June 2nd, 2019, Sunday

Von Ochoa here to do a VEO for the Peoples – por Las Gentes – de Bellingham

Review and Study Corner, Episode 1.

On May 18th, 2019 It was a Saturday,

I went to the First Congregational Church off of Alabama and Cornwall

for an event. Author, Ryan Berg, (B-e-r-g)

flew over from Minneapolis.

He wrote a book called “No House to Call My Home”

and… in that… during that event, there was a reading from the book and then there was some talk of a program called “Host Home” in Minneapolis.

It’s an advocate program for homeless youth there. For LGBTQ youth.

He talked about it being an “Us & Us” model. Us and Us.

Solidarity versus Charity model.

And there are wrap-around support services.

And I’ve been wondering how Bellingham perhaps could have a “Host Home” sort of program

for youth or for families… for single people.

and… there was a question of like how… how could, you know, the Host Home program setup could be brought to a new city.

And Ryan said that it relies so much on community engagement.

and that the host recruitment is tough and they hope for 5 new hosts a year.

People asked like “What support is provided to hosts?”

and Ryan talked about 3 referrals. Each host needs to have 3 referrals and they get 16 hours of training and background checks. And there’s also a Community Network for them

He said if you call something a “support group”, nobody shows up. But if you call something a “community network”, then people participate.

and the commitment for each host is from 1 day to 3 months, depending.

There’s – for longer term stays – there’s 3 meet-and-greets. And the hosts also get a welcome kit.

and I forget like what everything is included in the welcome kit but… maybe that’s online.

Emerson, who is the coordinator of the Ground Floor, located underneath First Congregational Church. He talked about how… he talked about the services there for youth. That is a day space. It’s not a night space. It’s a day space for youth.

Even though it’s been open for a little over 3 months, you know, things are still fresh and new but things are going really well.

Happy to hear that.


Somebody asked if there is a wish list for the Ground Floor, and I didn’t write much in notes so maybe that’s online, if there is a wish list right now.

But it’s something to look for.

And then after, after those, after the presentation and the Q&A, there was a little meet-and-greet with some refreshments in the gathering space.

And so I got to talk to Ryan for a bit.

It was really nice to meet him. I hope to maybe check in with him at some point… this summer.

Then on May 20th, 2019, there was the Green New Deal 101 at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship.

and I just, you know, I just have notes here, so pardon the lack of continuity sometimes or coherence sometimes from one thought to another.

There was some comparing and contrasting of Jay Inslee’s plan versus Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Plan – the Green New Deal.

It was said, by the panel, that Jay Inslee’s plan has details like, awesome details, whereas The Green New Deal needs somemore details.

Talked about how we need more people to vote.

We need to make voting easier for the entire public.

Talked about – we need “intersectional proposals” and to really know public sentiment, but have proposals that… that… acknowledge the complexity of this issue.

and the Green New Deal is about “Restructuring Industrial Policy”.

It was said – we need to manage the transition for those vulnerable workers in the fossil fuel industry.

and think about transitioning – how to transition agriculture away from fossil fuels.

and… have something like a GI Bill equivalent for those in the coal industry

Paraphrasing a quote: “The benefits of being a part of the solution are greater than the costs of doing nothing.”

“The benefits of being a part of the solution are greater than the costs of doing nothing.”

I learned, just briefly, there was mention of “Behavioral Economics”.

I want to do some more study into that and thinking about, you know, “win-win-win intersectional proposals”.

Mention of Marx and capitalism and how “rugged individualism” alienates us from each other.

and that Movements die when things collapse on the inside.

There was a question about fundamental campaign finance reform.

And mention of organized money versus organized people. And that we can overpower organized money with People Power. And that we should end “corporate personhood”.

And then there was a question about how to mobilize more young people.

And then talk of The Sunrise Movement. I need to look that up – The Sunrise Movement

and… how – the panel said, you know, the youth are at the forefront… of addressing climate change and so… paraphrasing quotes here:

We need to lift their voices.

Help them find where they fit in.

and… to remember that no one is an expert so we should all show up to conversations and discussions with humility.

and that none of us, none of us has completely figured it out.

you know…

So, no one is an expert. Come with humility.


Those are some things I’ve been chewing on.

and, in terms of

where I’m at in this journey

I’ve been taking care of a lot of logistical things that go along with running for elected office – local office.

Financial things. IRS, EIN stuff.

Signing on with Public Disclosure and… Charities and Corporations…

and then

There are a lot of questionnaires.

Really important questions that I want to answer and

and timelines are tight and I don’t want to give any

half-baked answers, you know? So, that takes time.

I’m doing my best.

and I feel, I feel that

you know, I…

in my studies in meditation and… one of the things I’ve learned that: my job is to show up, tell the truth, do the very best I can, and be as non-attached to the outcome as possible.

so… I’m going to be trying… I’m going to be trying to do…

I’m going to try to make videos at least once every couple of weeks and do these reviews and talk about things that have been on the table.


you know, just… just kinda give an inside picture of how I’m navigating this whole process.

It’s going to be a very not-boring couple of months. If not, 2 and a half years.

And I feel that, if I were to be elected to a City Council seat,

I just feel like I know that there’s going to be a lot of people sitting in that seat with me, you know?

So, I’m thankful to everyone who’s offered their guidance so far

All of the encouragement, all of the support.

I’ll keep doing my best.