I’m AJ and I’m the East Coast Ambassador for Brown Paper Tickets. This new role has required that I relocate to the East Coast from Seattle. It’s a time of transition but this change has provided me the opportunity to follow my passions. I was raised in a home where active participation was encouraged and my family and I had regular conversations around the dinner table about public issues, politics, political leaders, history & democracy. While my parents taught us to think for ourselves, and to express our own opinions, we didn’t always agree. The most important lesson I learned from those dinners, was to find out the facts for myself. Which is exactly what I did once I got to New York City.
Upon my arrival in the Big Apple, I wanted to see what was happening at the Occupy Wall Street protests. So, one of the first things I did when I got into town was head down to Zuccotti Park where thousands of protesters has set up an encampment. After wandering around the park for a bit, looking for ways to help, I ended up volunteering for 10 hours preparing food for the protesters and for visitors to the park. The food was predominantly pizza deliveries, dishes cooked in various home kitchens and carried into the park by hand and salads made on site when other foods ran out. Unfortunately, this system doesn’t guarantee hot meals or a consistent, timely or nutritious diet but it succeeds in keeping the protesters and their supporters fed. Read the rest of this entry »