Thank you for your interest in the campaign. Below you can learn more about why I am running for Congress and how I came to dedicate my life to empathy-centered culture reform, which is core to the campaign.
A Seeker: My Travels Around the World
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in sunny Sacramento, California and have now lived in El Cerrito, California for about the last 30 years. As a teenager growing up in Sacramento, I was anxious to graduate from high school and start traveling around the world. Learning by practical experience was my motto and I wanted to have adventures and seek the meaning of life. I graduated in just 3 years and started off by backpacking for several months in the Sierra Nevada's and got a job in a gold mine. I was hitchhiking with my dog, Buck, and a beat-up old pickup truck drove by. "Want a job?" the driver yelled out. "Doing what?" I asked. "Gold mining!" How could I resist.... Three months latter I hadn't made much, if any money, but it sure was an adventure.
Next, I rode a bicycle to Vancouver, Canada from Sacramento, stopping to pick apples in Hood River, Oregon. Thus started my traveling and working my way around the world. In total, I was "on the road" for about 10 years. I interacted with a wide variety of cultures and peoples from all walks of life and learned to see the common humanity of all people on the planet.
Sailing an outrigger canoe "sampan" in Bali, Indonesia. They're made of hollowed out logs and are quite heavy. My friend Nyoman helps me drag it into the water.
Sailing a sampan and searching for dolphin's in Bali.
As an movie extra , I played the part of a soldier in Apocalypse Now. This was filled in the Philippines. That's me in the back row. X marks my back.
My first book edition on display at B. Daltons in San Francisco, 1986
Joan Kuenz talks about how we developed and facilitated the Inspiration and The Art of Living Black project
Finding What I Had Been Seeking
Center for Building A Culture of Empathy
We need to train our politicians in how to listen and hear each other. I have been holding these empathy and listening skills trainings. You can join the training and help spread the skills and way of being in your families and communities. If you want the support my campaign, the first step to take is hosting some Empathy Circles with your family.
Start an Empathy Circle and ask the question, 'How might we bridge the personal, social and political divides in out communities?'
Horrors of War
Our Global Empathy Deficit.
Another reason for dedicating myself to raising the level of empathy in the world is from hearing the childhood stories of my parents. My parents were young German teenager's during World War II and were living in the Eastern part of Germany and Poland. They told me stories of the horror's of the war as the advancing Russian soldiers took their revenge on German civilians for what the German army had done to them in their homeland. On my fathers side, everyone in his family - mother, father, sister and brother were shot and killed in their house. On my mothers side, the woman were repeatedly raped by soldiers. They both then went through years of being refugees and barely surviving from day to day.
These sort of horrors continue to happen now around the world. I see the war and all its atrocity's as a human empathy defect that I have dedicated the rest of my life addressing. I'm working to head off these sort of horrors in the future. I made a documentary about each of my parents lives up to the point when they arrived as refugees in the USA, which accepted them with open arms. See them below.
Empathy Tent Mediation
This video is part of the documentary, "Trumphobia: what both sides fear." It shows our Empathy Tent Team and I mediating between the political left and right. It captures our message of how we can bring the sides together with listening to all sides and bringing the participants together in Empathy Circles to listen to each other. The Empathy Tent listening and mediation was also featured in Articles and TV News Shows.
Taking the Message to the U.S. Congress
I now want to bring the Empathy Movement to the wider community and to the centers of power. Citizens, communities and especially politicians need to sit down and talk to each other!
"Solving any problem, any issue, any challenge, any conflict, starts with mutual listening and dialogue. If this is missing, democracy cannot work."
We have held may Empathy Circle dialogues with people on the political left and right. We know that these dialogues lead to a sense of connection where people are ready to take on problems together as partners instead of adversaries, despite their disagreements. Right now, our politics are controlled by people unable to get beyond the needs of power, money, special interest, and polarization. With my campaign I intend to demonstrate how we can work together. Vote to send me to Washington to spur the kind of change in our politics that WE THE PEOPLE NEED.