25 Facts about Me:
1. I was married on 06/05/04 to Katy Baily.
2. My daughter Lorelei was born on 8/26/08.
3. I graduated from Earlham College in 2000. I majored in history. I met Katy a month before we both graduated.
4. I spent the first semester of my senior year in Jerusalem as part of a peace studies program.
5. I dropped out of law school after 1 miserable semester.
6. I also transferred to Earlham College from Millsaps college. I loved the profs at Millsaps but had a very depressing social life due to all the very conservative students and 90% student body participation in the Greek system.
7. I went to Millsaps because I wanted to study at a Methodist College in the deep south. I was fasciniated with civil rights movement and thought Millsaps would be a great experience.
6. I spent three years as an organizer for SEIU. I mostly helped low income workers form unions; though my favorite assignment was working for the Chicago Hospital Accountability Project. I helped organize patients whose financial lives (and real lives) were being destroyed by hospitals named Christ Hospital and Good Samaritian Hospital, etc.
7. I have been arrested twice. Fortunately both times were for civil disobedience. I was arrested in 1997 at the School of America’s protest and in 2006 at a Justice for Janitor’s rally in Indianapolis.
8. In college I worked as an intern organizer for the New Party on the southside of Chicago, which a young up and coming politician was a member. His name? Barack Obama.
9, During my stent as a New Party organizer, I got to see Chicago’s first living wage law passed and helped Ted Thomas win the 15th ward alderman’s race. He was going up against the Daily machine and won! Of course, he pretty much sold out the machine.
10. I have personally met Barack Obama twice. When I was working for the Hospital Accountability Project, I was part of a press conference on a piece of legislation that he had co-sponsored. The second time was when my father-in-law (an economist) spoke at a Chicago gathering for the “Hope Fund.” In the room that day was Al Franken and Jim Wallis.
11. I have gone from being very conservative politically to being very progressive. For some reason I started really paying attention to politics in 1994 and was wowed over by the Gingrich revolution. I read and loved his book “To Renew America” and also read Richard Nixon’s last book. Though I can’t stand neither now, I do wish we progressives adapted some of their hardball tactics and organizing skill. (I think Obama did this quite nicely).
12. I started to really change politcally because of my friends and church. Our church did alot of mission work and it soon became apparent that there was so much poverty not largely because people were stupid and lazy but that the system was broken and stacked against them.
13. One of the most important experiences of my life was when I attended the Youth Theology Institute at Chandler School of Theology, Emory University in 1995. This is also one of the reasons I ended up at Earlham—because three others (out of 60) went to Earlham.
14. Michael Moore is my favorite filmmaker, closely followed by Spike Lee. Both Roger and Me and Do the Right Thing came out in the same year.
15. I grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana. Though not the most progressive or cosmopolitian of places, I value my friendships from Brownsburg High School as some of the most important relationships in my life. Plus, it was awesome growing up in a 1880 farm house surrounded by countless acres of fields.
16. I pretty much sucked as a substitute teacher.
17. When I was studying in Jerusalem, my favorite experience was working as an intern for Rabbis For Human Rights.
18. The first decent CD I got was REM’s Out of Time. I was a bit freaked out because my mom gave it to me for my birthday but our eighth grade music teacher told us that the album was satanic! I also got U2’s Achtung Baby soon afterwards. My two favorite bands growing could be spelled out with 5 characters– U2/REM.
19. I cried every time I got cut from the basketball team (7th grade, 8th grade, 9th grade). Though I had the size to be good at football, I only played one year of jr. league football. And I sucked and was afraid to get hit.
20. I was on Brownsburg’s Academic Team. Though the football/basketball teams weren’t too hot at BHS in 1996, our Brain Game Team kicked ass. We should have run the tv tourney twice (choked!) and won every regional tournement in central Indiana in 1995 and 1996. I was the Scottie Pippen on the team though, not the Michael Jordan.
21. I was told in high school by the associate pastor at our church (and mentor) that I might be able to find a way to combine my work with the church, my growing social activism, and my family’s construction bussiness into some sort of calling. It seems to be turning out way.
22. Before 2008 I had never been qouted in a newspaper. Last year I was qouted in all three of Indianapolis’ major publications (Indianapolis Monthly, Nuvo, Indianapolis Star.)
23. I Am the layleader of a United Methodist church, a founder of the Earth House Collective, and an estimator for Oles Engineering.
24. I almost ran for Indianapolis city-council in 2007. I was asked not to run by the Dems and glad I didn’t. The party didn’t keep a single promise they made to me—but they did get slaughtered that year in the election.
25. My top five favorite places in Indiana are: our Broad Ripple home, Tryon Farm in Michigan City, the Ohio River hamlet of Bethlehem, Earlham College, and my family’s Brownsburg homeplace.