June 30, 2016
Roz Omid

What’s so hard about being a U.S. Senator? A bill comes to the senate floor, professionals staffers help the senator figure out if the bill is good, and finally they vote. That is, if he or she happens to be in Washington, if not that’s okay.

I know it’s not so easy to become a U.S. Senator but let’s say my name got on the ballot here in Oregon and I was elected. But before going into the story of what I’ll do as a senator I’ll have to tell you something important. You see I don’t believe in giving my vote, therefor power, to a person in such office! Why? Because communities are giving up too much power to a system that is not working. I will vote for people in my municipality. Yes I believe in democracy but the election that I am asked to participate in is not all that participatory. And that’s a whole other essay.

Let’s go back to my story; A paradoxical paradigm opened up and sucked me into a realm of being elected as a senator from Oregon. First thing I’ll do as a Senator Elect is to hire a Native American Tribal lawyer I know or someone like her as the Chief of Staff and I’ll make sure that not only Oregon’s Native American voices are heard but also the voices of all Native Americans. Indigenous people’s agenda will be given highest consideration in the congressional negotiations. What they have lost is immense and my office will do all it can to make amends. Don’t worry I won’t make decisions that helps just one group by hurting others, that’s not the Native Way.

The staffers in D.C. and Oregon are there to voice Oregonians and their own opinions about all matters. The goal is to connect them with a network of volunteers throughout Oregon so Oregonians can say what’s on their mind in many town meetings where I can be available in person or via live stream video to take questions. Staff and volunteers on the ground will talk to people who didn’t get a chance to express themselves. Participatory democracy and community empowerment is the goal.

Another priority is to make amends to African-Americans. From personal experiences such as seeing the subtle yet deeply painful reaction of an educated black man and listening to what he was feeling after driving by a house with a large confederate flag in front of it, I know amends need to be made. It begins by stopping insults to injury.

Here is how I can sum up my overall political and philosophical goal in one sentence; Shift in our consciousness towards a consensus decision making process is vital. You see I believe that the emergence of hierarchy in natural evolution has cased the social and ecological mess we are in. I don’t ask you to take my word for it or analyze it. If you can, take a little time and contemplate on it. Contemplate is Latin with a prefix, a suffix and temple in the middle; a sacred space. Concept of sacred is different to different people but we can all agree that it’s a place, space, or consciousness out of our usual day to day grind.

If I become a U.S. Senator people like Senator Lindsey Graham flip out after finding out that an Iranian-American will be his colleague. Maybe he’ll need another day to figure out what to say when he finds out that I wasn’t born into a Muslim family but a Zoroastrian family from Kerman, Iran and I still consider myself Zoroastrian even though my spiritual practice has a present time take on it. Others will also be surprised when I fly from Oregon to Washington D.C. via Asia.

I’d like to go to North Korea, to find out what they intend to do with the H-bomb they say they have and what would they like from the world to come out of isolation.

Next stop Iran, where my life as a minority is worth half as much as a Muslim in a car accident. I’ll discuss ending Syrian civil war if it’s not ended by then. I’ll spend two days in an eco-tourist village to build a superadobe shelter with sand bags designed by Cal-Earth.

Next stop Germany, to talk to my counterparts and feel out the soul searching they have done since World War II.

Next stop Old Jerusalem and Palestine. I hope to have conversations with Jews and Muslims. Finally a day of rest on beach in Tel Aviv..

All this will be before I even take the oath of office. The trip will not be funded by the oil or lumber industries. Oregon’s natural resources are not there to make a few families rich and create low paying jobs, and deplete our ecology.

When I get to Washington D.C. we’ll find the largest building I can afford. Four to six hundred square feet of it will be my private space and the rest will be live/work space for staffers and volunteers who want to save money by lower rent and food cost and have a community living lifestyle.

The first senior senators I’ll visit to give my respect will be Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (if they aren’t in the White House). I hope they’ll co-author a bill with me to fund young American, 17 to 25, to take extended economy trips around the world. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” Mark Twain. It’ll be built into the military budget. We have been sending too many young people to wars and in preparation for wars. It’s time to send our youth for peace, cultural exchange, and prosperity.

I’ll also introduce a bill to minimize funding of K-9 over 10 to 20 year period. I’m sure there’ll be a couple of Republican Senators who’ll co-author it. Government needs to get out of the business of people educating their kids and communities. It’s not the 19th century anymore and the problems of child labor practices. The public education is not working for the poor. I know, I was a teacher in public schools where people of color were by far the majority. It’s the age of advance tablets, inexpensive apps, Khan Academy, fast internet, and middle class 13 year olds starting profitable online businesses. However I’ll support free higher education. And if tech companies and sports francies need skilled workers then they ought to spend some money in training of the workforce they rely on. People’s property and state taxes shouldn’t be the source to train athletes for billion dollar sport franchise.

My priority is to give voice to change the decision making process and at the same time rerouting power back to communities from big business, federal and state governments.

We need to be able to take care of people in our communities who need shelter, food, work, healthy social interaction, and participate in cultural events. Before Europeans came and “modernized” the Americas, there were people living here who were able to feed and shelter their communities, have work for everyone, have cultural events, and trade with their neighboring tribes 30 miles away even if they didn’t speak the same language. Now everyone speaks the same language and there is more violence, homelessness, and joblessness, and loneliness. We need to make America Native Again.