are such racially charged terms: the masked men who were arrested yesterday for breaking store windows were…WHITE.

I’ll update some more in the morning, but I’ve been up from the noise of the helicopters and police. Thought I’d share.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

ICYMI, the Daily Kos ran a heart-warming story about a former NFL player who left at the peak of his career to open a farm and give away food. I was disappointed at the commenters who suggested he should have continued to play to give away money instead. For me, they are missing the big picture here. Not only are the food donations generous, but I am proud of Jason Brown for the larger example he is setting: that there is a such thing as having enough money to live. Also, considering how many communities in the country lack fresh produce and don’t know how to eat healthy, he is setting an incredible example.

Please come to my event! Are any of you on Google Hangout? I will be on with MoveOn’s Joan Blades, the founder of the Log Cabin Republicans and other interesting folks for a trans-partisan discussion on “healing the heart of our democracy” tomorrow 2pmET. You can view the live chat here.

Pregnancy Discrimination Breakthrough?: I’ve got my eyes glued to the news today as the U.S. Supreme Court listens to a historic case regarding pregnancy discrimination. My MomsRising colleagues and our members are among those lending their support outside the courthouse. This makes me feel hopeful that one day none of our daughters will be forced to choose between their jobs and their pregnancies. Progress!

And, yes, we have various virtual initiatives going on as well. Among them is a #WellnessWed twitter chat devoted to pregnancy discrimination and the case itself at 1pmET TODAY. I’ll be tweeting in Spanish, while our “Rolling” will be doing so in English. Please join us!

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I am bone weary tired. Last week, DH and I took off from work to purge our house of years’ worth of junk and prepare for the holidays. We got through the kitchen, our bedroom, the master bathroom, and living room. We cleared out ten heavy-duty construction bags of junk — which we have to take to the transfer station — and six regular trash bags of clothes that went to Good Will. By the time we got to the “fun” part of buying the tree and decorating the inside and outside of the house, I thought to myself, “Why are we doing this? We don’t need any more stuff!” lol.

I meant to take pictures to show off our progress, but I just can’t muster the strength.

How are you this morning?

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Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

Quick update on the cleaning: Damn, we have a lot of junk. On Day 1 (Monday), DH and I worked for about three hours, scrubbing and purging to finish…a corner of our kitchen. We could not believe how dirty it was and how much stuff — three hefty bags full of crap — was stashed away in drawers and cupboards.

We’ve been purging one room at a time and have finished the kitchen and are halfway through our bedroom. I purged a box of books and at least three trash bags of clothes. DH another two bags. We are never shopping again. lol!

Up next? Finish the bedroom and start the master bathroom. We are going to have the kids clean their rooms this weekend. DH and I agreed that the rest of the house is going to have to wait until Christmas break. We just have way too much stuff. Ugh.

In the meantime, I’ve taken breaks to read news and email. I was intrigued by this Huffington Post slide show presentation on school lunch foods around the world.

Also, I was saddened by the grand jury decision in Ferguson. A teenager is shot six times and killed by the very person in charge of protecting him. When did the police become judge, jury and executioner in this country? Shudder….

I did take a moment to sign this MomsRising petition to the Department of Justice. As we go into Thanksgiving tomorrow, I can stop thinking of the empty seat at Mike Brown’s family’s dinner table. Terrible.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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