Plans, not resolutions: Walking, reading, writing ahead

IMG_5972I plan to walk more in January, despite icy sidewalks. I plan to read more and have a stack of poetry and novels and nonfiction to tackle. I plan to write more, too — on a variety of topics, personal and political, local and global. That includes recycling contracts in St. Paul, Glendale public housing in Minneapolis, solar greenhouses and winter gardens across Minnesota, and bad bus stops in my neighborhood.

I will keep writing about Black Lives Matter and the new civil rights movement. Black Lives Matter reminds me of the Black Panthers in the 1960s and 1970s. Its articulate, young, black leadership focuses on issues in local communities, connecting with an analysis of larger issues. Black Lives Matter organizes disciplined, non-violent actions to both gain wider attention for its demands and build the movement.

Immigration is a tough issue, with complex facts and laws. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to write about it in a way that will tell the stories well and convince people this is important.

For a little more than a year, I produced a more-or-less regular immigration newsletter, collecting and linking to immigration stories in the news. I’m discontinuing that newsletter, and instead plan to write more about immigration on this blog.

Among January’s immigration stories: The Obama administration’s plan for massive deportations of Central American families this winter. Violence in Central America continues to escalate, driving refugees north despite the dangers of the journey, harsh treatment by Mexican and U.S. border police, and difficulty of petitioning for asylum.

Sometimes I write because I feel strongly about an issue, even though I fear I have little to add to what others have already said. Sometimes I write because I think that people need to know more about an issue. Often, I spend many hours on research and writing, but find that few people share my fascination with a particular topic. The time and effort I spend on writing seems to have no relationship to the number of people who want to read what I have written. Usually, I have no idea whether dozens or thousands of people will read a post.

Last year’s five most popular posts, just in case you missed them:


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