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I write from beautiful Portland, Oregon, where I have been a non-violent, pro-peace online (social media) general political

activist and civil servant for well over 20 years. I do it, because I CAN. I happily resident in a one-bedroom condo, courtesy of the Section 8 program, among some of our town's most wealthiest, many benefit from business tax credits, subsidies, and the like (more on the this later) I am a survivor, And I feel your pain, friend. Yes, I recall when life was sweeter, prior to 911, the now then year war waging in the middle east, hurricane Katrinal Rita, the great recession of 2008, along with personal grief and loss of so many loved ones. I refuse to resign myself to force to do more with less and this distinction is going to be very important, in the years to come. I think those who work hard every day, to keep society running need to focus on their jobs and not on the money. My "job" is to detect inequalities in the system, and then report my findings to the various individuals, elected officials, organizations, government agencies, activist networks, assorted news media, and all other interested parties. I then get mysteriously fired for whistle blowing and then after I've exposed the truth, I miraculously win my unemployment claim. This is not an easy life to lead, but, yes, I sleep very well at night, after a long day of work. I have written thousands of letters, on a wide range of important issues that impact all of us (environment justice, housing, poverty, transportation, education, immigration, clean water/food, civil rights, healthcare, etc and I am pleased to report, that my voice is starting to be heard in the arenas of education, healthcare, and fair taxation. I have experienced setbacks, and numerous small victories, I believe in the idea of synergy the possibilities of what can happen, when diverse circles of influences, meet together, to create a "apex" of true change shifting, etc..... My response to those who would dare to push me aside, is this: to where do you presuppose I move to? There is nowhere else I can go, therefore, I shall remain. I shall not be moved, so better get used to my being here, until I pretty much die. You see, we in the activist community, have our own tricks of the trade, but prefer to use the word toolkit. We have a rich history of community organizing, mobilizing, and educating informing. We also employ a wide range of strategies, in our evolving and organic toolkit- for change. We deploy hope, to those who have none. It matters! The next time someone appears to be harming you, ask them this question: how much were you paid and by whom? If I were to double your pay, and turn it around, against those parties, who would intend to do this to me and my family, certain injuries, or offenses, and then see the look on their faces, when you do this. I no longer harbor the

burden of fear of retaliation, with so much happening; we no longer have the luxury of time, to even dwell on these concerns. At this point of the game, I am more concerned about whether or not my activism, will be of benefit to the millions in this country, and around this planet, who may now lack access to the basics: clean food and water, safe and affordable housing, equitable healthcare, decent family wage jobs with benefits, a well rounded education that actually teaches real skills for living, a world class public transportation system, et al, all of the things, that make for a truly sustainable living world community. This all the motivation I need, to wake up every day, and serve. I do not wish to become a dead martyr, as I am more effective, if I can continue to speak out for a long time, about the injustices that I see around me. I can be killed, but not the ideas, whatsoever. As the people continue to wake up, from the consumer induced comas, I would like to think, that I am one of many, who helped to make this a reality. My activism is informed, in part, by: listening to folks, such as yourself, tons of reading and research, detection, writing, and speaking out, whenever possible. Learning to recognize the language of fear and resignation is only something that I have recently begun to realize, so I continue to accelerate my growth in other ways.

It is a scary world in which we live, but also filled with unrecognized rich opportunities Gratefully, Martha Perez General Political Activist/Civil Servant