Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

It Could Happen Here Weekly 76

It Could Happen Here Weekly 76

Sat, 25 Mar 2023 04:01

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And now the best man! Uh, I was gonna play in this speech out while I got my oil change, but I went to take five, and it was a lot faster than I thought, so here he goes. Okay. Tim, you were my first friend. Angela, you were my first. Yeah, I never thought the two of you would make it, but I guess love really is blind. No, no, no, I mean in a good way! I'd take five, your oil change is faster than you think. Take five, the stay in your car, ten-minute oil change. Welcome to Biggie Burger. I'll take a cheeseburger. Two door or four door. What? Sorry, I'm shopping for a new car on the Roto app. Did you know that Roto finds discounted rebates specific to each customer? That's kind of cool. Right, so you get the car you want, at the price you want. It's like getting your burger, just how you like it. Get every rebate and discount available. Then save big on your next car with Roto. Download the Roto app or check out The easiest way to buy or sell a car right from your phone. I'm Eva Mendez and when I heard that the average kitchen sponge is 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat, I made finding a sponge good enough for my family and my home, my mission. That's when I discovered Skura Style sponges. They're anti-microbial so they don't smell and tell you when it's time to replace them. So if you never want to touch another stinky, soggy, bacteria-filled sponge again, go to That's Hey everybody, Robert Evans here and I wanted to let you know this is a compilation episode. So every episode of the week that just happened is here in one convenient and with somewhat less ads package for you to listen to in a long stretch if you want. If you've been listening to the episodes every day this week, there's going to be nothing new here for you. But you can make your own decisions. I did eat a whole sleigh of Oreos in front of a 7-Eleven today and was scolded by a 10-year-old. It was for medical reasons. Okay, how am I going to introduce it? That's the start. That's the start we already got. Okay, yeah, we do Oreos. Yeah, fuck 10-year-old children. Okay, I guess. Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is where it work and today everyone because it's Monday, we are starting something that we like to call shitty-mehs Monday. I don't know, also actually let us put shitty in the title. We can't ask for that. We'll think about it. That's what we're calling it. We're calling it on the fucking recording. It can't stop us here. It'll be funny if it just had like 10 seconds of bleep and then it was like a mess Monday. I'd said some truly unfathomable shit. We've noticed that across America, right, there are a lot of mehs who ran and were elected as liberals, progressives, certainly as Democrats, but tend to have governed in a particularly shitty, terrible way that it doesn't really have any material difference from a Republican mayor, but the way that they post on Instagram is a little bit different. I guess that is nice. We're starting with the town I live in, which is San Diego, and with the mayor we have who is Todd Gloria. The people might have heard of Todd Gloria. Last year we did an episode with several people who work with UnHouse, people in San Diego, mutual aid workers, advocates, and they spoke a lot about Todd Gloria, not in glowing terms, but we spoke about Todd Gloria. We're going to talk about his record on homelessness. We're going to talk about his life a little bit, and then we're going to look at the promises he made when he was elected, I guess, and the things that he's done, which it will shock you to hear about the same things. We're also going to talk about his hip-hop video. Hit weight, because. Yeah, yeah, buddy. Really? Yeah, no, he did return of the Mac, but hilariously changed it to Todd Gloria's back. Oh. Yeah, no, if you want to see some problematic lip syncing, you're going to. Okay. All right. I guess. I did a local newspaper headline that called it the cringiest video ever, which is Rare Win for local media. Well, everyone's going to know why a local news does one good thing. Yeah, they occasionally. Like a stopped clock. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. All right. So when Todd Gloria talks about his early life, he talks about being the son of a maid in a gardener. And it's a way, I think, of distinguishing himself from the very few elites who have held power in the city for a very long time, right, people whose names are on every building. But his dad's LinkedIn profile tells a little bit of a different story. According to his own LinkedIn account, Phil Gloria, age 64, has been in the aerospace industry for many years, including as a production controller at General Atomix, who people might remember as the manufacturers of the predator and reaper drones. Oh. Yeah, so it's a slightly different story, right? It's different from maiden a gardener. Prior to working at General Atomix, Phil Gloria worked for 14 years, the supervisor of United Technologies, another aerospace and technology company. Gloria has clarified later that his parents didn't work in those specific fields, the son of a maiden, a gardener thing recently, but they did when he was born. So he wasn't, he's not, yeah. No, that's bullshit. Like I could, I could, I could take this argument and argue that like I am the child of like a pancake maker and a dishwasher like this is, yeah, yeah, it's like, it's, it's sort of classic, like this classic politicians, right? Like telling enough of the truth for it not to be a lie, but maybe not telling the whole truth. And like, I don't like, like my folks worked in agriculture and I was a kid, they still do, but like, they also worked very hard, you know, to provide for me and get a better space in life and I wouldn't want to run them down by down to grating the work they did. But hey, I don't want to be a man, right? Um, yeah, it also like, also like, you know, you don't get to do your fucking like burnishing working class credentials and then your dad worked for a fucking like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. None of my parents have ever made a reaper drone. So I guess I do have that in my favor. It is an extremely San Diego story. Uh, in 2020, it's the San Diego Union Tribune wrote, he was running so does San Diego story that allowed his mother, a hotel maid and his father, a gardener to work hard at a for the home doesn't end with their generation. That story seemed to admit the glaring reality that San Diego is one of the least affordable cities in the world right now. Uh, and it's housing as unaffordable as it ever has been and it's got worse since Togloria became there. So who is Togloria? He's an errol member of the Tlingit Hider Indian tribe of Alaska. He was born and raised in San Diego and graduated from University of San Diego with a bachelor's degree in his theoretical science. He began his career at San Diego's Health and Human Services Agency and then he worked with congresswoman Susan Davis who became his mentor. He was elected to the city council in 2008 and 2012 and served as interim mayor from August 2013 to March 2040. He was also elected to the California State Assembly in 2016 and 2018 and he chose not to seek re-election for the Assembly when he launched his campaign for mayor in 2020. So he's done the kind of the sort of the climb up of offices that you see a lot of these folks do right and I'm sure that he has ambitions to run for further office that would be my guess. And so in 2020 he was elected mayor of San Diego. He became our first gay mayor, our first mayor of color, our first indigenous mayor. It was a lot of first for us and like it is good to have a gay indigenous mayor, right? Like if we're going to have a mayor, you know, like it's nice that it's a position that's over to more people. But unfortunately he hasn't done a lot else to encourage upward social mobility. He made a big push for private sector housing building as opposed to subsidized public housing and he promised police reform in a 2020 op-ed for the Union Tribune. Gloria wrote, We watched in horror as George Floyd was killed by four Minneapolis police officers, Mr. Floyd and other victims of excessive force by law enforcement demand that we revisit reconsider and reimagine how police operate in our community and how we expect them to interact with the public. It's time we work together to create a more just system of policing. The primary responsibility of government is protect its people, all people. Many of us don't feel safe or protected, particularly our black community. So it seems like a pro at least reform statement, right? He went on to say whether it's our mental health crisis or our homelessness crisis, we resort to the same solution. Send the police and arrest people. We have to stop severely penalising some people for minor missteps and invest in lifting people up from difficult situations. I always put a pin in that as we talk about his politics. It will shock you to hear that he's done exactly that. He also wrote the rapidly expanding and secretive use of digital surveillance of our community members is unconstitutional and it should end. Again, put a pin in that as we get back to discussion of the cameras that we're putting on street lights in San Diego. So in a PDF of his plan to end homelessness, which has been removed from his campaign website, but was sank-free preserved by our friends at Voice of San Diego, Gloria wrote, no more criminalising the existence of San Diego's poorest and sickest residents. He also told right-wing new station KUSI that San Diego cannot claim to be America's finest city or even a great city when thousands of people live unshelted and dying on our streets. It's time to stop the band-aid, the temporary solutions and bad policy from city hall on this issue. He said as mayor, my administration will prioritise ending chronic homelessness. I will focus the city's energy and resources on results, oriented programmes, proven to get homeless individuals off the street connected to services and back on their feet. To be fair, one is that any person who is running from mayor or is a system advocate lying to you about what they're going to do. The second thing is if you ever hear someone say the word results oriented, it is time to grab the largest saber you have. Get to work. Yeah. As we'll discover, the results that he's oriented towards somewhat disappointing. I was going to say for all of us, hashtag for all of us is his campaign slogan. It's just a very cringe. I don't know. It's very sad when we see the impact of this for the least fortunate people in San Diego and it is very funny, but when you see how this plays out on the street, it's also very sad. You know what is also very funny and sad, Mia? The Ronald Reagan coin. Yes. It's a Ronald Reagan silver coins that pay for my friends to get hormones. So please enjoy these adverts. Thank you, Ally Ronald Reagan for funding my HRT. Thanks, Ronnie. All right. We're back and we're talking about Tolgloria, San Diego's mayor. Before the break, we talked about his promises. Let's see how he did on those promises. I want to start with January 9, 2021. Tolgloria taken office a few days before. If you can cast your mind back then, there have been a significant event at the capital, a couple of days before. Proud boys, neo-Nazis, author of sorted chuds, decided to visit San Diego three days after they visited the capital. Anti-fascist assembles show them they weren't welcome. The police responded by declaring the anti-fascist assembly illegal, escorting the chuds around Pacific Beach as they did various crimes and trying to shoot me in the dick with peppables. Garrison's just smirking. I thought, Gloria, the guy who ran on police reform had this to say. Mayor Gloria spoke candidly about what happened at the capital and how that's reverberating around the country. After seeing what happened in Washington on Wednesday, what are you doing out on our streets supporting that mess, right? Racism, fascism, anti-democracy. Why would you choose to be out there? Gloria says despite his feelings, San Diego supports peaceful protests of all kinds. But on Saturday, police say three people were arrested and five officers suffered minor injuries. We're asking for the public's assistance in helping us identify some of those folks who we were not able to apprehend yesterday to make sure they're held accountable. These are people on both sides of the debate. Both sides. Yeah. So some of you will remember some other people have called out people on both sides of the debate. So I think the most blatant sort of thing he did with regards to the police comes after Derek Chauvin, the cop who murdered George Floyd, was convicted of murder. I guess a few of you can probably remember where you were that day I can remember where I was and it was at the very least like after an entire summer of protest, right? It was like the smallest token instance accountability, but I guess at least it was something. And in that moment, Tolkloria, who was looking at the same thing that nearly everyone was looking at in this country that day, right? He thought about what he wanted to do and he decided that rather than talking to the black organizers who have been a street for almost a year and have been pepperable, tear gas and mace to never stop demanding justice, he was instead going to call the cops. Many such cases. Yeah. Yeah, and check that the video that the verdict wasn't making them sad. What he did was took over the entire police like scanner radio thing and delivered a message to the cops, which I've got audio of here. Colleagues, this is Mayor Todd Gloria. I want to address each and every single one of you who globally serve our great city. Today's verdict is just the beginning of building a deeper trust with our community. Justice, this is today someone who does not represent you or us or our department or who we are at the nation. So I want you to hear from me today. I know who you are. You are people who help complete strangers on the worst day in their life. You are people who believe in collaboration and community. You are people who put your lives on the line every single day to protect this city. I and the people who say, I do not are grateful for your dedication and your service. With today's decision made, it is time for all of us to come together to feel and to move forward. Please take care of yourself of each other and of the people of this great city. Be safe, everybody. Has anyone ever said the words to move forward and not be like not just be an absolute dipshit? This sounds like it was written by an AI. If you had a chat GPT for a liberal mayor, it would look hugely different to what we have in the industry. Liberal mayor statement. Yes, yes. So this. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Chat GPT, right? Liberal mayor writing a peon to the cops. Now it's time to heal and come together as a community. Yeah. Yeah. Stop with your black lives mattering. It's scary. Yeah. Yeah. It was extremely cringe, like especially when you consider how it differs from what he was saying just a few months ago, and that again, like this was about a man who murdered someone and that somebody in send it wasn't SGPD who killed the person, but somebody in San Diego died in similar circumstances with someone doing a corrected restrain on them. A few days before this, Gloria also proposed a budget. In his budget, he proposed that we cut library hours significantly and lay off 153 library employees, but give the police $19 million more than a previous year. The previous year, I'd probably don't have to remind people is a year in which San Diego and so turned up in droves at Zoom Council meetings to urge the city to do the exact opposite of this. Let's check in on that surveillance claim he made. You remember that he said it was unconstitutional, right? So, in my second of this year, told Gloria in a shocking vault fast tweeted street light cameras and license plates readers can be helpful public safety tools. You know, just just just because he thinks it's unconstitutional doesn't mean he doesn't think it's right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, he's once again been held back from protecting the people of San Diego by that pesky constitution. The city passed strong privacy protections last year. And now it's time for at San Diego PD to use this technology to keep us safe public meetings to get this done start soon. So yeah, we, these street lights, they were deactivated in 2020, but they had previously been introduced and built as a way to assess traffic patterns. But in fact, they never assess traffic patterns. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This will shock you. They put thousands of cameras and microphones on our streets, including one outside a planned parenthood facility. You know, for traffic. You know, the funny is what about this. This was literally the thing about doing traffic science was this was literally Tom Cruise's cover story and like one of the early mission and possible movies. So that's what we have next. It's fucking Scientology coming for San Diego. Yeah, it'll, it'll shock you to hear that we stop using these for very reasonable. People have very reasonable concerns in 2020 that you know, it's not a good idea for the cops to be able to see and hear everything that you do to be able to read your license plate and see everywhere that you go. But I want some back. And if people actually want to follow the discussion about having them back because every single time, like every single public meeting, there's someone and they'll stand up and have a vehement, like position pro cameras. And then it'll turn out that they are like a prosecutor at the DA's office. Oh, really? In one instance, there was a prosecutor in one instance who insisted he was there in his personal capacity. But like the lieutenant for Sarron is defending all this is. He's surveillance cameras that are being posted around the Lurith curious. Yeah. This is guy whose name is not Big Brother is here to advocate for it. Having cameras in your home. The king of the Oral Kai is backing Sarron on this news surveillance for a craft. Bees wearing a fake mustache so you can't tell who he is. So let's look at what he said about stopping criminalising homelessness, right? This is a big, big issue in San Diego. We have a massive and growing unhoused population because our rents are exceptionally high and our wages are not. So the number of unhoused people has increased on the Gloria, so of deaths on the street, which hit a record of 574 in the county last year. So that's more than a one person dying every single day in the streets, right? He's opened some shelters, but some shelters are scheduled to close. The shelter beds and traditional transitional housing provided have failed to go out to San Bray as the unhoused population. But seven stopped him taking photos and claiming every single one is a huge set forward. We also continue to build what are called congregate shelters, which don't give people privacy, which don't give them a lot of people might not want to go into a congregate shelter, into effectively a dormitory. There are a number of reasons why you might not want to do that. And yet that's what we're building. There are also some other sort of single log capacity shelters, but nowhere near enough. He's been a huge backer of something called California's care court. Are you guys familiar with the care court at all? No, no. This shit is dystopian. This could be a whole episode. Everyone there will be care stands for community assistance, recovery and empowerment, which with food. I have a feeling that this is not going to be about empowerment. Yeah. When it's empowering someone, Garrison, but it's not empowering to people who might want to empower, what it is in practice is a massive expansion of forced conservatorship. So I'm going to quote from human rights watch here. Human rights watch said the plan promotes a system of involuntary coerce treatment in force by an expanded judicial infrastructure that will in practice simply remove unhoused people with perceived mental health conditions from the public eye without effectively addressing those mental health conditions. Jesus. Yeah, it's pretty bad. It doesn't provide money for mental health services. It takes money that's already existing in a budget and puts it across to court mandated treatments. It doesn't provide housing, which the multiple studies show that housing versus approach, a housing first approaches a way to solve homelessness. Instead, it allows for a broad range of people, which include family members, first responders, including cops and outreach workers, the public guardian, service providers and the director of the county behavioral health agency to refer individuals to the jurisdiction of the court to take away their autonomy and liberty. Very broadly covers people it describes to having schizophrenia, spectrum or other psychotic disorders. It's a system judges can force people into treatment and housing if they don't comply, they can be forced into conservatorship. Now, obviously evidence doesn't support the conclusion that involuntary outpatient treatment is more effective than intensive voluntary outpatient treatment. And indeed, it does show that involuntary coercive treatment is harmful. But isn't really about people with mental health. It's about keeping unhoused people where they can't be seen. Human rights watch claims that this violates due process and international human rights conventions. And yet, like, Claude Doria and Gavin Newsom, to be fair, who I'm sure will run for president soon, have been cheerleading this. And it's, it's, like, I'm surprised it hasn't got more press coverage internationally and I'm nationally, sorry, because it's a massive assault on personal freedoms. And it's extremely easy to effectively say that somebody quote unquote, need mental health, her force to submit to conservatorship. And if they're not willing to attend these treatments, they're not able to attend these treatments, they're not willing to go into the housing that they are assigned, let's say that they don't want to live in, in Congress at housing, right? Or something like that. And, or they're in housing with someone who they don't feel comfortable or safe with. And they can be forced to conservatorship and effectively lose all their liberty rent. Yeah, it's pretty bad. It's a new and exciting way of criminalizing homelessness effectively. And like I said, it doesn't provide housing. It doesn't provide funding for behavioral health care. It just directs existing funding to court mandated programs. And so I could pick hundreds of other examples of this talk glorious stuff. And I want to pick one more to focus on. And it's something that I think it gets a little bit into like inside politics, grifty stuff. But it like it has ruined a good number of careers in San Diego politics and I'm really heavily indebted to that plan and voice of San Diego for their reporting on this. And let's start by talking about public restrooms. So I think most of us going to agree that like having a safe place to shit and wash your hands is a pretty basic human right. But in San Diego, it's something that not everyone has. So since 2000, four grand jury reports have worn the cities in adequate public restroom infrastructure could become a public health threat. That's what happened in 2017 and 2018 when a hepatitis A swept through the city, sickening 582 people and killing 20. So after the heppet, yeah, it's not a thing that like you expect right in like like on the left coast in America's finest city. Most Americans will not encounter thankfully hepatitis in their lifetime. And sadly, maybe this isn't our only hepatitis outbreak. So that's great. Oh no. And so after the heppet outbreak, the city stopped locking restrooms at night, which had done previously, but that changed with the COVID pandemic when the facilities were temporarily closed. And some have since not returned to 24 seven service. Following this, a 2021 Shy Gellar outbreak, second at least 41 homeless residents, most of whom were staying in central San Diego, further shed light on the city's restroom issues. Much as this was dealt with in a great report by Bella Ross in the voice of San Diego, to which Gloria commented, the goal here isn't to add as many permanent public restrooms as possible. The goal is to help get unsheltered residents off the streets and into safe sanitary shelter and permanent housing. And like, I don't quite know where he was going for here, but not having a place to shit is an everyone issue. This isn't just an unhoused issue, right? Like everybody poops and not all of us live in houses and have giant offices in city hall downtown. And so it was this bizarre kind of gaslighting approach that like we fundamentally have an issue with access to bathrooms and just to try and like reframe this as another issue where he's also failing was it's kind of indicative of their response, but also very bizarre. And where the city has installed new bathrooms, they're often installed by private groups as part of development projects, which is great, right? A good old public private partnership has never gone wrong before. So it will shock you to hear that these private groups are responsible for maintaining and securing these facilities. And this means that they're often locked. So despite literal human shit being all over downtown and people being forced to endure the massive indignity of having nowhere to poop. In December 2022, research by SDSU's Project for Sanitation Justice found that less than half of city's permanent restrooms could be considered truly open access and that just two permanent facilities were available around the clock seven days a week. Gloria has later acknowledged that city has an issue, but he's chosen to blame residents. I just need folks to quit acting a fool in these bathrooms. I mean, it's not just the homeless population, it's everybody, he said an interview. In February 2023, nearly five years after the last outbreak, San Diego County again began recording an uptake and hepatitis A cases, which is great, right? We're back to where we started. But this reporting was met with absolutely unhinged responses on Twitter from some glorious staff. They call themselves the Todd Squad. That sucks. Yeah, it's pretty bad. So no total responses come from Dave Rollin to left the old weekly city beak for a job in PR and Rachel Lang who she's Todd's, I think, head of public relations. She spent June of 2020 posting about Black Lives Matter whilst also doing volunteer public relations work for the cops. Wow. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. There's like, there's like a joke on like this. This is like a sort of pejorative label for it. Okay, so on Chinese Twitter, there's this joke calling people unpaid 5 cent army, which is like, this is 5 cent army is like, or the number of cents changes over time. It's like, yeah, there's these be a thing where like you get paid by the government to get like like to like you get paid per post to like post. Oh, wow. Whatever fucking shit the Chinese government wanted to like have posts on. But this person is actually literally an unpaid like actually literally, volleying here. Yeah, like volunteer public relations for the cops. Like what the fuck is this bullshit? Oh, yeah, it was really a magical public. It's like, this is the real thing. It's like, this is the real thing. It's like, this is the real thing. It's like, this is the real thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think she framed it as like helping the community and the police talk to one another in a difficult time. Yeah. Yeah, the future is the jaya boot stamping on your face. Is that what people volunteer to paint the boot? Yeah, yeah. That is, yeah, yeah. It is a rainbow boot. Yeah, I mean, you can you can find their feed. Some of the attacks on myself and some of my colleagues are like incredibly petty and unprofessional and also quite a nerving when you consider the huge amounts of tax payment that are wasted on their salaries, which pay them to post. And again, this is a town where people die because they don't have a place to take a shit, but we're paying people to get into Twitter beef. You know, it's also, it's also really cool that like the sort of two axes of American politics are you can't use the bathroom because you're trans and you can't use the bathroom because you don't own one. And then sometimes they just can't reach and it's the same. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, looking. Yeah, that's a hands clasping meme. Locking from the trans people out of the bathroom. Yeah. Okay, so now we're about to get to the Dodd squad's finest hour, which is when they use city resources and work time to make a video of them singing Return of the Mac. And he wasn't Return of the Mac, it was Todd Gloria is back. And yeah, I'm going to make you all watch it. Whoa. Come on. Yeah. When I try to take some, yes, I did. Was that it? Was he walking through it? Yeah, it's City Hall, yeah. Was the first part here walking through a security line at the airport? Yeah, which is funny. That's a security line to get into City Hall. Yeah, okay, okay. Have you never been to a city hall before? I might didn't have that. It certainly does now. It should go. Yeah, it certainly has that now. Yeah, my local town one didn't. Are they saying that the mayor lied to the city? Is that what they're saying? Yeah, the previous man. Oh, the pre-okay, wasn't he the previous mayor? Only for a little bit of time. Then he was entering there. Oh, okay. Okay. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Oh, my God. Did I believe you would you said Eric Atari? Why don't you one guy doing Eric Atari? That was like 12 guys. This feels like it's gone on for like 40 minutes. Yeah. If you're stalling, Brad. There's a point where they come in dressed as flavor flavor, but I think it's here. Anyway, one of them's wearing a medallion. It just says Cox on it. The egg tea tocklery is wearing a medallion here. We can probably, no, no, hang on. Here he is again. Oh. That's some cops. What? What is going on? Why did they go the ground? It was circled. I think the head's touching. There's a person with a Cox medallion again. This is... Is that guy? Okay. This is one of the worst things I've ever seen. What are your people showed up with the chain that it was like an SD for San Diego. When it first comes on to screen, it really looks like a swastika. This is a part of Dray's logo. That's what you have. That's like the ones things. Oh, yes. The part raised in a different genocide. Should it be conflated with the other genocide? I'm guessing this is like a sports thing or something. Yeah, yeah, they already, the sports ball team. That's what I thought. Baseball to be specific. I do that. Very proud of them here. But yeah, as you all have noticed, one of the most cringe things that has ever fucking happened. Yeah, that's pretty rough. It's pretty bad, right? It's pretty crushing when... I have personally known people who have died on our streets and also my merit is making return of the Mac videos. Dress just flavor, flavor. So, I think we're mostly done. I want to talk about one more thing because no review of San Diego politics will be complete without a mention of the giant monument to Griff that is 101 Astrid. So, what is 101 Astrid? In 2016, San Diego leased a downtown high rise, hoping to house city employees. It turned out that the building was riddled with us bestos. And it turns out the city knew it was riddled with us bestos. When it started to lease the building. And they agreed. And then it will shock you to know that they denied this at first. But in the agreement to lease to own the building, it says, that their technologies that the building contains are spestos. And that Semper has maintained an asbestos monitoring and handling program. So eventually in 2019, they managed to move staff in after a renovation that ballooned in cost. In 2020, they were forced to evacuate the building. Because of the asbestos. Since then, DA's investigation has been opened into Jason Hughes, who publicly represented himself as a volunteer advisor to the city according to Voice of San Diego. But unbeknownst to the city collected $9.4 million from Sistera, who owned 101 Astrid. The city attorney's office alleged, but could not prove, that city's former top bureaucrat, Chris Michael, ordered city information technology staff to purge records tied to the 101 Astrid debacle last year. So they can improve as she purged records. But what they do know that she did was pass a confidential legal document to Cory Breaks, a candidate for city attorney. NBC reported that the member included a footnote, which Elliot and others later decried as fabricated. In the footnote, they claimed that Elliot's office made an effort to shield Gloria from an outside probe of the 101 Astrid debacle. The footnote suggested an interview with Gloria might have clarified why the city decided to go forward with the Astrid lease, given Gloria skepticism about a similar past deal. So it's not clear if this if his footnote was real or fabricated, like it did selected it was fabricated. Which it's bizarre, like this whole sort of weird corrupt thing is bizarre. It may it this may well not be true, like to be clear, during this time, Dorian Hargrove, who is a reporter obtained some of those records face legal threat of prosecution from a city attorney and lost his job for obtaining those records. So far, the city has poured more than 60 million into 101 Astrid, roughly the same amount of this annual library budget. It's only occupied the office space for. Yeah, it's great. It's absolutely into this has been occupied for like less than a couple of months for the five years since the city acquired it. Are they do do we do we know what their ties to like the contractors who are doing the renovations are? And that will be an interesting thing guys. She don't know that. Yeah, because that's like that's that's that's like that's the classic Illinois. Grift. Yeah, you just keep keep renovating a building, keep getting donations from the from the contractors. Well, or or the contractors are just your friends. And so that's the question. Yeah, okay. Yeah, keep the money around. Yeah, well, they're not doing any more contracting on it. Yeah, because city agreed to buy the building, which needs $115 million in repairs for 86 million. Fucking last year. Yeah, it's good stuff. Amazing. Yep, this week the UT reported that San Diego's top real estate official did not seek input from her staff or review internal files before recommending a city buy out the 101 Astrid lease. They also reported in that in a confidential memo to the city orders orders office. A non-unless employees wrote the city of San Diego should be aware of the level of waste and abuse that is occurring within the real estate and airport management department, which is led to a toxic hostile revenue wasting and unproductive work environment. Which is great. We did a joke. Yep, this is the San Diego we wanted hashtag for all of us. So this is a lot of inside San Diego politics, right? So it's a lot of lists of things and promises made and promises broken. But I want to come back to the fact that this is a guy who ran for mayor on a ticket, the push compassion and a relatively liberal set of policies. And he's done the exact opposite in his time in the office. He ran as a progressive, but he's done very little to differentiate himself policy wise from mayor's like Republican Kevin Faulkner. Obviously, we're just cracking the lead on some of these policies here. He's consistently chosen to fund it to fund and support the police over the people of the city. He's consistently moved to make it hard to live on the streets and harder to get off the streets. And he's consistently chosen photo opportunities over real governance for the city. His PR people spend hours bashing mutual aid workers like Michael who we had a guest on the show on Twitter and wasting taxpayer money doing it. Just this week, he welcomed right wing maniac, Rishi Sunak, who actually is prime minister of the UK. Despite the fact that people haven't noticed to our city and San Diego State University researchers released a report saying negative interactions with police are driving black people who are experiencing homelessness away from services and housing opportunities. This is what we got from a mayor who positioned himself as a progressive and has governed as a rainbow Republican. So yeah, that's I would say that's all I have to say about to Gloria. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that it's not the case. I will continue to have more to say about to Gloria, but yeah, it's really sad. It's deeply sad. And it like I said, it's funny. The crunchy music video is funny. We'll link to it in the show notes. But it's it's also really deeply troubling that this has real impacts for real people who are already down in the lark and you know living on the streets or experiencing. You know, over aggressive policing or other things that he said he would fix have just got worse and yeah, it sucks. So thanks for listening to me. Why and about my city everyone. And again, my apologies for traumatizing you further with that video. It's fine. Next week, next week, we're well, okay. So we would have been doing Chicago's own version of this exact same person, which is Louis Lightfoot, except to the surprise of absolutely zero people who live in Chicago and everyone who doesn't live in Chicago Lightfoot didn't make it out of her fucking primary. So we're instead of going to be doing Chicago's I once in future while not once the potentially future mayor Paul vales who absolutely sucks ass. So stay tuned for that in another week when I get a yell about Paul vales inflict some truly horrific bullshit on all of you very excited to get my revenge. Yeah, I would look forward to seeing Paul vales his hip hop video. And I'm just sitting there. This is this is worse than anything. Anything the daily liar can throw at me. Yeah, should we just pivot to more come content? Carousine. I was just fuck off. Okay, this has been taken up here. You could find us. It happened here. We're gonna leave before you one of us dies. Wherever you go in the all new Toyota crown, you make a statement because the Toyota crown is the car that always has something to say. It's style that says you're ready to steal the show even when you're not trying and the available hybrid max power train and standard all-wheel drive lets you rule the road and tells everyone to get ready for a show stopping performance every time. Outside the Toyota crown has an innovative design that always makes you look sharp. But it's on the inside where the Toyota crown really does the talking with a premium driver focused interior that puts you in control. When you're ready for a vehicle that makes every entrance a grand one, get behind the wheel of the car that speaks softly but commands attention and makes everyone listen. Introducing the all new Toyota crown, the car that says so much Toyota, let's go places. Excuse me, did you know that when you use the Roto app to buy a car, Roto actually finds all the secret available rebates and discounts specific to you? So the price I see is my unique price? That's right, the lowest and best. Does Roto do this for every customer or just customers named Catherine? Well, that depends. Wait, how do you spell Catherine? K-A-T-A Just kidding, it's for every customer. Get every rebate and discount available and say big on your next car with Roto. I'm Ava Mendes and when I heard that the average kitchen sponge is 200,000 times earlier than a toilet seat, I made finding a sponge good enough for my family and my home, my mission. That's when I discovered skirostyle sponges. They're anti-microbial so they don't smell and tell you when it's time to replace them. So if you never want to touch another stinky soggy bacteria-filled sponge again, go to That's Hello and welcome to Krapenhae. With me, Andrew, of the YouTube channel, Andrew Asum. And today I'm joined by Mia and Kair. Hello, hello, hello. Hello. And I want to talk about cities because I very recently published a video on Sulepung City Planet. I don't know why you're all going to hear this podcast, but I did recently publish it. I need to check that out on my channel. And I thought I'd share a bit more about one particular historical urban planning movement that I talked about in that video. And that is Ebenezer Howard's Garden Cities movement. And his book, Garden Cities of Tomorrow. Are you all familiar with either? No. I don't think so. Yes, so Ebenezer Howard, side note, by the way, I don't know who looks at a child and names them Ebenezer Howard. But he presented this idea of the Garden City concept in 1898 in a book called Tomorrow, A Peaceful Path to Real Reform. Later, he republished in 1902 under the name Garden Cities of Tomorrow. And take note in the title of the book of the use of reform and peaceful path, because it does highlight a noticeable lack within Howard's vision that we'll discuss later. He wants to provide access to the benefits of both town living and country living as he describes it, town and country like magnets drawn people to them. You know, so according to him, town offers vibrant society and opportunity and transportation, but it lacks the beauty of nature. It has pollution, it has crowding, it has disease. I mean, this is Victorian era city, as he's talking about. Please, what's stink? In contrast, the country and country offers the space and the beauty of nature and its abundance, but it lacks society and it can feel isolated and really spread out. So you want to create a hybrid of both concepts, a third magnet of town, country, the combined benefits of both. I have to jump in here and make a secret third thing. Not town, not country, but a secret third thing. We fulfilled our contractual obligations. One joke, all right, I'm going to sign off the call and show you take it from here. So yeah, a secret third thing, how I believe that the ideal living conditions for people of all economic backgrounds can be created by establishing these town, country, cities with very specific parameters run by strong government institutions. In Ebenezer, how it's context, again, no offense to the Ebenezer, the world, but geez, I can't let go of those implications. I think we need to bring back the name Ebenezer, actually. It's been too long since I've seen an infant named Ebenezer, meaning I've never seen one. I feel like we should see more just absolutely absurd all the timey names. What do you call the baby? You call them Ebenezer? You call the baby Ebenezer, the baby's name. Why would you call it the baby's name? I have a different option. Horrible nickname. That is awful. I'm here in the implications. I never want to hear that again. Yeah, I'd address Howard's right in, I was going to call him Howard. Howard's right in during the industrial revolution was in response to the industrial revolution. He was responsible for the urban slums, the pollution, the lack of access to the countryside. Much of his book is dedicated to the idea that cities, as they existed in his time, were not sustainable in the long run. By the middle of the 19th century, with a half of Britain's population lived in towns. In 1900, that proportionality was only over three quarters. But English towns and cities presented social environmental problems of an unprecedented scale. Much of Britain's history in that period could be connected with the efforts to ameliorate the frightening conditions that a lot of people lived in. When it comes to the design, Howard wanted to create these highly structured, carefully laid out communities to provide the best conditions possible for every kind of person. He saw, he wanted to put just like large areas of land from aristocratic owners. I saw setting up garden cities that would house up to 3,000 people in individual homes on 6,000 acres. And that whole vision of individual homes, as I think, it belies a limitation and the imagination there. But it's somewhat understandable considering the historic conditions of the time where people were living in these roof accrowded slums and stuff. And the dream was really to have a home of your own. They didn't have to crowd out. It has to be crowded. You can have to share with others. But anyway, I think a sustainable city should trade the sprawl that single family homes generate for more dense development. For the most part that is, but I digress once again, that's not all his plan and team. His garden cities would also include a huge public garden with public buildings like a town hall, lecture halls, theaters in a hospital. A enormous arcade called the Crystal Palace, not arcade is in video game. We residents would browse a covered market and enjoy a winter garden. Neighborhoods with cooperative kitchens and shared gardens, schools, playgrounds and churches, factories, warehouses, farms, workshops and access to a train line. It's ideal form the garden city to become a network of smaller garden cities built around the larger central town. The idealized vision of the garden city contained very specific utopian elements like small communities, plan on a concentric pattern, third accommodate housing, industry and agriculture surrounded by green belts that would limit their growth. There's a diagram that he did up for his book that has been popularized that represents a concentric circle design. But he didn't believe that that necessarily had to be the shape of the garden city. He still wanted the city to be adapted to the local layout somewhat. And these elements of garden city design were all interdependent. He wanted strong community engagement, he wanted community ownership of land, although he wasn't a socialist mind you. He was a georgist. Oh God, that explains so much. That all of his politics, of course, he was a georgist. Quite an interesting crew of characters. He wanted mixed 10 year homes and housing types that were generally affordable. To go on another day, I find georgism to be such an interesting fixation of a philosophy. It's like looking at all the problems in society. And you know what we need? A land tax. That'll solve things. I mean, obviously, that's the all it is to that political philosophy, that economic approach. I just find it every time I think about it, I find it funny that it was just really like the whole movement was basically this one like. Tax proposal. It's really how it was the whole focus of it. Yeah, that's really funny too, because it has one of the sort of largest like collapses of any ideology ever. Like this is like it was a big ideology, you know, it literally helped to develop the board game monopoly. It was a huge thing. This is something I've actually been looking into a lot. I've been trying to track down some of the original like 1920s copies of monopoly that's more based on the second theory. Yes, I've been trying to find the ones that were like pre-parker brothers. And I found a few, I found a few like two months ago, but before I could order them, it was sold to somebody else on eBay. Another one in the past two months and it's been a bit more challenging, just because I'm kind of a monopoly freak. Yeah, it's really interesting to see how that game was developed and then changed over time and how has it been stepped in? As a task for real pocket brothers, whatever stepped in and did there do to that kind of basic view, redo with the history of the board game entirely. Yeah. But anyway, elements of the garden city, strong community engagement, community ownership of land, mix 10 year homes, housing types are generally affordable, a wide range of local jobs with easy commuter distances of homes, well designed homes with gardens, combining the best of town and country and green infrastructure that enhances the natural environment with strong cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in addition to integrated and accessible transportation. Start all sunshine and roses though. I mean, you could look at the sort of the green washing elements of the garden city design. And even in the time they were criticized, I mean, they were praised for being an alternative to the overcrowing industrial cities, but they also criticized for damage and the economy being destructive to the beauty of nature and being inconvenient. You know, they they wouldn't able to be and furthermore, because they had this sort of top down design philosophy, they weren't able to truly reflect the natural and organic developments of a town or a country, you know, so secret third thing couldn't do either of the things that the original two stuff could do. And then of course, you have the mustache man himself, Marie Bookchin stepping in the limit to the city to. You can't even see the idea of the garden city. He talks about how how it's scheme was basically a system of benevolent capitalism that presumed to avoid the extremes of communism and individualism. And so what was called permeated by an underlying assumption so typically British that a compromise can be struck between an intrinsically irrational material reality and a moral ideology of high minded consideration. Yeah, I mean, I feel like the most brutal part of that is just the typically British point. Yeah, I mean, any look at really the plan that that how it had, you know, the offices and industrial factories and shopping centers that he intended to provide the garden city with. Those spaces are battlegrounds of conflicting social interests, you know, there's really need to deliver their income differences, their disparities of work time and free time. All that conflict is not addressed just because you make a pretty city. You know, there's no resolution to the problems created under a capitalist factory office or shopping center just because you have a nice transit system and a green belt. I feel like some of some of these same problems crop up on some of the solar punk stuff online as well. I mean, we were talking about green washing throughout the solar punk, a set of things, but yeah, it is, it is an interesting interesting aspect that keeps propping up and it's just intriguing that it like dates back over a hundred years ago, like this same exact thing. Yeah, exactly. And funny enough, you know, his garden cities, we even fall in short of utopias that were thought of before his time, you know, like I'm even just utopias, but also actual historical, political experiments that, you know, try to address very social problems, you know, like unlike the Greek pullus, which had some people. It's a face to face democracy. Howard just had a central council and a department structure based elections. Unlike in Thomas Moors, utopia, there's no proposal for rotating agricultural industrial work. Unlike the Paris Commune of 1871, which was established long before Howard wrote his book. He had no sort of incorporation of that sort of political experimentation in the garden city development. The criticism really is how superficial a lot of how it ideas are, right? Like there was just a lack of social analysts analysis in fever of just design. Yeah, George is. Like sure, it would probably be like better than what we have now. But if, but if I know means like fixes all of the systemic issues, it's like Amsterdam, right? I would rather have capitalist and well riding a bike. But bookchin also talks about how these communities are encompassed the full range of possibilities a human experience. Again, quote, because you know, bookchin is low-key or boss, right? Nabiliness, nabiliness is mistaken for organic social intercourse and mutual aid. Well manicured parks for the harmonization of humanity with nature. The proximity of workplaces for the development of a new meaning for work and its integration play. An eclectic mix of ranch houses, slab like apartments and bachelor type flats for spontaneous architectural variety. Shopping market plasers in a vast expanse of lawn for the Agora lecture halls for cultural centers, hobby classes for vocational variety. But neverland trusts so municipal councils for self administration. One can add endlessly to this list of misplaced criteria for community that's used to obfuscate rather than clarify the higher attainment of the urban tradition. Indeed, the appearance of community serves the ideological function of concealing the incompleteness of an intimate and shared social life. Again, boom. And people abroad together, you know, they have all these conveniences and these pleasantries. But they're still culturally impoverished, they're still atomized. They still deal with the stark reality of capitalism in these spaces they're going to inevitably spend most of their day at work. Like it's nice that the city is well designed, but how much of it are you going to get to see if you still have to go to work for eight hours plus a day? I mean, if anything, at least, you know, the commuter will probably be shorter, but that's about it. And that's if you get a job in the city itself. This is interesting because in some ways, the invention of the suburb in the years after this kind of tried to solve for this issue while also just doing it in an incredibly racist way. Like you can see the invention of the suburb of trying to create these little nestled communities, but also getting away from the urban center, which is seen as this scary place full of people who were non-white. So you have like this white flight thing that developed this monotone of the suburb is which in some ways kind of does this, but in a much worse way actually. It makes it makes the idea of the garden city look like a much better alternative to what the suburbs did. And it's just interesting that even the version of this that got implemented was just done in a way that is so much more dystopian and depressing. Yeah, I mean, and Bukchin addresses that comparison to the suburb as well, right? He says in the best of cases, the new towns differ from suburbs primarily because job commutants short and most services can be supplied within the community itself. In the worst of cases, they are essentially bedroom suburbs of the metropolis and add enormously to its congestion during weekend hours. I can't believe Bukchin beat me to the punch on this one. I'm taking out Bukchin you've been bucked in. I'm devastated. This is the first time Bukchin ever has ever has ever beaten me. This is this is this is truly terrible. So, but despite some of these flaws and criticisms, how it was passionate about his idea, right? I mean, he published the books, he also organized like he's actually he's not sitting on Twitter, right? He's actually doing something about his ideas. So he organized this garden city association in 1899 in England to promote the ideas of social justice, economic efficiency, beautification, health and well-being in the context of city planning. That garden city association later became the town and country plan and association which still exists to this day. Women played a very active role and continued to play very active role in the organization. I mean, as Howard says himself in his book, women's influences too often ignored. Here are the ideas. This guy's a feminist. When the garden city is built as a church will be, women's share and they willfully found have been a large one. Women are among the most active missionaries. He's doing some Abdullah Azul on shit now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's a little bit in life, you know? But yeah, the TCP, the town country plan association has continued to campaign for a new generation of garden cities based on modern garden city principles. They will cross sector and government influence policy legislation. There is awareness through guidance and training. They promote affordable homes and inclusive, healthy and climate resilient places. And they try to create textbook barriers, opportunities and practical solutions necessary to make new garden cities a reality. They also are genuinely interested in empowering people to have a real influence over decisions about the environments and to secure social justice within and between communities or at least that is what their website says. Outside of the TCP, the idea of a garden city definitely sort of rooted itself in urban planning and the urban planning tradition. And it did sort of feed into this rise of green spaces within urban landscapes that we now find around the world. The concept of the garden city is definitely still revisited today, but it's considerably different from the ocean idea. It's more so taken the garden city as an inspiration as an aesthetic inspiration. It's about creating greater integration between urban areas and green spaces. In as time though, going back to the late 19th and early 20th century, Howard was a successful fundraiser. Again, he was trying to get things going. In the first years of 20th century, he built two garden cities, garden city and well-win garden city, both in Hartfordshire, England. And both still exist today. Let's work towards it was originally quite successful. It was first, you know, an ancient parish from like the last century and remained a small rule of religion. So the start of the 20th century, when the land was purchased by a company called Fuis Garden City Limited, which was founded by Howard and his supporters. And they went on to establish the United Kingdom's first roundabouts. The solar-shockers, a lot of urban like parkland and open spaces, including a green space named after Howard called Howard Park. After Howard's passing, the first garden city limited was sort of taken over in 1960. And the company so changed how the town was managed. The residents of the local council kind of lost some say. The original garden city ideals were reduced. And the corporation eventually became, for the first company created a corporation, transferred ownership to the corporation, which was now called the Latchworth Garden City Corporation. And then that corporation was replaced by a charter, will body in the 1990s, called the Latchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, which continues to own and manage the estate to this day. Latchworth was sort of an interesting experiment. The people who were founded, who helped to found that town were very much otherworldly as some people would describe them. They, for example, they had a, some people describe them as health freaks. They actually voted on a ban to set against the cell in alcohol, a ban on the cell in alcohol and public premises. Oh boy. So which is, I mean, for a British village, right, in the early 1900s to vote against having a pub, unheard of, right? They did eventually create a pub, but that pub didn't serve any alcohol. Bummer, bummer, hate to see it. Yeah. But Latchworth was still like a rail pioneer, you know? It, it's a pro-Stablin in Tonnen Country was used in the Australian capital, Canberra, in Hellenrow, in Germany, in Tappenila, in Finland, in the Mesoparks, in that field. And of course, in the other garden city, well in, how would it have arranged for that, Latchworth Poochist, by a company called Second Garden City Limited, real creative there. And first, we're going to call the city Diggs Well, but a couple days later, they changed their mind, probably because they're realised that's a dumb name. And they decided to call it well in. I wasn't going to say anything, but yeah, that's not, that's not a great name. Yeah. And so the town is lead out along these tree line pull-of-ards. It's sort of a nude-josh and town centre. There's a lot of grass, a lot of parks, as we expected. And the planners had intended to create the garden city to have like one shop called Well in Stores, which was basically a monopoly that all the residents would expect to shop at. Lastly, I think I want to bring up one final inspiration. I was a bit torn on weather. I would include this one or not, but I said, you know what? I'll be entertaining. And I might want to talk about it further in the future. A certain character, by the name of Walt Disney. Oh no. Drew, great to you. Oh no, this is Epcot. This is the floor. This is the extra-events, or the prototypical city of tomorrow. Yes, this is Epcot. Oh, this is the Florida project. Oh no. Disney's Epcot was designed in concentric circles with a re-needed bough-of-arts. No. This is the worst jump scare I've ever had. Oh, but it should be noted or rather it should be expected that unlike Howard, Mr. Disney envisioned having a lot of puss-known control over the D-today management of life in his city. So really, Epcot was only loosely inspired by Howard's idea of combining the populace with industry. This city would have had a hotel at the center with more than 30 stories and a convention center. There would be an internationally themed town center. There would be a mega-mall. There would be themed restaurants, shops and attractions. There would be a monorail. Yeah, and he sort of, he was a car-free community advocate. He was a bit of a Disney. Yeah, like his plan was that nobody would drive an Epcot to live re-trucks and other automobiles and other automobiles that needed to enter the city. Would be kept underground. So it's kind of like a fusion of Ebenezer, Howard and Elon Musk. That sucks. That sucks. Yeah. Also, this city would be climate-controlled with a glass roof. Yes. I mean, it's funny because he couldn't even do this properly. Like, he couldn't even build this instead. Instead, he got to turn into a bare skeleton of what his original plan was because Epcot failed in so many ways. Reason being that he ended up dying. Even on his deathbed, he was still sketching up designs for Epcot. So he never really got to implement it. Pro-life dictator dies anyways. Yeah, actually, like the actual living communities in Disney World Florida are so different. And in many ways, they're just like another suburb, except you're in a suburb owned by Disney. Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, to be honest, I'll peek into what life would have been like on the Epcot, right? Your home would have been prefabricated and modular, so the materials and technologies could be tested as soon as they were available. By the way, I have nothing against prefab homes. I think they'll be very useful. But Disney's idea was basically your home is prefab so that anytime he wanted to install and update on it, he could. It's great. You know, like the entire city was basically like a guinea pig for any technology you see came up with. And so he wants to really retain absolute control over the city. Like they wouldn't even own anything. Disney alone would own the land so that he and his successors can make updates and changes without ever being slowed down by this pesky thing called citizens votes and rights and all that. It's funny because this is actually now under attack by Ron DeSantis in Florida. The sovereignty of Disney may like change a lot and lost it. I think they're very stripped it. Yes, but but how this plays out in actuality is yet to be determined. Yeah, it is funny that this is actually like this is a very very recent thing. It's like a week or so. But see we will what we can see here is one of the inevitable transitions as we as we saw in British colonial rule in India, which is that direct corporate rules always replaced by indirect corporate rule via the state. Yeah, for knowledge. Yeah, it's in some ways we will probably learn that it was better to live under Disney than Ron DeSantis. But that is not saying much. Next to the hero wins up for DeSantis. Will no do not do not call that to be it's just it's just it's just it's literally just like 18 getmo exhibitions. Oh lord. I mean DeSantis world will just be the United States with the residential election. Sure, sad but true. But let me tell you a bit more about Epcot, right? If you were 18 or older, you have to have a job. Also, you don't get to retire. Nobody's allowed to retire. You only get to stop working if you either die or leave. And they say one way out. Also, he and reason being he believes it prevents slums or gettles from forming in any part of his magical city. Because I mean, if everyone has a job that nobody will be struggling to pay rent or eat right. Funnily enough, of course, a lot of Disney workers today can't afford to pay rent or eat. But hey, the theoretically everybody in Epcot will have their basic needs met. Also do in exchange for that they wouldn't have any privacy because Epcot was also supposed to be like a tourist attraction. You know, you look outside you window and tourists are like looking inside you and knew. That was a thing that was Epcot, thankfully, it wasn't fully implemented. I mean, some people have said that Singapore is like a dystopian city state run by Disney. But we could talk about that another time. That's the basic rundown on garden cities past present and future. The idea of it I think was notable admirable good effort, but flawed. And because it lacked a strong ideological foundation and economic foundation and analysis that took into account the contentions, baked within society that you know manifests in the urban landscape. And I think it's a clear warning that for solar pumps and for people who are interested in urban planners, a whole that. You know, aesthetics is not everything design is not everything, you know, they asked me some some meat to those. They say some meat underneath that flesh was really way ahead of knowledge, but yeah, yeah, no, but like yeah, the principle of. Okay, I'm just going to I'm going to abandon the Walter Benjamin thing I was going to do there, but no, try it keep keep going keep going. We're going to be we're going to be a Walter Benjamin thing. I haven't actually read any of his stuff in like five years. But one of the things things was when politics is sort of displaced or converted into aesthetic, it becomes fascism. So don't do that. In fact, have actual politics and not simply reduce your politics to an aesthetic or to aesthetics, etc. etc. Yeah. True. All right. Well, that's it for me. You can follow me on slash andrism on Twitter at underscore say not saying true and on slash andrism. You can find us at happen here pod or cool. So media on Twitter and Instagram. And you can find me tweeting about my desire to understand the mechanics of how Disney world operates at hungry bow tie mostly on Twitter. Yeah. Wherever you go in the all new Toyota crown, you make a statement because the Toyota crown is the car that always has something to say. It's style that says you're ready to steal the show even when you're not trying and the available hybrid max power train and standard all-wheel drive lets you rule the road and tells everyone to get ready for a show stopping performance every time. Outside the Toyota crown has an innovative design that always makes you look sharp. But it's on the inside where the Toyota crown really does the talking with a premium driver focused interior that puts you in control. When you're ready for a vehicle that makes every entrance a grand one get behind the wheel of the car that speaks softly but commands attention and makes everyone listen. Introducing the all new Toyota crown the car that says so much Toyota let's go places. So instead of selling my car using the roto app on my phone, I posted an ad online. Now it's non-stop phone calls and people at my door. I'm Larry. I'm here about the sedan. Not now Larry. See, roto will buy your car or even buy you out of a lease without the hassle. Hey, I'm not a hassle. Yes, our Larry. Use roto to buy a new car or sell your existing car or lease in just minutes. Download the roto app or check out now. I'm Ava Mendez and when I heard that the average kitchen sponge is 200,000 times earlier than a toilet seat, I made finding a sponge good enough for my family and my home, my mission. That's when I discovered Skura Style sponges. They're anti-microbial so they don't smell and tell you when it's time to replace them. So if you never want to touch another stinky soggy bacteria-filled sponge again, go to That's Welcome to Can I have been here at the podcast that I am Neo Wong occasionally hijacked talk about Asian American stuff. I'm pretty interesting. Asian American stuff happened which is that there was a massive sweeping cultural victory question mark for the Asian American community TM when everything I for all at once did. I'm getting conflicting sources about exactly the record that I said at the Oscars but it won seven Oscars did very well everyone is very happy. Yeah, so I decided that I was going to use this to talk about some other stuff that is related to it. And with me to talk about many things including sort of the family in patriarchy in Asian American culture and media is Tiffany Yang a filmmaker from New York Tiffany welcome to the show. Hi, I think it's probably me on thanks thanks for being on so we were trying to figure out how precisely we want to sort of start this because. You know that there's a lot of sort of angles you can take I think that the thing that I want to start with is like a okay everything ever all at once is a very good movie in a lot of ways and I think it's sort of it is kind of the apotheosis of a structure of Asian American media that I've talked about before on this show. I'm going to run through a brief explanation of what this is so something that I yeah I talked about it before that that I think about a lot is the way in which Asian American media has been it has a basically a structural form it has there's a very specific story or set of story structures into which anything you're trying to tell has to be fit. And that that series of things is okay so you have a small business you have you have a bunch of immigrants that come to the US or there are usually there already in the US and they're trying to run a small business and they're having these issues sort of integrating into into sort of like white American society and. There's some kind of conflict in the family and the TV show with the movie is about like resolving this sort of conflict on. Yeah and I think everything ever all at once is like the best version of this that we've ever gotten in a lot of ways but you know and this is something I talked about in the sort of New Year's episode is that there's something about I guess Asian American like the way our sort of political culture works that makes it so that this is the only story that we tell and you know I mean you can look at a lot of the sort of like sorry I've been rambling for a lot but I want to get that. I want to get this out of the way before we go further but you know like that there's a lot of movies are like this like like you know shows like fresh off the boat like iron fist is also sort of like almost literally this right. Like turning red is sort of like an emblematic example of sort of thing that is exactly this like fresh off the boat is basically this right I think part of the sort of that there's a kind of ideological shell game happening here that's about the family everything ever all at once has a lot of similarities crazy rich Asians in ways that are kind of not immediately apparent I have finally reached the point tm which is that both everything everywhere all at once and crazy rich Asians and in exactly the same way right which is the sort of family tension that has had been sort of building up and playing out throughout the entire movie like is resolved and everyone sort of goes back to being a family and this is interesting specifically for crazy and the original like in the book version of this story the family shatters the plot of that movie is this this Asian American girl is dating like this guy who's from Singapore who has not told her that he's from like an unbelievably rich like Singaporean family and the stories by him going to is about them going to Singapore and realizing this guy's unbelievably rich and that his family just assholes suck and in the book like the family like mistreats both of them really badly and so they just leave the book and they cut they cut off the rich family but in the movie they some weird thing happens where like the main character plays ma Zheng with the guy's mom and like a miracle occurs in the family works out and everything every once has has a very similar thing we're like the way this movie ends and I have to say this I do like this movie a lot but the way that it ends is Evelyn who is joys mom walks up to her and says you're fat and I don't like that you got to tattoo but also the family is good and like we should work it out and then they do like a miracle occurs and there's this sort of running ideology in this which is that like the family is sort of too big to fail like you're not allowed to have a movie that's about something that's not about the family or be a movie where you know like the end of it is the people walk away from their family because it's hurt them a lot right and I will also say that sort of Asian American cultural production that doesn't center the family it actually just doesn't get read as being Asian American right I think I I don't know if you've seen this but like being a film has this beautiful documentary called minding the gap and it's about like his trauma and his like sort of youth growing up in a broken home and hanging out with skateboarding friends some of whom are like black and that just never gets talked about as an Asian American film even though it's made by an Asian American filmmaker and his experience as like someone who actually migrated from China such a big part of his story like because it's not about the sort of family conflict and reconciliation it actually doesn't get read as an Asian American film a lot of the time which to me is interesting and yeah I just wanted to second your point that like in both of these films everything everywhere all at once and crazy rich Asians like nothing actually changes you know there's the reconciliation within the family but nothing about the family structure changes like I think Evelyn her the sort of like conciliatory gesture she gives is like oh I'm your mom and I would always choose to be with you in any universe I forget like the exact phrasing it's been a while since I've seen this film but it's something like that it's like you know I would still want to be with you because I'm your mom and it's like this very the families it is it's its own explanation yeah and I think it points to sort of it this is the movie that I think hit the exact limit of this kind of of this kind of sort of Asian family politics because in it's in in the sort of like moment where it needs to justify itself it can't it doesn't have anything the moments it's sort of it's it's it's it's empty of an actual like it's it's empty of any sort of like ideological message about why this should be redemptive right like just you know and I think this is something that like we don't think about enough which is that like like okay if your mother hurts you like a lot right like them being your mother is not a lot of a lot of positive thing I mean this is something I've been thinking about a lot in the context of sort of transness and and you know it and in the ways that like trans people like I mean literally get killed by their families in the ways that they get you know kicked out from their families and the ways that sort of this this this sort of self justification of it's good because it is right that yeah this is sort of what you were saying raised like it justifies itself by just like well I am your mother is like well that's not an argument right yeah right and it's not enough like I think joy spends the whole film like fighting to be seen by her mom and in the end her mom doesn't really give any reason why she loves joy like there's nothing like specific to joy herself as a person it's just like your my daughter I'm your mother of course I love you and you know like why should that be something a queer child settles for like just this very basic baseline of acceptance rather than anything that like actually celebrate who they are are the individual yeah and and that's something that I also wanted to talk about with this is like is and this is not just like the specific you know what we're talking a lot about this specific movie because this is like the most recent one that's come out and and we're not sort of saying this to like like there is a lot of like good stuff in this movie like this is the movie like like joy is probably the character who is like closest to me who I have ever seen in anything like at any point right and like there was something you know sort of incredibly emotional like I cried a lot during this movie that was like incredibly emotional about sort of you know like seeing your self in this like yeah yeah but there's something about the way that Asian Americans like especially sort of like suicide Asian Americans think about queerness that that I think is is is you see in this movie which is that okay so the movie has two queer relationships in it right unless you're going to count like the guy in the recoon which I it's funny but I don't know what that one but right but you know the actual like the actual two sort of like queer relationships are between joy and her girlfriend and then between Evelyn and the tax lady and there's two things that are interesting about that one is that both of the both of the characters are in relationships with our white and very and this this is a like something that's very very specifically like pointed out about choice girlfriend and you know as you know this is the joke is like what she's half Mexican but she's played throughout the entire thing as like an outsider who like doesn't understand what's happening in the sort of scenes like doesn't understand the family dynamic doesn't understand these and you know and you see this again with okay so who have like you know they're able to imagine a world in which like Evelyn the main character who is like just been homophobic this entire movie is in a queer relationship and like yeah like I go for her but if you look at who it's with right it's it's the character in the movie who is this tax lady who her thing is that she is like like she she she she is like the human representation of the sort of white supremacist like capitalist bureaucracy that is you know attacking this family and is sort of like driving these people into the ground and then she's sort of redeemed by by like love and queerness but there's this way that queerness gets positioned as outside of asianness by the way that like the other way that the only possible crew relationship that they can imagine is with a white person as and you know as someone who's explicitly marked as an outsider right yeah I think that's a really good point like queerness it queerness is like attached to these anxieties over assimilation yeah from the perspective of like the older generation like Evelyn and Gong Gong it's like the fear of them being assimilated too much into this western culture which is just a very it's it's very strange to me that this is a thing that keeps coming up in like Asian American narratives and discourses because obviously like Asian American like Asian queer cinema in Asia is like such a powerful cultural force and the film makes all these one car why references and I feel like one car why has made like one of the greatest works of crew cinema happy together of like recent decades and so it's just it's so strange how queerness is being positioned as external threat and I mean like you know you you you could you could take a sort of like like the if you want to do the lib analysis of this like China has had queer rulers like there has there has the West produced one like maybe I possibly at some point maybe but like you know like it's kind of like it's ideologically frustrating right like we like you know you can fall back onto like we know that like we have records of queer people in China for like 5,000 fucking years right like you know but like I think I think what's really interesting about this is that this is something that's seen as so natural that people writing like even like Asian American like writers writing about the film don't even notice it like they just they just sort of passively reproduce it yeah and I don't know I think it's like a media see if we frustrating like being an Asian queer person because this is something that like you know the the kinds of right wing nationalism that like are like they you know like there's different kinds of Chinese nationalism right there will make this like explicitly make the same argument that like gay people are like a like a sort of like I mean I guess they would have said it was bourgeois but now it's a sort of like decadent western like in position on to the like on to the world of Asia but it's like like no but then but you know you get these like sort of like very well like progressive like Asian American writers who are just either implicitly or almost explicitly making exactly the same argument yeah yes and it's also what the American right wing thing right like they want to China as like if you know China represents this like sexual threat of having like the society where everyone is in their place you know like they imagine that the sort of like traditional gender roles are much more adhered to in China which is why it's like we're on the decline like China's rising so it's yeah it is a very weird idea that there's a lot of journalists on both sides are attached to and it's disappointing that Asian Americans who think of themselves as progressive or even radical kind of reproducing some thinking leave. Yeah I mean one of my like recent black pill moments was I don't know if people remember this but there there was there was someone on Twitter who very kind of famously got like just like obliterated for saying that I for for for for saying that like people people shouldn't like cancel their subscription to the New York Times after they like did the whole thing this did this whole bullshit that people don't know what the sort of scandal was it so the a bunch of people who'd written for the New York Times sent them a very very biode letter saying like hey can you guys like fix some obvious like not even saying fix like can you report on trends issues better here are some like glaring certain mistakes that you may in New York Times through a Hissy fit and got really mad at them and and you know this this person's reaction was like well you can't you like don't cancel your subscription like you have to support the news and it was this like sort of moment she is one of the host of like one of the Asian American podcasts and it was like it was just you know for me was really sort of like black pilling moment of like oh this is like this is like what like like you know like like like three three three seventy five a month is what these people think my life is worth like yeah I don't know I think this kind of ideological stuff is very deeply tied into the way that Asian Americans have been representing and thinking about the family instead of recent years and but but but before before we go into that I do you know when the family is trying to sell you it is it is the products and services support this podcast we have to take an ad break we will be right back me just out of just out of curiosity since I I don't have the pleasure of listening to the ads while we're recording like what is going to play during that I have no idea like it could be anything I don't know it could be a gold and it could be the F. Well we haven't had the FBI tried to do it yet we've had we've had law unfortunate agencies we've had people selling gold Ronald Reagan coins I we've had I don't think I've seen that like since I was a child I think they used to have like television commercials yeah they they they they they they do it on podcast now apparently a thing that I discovered when you sent me the cliff it so look who knows look like maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe they'll do a thatcher one and you two can own the the immortal words there is no such thing as society there is only individuals in the family yeah well whatever it takes to keep the podcast running yeah so all right something I wanted to sort of circle back to is you know I think one of the one of the sort of one of the things about this kind of Asian American media you know that you have this this sort of ambivalence of like like what the sort of queer child is supposed to be and you know like I would say this like it is a pretty common experience if you are like a queer child of an Asian family that your family does fucked up shit do you like that's a thing and this is I wanted to ask you about something that you've been talking about that I'm sort of interested in which is one of the things that that I don't know when you try to talk about this stuff there's this way in which the way we sort of collectively think about why I say we this is like I guess like a kind of specification American thing the way we think about trauma gets involved very quickly yeah and I was only if you talk about that some more yeah I feel like there's this there are these sort of like unspoken discursive rules where when you talk about trauma within an Asian immigrant family there are like first of all it's always intergenerational trauma right like you can't talk about like a queer child experiencing trauma without then like getting into the fact that oh like the parents have experienced traumatic things like through the process of immigration or like war the refugee experience etc etc and so there's this sort of like economy of trauma where some members within the family get their trauma treated as more legitimate and others don't I think it's like really common to hear this refrain which is like oh second-generation immigrants are like the you know people like us Asian immigrant children who are born in the West can't possibly know that like the real trauma that our parents or grandparents went through because they were the ones who like fled their countries or experienced war first hand or grew up in poverty but then it's also just like when we talk about a intergenerational trauma there's this sort of like obfuscation of who is enacting that trauma within the family right like if the intergenerational trauma exists like who is passing it down and so I don't I don't know if I'm articulating myself well on this but yeah I guess the the central idea is that I think there's this like mechanism which kind of immediately delegitimizes any talk of abuse or trauma from the perspective of Asian youth or from the perspective of like the child in the family yeah and I think I think that's a kind of I don't know there's just really baffling deep on willingness in a lot of ways to think about and I think this is a sort of broader like cultural thing too but there's this deep on willingness to think about the family is a side of violence and as a side of sort of profound violence it's like you know like it's the place where the violence that shapes you comes from in a lot of cases and I mean like I know a lot of people this has happened to me to some extent and there's this real kind of you know this is what this is what I actually really liked about everything if we're all at once it like it like goes into that in a lot of ways a lot of ways like it is a movie for about ninety nine tenths of the movie it is a movie about how like the people around like how the people in your family can hurt you repeatedly and about the sort of like the ways that they think about it the way but you know there's but but but but but I think this is where the sort of perspective thing comes into it where like yeah where I think like we don't really have a language to sort of talk about this stuff and the way the film deals with it is sort of like you know it is this kind of like very specific kind of nihilism which is like definitely a thing that you can fall into right like you know like that like that that is definitely a reaction to being traumatized but it's seen as like illegitimate and will destroying I think in a lot of ways because it causes you to sort of like if that's your experience of the family like you're going to leave or you're going to worry only get a stand by force and so it you know the movie sort of rejects it but you know there's this way that it's very difficult to talk about this stuff and about the sort of like long arc of how people have thought about the family before us right what what's an example of what you mean by like how people have thought about the family before us well I think I think the Chinese context in particular there's a very there's like there's I mean if you look at what was happening in in the sort of rat like in the in the in the sort of very radical periods in Chinese history in the last you know if you're like less for 100 days you look at sort of what's going on in 1925 if you look at what happens immediately like after the Chinese revolution like the there is a real period of like questioning questioning patriarchal authority of questioning like what is the family for like why why are we doing this and you know I think I think the answers they can't do ultimately unsatisfying which is like well we need the family around because like we we our economy does not function without uncompensated labor so the the the the Maoist sort of like attempt to grapple with this fails but I don't like as as as with many things that Maoism attempt to grapple with I don't think they were wrong to look at it I think their solutions were all terrible but I think there's this kind of I mean there's this reaction there's there's there's a kind of older Asian queer reaction which I think is is like kind of deeply suspicious of the family as you know this thing that has an enormous amount of potential disorder of inflict violence on you and sort of destabilize your life and cut you off from resources and information and sort of I mean I was struck by someone else making this comment about how like in everything everywhere all at once you know they can imagine like this sort of infinite number of universes but every single one the family unit remains the same you know like the the social arrangement never changes across all of these different universes yeah I thought that was a really good point there's just like the sense in which a lot of the recent Asian American culture can't imagine the family as like something that can be transformed it just kind of takes it for granted as this like static eternal structure which can't be challenged and people if they find reconciliation or happiness it needs to be somehow within that same arrangement yeah and I think a lot of that has to do with like the thing that we've decided about elders collectively which is another one of those things that like is like the the legitimacy of the authority of elders is something that in Chinese revolutionary history is something that's very much offered debate and almost everyone who decided to like take up arms against the state like almost all of those people were like this is messed up and then you know I think I think partially as a result of how badly sort of the Maoist project goes and then also I think as as as a kind of like explicit part of state policy there's this way in which that kind of authority gets re inscribed and any sort of questioning of it gets gets looked at as like oh we're like a return to sort of like Maoist egalitarianism or whatever which is the thing that I see a lot in the ways that like not really Asian Americans but like in the in in in I don't know you see this in Chinese discourse like a decent amount I mean you see this in kind of messed up ways in some of the Asian American discourse from people whose families never participated directly in the Maoist project you know they might have like a lot of people who immigrated here to the US weren't like they were connected to the KMT they were on the nationalist side yeah these are people who ideologically were never aligned with any sort of socialist project and you know they'll they'll invoke things like well you know this is exactly what my ancestors were fleeing from China yeah that's like okay like you guys like I have really bad news for you about like what the KMT ideology was like what these are like these are like the egg monopoly people right yeah and but I think I think like this is two effects right which is like on the one hand those people like that like specific kind of very weird Chinese anti communist is sort of incredibly privileged in in the way that like that stuff was thought about but then you know like there are a lot of people who are in like from like from China who are in the US like specifically because of the failure of this project and this is something else you talked about in the Atlanta episodes but like several of the people like who were killed in Atlanta like were there because like liberalization drove them to a point where like they you know where they had to work to support their families and you know the and the the other thing that sort of comes hand in hand with liberalization is that that and I don't know this is something that like people really don't want to think about which is that you know economic and some of the political liberalization in China came hand in hand with this massive and transferred to the Patriarchal project which is the one child policy just sort of slamming down like a hammer of being of the state just being like we are going to just directly like we are going to directly control your reproductive autonomy we are going to you know we are going to force the sterilized people we are going to like literally just limit the amount of kids you can have we are going to make this sort of like giant I don't know like this enormous state intervention into like social reproduction and the people who were the victims of that like you don't really hear from them much I mean like what one of the stories I'm sorry I'm still just haunted by is that one of the people who died in Atlanta like her family refused to bury her like refused to take her remains to bury her because like their village was like no you you you you you never married so you can't be like buried in the village and wow yeah and so you know like her like she had a funeral in the US that was attended by no one who knew her because none of her friends control because he get arrested by the cops and you know there were these like there were these kinds of like transnational linkages of like the violence of people's families that just disappears from this sort of like narrative of like Asian Americanness like is the family is this unit is this relation right and on that note but did we also want to talk about how this sort of like focus on the small business slash family or the family out of the small business obscures some of the class conflicts within the Asian American community like yeah these very massage workers you're talking about are remember in the wake of that Atlanta shootings a lot of people started they kind of use the massage workers as like an emblem of the Asian American community more broadly one in fact like a lot of the sort of like more professional class Asian Americans or like Asian Americans who get platforms in the media they aren't like they aren't from the same classes like the massage workers are we heard from like a lot of small business owners but those are those are the same people who like own massage parlors and hire these exploited workers who like have undocumented status and who can thus be like put into much more precarious positions than like you know US citizens and so yeah did you want to talk a bit more about that yeah I mean I think I think the small business owners are really sort of interesting and powerful character like especially in US because it's like it's possible to be a small business owner be really poor but also not be propertyless yeah and and I think that like the like the specifically like the core of the American dream is to own property and you know so here is this class you can point out is like oh well we're really poor but you don't actually you never have to look at labor relations at all right and that that like frees you from having to actually think about what capitalism is and it also lets you it lets really like the actual sort of like the the the real sort of Asian American ruling class right like the actual billionaires right and there are Asian American billionaires there's a good number of them there's also just a bunch of just Asian billionaires because there is a there's just an Asian ruling class it lets those people especially in the US hide behind the image of the so does small business owner right and they can you know and they can use it the longer their sort of reputation because like it's in the US like being anti small business is like the hardest position you can possibly take it is like like it is you you like I don't know if you can remember this um a front of mind Vicki Ostewal wrote this book called defensive looting yeah great book everyone should read it like they were like sitting US senators were like like yelling about the book like like a huge swath left left got like unbelievably mad about it like a lot of you will probably also get mad about it but like like one of the things that always comes up with with with looting is like I you know it's like well yeah are you going to do small businesses and it's like well actually yeah like like it is as far as you're polluting small businesses a lot of times is the people who work there and it sucks because working for small businesses is fucking terrible and yeah people in the community where those like small businesses are and like are discriminatory towards yeah and Vicki makes this point about this there's this kind of populism that gets invoked where you know one of the police statements about I think it was about Ferguson um was they're talking about like they burn down our Walmart and it's like what do you mean our Walmart fucking owned the Walmart like it's shit from like everyone who works in the Walmart gets fucked everyone has to buy it in the Walmart but it's it's just really hollow like populism like it's this thing that like you assemble a community based around the around around a corporation and I think that's kind of what's been happening with like I think this is the reason why Asian American culture is like like this because it's it's it's this it's like you know there's there's this very hollow like in a lot like like multi-national like populism has been assembled around like the figure of the small business owner but it's ultimately like it doesn't really have ideas other than you should let us like you should let us make money without being racist and also the fact like the the the it has that idea and then it has the idea that the family is good because it is and that's kind of it yeah yeah I don't I don't know I I think there's there's a lot about well okay I was like the the the the the the day people are okay with looting small businesses is the day the US can actually fall and anyway until before then like it will it will survive because that's always the sort of events of of capitalism is like what about some businesses and you will you will get people who call themself communists who will be like no no no actually these are fine it's like I okay so I wanted to kind of pivot back around a bit to talk about elders a bit more because I feel like I kind of sidetracked us off of that and I yeah I think there's this really I don't know there's been this kind of like rehabilitation of the elder in a way that like was something that was deeply questions in in periods where it was kind of like it was more obvious and less and more socially acceptable to sort of look at the power these people have and how much it can suck well yeah I think I noticed this picking up during you know the the sort of like first day of anti-Asian attacks during COVID I think that's one like a lot of progressive agents started invoking the figure of the elder right like our elders are being attacked like an attack on our elders is an attack on our community like that sort of thing where the elder is kind of like you just as a sort of emblem of the innocence of the Asian American community or what do you like what what do you like what work do you think the elder is doing there in this discourse like why does it have to be an elder like what if you were just saying Asian people are being attacked or like what if it was Asian youth being attacked like what why does it have to be the Asian elder because I think we were talking about this earlier empirically it's not exactly true right it wasn't mostly old people who were victims of these attacks yeah I mean I think this is one of the more like it's really really hard to get good data on being attacked because I mean police reports are obviously incredibly unreliable right and then you know like they're self collected data but the self collected data is not all encompassing it you know it's sort of skewed in its own ways but yeah I think I think there's this way in which like I don't know like I think there's almost as way in which elders almost like they're also like personally infantilized by it whereas like the kick does this sort of like like part of like they're the uses a sort of symbol of like people who can't defend themselves which partially isn't true like there were actually examples of like Asian elders like defending themselves but it does this kind of like and also like the the rates of gun purchase purchases went up with it I mean I know like just the anecdotally in the Chinese American community I knew so many like like elderly Chinese people who are like I'm going to go out and buy a gun now yeah yeah I think like the way that that thing it was invoked has a lot of sort of like I don't know it was it was like like there was this way in which they like they became framed as like this is sort of like this is the apotheosis of like everything that it is to like be Asian American and that like that like the fact that that was under attack was this sort of incredible crisis right and I think like I think there's like that appears a lot about what was happening which is that like if there was one clear trend in the data it was that women were being attacked at like a way higher rate than anyone else and you know and this has been a thing that has sort of continued which is like I don't know like there's been more attacks in the last like few months right and it's it's been a lot of like young women getting like young Asian women getting push your friend of trains and people have just really stopped caring like yeah to the extent where like it's like literally a meme that you can watch the cycle of like the stop ap i hate like signs coming up and down right and I don't know I think the elder part of it kind of like it obscured a lot of what was actually happening yeah I feel like the last incident that really made a splash in the media was um the murder of Christina you know it is I forget what her last name is but um Christina you know me um getting murdered in china town and this was already a year ago um and I haven't really heard anything since like I see things in the local news um that where I live in Queens recently had a a couple of attacks um just a week ago I think but it didn't make the national news or anything yeah and I I think the way that the kind of like hierarchy of victimhood I guess affected that like has had I'm not sure it's the biggest like single reason why everyone is sort of stop caring but like I think the sort of stop ap i hate like that moment kind of only happened because there was this sort of backlash against like there's this backlash against black lives matter against the insurrection and people needed another people needed a kind of like ideologically safe like like way of demonstrating like how good their politics were or whatever but I think it definitely contributed to sort of why the stuff has been it didn't yeah I also wanted to ask do you see this this thing this station on elders um it's happening at the same time that ancestors gets invoked a lot in like Asian American literature especially queer literature um I'm thinking of authors like ocean long like how did ancestors become yeah it's really what I don't really don't understand how that happens like a lot of my ancestors fucking sucked like I don't know how to sort of like I don't know I have this sort of I don't know I have this sort of weird sense of the kind of politics that work here which is like there there's a lot of kinds of politics that I think can work and for example in indigenous context that are very very powerful that don't really work in the Asian American context where like if you're Chinese right your ancestors did some fucked up shit like your ancestors did a lot of genocides like you you like you know and I think this is something that's actually nationalism which is that like right when Chinese nationalism is basically about the anger that China was like cease to be able to be an empire because like if you look at the sort of colonization process the the the the the the Ching are this very very expansionist like sort of militarist imperial state right they they they they they they they they they they there he was there kind of like they were pushing John they do a genocide they're like immediately they're pushing South the pushing like they're basically pushing like in every direction they could possibly push And then they kind of like you know they they they like a pretty impressive territorial boundaries and then their ability to do imperialism gets kind of halted and you have the start of the century of humiliation and all of this sort of stuff that happens there. But it's like the actual thing that they're, like the actual thing that the century of humiliation people are humiliated about, what, I mean, in fact, it's called the century of humiliation and not like, I don't know, like the century of death or something, which for people who don't know what the century of humiliation is. So I think it's, I think that the actual, it's like, this is like 1840 to 1940, this is sort of nationalist term around understanding this period in which China is undergoing, like, you know, it is genuinely, like people in China are like suffering enormous imperial violets. Like I, like unfathomable numbers people die in this period, this is like the opium, but basically a period from the opium wars until, you know, sort of through the various Japanese conquests and then sort of ending essentially with the revolution. But yeah, I don't know, like I think it's interesting that it's understood in terms of national humiliation, in terms of sort of like the loss of disability to do, like I mean to do imperialism. And instead of in sort of terms of like the just unfathomable human suffering that went on, and I think this, all of this sort of comes back to this weird kind of intensification of nationalism kind of among everyone in the last, like, especially since 2020, you know, I mean, there's been in like a kind of like explicit like Chinese nationalists turned some parts of the left, but I think it's really kind of like hit everyone in ways that like hasn't really been examined. There's been this kind of difficulty in having a kind of, like theoretical and cultural language to speak about Asian-Americanness partially because, well, because like the, you know, I've talked about this before, right? But like the term Asian-American was created by like third worldists, right? Many of them are Maoists, some of them are certain markets line in this. But like that whole language just died. I mean, like, you know, you can still find like Bob of Ankean or whatever, but like the sort of language is like understanding yourself as part of the third world and like, you know, like as like a national liberation movement, like that's over. National liberation is basically dead as a politics. Like anyone who tried it after a certain point, like just got called sessionists and now just get murdered horribly. And like, you know, and there's obviously also the sort of like China Vietnam Cambodia fighting each other thing that has this massive impact on that kind of politics. And it gets replaced with this kind of politics that's based, that, you know, it gets sort of replaced by like the Asian civil rights movement stuff. Right. But like there's, there's no, the thing is the Asian civil rights movement. It doesn't have politics. Like as politics are completely incoherent. Like you have, like you literally have these marches where you have like, like old school, like KMT desk guard guys like marching next to Maoist. And it's like, why? Because it's supposed to be a sort of like pan ideological thing. And over time, like all the ideologies are supposed to compose it, die. And but that meant that there's no, like, there's no actual language to sort of talk about the experience because the two sets of vocabulary is that like, we're like, like frames of understanding the struggle are just have both kind of like, either basically collapse or been discredited. And I think that leaves this whole. And people are trying to fill the whole by like adopting other people's politics, but like it doesn't work for us. I don't think, like I, I don't know. Like I, I think people will disagree with me about the potential of sort of ancestor politics and the politics of elders, but like I don't think it does that much for us. Yeah. I think the last thing that I do wanna say is, you know, if we've reached the limits of a lot of the politics that we've been seeing here, what kinds of politics and what kind of, also sort of what kind of media do you see as stuff that we can use to go beyond this? Because I think there is a lot of like, like there are a lot of like people creating good, like queer stuff and not like. Yeah, actually, I think I mentioned this to you. I recently watched this film called Return to Soul. It's by a director called Davy Chu. And it's about a French Korean adoptee. So she was adopted from Korea as a baby. I mean, yeah, as a baby by French parents and group and fat and the film is like kind of a journey of her going back to Korea and meeting her birth family. But it's like, it's not, it doesn't fall into the same sort of like family, natalist, politics. It's very like deeply questioning of the family. And of even like this idea that, I guess, what the sort of like wayward, queer, stray Asian child, like needs in order to heal from trauma, like she doesn't really have reconciliation with either family, like either her French family that she can't do. Her French family that she comes from, like they're very much sideline in this film. They just don't play that big of a role. And then she, and then when she goes to Korea, she has these very awkward encounters, meeting her birth family, cause they're like immediately like, oh, you know, we're so sorry we gave you away. Now you're back, you could come live with us and she's just like hold on. Like I don't even know if I consider you my family. And so it seems to me like to really depart from this like script that we've become so accustomed to in Asian diasporic film, in a really interesting way, I thought. And it's also a lot about music. Like it's a very moody music driven film. It doesn't feel that identitarian. Yeah, I would recommend everyone to watch it. Everything I've ever heard all at once is we have now told the best version of that story. And I think we can find, you know, I would just like like this is a really broad recommendation, but like go watch One Car, this is this, okay, this is the most film nerd I'm ever gonna get that doesn't involve. I, I, my suddenly blanking on the name of the thing. Sorry, Donald. The most film nerd I'm ever gonna get that doesn't involve La Commune de Paris 1871 is go watch One Car, why like they're, they're, I don't know. I think there is something to be gained by looking at. You know, I mean, they're like looking at Hong Kong cinema, looking at, I don't know, I like good, good, like Americans have finally realized that Korean cinema was really good, which is wonderful. I'm glad I'm glad we're, you know, getting to the place where people realize that it's that like, there's a lot of great stuff going on there. But we know it is possible for Asians to tell different stories because all across the world, they already are, right? Like we are already telling stories that are different and more interesting than this. And I think, well, then, and I must be typically saying like, then everything I've ever all it was. But then, then the specific structure that these, that the Asian American movies fall into. And yeah, people should go discover them because they're great. And yeah, we can find new and better kinds of queer joy. And yeah, Tiffany, thank you so much for joining us and being on. I don't know why I'm saying us as if there's more than me here. But yeah, thank you, thank you for being on the show. Yeah, anytime. Thank you for having me on. And it's been a really stimulating publication. Yeah. Yeah, this has been, it could happen here. You can find us at happen here, pod on Twitter and Instagram, you can find close on media at close on media. I hope it's close on media. 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Show about things following apart and how to put them back together again. I'm your host, Mia Wong and today we have a really exciting episode. We're going to be talking to a group of workers from the California Nurses Association, which is specifically their National Organizing Committee, which is I think better known to most people as- and then you or a national nurse is united. These people are part of a shift of workers who was for the first time running a rank and file slate for the Council of Presidents, which is sort of- they're a body that combines the positions of Vice President and President of the Union. Our call shift change and so Eric, do you want to introduce yourself? All right. My name is Eric Cook. I've been a nurse for 32 years. I currently work in the Cardiac Telemetry floor and I became a nurse after being a Navy Cormin in the first Gulf War and just continued in healthcare from there. I was originally in LVN and then became a registered nurse. And I've been on the past three negotiating teams for out-to-bate summit hospital and I've seen a lot of changes in the attitude and movement of the Union in the past 12 years. So I'm hoping with John and Raina and Mark to make a change for our union and our members for the better. Yeah. Glad you could be here. Join us. Thank you. Yeah, Raina, do you want to introduce yourself? Hi there. I'm Raina Lindsay. I have been a California nurse for over 13 years and out of those 13 years, eight of them I've been in out-to-bates medical center, which was my first union as an RN. How I be- and also- I'm sorry, and also I work in ICU and I've been there through- been there for about seven years. Wow. And I worked with Eric a year prior to that. So the reason I became a nurse is a long story, but the bridge version is- it's beginning, I wanted to be a lawyer. So when I went to college, kind of thought I was dyslexic, so that kind of backed out and then I also was a teen mom, which that's something that a lot of people do not know about me. And during that whole process, I wanted to find something that I could be an advocate for people and also know the political side of it. So nursing became the best benefit. One thing I love about nursing is you can learn everything about the world and know about people without going anywhere. So that was the thrill. And then also being an advocate for the patients I take care for. In addition to that, you know, knowing my peers and knowing that we all have the similar struggles when it comes to the systems that we work for, it doesn't matter which employee you work for. And so being in the union, it gives you that way of a contract between you and your employer and along the way, there has been some issues which Eric can I and John all been experiencing where things do need to change. And being part of shift change is part where we have to change a leadership and be more transparent between the union, the employer and the people in general. Hell yeah. And yeah, John, do you want to introduce yourself? Yeah, sure. I'm John Heranamis. I am a pack you recovery nurse at University of Chicago before that. I was in the medical ICU for six and a half years. And then before that, I was like a associate's degree, I'm working at the emergency room at Holy Cross Hospital. And I also started it which is funny to me as an LPN which is the same thing as an LVN that Eric did and I was a CNA before that. I decided to become a nurse way back in the day when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do after dropping out of high school. And I was thinking about man and maybe it should become like a history teacher and I was like, oh, why would I want to go back to this place? I hate so much I dropped out of it. And I personally got like incredibly sick with something called ulcerative colitis and I got a bunch of surgeries done and got some really amazing experience being taken care of by nurses. And it really came immediately obvious to me. Like I also like Reyna wanted to help people. And also I thought that nursing was like a way where even like four, you know, individuals like it changed someone's day just a little bit for the better, but also like maybe changed some bigger things. And so I thought nursing was just like a really great way to do that. Also, it's really fortunate to be raised by an amazing nurse. My mom was a nurse and she was always like, she's like one of those people who is my hero. And a lot of other nurses in my family, both men and women, including someone who is like a Kentucky frontier nurses like the first group of nurse practitioner nurse midwives back in the like the 1940s back in Kentucky. So I got a lot of nurses in my family and on this like incredibly proud to be like herring on all the stuff that they have been doing for all their years is like nurses. So and like meeting the folks out in California like Reyna and Eric, it just makes me feel so good like we're doing really important stuff in terms of both our daily practice of being a nurse, but also like that we can have like this bigger impact on how things are happening in our profession and the healthcare industry and just the broader world. Yeah. Yeah, we've talked to like a decent amount on this show now about sort of the labor issues that have been facing nurses both actually here and in the UK. And I think a little bit in the co-feather countries. Yeah, I was I was wondering what were the sort of specific things that you all were dealing with both just in the profession and then also in the union that got you all together to run the slate. Okay. So one of the things that caused us to actually meet by coincidence was one of my co-workers Torrell Dordall who's a Norwegian nurse who's been a nurse here in America for over 30 years. She contacted labor notes and you know realizing something was wrong in our union. She started talking with a specifically Sarah Hughes at labor notes and through labor notes and Sarah we were able to connect with John and Chicago and it was amazing that what we discovered is that our problems here in California were mimicking what they've experienced in Chicago and through Sarah finding out from other diverse communities of nurses in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, New York and Minnesota that there same things are happening there under our same union. And our complaint was through our union was that we felt we were being siloed and of course when I say siloed is actually in our negotiations we had 17 facilities negotiating but we were told that we were not allowed to communicate with each other. It was forbidden by the federal mediator. Now this is my yes, yes I know that was my reaction initially too. There were two other negotiators on the team and it was highly suspicious because the union wanted to put all new nurses onto the negotiating team and that was a little bit of a red flag. There were so many red flags through this negotiations I swear I could almost see Lenin's tomb that's how many red flags there were. It was amazing to us is that they said the mediator forbade us from talking to each other because that was part of the agreement to have the federal mediator. The three of us that had previous experience with negotiating just knew that was the wrong thing. And it took over at least about seven months before we started breaking through to other tables and communicating with them on text and having our own Zoom conversations with them to convince them that no this is a lie we are allowed to talk to each other. And we ended up finding out that we were kind of being railroaded into what we considered an agreement that was less than satisfactory for the workers for the nurses who have suffered during the pandemic. We could have gotten probably one of the greatest contracts that any nursing body had ever received. We had the industry by the throat. We suffered so much. John, everybody throughout the country, all the nurses suffered, everybody suffered. But everybody that was at that bedside during the pandemic, it was a horrific experience. It's great when you take care of people and you heal them. Yes, that's a great thing. But the stress and the ending anxiety that you felt. And then in the midst of this, you have a union that shortchanges you at a point when we had so much power. And thank heavens for Sarah to put us into contact with all these other nurses to realize that it wasn't just the Sutter Division of the California Nurses Association that was running things amuck. It was actually it seemed to be a perceived playbook plan of what they were doing throughout the country. And I think nobody perceives themselves as doing evil or anything like that. I think they always think that they're doing it for the better interest of everybody. But that's what's important about a rank and file movement is that every nurse, every person in the union is important and deserves a voice. And we don't need to be gaslit. We don't need to be mistreated by the union that we pay to represent us. We need to be marching on the boss. We could have had an unending euphoria for nurses with a contract. We could have had great staffing. We could have had better pay. We could have had everything that we wanted to make our work lives to be the best they could be. And it seemed our union already had a pre-planned agreement with the corporation. Now they denied that, but it's kind of hard to believe when they had the same agreement that they were supposedly negotiating in silos that they weren't communicating each table was supposedly negotiating their own. But it was the same thing they wanted at every table and not all the tables were equal. It was very sad for us. Like I said, this is the third negotiating team I was on. The first negotiating team I was on. We lasted over two years negotiating and we went through nine strikes and threatened a tenth. And until we got an agreement. So our hospital obviously it's out of its hospital in Berkeley, our sister hospital, summit hospital in Oakland. And we have Philly with us is the Herrick campus, which is the psychiatric facility. And we've we have struggled so much through this pandemic. And it was amazing to us that we came up with less than what we should have gotten. I will tell you that thanks to Sarah and meeting all these other nurses, we were able to come back and I think through fear and intimidation, our union was forced to back us and we were able to get economically what we wanted. But like the rest of the country as nurses, we wanted better staffing. We needed more bodies at the bedside. We're overworked, we're fatigued, Rayna worked in the ICU and they had their own COVID unit there. I don't think there was enough tums and roll aids to go around for all those nurses. The anxiety and the heart and your throat and of course John himself, I don't want his personal business, but his experience, he has long COVID. So we as nurses have suffered quite a bit and we expected a lot more from our union. Yeah. And I mean, even just on a very basic level, no matter what you go through, you have the right for your union not to light you. That seems like a very elementary sort of thing. That's a really elementary thing, but like it's really scary how comfortable some of the people who are paid their wages out of our dues are with lying to us. I think that's a thing that like, you know, like we're one of the things we're specifically fighting for is like transparency and accountability, especially for our staff. And you know, when I, you know, Eric mentioned that I had had long COVID, I'm finally getting I'm into the point where I'm like as recovered as I probably ever will be and which is great, you know, being recovered from long COVID is so much better than having long COVID. But you know, I was always like someone that they came to to ask for help with like political sorts of issues inside the union or they would come to me for Medicare for all or, you know, speaking around things like ratios, that sort of stuff or they would send me off to when Chicago teachers went on strike in 2019. I was sent to speak on behalf of our union for them and, you know, just doing the work of I'm kind of a, I'm a bit of an agitator. And then COVID hit and it was just a really surreal experience and my area of the hospital is one of those places where they basically did everything they could to minimize the amount of surgeries we were doing initially when the lockdowns are happening for the first six months of pandemic. And then, but they were moving us into because we are all former ICU nurses. So I would do my shift a few shifts up in the medical ICU. Then we made a special clean ICU because we were still getting traumas. A University of Chicago apparently sees more penetrating gunshot and stab wounds than any other hospital in the United States. 30% of our traumas are from some sort of violence, which is substantially higher than anywhere else in the U.S. And then I got sick, right? And so to me, the union was like a thing. It was like, man, this is nice to have. I had never worked any union hospital before. Getting union raises was like a big step up in my life, you know. And it was also like, oh yeah, our union's progressive. Like I kind of, I like most of the things that it stands for. And I didn't really think of it as someone that needed the union, right, to do the things that unions really kind of like it's the bread and butter of unions, which is like coming in and like helping you when you need help as an individual worker. And you know, when you're not in the middle of like a contract negotiation. And I got sick with long COVID and lost, we negotiated this great, you know, like COVID, sick pay policy and management just took that away without like for me, without really giving any notice or, you know, explanation why. And you sit there trying to get like the help that you need from your union is like, I'm trying to explain why it is that like this is a problem for me to our labor rep who's like our, they call them business agents, labor reps, whatever. There are people who basically are paid out of our dues to kind of help us in theory, like state organized and be pushing management to do, you know, to follow the contract. And it got to the point where like my partner, who's like, is like literally screaming at the labor rep, well, I'm on the phone with the labor rep and she's, you know, it's like, what the fuck is your union even doing? Like why are they not making sure that you're taking care of? And it was like this really like come to Jesus moment where you're like, oh, yeah, like this union should isn't just like, you know, platitudes about like we need a ratio bill in Illinois or, you know, Medicare for all or Bernie Sanders is like, oh, this shit is actually like about my material well being. And like my family still hasn't recovered from all that because they only, you know, after an enormous amount of pressure was put on staff, they finally start looking into it. And we got, you know, payouts for not just me, but for 10 other nurses who had had their COVID pay, like, cut, you know, like really in unjust ways. And it really opened my eyes is to like what a union should be doing. And it really opened my eyes that maybe there's a problem with how staff interact with us as workers because like there should be, you know, we try and like say like, you know, there's a service union service business or service unionism and then there's rank and value unionism. And we had this weird situation on union where they tell us where a rank and file democratic union except the staff kind of treat us like, you know, it's a business union. So we get told one thing, but then we see another thing. And like not that I think that like, it's, you know, the whole point of a union is you kind of pull together to take care of people who can't necessarily take care of themselves in that moment. And like it just took an enormous amount of effort on my family's part to like get that moving. And it just seemed incredibly, it was just very eye opening for me as a, you know, my experience here in Chicago. No, that's really bleak. I mean, that's another thing that you would, you know, you would expect a union like to just be on top of not not even just a sort of, oh, well, you asked them if they started doing it. Like you, you would think that, hey, the people who got COVID doing this job, not getting paid what they're supposed to be getting paid would be like a priority and also think you have to fight them over. That is, that is incredibly grim. I don't know. Well, I have an a story for you. So my first year working at out to baits, I before that, I was working in swatter hospitals and they gave you certain packages about your benefits. So when it was time for me to get my benefits, I couldn't get my benefits at all because during that time, they were doing it at the yearly. So I said, is there any way possible at least to get something because mind you, they are paying for my benefits. I'm not paying for anything for it that there should be a reason because if I had any medical issues, what would happen? And basically, the union was very lackluster about it. Now of course, I went to the manager, went to human resources, basically they basically told me where there's 1800 nurses and you know, what we're going to do about this issue and pretty much it was, it's pretty much disappeared about it. There was nothing I could do. So for that whole year, so I worked in January of 2015, I had to wait till the following year to get benefits, to get medical benefits. Jesus. Now I got everything else. I'm going to be honest, I got everything else, but the medical benefits are important. But thank God, I don't have any health issues. Thank God, my daughters didn't have any health issues where we didn't require any help and there wasn't an emergency, but when I started noticing there were other nurses, our teeth that were experiencing the same thing because a lot of us got hired within that timeframe, they weren't telling us these issues and we would have ended up getting these things sooner. And it's all about the transparency. It's all about our value. And then over the years, people always complain. I'm paying these dues, why are they not helping, why are they not supportive? And when I was actually hired, they were quick to give you the paperwork to tell you how to pay this also, they could take money off your dues quicker than what about the history about the union, why is the history, why is the union important and what you can do if there's a grievance. There was none of that. And then to this day is still the same thing because I pre-sept new grads and I tell them about part of the union, what do you got? Oh, I didn't get a booklet or I didn't hear anything about it, but I got this paper here so they could take out my dues. That's what pisses me off of anything is that part. So and then all this stuff dealing with what Eric has told you, what we've been doing with the strikes and negotiations meet personally, we should have done negotiations within the first year of the pandemic. And I think we got everything, but they were quick to say, no, we're going to get all these facilities all together at one is so we can all negotiate. And then the gag order happened, the slam of the gag order. And I'm like, there is a lot of collusion going on and that shit needs to stop. So. I mean, things that they don't really tell us, which I think is really a thing that we want to resolve is they don't really inform you of what your union rights are. You kind of get the initial like here's your wine garden rights, which means that you have a right to like representation whenever you're being disciplined. But aside from that, there's very little discussion inside of our union facilities in particular about the kinds of things that we have as like union members, what our rights are, what our rights within the union, how the union works. So many of my co-workers don't like a big part of our work is just explaining that there's an election happening. And so you would hear that an election had happened maybe. And you know, you would be like, well, who voted? I don't know. Like, and you'd get these like, you know, all of the communication from about the election to us as the people who are like the, you know, the opposition has all been in these very like plain, plain envelopes that don't look like anything. Like it could be like just an anonymous bill you wouldn't know or junk mail. And so like, you know, as a union member, you have something called a right to representation. So in every union, every union employee and elected officer is considered a fiduciary, has a fiduciary obligation to look out for your financial interests. And if they don't do that, it's called a failure to represent. Our union in particular spends, has brags internally about never having a, they call them unfair labor practice. Like if a nurse or any worker in any union decides that they're union, you know, did not represent them, their financial interests, they can file something called an unfair labor practice claim for failure to represent. Our union is like they've never had an unfair labor practice claim stick. We foiled one of their unfair labor practice claims and somehow it got like withdrawn like in this really like sketchy way. And it was like just a random one that we picked to just see what happened. And so then it got like assigned like a special like liaison like afterwards like they're like, oh, we weren't supposed to do that. Like when we contacted the Department of Labor, we're going to look at that again and figure out what's going on with this. And it also turns out when we started doing research, which I think every union member listening to this should know, every union has to file paperwork. They're legal. There's legally mandated reporting. So there's things called LM2s and 990s that you can get from the Office of Labor Management you Google them and they'll figure you can search for your own union. And you get to see the union finances. And we found out that there's like 42 million dollars that are union, that bank account. And this goes to there was an article. It was in Jacobin, I'm not sure about like the financialization of unions and we're like 42 million dollars. What is that? And they, you know, unions will brag like, oh, we've got a 42 million dollar war chest. But like what are we spending that 42 million dollars on? Is it to like fight arbitrations and constantly be making like our like working conditions better and taking fights the bosses and like, no, actually what they're doing is they're spending that money on settling unfair labor practice claims. They don't actually officially stick. So the war chest isn't even against the, you know, isn't to go to war against our, you know, supposed, you know, I mean, to go to war against management, it's to go to war against kind of us. And you can get out of it. It's just, it's just so wild when you start digging into this stuff. It's just crazy. Eric, you want to tell them about the office of Oakland? Yeah, so obviously we're in the heart of the empire. You know, I live just a few miles from the CNA headquarters. And I've been there many times prior to the pandemic. I, you know, and I have taken part in lobbying in Washington, DC on behalf of the union, you know, nurses from all across the country that are in the union, go to DC and we lobby for, you know, not only for single payer and Medicare for all, but, you know, individual bills that will benefit nurses across the country, whether they're in the union or not. And you know, I'm very familiar with it. I've lobbied in Sacramento and I've been to the NNU Convention in Minnesota. So I've met a lot of nurses across our union. In fact, it's one of the, when you do that, that's about the only time you get to reach out and see other union members. One of the things I will tell you that John and I and the person that's not on the call right now is Mark Goodick. He is an American citizen now, but he was a Canadian nurse before and he is right now working on our campaign video to introduce us to a broader audience. And that's why he's not on the call tonight. We should be intermingling and talking with other nurses across the country. I should not be siloed here in Oakland and not knowing that what a nurse is doing in Texas. And yeah, we need to be part of our pledges that we need to join hands across this country. Every nurse needs to see, we need to digitalize our contract. We need to see University of Chicago's contract digitized. We need to be sharing our contract so we know what good things that maybe they got in Texas or what good things they got in the University of Chicago, what good things we have in our contract. We need to see that nurse said, hey, I want that language. We need to be sharing that. I don't know why it's not happening or why it's just at the upper tiers of union management that they see these things. But we need to be joined together. No more siloing nurses. It altivates to nurses, stay in your lane, Kaiser nurses, stay in your lane, University of Chicago stay in your lane. No, no, no, no, we need to be one fighting body for the betterment of nurses. It's amazing when you find out that we have a beautiful building that the union purchased in downtown Oakland. They only occupy a few floors of it and they rent out the rest. And you know what, it is a fabulous building. And it would be great for it to be a headquarters where we're not just fighting and lobbying for democratic politicians, but we're actually fighting for nurses at the bedside. And that's what our whole mission is that we're going to be running for is for the council presidents. We need to take the macro focus down to what is happening at the bedside for every nurse across the country and make the change for the better for them. And that's the big difference here. I'm all for an activist union. And I think we and we have been the union is active and climate change and how the environment affects the community. These things are important, but it's more important that we take care of the nurses at the bedside and offer opportunities for those nurses who want to be involved to make the community better. We need to have those resources available for them. And if we make nurses lives at the bedside better, we're going to have more nurses available to make the community better. And that's what we need to be working on. It is going to be a fight. I can't be more honest than to tell you, we are David versus Goliath. We are four nurses who really have no big national exposure. But the most important thing we have is that we're bedside nurses and we know what's important for bedside nurses. I do want to say, like there's four of us who are running for the council presidents, but we would not be even talking to you if we didn't have at least 100 nurses all over the hospitals that we're based in doing the work of building our campaign. So I do want to point out that because our slate is free white guys and it's reina. And reina is like, and we want to make sure that we're not that we made a choice that we made was not, you know, us coming together as four individuals being like, we should fix the union by ourselves. It was this, we keep mentioning labor notes. There's a healthcare worker chat with a fair number of nurses in our union. And we noticed that there was an election coming up and this is also the time when both altabates was having their issues. And then in Cook County, we had a particularly traumatic firing of a very popular staffer who like without any input from the local nurses or elected local nurse leadership. And we got together and we all were like, what are we going to do? This is crazy. And we had people like, we are like, well, who would do like, we have this opportunity. And if we run as a slate, we can do things like get access to, we can send emails up to other nurses and break down those silos, connect nurses from across the country. And we're like, well, if we don't do anything, we're kind of stuck in this kind of like square one of, you know, a few small hospitals talking to each other. Not small, but, you know, a few hospitals talking to each other, still struggling against like these kind of silos that have been constructed for us by staff. And we had a vote. And there was, you know, over 20 nurses altogether raised their hands and were like, we could do this with an imperfect group of people that we recognize isn't like the, fully representative of everyone in the union, but are fully committed to democratizing the union. Or we could sit and wait and a nurse who had been in the union for a very long time. And she's now retired, said, if you all don't take this chance, you don't know what could happen in, you know, three years from now, union could be completely different. And so two thirds of everyone in that call said, it's time to go. And we don't care if we would rather that you run and take that swing and maybe get big for all of us. So a big part of what we're doing is, like I've got a meeting with, you know, Cook County nurses on Thursday and they're all basically going to come to me and tell me all the shit that I need to do for them, not the other way around. When you're, the rank and file leadership, you know, it's like taking that pyramid and you invert it, right? The people who are the matter the most are the regular bedside nurses. And all we can do is like people who step up into that role is we take that, we take that heat and put ourselves out there so that we can enact what our co-workers are asking us for. I literally have co-workers walking up to me completely unsolicited. I'm a very, like, I'm not walking around. I like, I told a few people up front in the beginning because I was like, all right, you're about to see my face on some flyers. Let me tell you why. But I now have co-workers coming to me and they're like, John, you got to tell me what the fuck's going on because I heard a little bit about it and I need to help you. I'm just like, okay. It's very, it's like, it's a little bit like a drug, but I have to be careful. Because like, I can't let this whole thing, like none of this, we all have to stay humble as we're doing this because we- All four of us, John, all four of us, we're volunteering to help other people to run. Exactly. We were like, okay, we're here, you know, John, Art, Rayna, myself, we're here to help you guys. Who's running now? I'm going to help you. Yeah. We're going to help you. And then it's like they're crickets, you know? And it's like, um, um, um, and it goes to show- Exactly what happened. It goes to show how impoverished the internal democracy of our union is that people who are leaders already did not feel comfortable or prepared to take on that kind of leadership role. You know, these are nurses who have been in our union for decades, who are taking fights to their bosses all the time already. And they did not feel that they knew enough about the union because there's an intentional, I believe, like, obscuring of how the union works. And that's like how you end up with a situation where people are like, well, I guess we're just kicking the door down for all these people who we know will be doing it better when we get it situated so that they can do it better. It's amazing, though, to tell us that an American history class or you have civics class, you learn about the US government, right? You know how it functions, how it runs. But when it comes to our union, we were all asking each other, you know, we were putting pieces together. Um, oh, wait, I know the council presidents. Yeah. Well, how is this person fit into it? How does the board fit into this? Well, how does the election run? How is it done? We had no- we had to search out the answers. We had to call all sorts of people and we were only getting bits and pieces. There should be a clear outline of how you run a democracy and a union. I mean, it shouldn't even be that difficult, you know, obviously there, there'll be specific rules for the union, but they shouldn't be occluded. They should be, you know, they should be occulted from the members. We should clearly know how you step forward to be a more of a contributing member to the union, to run and to serve the others in the union. And that was an amazing thing that we're finding out amongst each other. It's like, wow, how does our union run? I mean, how, why is it difficult to find out these things? And I mean, I don't think it's insurmountable for us. I don't think that should disqualify us. I don't think if we can step in and do healthcare in a pandemic, we can very easily learn how to, how the union functions in a quick, a quick little tutorial. I don't think that's going to be a big deal for us. But yeah, it's pretty amazing. If we're talking about democracy in the union, how is it that it takes, I mean, to find the bylaws, we can all tell you it took a tremendous amount of effort to find the bylaws that are used to run by. Hold on, hold on. Let me tell you about the bylaws. So we have a nurse in Chicago who decided to make a pain of themselves about how to get the bylaws. And then instead, they went to the union. You're like, I want to see the bylaws. I don't want to see the bylaws. And they were like, you know, like, in the given the run around. And essentially they gave him, he got personally delivered envelope that was like a photocopy of a photocopy of the bylaws. And it's funny because the legally the bylaws are also to be filed with the federal government. And like from our pressure and organizing to figure out how our union worked, they had to publish the newest set of bylaws and on the federal reporting websites. I was in Oakland in 2019 for the Global Nurses Assembly. And there was an after party. And it was a bunch of staffers and like, you know, some nurses and you know, just chitchatting. And I was like, man, be really good. I told the story about, you know, like, the, you know, the nurse who tried to get the by, finally got a copy of the bylaws to, you know, some of these, one of these staffers like, man, it'd be really great if we, you know, could figure out how, you know, you got an enhance for other union works. And just as like, good luck with that. And they just disappeared. What? I'm not yet. Yeah. Because because what we're finding is that at any staff that help nurses learn how the union works, find themselves out of a job. Like that's what's really, that's what really sketches everyone out is when like people, I mean, you all can tell, tell the story about the, the, the staffer who like got run, ran a foul. So, uh, I, I will tell you that there are a lot of great labor reps. Yes. A lot of our staffers. A lot of really great people out there. But to tell you that they would communicate with us because obviously I told you I've done all these other actions. So I know a lot of people and they have my personal number just because we would, you know, when we're in other cities, you know, we, you text each other. And, uh, hey, we're at this place now. Where do we meet you, et cetera? So we were getting texts from some labor reps in the union saying, you know, you guys need to stand tall. You know, a lot of us supporting you. We can't come out and publicly support you because we'll get fired. What? So, yeah, so we were getting these texts from the labor rep saying what they're doing to you is wrong. And they were, you know, we actually got together. And we, we wanted to go out on strike in October. And we were getting this run around, uh, from a group of this, I thought they were, it was just an inner cabal. Little did I know that it probably extends throughout the, you know, the organization, but that they were telling us that there was no need for a strike. And it seemed they were trying to just pressure us into taking a pretty, low, low ball contract. And so, uh, we're getting, push, you know, the good labor reps are texting us like stick it, stick to it, stick to it. And we actually got a postcard campaign. And we actually drove up to the executive director's house in Sacramento, knocked on her door and delivered 500 some postcards that we, we organized on our own. Not, not with, you know, it wasn't a union driven. It was just nurses, union nurses driven. And we delivered postcards saying we want to go out on strike. And the union, of course, still fought us on it, but we were allowed to go out on strike. And there's a video of us confronting the executive director at our strike line, asking her why we were gagged, why the mediator gagged us. And she clearly didn't know what was going on. She said, the mediator wouldn't gag you? Why would they gag you? So she didn't even know what was going on at our table. We were contacted and they, we were told, oh, my God, they're running around like chickens with their heads cut off because they're petrified that they might lose their jobs that they've been exposed to what they've been doing to you. And so one of the labor reps that used to work for us, she used to be at our hospital. And then she moved along and she was at a Sudder Solano. And her, her nurses were asking, hey, did you see this video of this speech Eric made on this at the strike line? And it was a speech where I kind of excoriated the union about why they would gag us. That that wasn't, we needed to be united and we didn't need a union working behind our back. They needed to stand with us. And so she says, well, let's see. So she was looking at the video on her union cell phone. And with the negotiators, nurse negotiators at her hospitals at her Solano, who were also negotiations with us that we weren't supposed to talk to because, you know, the mediator forbade us. So she's showing the video and they thought because she was formerly at our hospital that she was our inside scoop for all this information. What? I can swear to God and take a lie detector test. I had one exchange with her during like the 21 months that we were negotiating. And it was at a joint bargaining council meeting on Zoom where the union kept muting us on Zoom. And preventing us from writing in the chat because we were saying we want to go out on strike. We want to go out on strike. And next thing, you know, we would find out we couldn't type in the in the chat. So I texted her and says, can you see this? I'm trying to to write in the chat and I'm forbidden from writing in the chat. They muted me. They they I can't type in. And she goes, I'm feel for you, buddy. I feel for you. That was my only exchange with her. That caused her and the fact that her nurses asked her to look at this video with them. That's what caused her her job. She's it was it was clearly guilt by association. And the and the charges were outrageous for her. We have labor reps leave because they just felt that it was they couldn't live with themselves with what they were doing to the nurses. It was incredible for them that they're here to work for the nurses. They're here to work for the most progressive union in the country. And it was a fraud. That's been like a big like consistent problem is that we know that they are busting their own like the staff are supposed to have a union. The staff have it own contract and that's a normal thing inside unions, right? Yeah. It you know to keep, you know, we believe in or that every worker who you know works for wages should be in a union. And we have seen time and again that like the like the contract that they've busted their own unions. So like that they've there was a slate that was run of nurses in our not nurses of the staffers. I think it was in 2021 where they were like trying to get something together to change, you know, things inside, you know, how they relate to their management. And and several of those staffers were basically illegally fired. Jesus. So this is like, I mean, I know you're keep saying Jesus a lot, but like there's a reason me, you know me. I wouldn't be running into this sort of situation if it wasn't like so like out of out of this world the stories that we hear and they're the same. This is what's disturbing is it and it's because the union is bait like I was just talking to a lawyer today. She was looking over the bylaws of our union and she's like this is set up like a local. Like it's one big local union. It's got like a tiny little committee of people who are making the decisions of the effect. Or we believe that it's mostly the director non nurse director staff that make the decisions. But these four people kind of rubber stamp them. And that they make decisions for 150,000 some on nurses. And it's so centralized. You know, this one of the things is described is like it's almost irresponsible because you know, we live in, you know, crazy times and all it takes is one wrong election or bad decision in the Supreme Court and it would literally our union could be dissolved with like, you know, if they just arrested, you know, a handful of people and and froze our bank accounts. And a big part of our goal is to help disperse those resources out and to foster more local leadership so that any event that, you know, something, you know, like that terrible happens. Like that we're not caught without anything because the way it's situated now is we have this massive concentration of of all of the decision making and resources in a very small group of hands. And most of these people are not have never been nurses or if they've been nurses, they've been, you know, out of practice for so long that they wouldn't know how, I mean, they maybe they put band-aids on, I don't need to like, I don't want to disparage anybody, you know, a nurse is a nurse, I know a nurse is, you know, you learn it and you learn a lot of things, it's really important, great skill, but there's something to be in practice. If I, you know, I can walk back into my, the medical ICU, I used to work in, you know, now it's going on like five years and be the same nurse that I was when I was at the peak of my practice there. And there's a real key thing to, I think we're all committed. None of us are doing this because we want to be the face of California Nurses Association, National Nurses United for the next 20, like 30 years. We're doing this because we feel that there's a real value to there being a continual turnover in leadership, new ideas, people bringing in new energy. We think that nurses should have the opportunity to work release time so that they could see how the union works as staffers from inside and then go back to the regular jobs. We're doing everything we can to like, I like my job, I think my job's great, I don't want to leave my job, but doing what we can to bring our mentality as those bedside nurses to the sensibility of running the union because nursing does give you a lot of really powerful tools as like you have to be able to listen to people, we're not listening a lot tonight, but we've got to talk and get the word out. Being able to see the big thing we see is like you have a lot of people who will tell you things and then they act in a different way. And that's a big part of nursing practice is being able to understand what people's real deal is and you know it's kind of that's one of the things which we're frustrating is like we know when people are lying to us, like I know we all know when like the staff are lying to us. nurses do have bullshit detectors that's for sure. You know I slept through the the class in nursing school where they teach you how to grow eyes in the back your head, the class I slept through where they teach you to get a throng and I really regret sleeping through the class where they teach you, nurse my toses, like being able to asexually reproduce an extra nurse. But I definitely didn't sleep through the class where I can learn where I can see when someone is saying one thing and then but it's like but they're fucking lying to me. And that's like a that's like a constant theme and that's one of the things that's driving a lot of our organizing is that a lot of people are tired of just being lied to by people who were paying their paychecks and it's like and it's like they think that we I mean we have staff informants right we know people inside staff who are allied with us we know how they talk about us when we're not there they talk about us like we can't figure this shit out and it's like oh the fuck are I know how to keep a person alive who would like who shouldn't be alive like I know how to walk a family through like you know multiple family members with conflicting opinions through like an end of life discussion and along with a doctor who can't really make up his mind like you don't think it well I've got you know like multiple pressers and like continuous dialysis you don't think I can't figure out like when you are like telling us one thing and then another thing's happening we know why they're canceling meetings right now they don't want us talking to each other where we get that and this is kind of like it's it's almost like a feminist practice like of women talking to each other makes men nervous right and it's like nurses talking to each other makes management nervous and it sure as hell is making our union nervous we want our union to be encouraging nurses talking to each other and not like discouraging it in that anytime someone is discouraging people from talking to each other who have similar concerns that is an immediate you know like Eric was saying the red flags it's like this is the kind of thing that like this it's like an almost an abusive relationship you know I would not be running if it wasn't this intense of a problem this has been it could happen here join us tomorrow for part two of the interview where shift change discusses more of their vision for what the union could be in the meantime you can find us on twitter and instagram at happen here pod and you 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conversation with the team from shift change enjoy outside of the obvious the union is doing landlordism for some recent part which is just sort of I can't get over like what what what do you mean you're $44 billion to think you're doing is being a landlord but yeah I mean it seems like they're you know like out of one side of their mouth saying this is a democratic union in their side of their mouth they're doing political purges they're like doing everything possible to make sure people don't know how to like democratic process works which I think it's a pretty like basic precept of democracy is that if if it's impossible to figure out how the system actually works it's not it's not actually a democracy in any real sense yeah and you know yeah this is the thing you're saying is like they they seem they seem to be acting like bosses like they're firing people they get nervous when people start organizing which is not a thing that you would think a union would be ecstatic at this like oh hey there's just one to organize themselves I don't know it's just I mean there's a there's a there's a mentality inside among some people and even among some of the nurses that like you know when people are causing problems or you know it's the yeah it's it's a very it's a very perplexing situation and be in and many of us it's taken us years to really figure it out because you don't we all come to work right to do our job you know I don't come to work to like figure out every like little nuance thing about what's going on inside my union I didn't become a union nurse because I wanted to be like a hero union member I did it because it was down the street and it was a good job and like I wanted to be a nurse more than anything in the world so you know this is but this is what we do and this is why things like labor notes and learning how your union works is really important we've been self educating ourselves like it's almost like you have to become a jail house lawyer right you get like a yeah we've been sharing our favorite resources for like how do you learn about how union works or what your rights are and like we're basically taking notes for what we're going to have to do when we if we get in power inside the union to educate all the nurses in our union one of the things a little to I mean every time I talk with people about this I try and give little tips and tricks don't leave your staff are alone in a at the negotiating table they'll tell you everything's going great go get some dinner you come back and you can't do regressive bargaining you can't unbargain a like a thing when someone's been empowered to decide something for you and this is where especially new like new units in hot in countries or parts of the country without strong union culture are finding that they'll step away from the bargaining table and they'll come back and they'll all these decisions will be made that they don't have any you can't go back on it it's like literally no backsees in like a union negotiations yeah and so there's no such thing as regressive bargaining if I offer if I say that I want a you know you offer a 50% increase in 50 cent an hour increase for floating to another union a unit I can't turn around and you can't offer me 45 cents the next go round you cannot go back if you said 50% it has to you know more than 50% on the next offer or you just say that's my final offer so you know the idea of regressive bargaining is I have to tell you it's amazing is that when we negotiated against Sutter in 2011 through 2013 we had multiple cases of ULP's filed for regressive bargaining on their part they constantly made these mistakes which we as nurses and the labor reps caught and now for us it's so important that we don't regressive bargain regressive bargaining on our own members here we need to be moving forward we should be making quantum leaps and bounds as nurses for what we've gone through we're supposedly the most trusted profession in the country I think it's the past 20 years the only time we have not been the most progressive or the most respected profession was in 2001 and you can obviously guess that it was firemen yeah it was firemen but it's like 25 years or so in a row we've been the most trusted profession it's because you know how can you not trust somebody who's cleaning you up when you soiled yourself in the bed who's holding your hand when you're scared uh that's why we're the most trusted profession and we should be the most respected for what we do um it's just amazing that our union can't carry us through that our union was was formed in a revolution we uh and that we overthrew and kicked out management nurses and formed the California Nurses Association the the bargaining part of the organization the association broke away from the management part and we uh torridor doll was a wonderful example somebody who was part of that revolution and for about 20 some over 20 some years we were a rabidly progressive union we didn't have all the rank and file things that we should have had in the union but it was in the right direction for nurses and we've kind of made in the past 10 years this you turn and the association which I think is bad for nurses we need to be going forward um and we have new nurses and new new a new generation that is joining the union and they need to be a part of it and they they can't look at me and say that that old foggy that's you know been in the union for 30 some years uh you know that I'll I'll be doing the work for them they need to be active in that union and they need to love the idea of solidarity uh you know out of the fires of desperation burn hope and solidarity it was one of the ladies said um I think Sharon uh burrow from australia and australian labor activist said that you we need to have every union member I don't think every one of them has to be rabid about it but they should be aware that they need to stand tall and support each other and not just even they need to support the non-union nurses they need to get we need to get more nurses unionized the the problem with with uh unions is there's not enough unions out there there's not enough people in the unions we need to get more nurses unionized and our union hasn't been able to do that in quite a while we haven't uh we we've been raiding a lot of other unions but we need to get out there uh and get people in the south unionized we need to get other uh nurses and you know in the Midwest organized that aren't unionized yet uh we we have a bigger vision as bedside nurses and I think that our our national union has uh I I'm only as strong as the person next to me I need support as john said yeah we're we're for people running for the council presidents but behind us there's there's so many nurses supporting us uh nurses are texting me all the time uh hey give me some pliers give me some buttons I want to pass them out um it's it's important for us I know we're we're at a disadvantage we we don't have uh you know the the people were running against even though it's illegal for them to have the union promote them they're obviously going to have that advantage like a sitting president because they're going to be in the national nurse magazine going around the country you know doing the things they do as as sitting presidents so they're going to get that free publicity uh I wish the union uh presidents went around the country because as far as I know they've never come here to Chicago yeah I think the only time we've had to Chicago is when we had that people power uh convention there and uh that was my first visit back to Chicago and I think 10 years was when I went there um and it was it's amazing is it should be our union should rotate rotate where they have their their their their conventions they should we should be all around the country we should be going to the south and having conventions so that we can attract people um I think it's important we we need to make inroads um you know I know a lot of it is they're going to say the pandemic and I think the pandemic did hasten this siloing um and you know some of it was a little understandable but even when it was evident that they should have come out of the burrow they never did and people have been saying how tired they are from the pandemic right like I don't know how they could have been tired the union could have been tired when they were just having zoom calls no no I mean the nurses are saying that they're tired like but here's what's interesting this is a thing that I'm seeing in real time as we're doing this work is that nurses who have been exhausted and some of the most beat down like like nurses who are like in the worst uh situations um here in Chicago are tired but then they hear something interesting is going on with the union that it's actually something that they have a say in which is very unusual in our union and people get very excited so I'm having co-workers coming up to me who are the least interested in union business until maybe it's time for a strike um and you know it's interesting because like when we did our strike uh organizing 2019 the first strike in Chicago's of nurses in like 40 years in uh in Chicago you know they kept it would call these small kind of symbolic actions and they called them stress tests or structure tests uh for like you know we're going to do uh we're going to do a press conference and you'd have like you know a handful of nurses come out for the press conference like 10 or 15 nurses would come out and they're like oh they're all ringing their hands and then we start calling pickets and then we start blowing past our turnout numbers and then when we did our strike they were expecting 800 nurses of 12 1400 nurses more nurses than it ever been in any one place in our hospital like it was like a giant party and so it's kind of like when people have know that there's something that really has like they has a stake in right there's an infinite amount of energy almost um and this election is really kind of like we can't make the buttons fast enough to give away like they keep people keep coming up and they're like here give me a handful I've got co-workers and we're doing there's uh you know let's get the pictures of everyone with their nurse with their with their shift change buttons both shift change uh and you know we're turning that stuff into we're getting ramped up and prepared for like our social media like outreach and this is part of it is like getting people to see like hey there are people out there who want to do something different and it put you like as a as a bedside nurse this is our opportunity to get you into the driver's seat of how your union is run how strikes are called how we negotiate like we want to have a council of hospitals in contract campaigns it's just nurses from negotiating teams um so that they can all uh so we can coordinate and decide when we want to go on strike and it's not someone who's never been a nurse um making that call for us yeah which seems just baffling that you'd have some random person who hasn't been a nurse making strike decisions or that I mean the fact that it's not also just there seems like there's such an enormous gap between the things you would just basically fundamentally expect a union to be doing and what's actually happening which is nothing to do with that and it's just the sort of I mean it almost seems like like intentional debobilization well they want to treat us like a spigot like they want to like you can turn us on and turn us off you know the problem is is that people don't respond to that well and you kind of constantly have to be honing your practice um through defending the contract which is a big thing that like a lot of my co-workers are just constantly annoyed at that the contract we're not defending our chief nurse rep is always annoyed that she can only you know scrape together you know like four or five people and you know I do it and I'm not like I'm really good when I'm in the room with you know I my co-workers think that I do a good job but you know when it comes on to like doing all the reading and everything to make sure it's done I need you know it's a thing that I'm always working on and trying to get better at um but you know the that is kind of the lifeblood of trade unionism is like if you're gonna have a contract you need to in between uh contract bargaining campaigns where you can go on strike you need to be constantly probing and pushing um and finding where the weak spots are and keeping people in the practice of like fighting um and if you do that and you're really effective at it you can affect some pretty impressive changes in between contracts um when our friends was uh was the labor rapid uh co-county they went from having maybe like ten people doing like the the rep work to over 60 people doing the rep work she partnered with a really phenomenal um chief nurse rep who had a family uh her dad had been you know president of a sci-u local um and they were they had pushed so hard that they were able to read to open negotiations for attention bonuses which after you settled a contract is like to open something on economics like on the order of you know 15 20 uh 15 or $10,000 retention bonuses is a huge deal yeah the problem was is that then they fired her when she connected us uh at co-county or the nurses at co-county with nurses at university Chicago and uh we started comparing notes with what our staff were like and we and their chief nurse reps started asking the uh director bargaining who's not a nurse and has never been a nurse to say why is it that we are bringing in why is my facility bringing in four million dollars worth of dues and we get like you know two hundred twenty thousand dollars worth maybe of staff like what's the deal and why is it that we don't spend any money on arbitration or any of the stuff they're constantly afraid of doing anything and that's when they fired Natalie and then and now they're down to they're trying to whittle those uh those nurses uh retention bonus negotiations down to like three thousand four thousand bucks from like 15,000 you know you bring in the right people and all of a sudden management has to like hire in like um an entire legal extra legal department at Cook County Health Services it's not it's not that somebody is not a nurse that doesn't matter Natalie was not a nurse yet she was an outstanding example of what a labor rep should be an organizer yeah I mean she you stand with the workers uh I just I do believe that we need more nurses involved in uh uh in in organizing and inside the union but I have no issues with you know when you have labor reps like Natalie that's that's what you need to keep the union thriving and unfortunately to cut her down when she was making inroads to really empower nurses and the union was it's just beyond the pale to make that decision why they made that decision is something that I think if we won the presidency we'd want to find out why was that decision made because the part of this is holding the holding the staff accountable is our big thing like we just need to know at right now there's no accountability to so imagine having a job where like if you were a nurse like if we're speaking to our co-workers right now imagine being a nurse and no one ever checking your charting no one ever checking what a patient has to say about the care they got no one asking a doctor like what you did during a shift right no one checking your like to see if like all of your vital signs are actually really reflected in like the monitor that's the situation we're dealing with staff right now no one who's outside of their staff bosses at the director level has there's they're only accountable to those people and they are only accountable and they're not actually accountable they just write like they write everything themselves they write their underports they get they you know they'll take you know a nurse will come up with a good idea they'll run it up to flagpole check out this awesome idea I have boss I mean it sounds like a downer I guess it's like it all sounds varied like this is all grim and like depressing but the fact is is that we are at a point now where we see what's going on and what we need to do we've been educating ourselves about what can be done to change the union because the union is a democratic structure even in like just the shell form of it and as nurses we've got a lot of faith that as nurses we can figure this out and come up with a much better more democratic way to run our union and I think it'll fundamentally be a much stronger organization I think that's the fears that somehow we like you know some people like all you're you're gonna make it that worse since like I don't know that you could make it worse if like you know there's the healthcare industries changing I think we're seeing that's in real time as a healthcare industry is changing and we are seeing to the you know you have hospitals that come up with the most cutting edge version of healthcare like the University of Chicago or the university systems out in California or maybe like Stanford that's like the very like the top end of like what healthcare is and those hospitals are like basically their minus will be gold mines and then you've got the safety net hospitals and my fear is that the safety net hospitals they would like to casualize to Uber they keep telling us about oh they're gonna Uberize nursing well you know what is it that they're doing to stop you know over half of the nurses being at Cook County Health Service from being replaced with agency nurses right now like how long is that gonna go until there's like you know they go from a bargaining unit of you know over 1500 nurses in the union or 1700 nurses in the union to like you know it could theoretically drop down to you know a handful of union nurses and so they've like they it's like an unofficial layoff right people quit and they institute a hiring freeze and then they don't replace them they bring them in it's agency nurses because they would rather in these safety net institutions not pay benefits not pay pensions you know our hospital we lost they took our pension away and the union didn't do anything to fight that back I was in the the pension plan for like two years and then you're like guess what no more pensions and the union didn't do shit about it and they could have done something I mean it was like it's because the contract language was like well you get whatever we offer you and our teamsters uh in our uh facility took like a very like a 102 to $400 buyout get rid of their pensions and that was the end of our pensions for the entire medical center um and then the our union where our staffers are all bought into the steel workers pension right they have a pension they're like well John maybe you'd have to strike six or eight times which is what they say whenever they don't want to do anything and they certainly aren't telling us about uh hospitals like the folks that altibates who are struck like ten times to get what it takes and it's just like you know striking I think there's this idea that it's scary I have co-workers who are telling me John just tell me when the next strike is I can't wait for the next strike um but we've been through it we have a lot of co-workers who haven't oh half of our nurses are new they've never been through a strike but you know you build a union through strikes which is the thing that some is a little counterintuitive especially if you do it the right way in your strategic about it's Rana you've been real quiet like what do you think about all this that's really the number one I'm a lady and I don't interject unless I absolutely have to so to go back earlier what uh what was said about how unique our slate is well is unique in itself for one of course I kind of sit with being a female and minority but you also got to think about the men now there is not a lot of men in nursing in general and I think that's what also they need to look at because I I heard the criticism about that but let's flip the script on this I mean we individually as Eric and John did say before that we were not here to be a council of presidents like on there we was actually jumping on it to help other people but from you know I myself and Eric we've been knowing each other for what seven six seven years yeah something like that and that's about right yeah and you know I have seen the changes with the union I feel that the union has been really stagnant I think our dues should be used for community and now during the pandemic there is a lot of nurses are totally burned out and they're slowing to realize that nursing is not what I thought I did not sign for for this pandemic I never I've been a nurse for 13 years I never knew that was never thought it was going to be a pandemic like this so it changed your whole spectrum of what nursing stands and also what we should do to preserve it now I you know I look young but I am a grandma about to be a four and so one of them are going to be a nurse one day and actually one of them is a 10-year-old and he told me he said I don't you know looking at all my nursing books and looking at you know all my medical stuff and he's looking at me he said you know what I may want to be a nurse now mind you two years ago he wanted to be a race car driver so it happens so it it kind of inspired me a little bit like I need to do more leadership I mean I think I'm a natural leader in itself it's just how to do it where to go and this is just a step for me I'm at that age you know I need to look behind me of all the younger nurses my family and what my young grandchildren what they may be and I want to preserve that and that's a third reason why I'm standing to do this so and my peers I mean you work I any nurse work eight to 12 hours the facility that you work with is almost a second home to you so you want to stand up with your peers you know there shouldn't be no divide we're all standing for an employer who has been trying to take benefits away trying to take you know anything that makes it decent for you to just work and also is wearing tearing on your your wellness and your work like balance and just your whole mental state so it's it's so important to really know about your union about the breakdown of it about the history about everything you need to keep your employer accountable and also within the union just like nurses have to be accountable for everything we do and if we get in trouble of course we're going to be reprimanded the union needs to also go through the same thing as we do it's only fair so that's pretty much it for me any other questions I got you reading are you have you finished up your copy of a solidary unionism yet arena oh you mean the rank of file I am on chapter three has been on it's been interesting and since I will be going on vacation well I am on vacation right now I'll be leaving tomorrow I should be finishing up that book by then that's a that's one thing that like I don't want anyone to think just because I can speak about the union in a path lane telligible way that I've been studying this for a long time a lot of my knowledge about the union is pretty new and recent and like I got you know I picked up a copy of uh Staten Lin's the rank and file labor law for the rick and filer there's an audio book of it it's just as great like short little book about everything you need to know to kind of like exercise your rights and try and stay out of like trouble um I picked up a copy of uh you know uh Jamie cavelories no shortcuts we've been passing around a copy of Staten Lin's solidary unionism um and like there's a lot and then we went to labor notes and like it's funny because our union sent us to labor notes like I've got pictures of me and like uh other shift change uh people that uh were taken by staff if we were at the labor notes conference the the funny thing was is that I was in the the talks about how to build a caucus and how to exercise their democratic rights I was one of the few the only nurses in some of those spaces um and uh you know I I don't know what they expected to happen but the way they're treating this whole thing every little thing that we've gotten the fact that we can set that we are about to be able to send emails out was the thing that we had to fight for every step of the way they gave us a set of rules that the rules were the most conservative interpretation of our legal democratic rights that are set in federal law they gave us like the 1950s like Carpenter's Union interpretation of like those those rights uh they ignored all the case law that we have to be able to communicate with our co-workers to normal union channel like every communication method our union uses to normally communicate with us legally we should have access to now they're trying to throttle that's like all you can only send an email communication every 15 days it's like you know what like you're doing your little whisper campaign like 24 hours 24-7 just by and then you have to opt in to like to a communication about the uh about the election like they they were trying to keep and they're cutting meeting short they're cutting meetings off they were trying to bury this now we think that they're they're trying to shift gears because they know that this is a lot more serious um then uh then they thought it was you know we're not here to you know turn the union upside like well maybe turn the union upside down is a good way to think of it but in a good productive way not enough you know turn it upside down and shake it you know to like you know destroy it we want to turn it upside down so that's the way a real union supposed to be is it people who are elected into leadership are accountable to the people who elect them and um and our goal is to you know to make the union like we want to go from something like you know Chicago teacher union which is really powerful and famously like democratic uh wasn't always that way it was only focused on very basic stuff uh you know before um the women in uh Chicago teachers union took it over and changed it for the better um you know that's our goal is we want our union to be to have that internal vibrant discussion and debate about how the union should be work uh should work because we know that as nurses that we've got the skills and the capacity to have an impact on that as we're said we don't think that uh people who are paid out of our dues should ever be afraid when a nurse opens their mouth and says I think things could be better or I don't like how this is happening. Yeah and I think I think one more thing I do kind of want to add is that you know you were talking a bit earlier about sort of the risk of stagnation and I mean I think something that people don't want to hear is it like you know there there's been a wave of militancy in the last few years but the actual union like the actual unionization rate of the US keeps going down and I think a big part of that is you know like even even even in the periods when unions are really strong they got into these sort of bureaucratic patterns for people were busy sort of fighting their own internal like busy fighting their own rank and file and then when the bosses came for them they got destroyed and I don't know like it it really seems like a moment where either unions are going to you know people like you were going to win and you get these rank and file movements that are changing what the union is to be what it's supposed to be or the last remnants of unionism is going to die and that's I don't know like I mean it's depressing but that like if you just look at the unionization rate chart it just keeps going down and down and down and every time it seems like it's hit a do low it's like it it finds another way to go out which I guess it's kind of a dream way to look at it but I don't know I think it is very positive to think about how how there's organizing that's difficult it's hard to get people to do some things right it's difficult to pull people together or you know certain types of organizing when they don't feel like they have a say or a stake in what's going on but I will say that like it has been it is always I opening when I watch my co-workers pull together in this thing and I think that there's that common experience at work and especially care workers right now it is like that is driving us to do different things there's a reason why we're having a rank and file movement in our union now and things aren't just continue like continuing to stagnate I think that people recognize that their union has to be fighting for them I think that's a big thing people want the union to fight not to just kind of like sit there and you know you know people get really frustrated when they feel like their dues are being taken and they're not seeing that immediate benefit the immediate benefit only comes when we pull together and we fight back so I think that I totally see what you're saying I think a lot of that comes down to people who get into these positions and this is why we believe in the principle of like rotation and like and churning over the leadership as much as possible is that I think when you stay in no one should be in the position of organize yourself out of a job right yeah if you're doing your if you're being effective you're organizing yourself out of a job and I have organized out of myself out of some jobs and right now I've organized myself out of telling people that there's a movement and that we've got to participate in it and now I'm moving on to other things because I have like a whole crew of people in my hospital who are doing that organizing work without me having to do it so I think that there's it can be a little depressing when you look at like the raw numbers but I think that a lot of that is like it's like if you if your union is clearly not great and people kind of complained about it then yeah no one's going to want to join it like if your union thinks it's more important to be a landlord or you know stash 42 million dollars in the bank then it's to invest that money in actually building organizational expertise or you know building organizing the unorganized like Eric was saying in places that are like right to work states which we've won we have won contracts in right right to work states but you have to be looking you have to be constantly pushing for it and if you can't just take a little win here there and then be excited because you just got another union to affiliate you like our union does like we need to be working on actually bringing more and more workers into our union and if we don't do that it will die but I think that there's a spirit in the you know that you know when you come to a place to work with co-workers and you face common enemy and common problems common conditions you do see what it can look like when people decide to do something on their own you know to get back to Mia's point about declining unionism in this country in order to you know to change this decline in unionism we need to change who we are as union members we need to you know that I'm not a big doctor Phil fan but he used to say that thing all the time well how's that working for you unions need to take a look at themselves and say how how is this working for you we we are declining why do we continue to do the same thing we're doing over and over again we need to change who we are for example as a nurse a nurse needs to know when they stand up and speak out that when they stand up they won't be standing alone that there'll be somebody around them that other nurses are going to be there right behind them backing them up and that goes for any trade you know we we can't progress as workers without struggle and there will be struggle we need to march forward we need to be able to say everybody that can be any union should be in a union and we need to expand ourselves as nurses I mean I don't want to harp on it but this pandemic was devastating for us and I mean obviously no nurses worked remotely no I should say no bedside nurse worked remotely I know many of our nurse managers worked remotely and checked in on us through you know online things but for the most part every nurse bedside nurse was at that bedside it it was not it was not pleasant it was it was something that I'm sure many nurses are probably in you know counseling for they were that traumatized by it they had many people had lost family members just like the rest of the public did yet they still had to continue to work I think as a union we need to change who we are and like I said I don't want to point fingers or anything that you know people that are in the union now or the people are running against I'm sure they're good people but we have a different idea and we want to bring a change to how the union runs and I think that change will make us a stronger and better union and I think we'll be we'll have happier nurses and wind up with more activist nurses who will expand the union it's it's going to be a word of mouth you know one thing you can have the best organization in the world but the things that are the best product but what really makes your product worthwhile is word of mouth campaigns people have to talk about you people have to say hey you know that California Nurses Association that and then you they're really doing something I want to be a part of that you know we need to you know we've been pressing on a Medicare for all single payer and and of course ratios for everybody but we need to start organizing more and all those states for those workers suffer because I can tell you this right now you know I never talked about it with John our hospital is filled with nurses from the South and they they tell you oh I came to California for the ratios they need to fight for those ratios back in Alabama and Mississippi and all the states they come from we need to help them you know bring unions to the South you know the basic core of right to of right to work you was racism the racism is what drove right to work it was the same people that brought you segregation is what brought you right to work and you know that's a fact and it's important for us that you know we want to be an activist union and I I'm not opposed to that but we can do that by unionizing these hospitals and making those nurses bedside lives a lot better you know uh Staten Lin it's funny is that I always laugh you know John brings it up I'm from originally from Canton Ohio and of course Staten Lin taught I believe it was at Youngstown State he was from he was he spent the last part of his life after his Vietnam war activism in Youngstown in the Youngstown area and of course I think the last book I read by him was Wobbly's and Zapatistas you know he was talking about the it's a great book and not many people know about him I knew about him in Ohio because you know you know the social justice work there uh you know uh at Walsh at that time was Walsh College and then Walsh University now uh you know Joe Torma the professor there uh you know was often talked about Staten Lin and that's how I you know started reading a lot of his works um the things that he says about rank and file workers is something that we need to make part of the national conversation and we need to uh get that message out we need to to to tone down the big union actions and the big union talk and let's just make it a nurses conversation we always talk about our union about nurses values nurses valuables values are invaluable uh they they apply to every walk of life every trade and I think that's what we need to do and uh I know that's what Mark would say if he was on the call with us I I just got a text from him he's almost finished with our video so uh he's working hard I mean the guy took two weeks of his own time and and that's another thing here we are we are bedside nurses he he had to self teach himself how to make pretty high-end quality videos and we're not bought and sold we don't hire anybody to do our work for us we we're doing this ourselves we're bootstrapping it as you know what they call bootstrapping it yourself up here what we are bootstrapping uh a campaign and a movement um I don't know if we're gonna win uh we we we are at least going to make a hell of an impression on people um and I hope whether we win or lose that impression goes far and that uh people listen to what we're saying and demand what we're standing for what we want our union to be we don't want to have an SEIU like union we don't want to uh like we're paying for services here we want a union that listens to us and does what we want um a you a nurse shouldn't have to beg a labor rep um to say no we said no to a last best and final and our labor rep said no this is in our professional opinion this is a good deal well guess guess what Mia we got 10% more by saying no and I know that's I know that sounds that sounds greedy but in reality um you know we do get paid uh considerably more in California than than in other places in the country but also to buy a house and a bad neighborhood is a million and a half dollars correct so it so it's I have to drive an hour away just to get to work it is cheaper where I live right now than it is in the Bay Area I could not get a house in the Bay Area at all and we should be incorporating housing demands into our negotiations as well like especially the end is gonna be a landlord like come on well okay how about we you know uh the first public housing what's really co-operative housing built by unions like there's no reason why um you know these some of these institutions aren't in like incredibly wealthy and building uh you know if we can we have the kind of power to bring them to you know a screeching halt we should be able to like it you know get the kind of um things that we need to live but in our community like we should be living where our patients are anyway and it's uh you know and it's a a way of bringing our uh bringing us ourselves into our community so that our community is you know that we're part of our community um and you know I think we're I just gonna say I'm gonna be uh waking up in six hours so that I can go back to work um and we want to make sure that people know a couple of key things so uh there is an election happening if you are a nurse in a uh CNA uh California Nurses Association or National Nurses United and a no-see like hospital there is an election happening ballots are being mailed out to you um on uh on April 10th we expect that they're gonna start arriving a day or two after that um we are the shift change slate so the the four of us are running for the council of presidents uh it's Eric, Raina, John and uh Mark and uh if you want to find us on social media we just got our uh our Instagram account we are called Shift Change N and U we're on TikTok now we're gonna be releasing some videos Shift Change N and U and then we're also gonna have um we've got our YouTube and uh Facebook set up as well look for us there and we've got to go fund me because we've got to buy the materials that we are uh using to help organize with thankfully by the sounds of it our lawyers are going to be uh working for us for um because uh they believe in what we're doing and these are movement lawyers these are not right wing people who want to uh fight unions they want unions to be uh you know accountable to the workers and to be strong fighting unions and that's our main goal is I we think that our union could be one of the most powerful unions in the country if we organize and fight um and we organize by building our relationships uh trust and solidarity by constantly uh working to defend our contract and we think that as we build that energy we can take that to all the other things that we think are important as nurses so when we talk about nurses values we know those are actually nurses values and not some person who decided that they're gonna tag along with us and write on our co-tails to you know whatever political um future that they think they have uh you know we are you know this is our union and we're going to um make it you know accountable to us so that we can change the world and change our workplace and make you know being a nurse one of the those kind of jobs that people aspire to and not something that they come into for two or three years and then leave because it's so terrible so I don't know what else to say I'm ready for shift change Raina you ready for shift change yep and just like Ness Nessleman Delisei I never lose I either win or I learn hell yes hell yeah I love this this is a stop I look for thank you so much thank you Mia thank you thank you all for being on this is great and I really hope you all win and and if we win bring bring bring us back yeah let's talk to say yeah give us a report back we'll tell you we'll tell you everything that happened and maybe if we win we'll have a nice victory party and maybe we'll let you come out you and uh the rest of the it could happen here crew maybe do some live stuff for us because I think yeah that should be a kick out of that every time I hear a nurse say that I listen to it could happen here a part of me just like does a little snoopy happy dance hey we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe it could happen here is a production of Cool Zone media for more podcast from Cool Zone media visitor website coolzone media dot com or check us out on the iHeart radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts you can find sources for it could happen here updated monthly at coolzone media dot com slash sources thanks for listening welcome to Biggie Burger I'll take a cheeseburger two door or four door what sorry I'm shopping for a new car on the road to app did you know that roado finds discounts and rebates specific to each customer that's kind of cool right so you get the car you want at the price you want it's like getting your burger just how you like it get every rebate and discount available then say big on your next car with roado download the roado app or check out roto dot com roto the easiest way to buy or sell a car right from your phone I'm ava mendus and when I heard that the average kitchen sponge is 200,000 times earlier than a toilet seat I made finding a sponge good enough for my family and my home my mission that's when I discovered skurostyle sponges they're anti-microbial so they don't smell and tell you when it's time to replace them so if you never want to touch another stinky soggy bacteria filled sponge again go to skurostyle dot com that's skurostyle dot com when you arrive in the all new Toyota crown every entrance becomes a grand one with an available hybrid max power train that says you always arrive fashionably on time style that says emphasis on the fashionably and presence that says you speak softly and everyone listens introducing the Toyota crown the car that says so much Toyota let's go places