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A Deep Respect for Democracy

I‘ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how Daniel’s doing. I’m thrilled to report his recovery continues to fall under the heading of “amazing.” His surgery was on June 7th, and yesterday (July 15) we went hiking. Hiking! We haven’t done that in years.

We loaded the little guy into the baby backpack, and Celeste walked. It was our first hike ever as a family of four. We did 1.5 miles to a water fall in the Angeles National Forest called Stuteravnt Falls. Daniel was a little tired after the three miles round trip (the last .6 is straight uphill), and Celeste was outright exhausted. That’s the longest hike she’s ever done, but she did it (the last .6 was a struggle). I was giddy.

I love hiking, and with Daniel’s back so bad and two little ones in tow, I had kind of just put it aside, accepting the possibility that it might not come back, but then, like magic, there we were. Even with Celeste’s periodic whining, and the little guy pulling my hair, and the crazy crowd at the waterfall, it was bliss. I’m already imagining the back country trips we might some day take in Yosemite. Here are some photos of us at the falls (yes, my girl hiked in  dress – she’s fancy like that).

As for the writing, I’ve been super busy. I’m working on three different articles for one client, wrapping up a newsletter for another, and I *might* get to write up the pros and cons of a ballot measure for the coming election. I have phone call to talk that through today. It’s unpaid, but it would be a great opportunity to write something that actually has a huge impact and I have to admit, it’s not an issue I can claim to be impartial on. It’s Prop 37

– the measure that would require the labeling of genetically modified foods.

In case you don’t know, I’ve done a lot of writing on this topic. For one month in 2010 I tried to avoid Monsanto products, just to see if it was possible and blogged about it on a blog called Month Without Monsanto

. That morphed into a whole “know your food” campaign called Digging Deep that now has nine different bloggers writing for it.

In my opinion, the data on the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods is lacking, and people have a right to know if the food they’re buying contains food that are of questionable safety. Did you know that in the US you can’t study a patented item (say a GM soybean) without permission from the patent holder? So here in the states the only people studying the safety of GM soybeans are the people who make them (Monsanto, among others). That’s a serious conflict of interest, in my book. In Europe, where the laws are different, Monsanto can’t seem to get approval on their GM soybeans. Hmmmmm.

Anyway, don’t get me started.

And that’s why I say I *might* be writing the ballot measure pro and con sheet. If they can provide me with the argument for the con side and all I have to do is polish it up and make it match the pro side, I can do that. But if they want me to actually research the con side, there’s no way I can be impartial about it. I wish I could. I even considered downplaying my passion for the topic, or out-rightly pretending to not care so that they would give me the job. Sadly, I have a deep respect for democracy and an informed voting public.

So I’m not sure if I will get the job. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I’d just like to say – YES on Prop 37!


  1. Jen Clarke
    Jul 16, 2012

    Glad Daniel is doing so well, and that you all got to enjoy the hike!

  2. Jenny
    Jul 25, 2012

    April – I’m so glad you’re going to be working with the League of Women Voters Education Fund on the Pros and Cons for Prop 37 on the November 6, 2012 ballot.

    We work with a lot of experts and writers to put our materials together. We interview a number of people, just like you, and turn to a number of sources representing different viewpoints. After almost 100 years of doing this work, we’re pretty good a putting together fair, balanced resources people can trust. You’re working with fabulous volunteers across the state who will make the most of your experience, expertise, and skills – and ensure that the final product meets award winning standards for excellence. And your work will be read by hundreds of thousands of voters, helping them get the information they need to make up their own minds about how they want to vote.

    By joining the League, you’re helping make democracy work.

    More about the League’s work to help Californians be active and informed:

    Donations to help fund this important work are tax deductible:


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