Today, I have completed 28 trips around the Sun.

Celebrations are great—although, to be honest, I’m still learning how to be comfortable on my own birthday—but birthdays are also a time for reflection. What’s happened since the last time I orbited the sun? What’s going to happen in this revolution that’s different from the last one?

It’s late, I’ve had a bit of bourbon, and I want to get to bed—but before I do, it’s time to set some targets for the next year.

Here’s what I want to do:

#1: Join Up with a Grassroots Movement

My cousin said something to me that’s been ringing in my head for a week. I asked him how would-be politicians and policymakers keep themselves from compromising too far, straying from the path they set out on to begin with.

His answer was “remaining accountable to your community relationships.” Which is impossible if you don’t form community relationships. Besides, I’m tired of serving underserved communities from a theoretical perch. I volunteered with a congressional campaign for a little bit, but it takes year-round action to fight for a community.

#2: Get Involved in Local Government

This one’s easy: I want to understand how Santa Clarita City Council works. There’s 5 councilmembers, and among themselves they vote for a mayor every year. What does the mayor do? What does the council do? How often are individual members up for re-election? How much do they actually accomplish during a term?

Recently, the council voted unanimously to sue the state to allow local law enforcement to work with ICE. They’re selling out our neighbors—the City Council’s members matter, for better or worse.

Hard goal: attend 7 of the next 12 monthly meetings.

#3: Read 2 Public Policy Books

Self-education starts with a goal. First step would be finding some good recommendations/reading lists, but 2 books to start with would be good. That’s on top of everything else I want to learn about (which I’ll be touching on in a blog this week).

#4: Save $3,000

That’s just good sense.

By August 13th, 2019, I will have accomplished all of these things. Hold me to it. And since it’s only fair…what do you want to do by your next trip around the Sun?

What I Want from Solar Orbit No. 29