Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

09 Nov 2020, 10:06 a.m.

Quite A Weekend

All the news networks and newspapers have analyzed the ballots counted so far and predicted that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won the US Presidential election. We have so much work ahead, yes, but the RELIEF of this result is tremendous. Those spontaneous jubilant gatherings in the streets would have been much larger if it weren't for COVID (I stayed home and I'm guessing a ton of other rejoicers did too). As a friend said, it's like we juuuuuust made the last offramp.

My citizenship is safer (I'm the daughter of immigrants). My property is safer. My health is safer. My neighbors are safer. It's easier to make plans and have them feel meaningful. To feel purpose.

As I've seen some folks point out on social media: there are no red states, only voter suppression states. One of the corollaries here is: states that you think of as reliably Democratic would and could turn Republican if bad actors suppress enough of the vote. Great user experience for voter registration, voter notification, citizen engagement and turnout, and voting matter everywhere. If you want to see how this could work, read America, Inc. by Andrea Phillips -- it's a near-future science fiction novel with a lot of design thinking about US elections. And then if you want to start getting involved in those issues in your area, adults of all genders are welcome to help out with the League of Women Voters.

Leonard finished reading Vikram Seth's monumental novel A Suitable Boy and we talked about it at some length. Soon we'll probably start watching the BBC adaptation. It's such a generous and loving book, so many people doing so many human things. Shoemaking! Electoral politics! Music! Love! Poetry, farming, sex work, riots, parenting, teaching, healing, gardening, romance.... and did I mention the shoe manufacturing?!?!?! I'm so glad he's read it now so it's a part of both our internal worlds, together.

Alex Trebek died. I am sad about this; I grew up watching Jeopardy! and the older I get the more I appreciate all the little rituals and institutions that, together, make a culture.

The brilliant leaves on the trees outside are so gorgeous and, in their own way, lush.

I kept on adding at least 400 words per day to the git repository where I work on my book. It's like a hike. I look up at an intimidatingly high peak in the morning, and then I walk a step at a time for long enough, and then it's lunchtime at the vista. The height is a kind of mirage. What's important is the path.