July 15, 2018

Head Heart Hustle Herald: Birthday Gratitude

Head Heart Hustle Herald

Sunday, July 15th Edition

Birthday Gratitude

You’ll forgive me for being late with the  Sunday paper, opportunities to sit down are increasingly few and far between.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I didn’t say it last week, but I want you to know I have been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America! DSA is the party of Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and I am thrilled, honored, and humbled to have their support. DSA has a very robust volunteer network and they have been making phone calls and planning door-knocking efforts to support this campaign.

If you are interested in learning about DSA or joining , please

The absurdity of this summer is that both my job-job and my campaign-job are both hitting full force at the same time. Work has been exactly as busy as it should be when you are trying to do something that’s never been done before on behalf of hundreds of households. There’s nothing sadder than not being busy when time is short, consequences are dire, and help is available, so we welcome the flurry, but its very hard! As I tell my clients “We’re trying to pull of 300 miracles in 3 weeks, so please bear with us.”

Please check out news of the historically significant progress being made in the fight against tax foreclosure in recent news. What the articles don’t tell you, is that the numbers of families at risk of foreclosure are still just as high, when the numbers of properties that ultimately go through foreclosure goes down, it is the result of a whole lot of absurdly hard work.

Last Friday was my (and my dad’s) birthday. Last Saturday, I celebrated with about 100 neighbors (mostly children) in a beautiful day of fun in Hamtramck’s Pulaski Park. We had pizza and music and hula hoops and a soccer tournament, and bicycle bells and coloring and fun fun fun!

I was a sight to see so many kids decked out in Michele Oberholtzer t-shirts. We had ordered unexpectedly small ones that were useless to our volunteers, so they turned into party swag to throngs of youthful partygoers.

The theme of the party was “Hustle For Your Neighbor,” and admission was conditional upon an act of kindness for another person (no one was turned away). We filled the sidewalks with testimonies of our good deeds that truly warmed my heart. “I found a dollar at school and turned it into the teacher.” “I helped my neighbor get her mail because she’s very old and she can’t reach.” “I fed a bottle to my baby brother.” “I pick up litter all the time.” These were the words of the children who were downright competitive about their neighborliness. We even picked up the pieces just seconds after the water balloon fight ended.

I did not grow up in this neighborhood, I came into it as an adult. That fact alone could be a disqualifier in many political fields, but I hope that my newness is not just a liability, but rather an indication of my very deliberate choice to be here, and of my appreciation for what this place has given me. To be surrounded by recent immigrants is to be in touch with the perspective of choosing one’s country. In that sense, I can relate more with many of my neighbors than I would if I was born here.

I am something of a sentimental soul, and I welcome opportunities, such as birthdays to reflect and mark milestones. If I take a snapshot of my life in this moment, I am in the midst of a period of great uncertainty and great abundance.

Regardless of that context, the truth is I am very grateful for a great may things in my life right now. I am grateful for the wonderful memories, incredible connections, and generous support that so many people are giving me. I’m grateful to be so deep in my community now that what used to feel like serendipity now just feels like being a neighbor. I’m grateful for the chance people are giving me my putting me in a path of agency for positive change.

My gratitude is not an act of ignorance about the very many deep challenges. In fact, gratitude becomes more relevant, not less, in difficult times.

Thank you to everyone for your support in all the ways it manifests.

Thank you to all of you who engaged in acts of kindness in honor of my birthday request. If I do nothing else in life other than to have my birthday celebrated by acts of kindness, what a legacy that would be. Hopefully, there is more, but that alone is so wonderful to be part of.

If you want to give some time to volunteer, we will put you to good use.

Your candidate,


July 15, 2018

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