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88 minutes | May 11, 2022
191: with Tim McCloud, Oregon Governor candidate
Tim McCloud is running a historic campaign for the Republican nomination for Oregon Governor. Tim has been a father, a businessman, an early childhood educator, and the chair of a City of Albany bike and pedestrian commission. In a crowded field, I was happy to give this thoughtful fella a chance to talk Oregon issues, especially knowing how less-funded candidates can get drowned out. We discuss child abuse in Oregon's legal system (0:38), commutation of sentences (4:15), campaign challenges and barriers (7:55), "people over party" and closed primaries (14:19), Tim's background (21:14), public narrative vs. leader's reality (26:12), policy recognizing people: Tim's critique (30:02), Student Success Act (32:31), Black Lives Matter and policing (40:33), free expression, protest tactics, automobiles (49:58), Tim's campaign tune and jazz music (1:00:01), campaign finance reform (1:04:20), reproductive rights (1:07:46) and healing Oregon's economic brokenness (1:19:43). We end with the instrumental track "Turtle Hermit" by Cruzer Urameshi, who happens to be next week's guest (1:25:22). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/r2oal5ZjA_4. Ballots are due in a dropbox by May 17th. Check out Tim's website: http://www.or4mccloud.com
82 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
189: with Ayisha Elliott, Black Girl From Eugene podcast host
Ayisha Elliott is a mother, non-profit founder of Kids for the Culture, and the host of the multimedia podcast "Black Girl From Eugene." On her show and all over this episode, she dishes relentlessly thoughtful opinions and nuggets of knowledge on various issues of social importance. We discuss the slap heard 'round the white world (0:44), understanding anti-blackness and policy (8:54), Oregon schools and teaching history (13:16), Demographics (whiteness) of Oregon (18:45), Fragility and Robbin' DiAngelo (21:34), lack of Black ownership and community in Eugene (23:56), strategies for writing your narrative (27:35), Black Girl from Eugene: the origin (33:18), separating professional and podcast vibes (37:43), entry point into her show (39:42), Ayisha's family's impact on Eugene (45:10), jazz music, Cardi B and Beyonce (52:23), greatness of Jay-Z and Rihanna (57:35), cognitive "genius" or maturity (1:00:54), who should be President? (1:04:04), Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson (1:09:18), Broken: work culture and balance (1:13:10), and we end with a live performance of the unreleased song "Meal Prep" by Gradient. (1:20:19). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/-1G0txJHkls. Check out Ayisha's work: http://blackgirlfromeugene.org
72 minutes | Apr 13, 2022
188: with Jennifer Yeh, Eugene City Councilor
Jennifer Yeh is a mother, a neighborhood advocate, and one-eighth of Eugene's City Council, representing Ward 4 (Northeast Eugene/Harlow). While I've expressed critical testimony at several meetings, her thoughtful receptiveness and sincere listening skills have always been self-evident. She is also a UO graduate in English, and the co-Executive Director for the Lane County History Museum. We discuss not liking beer (1:55), private citizen to public official (2:51), representing Ward 4 (is it conservative?) (7:47), campaign priorities (11:52), businesses, MUPTE, Opportunity Zones (14:34), Riverfront update and Yeh's qualifications (19:25), diversity on boards and commissions (24:38), inclusion and mental health (28:17), her family and anti-Asian racism (31:07) Britney Spears, Ye, fame and bullying (34:33), children, technology and photography (39:00), two new TV shows (The Dropout, The Chair) (45:22), Eugene in 2040 and electrification (48:02), EVs, car culture and transportation (53:33), getting involved and why I dislike "Councilor" (59:43), the brokenness of addiction services (1:04:07). SONG: "Rant" [live] by Gradient (1:09:51). The discussion is on video in 4K at https://youtu.be/cKUbVy_iffI. Please follow/rate/review the podcast, and check out Jennifer's campaign website: https://electjenniferyeh.com
55 minutes | Apr 4, 2022
187: with Elena Leona, musician & humorist
Elena Leona Carbajal is the emcee, singer, and bandleader of The Elena Leona Project. I have known for years how much talent and jovial spirit she brings to Eugene's hip-hop scene, but I was especially hype to see her rocket up past 15,000 followers on TikTok recently. There, she brings joy to viewers with silly takes on current trends, and with open verse duets over popular beats. This episode also features a rare appearance from veteran Eugene emcee, Metri¢. We discuss vaccinations (0:41), buffalo chicken rollers and other 7-11 "food" (7:15), being a bad Mexican (8:36), her TikTok surge (14:53), performing, improving, being Jack Black (19:32), Metri¢ joins us via phone! (25:19), an EXCLUSIVE upcoming Metri¢ song (33:20), remembering Taylor Hawkins (35:58), her origin story (41:38), the ICP show that I left early (44:04), and violent images from Ukraine (46:45). SONG: "I'm the Boss" by Elena Leona (50:37). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/y6PCqoUBfTA. Please rate/review the podcast, and check out The Elena Leona Project: https://theelp.net
104 minutes | Mar 28, 2022
186: with Benny Cosmic, musician & indigenous activist
Benny Cosmic is a musician, indigenous activist, and radio host with KEPW. Since moving to our area in 2015, Benny has been shining bright as both a dynamic performer and as a real-ass human being. On his new album, "Good Vibes Hood Tribes," he strikes an impressive balance between music that pulls you in and lyrics which confront cruelty, exploitation and inhumanity. We discuss Nicolas Cage and Frank Zappa (0:53), musical inspiration and honest feedback (4:53), solo vs. band and album meaning (10:51), local friction and finding support (18:18), song breakdowns (23:57), varied points of entry into hip-hop (33:26), elitist barriers around knowledge (41:35), being indigenous in Eugene, activism issues (51:30), being dedicated fully (1:03:20), OutKast, synthwave, influences (1:12:16), looking inward (1:19:10), and solutions to educational disaffectedness (1:27:35). SONG: "Wishful Thinking" by Benny Cosmic (1:41:30). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/ELz7y3nblGg. Please rate/review the podcast, and check out Benny Cosmic's album: https://open.spotify.com/album/3KoYbMWnpgAW2QIBdq9G0z?si=BvAAX8tvSr6RARqjFQPWRg.
70 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
185: with Plaedo, rapper & activist
Plaedo has been planting literal seeds throughout Eugene's communities of hip-hop, community gardening and direct action activism for years. He just came on my radar after releasing his "Celebrate Tha Liberation" video, and his very collaborative new album releases this Monday, October 18th, called "Empires Die...Live Evolves." This conversation really displays a vibrant new friendship beginning in real time. We discuss addiction recovery without abstinence (1:58), positivity, competition and community in Eugene (6:30), potlatch and indigenous culture (11:40), Empires Die...Life Evolves (20:00), flow, style and genre (23:50), death feelings and street machete trauma (29:49), urban desensitization and public outcries of emotion (33:07), Ericka Thessen and passionate health advocacy (38:30), guns, religion and the environment (41:05), perceptions of hippies and nerds (47:46), sports (football and tennis) (51:10), a time Plaedo was bitter toward someone (55:31) is the empire dying or evolving? (1:01:18), and how to fix our broken sense of community (1:06:21). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/_pUR6sPMf0k. Plaedo's music video: https://youtu.be/duFrglT6Zes and website: https://plaedo.com
62 minutes | May 21, 2021
184: with Daniel Isaacson, National Alliance on Mental Health Lane County
Daniel Isaacson is the President of NAMI Lane County. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) works toward "the support, education, and advocacy of persons concerned with mental health." Daniel was brought to this issue through tragedy, and he's using his voice to change the conversation and save lives. We discuss George Lucas (0:46), the need and function of NAMI services (3:23), desensitization from so much unmet need (7:21), government's role and Dan's ballot measure (12:05), Who is dying? Not just one political side (17:31), Britney Spears and Thomas' story (20:39), productivity loss and social change (26:55), funding of county police (30:55), training bank tellers (36:08), NAMI Walks online and Caitlyn Jenner (37:57), connecting with diversity (44:32), Taylor Swift, The Chicks (canceled) and Kanye (50:08), and mental health misconceptions (54:44). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/5uJTNzXQR8Q. Learn more at https://namiwalks.org.
60 minutes | May 15, 2021
183: with Harry Sanger, 4J School Board candidate
Harry Sanger is a father, a public transit project director, and a candidate for the 4J school board. His critiques of the district come from a different place than those of other candidates, and we tell each other flat-out what offends and concerns us about one another's worldviews. I am not time-stamping any topics, as I'd prefer to present this fiery discussion in its full context. The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/5tpVRv2brBc. Ballots are due May 18th!
71 minutes | May 10, 2021
182: with Rose Wilde, Lane ESD Board
Rose Wilde is a mother and an elected representative of all of Lane County on the Lane ESD Board. She is running for a third term to continue working with all 16 school districts in the county. Rose is particularly interested in career and technical education, thriving post-pandemic, and responding to historical inequities. We discuss addressing historical inequities (1:07), Vanport and Oregon history (7:26), Holli Johnson, LCC Board (10:47), earning re-election, satisfying all districts (16:09), national standards and Common Core (21:05), Is American public education failing? (25:10), career/technical ed COMBINED with academics (28:59), food (35:00), pride in history and media soundbytes (36:54), collegiality and de-polarization (42:16), the role of competition, capitalism, and taxes (47:19), music we love (55:22), and hip-hop and women's sexual expression (59:31). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/3THxD12VhOU. Learn more at https://friendsofrosewilde.com. Ballots are due May 18th!
81 minutes | May 5, 2021
181: with Laural O'Rourke, 4J School Board (incoming)
Laural O'Rourke is a mother, a 4J graduate, and a disaster relief manager with Lane County Human Services. While being the "mama bear" advocate for her kids who navigate special education plans, she has cultivated a fire for justice that she's bringing to the 4J school board, along with some inclusion and representation of the Black community in Eugene. We discuss disaster relief and changemaking (1:14), tone-policing of strong voices (7:50), disability and advocating as a mom (11:59), today's civil rights movement (15:34), running for office and working for the whole community (26:40), spending and public funds (33:43), "our kids are behind" and mental health (42:55), music, from Matthews to Simone (56:49), conservative views (1:03:51), and cancel culture or consequence culture (1:12:18). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/p7ovZiq6sXc. Learn more at https://www.lauralfor4j.com. Ballots are due May 18th!
65 minutes | May 1, 2021
180: with Tom Di Liberto, 4J School Board candidate
Tom Di Liberto taught Spanish in the Eugene School District longer than I have been alive. He remains involved in music education and teacher training in our community, and he is making a splash in this cycle's most competitive race for a seat on the 4J school board. We discuss fact-finding and deliberation (1:31), stepping up as a first-time candidate (4:05), issues in testing and funding over 30 years (7:02), staying involved no matter what (12:46), music and genre fusion (16:40), pre-pandemic momentum and Covid hurdles (24:30), challenges in home life, meals, and de-professionalization (31:05), hurtful rhetoric about the teachers' union (38:38), burdens foisted on teachers of color (42:50), class size and teacher pay (47:29), and identity and equity (53:30). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/wqek2r_phSo. Learn more at https://www.tomdilibertofor4j.com. Ballots are due May 18th!
87 minutes | Apr 17, 2021
179: with Maya Rabasa, 4J School Board (incoming)
Maya Rabasa is about to join Eugene's 4J school board, much to the excitement of the community. A "recovering teacher" herself, Maya is a long-time 4J parent and artist who has volunteered several thousand hours of time and love to our schools. We discuss Harry Potter disinterest (1:29), communitarian values and voices (6:16), money and campaigning (14:26), board experience and picking a superintendent (20:27), volunteering and hidden needs of schools (30:17), starting young with support for "the whole student" (38:34), how music inspires and connects (46:33), Lhasa de Sela and Kendrick Lamar (50:47), respectability and anti-Black discrimination (54:51), no police in 4J update (57:40), recognizing differing perspectives (1:06:45), Zoom classrooms and learning from Covid-19 (1:12:54) and free lunch and trust within the community (1:18:01). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/V5SNIz-91xY. Learn more at https://mayarabasa.com
88 minutes | Nov 22, 2020
178: with Rohan Mukherjee, business analyst
Rohan Mukherjee is a brilliant (though he won't like me saying that) business analyst working in healthcare. He is my closest friend from Carleton: the liberal arts college we goofed off at. I think you will love this chat about moving forward and finding unity in a tense time. We discuss existence as an illusion (2:08), body positivity and health (8:07), Celebrity and Joe Rogan's success (19:40), toxic masculinity and college cost (25:57), taxes and Trumpism (31:17), Andrew Yang, VAT and Georgia (38:53), Progressives vs. pragmatic liberals (45:04), moving from the coasts (52:46), young leftist identity and the Sunrise Movement (1:00:57), Experimental jazz music (1:14:21), our brokenness (1:19:23), and sports and social divisions (1:22:08). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/FslvviUfRVA.
106 minutes | Nov 2, 2020
177: with Isiah Wagoner, BLM activist & Mayoral candidate
Isiah Wagoner is a Black Lives Matter proponent and a write-in candidate for Eugene Mayor. He is a father and lifelong Eugenean whose actions have been met with both significant admiration and significant criticism this year. We chat about being hit by a car (3:35), picking and choosing amendments (7:24), Blackness, masculinity and media (15:32), recognizing criticisms, gender and trans inclusion (22:16), terminology and self-education (33:33), Kamala Harris and Black leaders' scrutiny (47:22), mixed-race lineage (55:28), Isiah's music taste (1:01:21), Mayor Lucy Vinis, rap, and Kendrick Lamar (1:04:31), Mayoral platform ideas (1:07:48), qualifications and task force appointment (1:16:54), rehabilitation, opportunity and wages (1:19:20), ACAB (1:29:52), Justice in Policing Act of 2020 (1:36:38), and more. The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/qnaGxjx319s. Isiah's campaign website: https://www.isiahwagoner.com
56 minutes | Oct 26, 2020
176: with Eliza Kashinsky, City Council candidate
Eliza Kashinsky is running for Eugene City Council in Ward 1. In a rare feat against an incumbent seeking re-election, she advanced to the November general election in May. Eliza's deep knowledge and approachable nature demonstrate why 33% of voters chose her, amongst 6 candidates. We chat about homes and property regulations (1:02), Ward 1 politics (9:30), Lightning Round! Municipal Terms (17:15), Delayed solutions (22:24), Diversity and racial justice (26:35), Approachability (35:18), The Fibers of History mural (37:31), Secularism and non-theism in government (42:50), Eliza's music taste (48:43), and the inevitable hip-hop question (50:35), before my debut of some new bars (54:26). The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/nYiPy4vv-LM. Eliza's campaign website: https://www.electeliza.com
116 minutes | Jun 22, 2020
175: with Peter Feliciano, musician & podcast host
Peter Feliciano took his musical and comedic talents from the Bay Area to the Big Apple in 2019. We thoroughly disagree on some social and political issues, but we love the hell out of each other. If Pete had not invited me on episode 51 of "Conservatish with Peter Feliciano," I doubt I would have started my own podcast at the time that I did. We share our differing views on identity politics, Asian jokes, responsibility, "If All Lives Matter, where's your mask?", his album, NYC life, and more. The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/j2hpMDdWZSs. Pete's podcast (where I join him on Ep. 51 and 118): https://conservatish.libsyn.com. Pete's album: https://spoti.fi/37PhQym.
76 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
174: with Julian Outlaw, rapper
Julian Outlaw is a hip-hop artist from Houston, Texas' Third Ward. Without Julian's voice, I would never have known about the late George Floyd's contributions to hip-hop, specifically through H-Town's chopped and screwed movement. RIP Big Floyd! We chat about bluegrass and commonalities (1:24), New York culture (4:18), racism in affluent spaces (9:57), a rare take on the 2016 election (13:13), Yang's sanity, #8CantWait, #8toAbolition, and policing (16:09), gangs and school funding (22:06), BIG FLOYD and the Screwed Up Click (28:16), Houston's slab lines (32:13), school board issues and teaching (40:41), officer Graveline and school cops (48:13), Asians and Black lives (58:45), good ally Dan Radcliffe and bad ally Drew Brees (1:03:21), basketball heroes (1:07:29), and more. The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/WoA2szNfR4A. Support Julian Outlaw, and check out his work! http://smarturl.it/thelameoutlaw
99 minutes | Jun 6, 2020
173: with Candice King, housing liaison & former City Council candidate
Candice King is a tenant liaison with Homes for Good, as well as a recent City Council solidarity platform candidate with a background in economics. In the midst of the dual crises of violence against BLM protestors and the ongoing global pandemic, we chat about: Economic growth (2:17), food deserts (11:20), marketing and race (18:11), incrementalism (24:59), left/right dualism (33:12), a racially insensitive Democrat (34:28), our responsibility to George Floyd's daughter (46:49), having more than we need (53:21), elections as shallow enfranchisement (58:45), intergenerational community-making (1:05:43), white skin (1:11:23), loneliness origins and the rap album "Everything's Fine" (1:15:02), punk rock (1:20:37), drums from Africa (1:27:14), and more. The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/gW62Ex68Qso.
63 minutes | May 30, 2020
172: with Brooklyn Wetzel, education activist
Brooklyn Wetzel brings wisdom on self-directed education, through her experiences as facilitator, a parent, and an activist. We start the episode talking about racial justice in the context of recent violent events. The discussion is on video at https://youtu.be/9ee5fDyPzFk.
64 minutes | May 24, 2020
171: Election Debrief with Tyger Gruber, podcast host
Tyger Gruber (Ep. 158) returns to help me debrief the results of the May 2020 primary election. We talk throughout the show about Eugene's mayoral race (5:15), as well as brief recaps of City Council Ward 1 [Emily Semple, Eliza Kashinsky, Tim Morris, Candice King, Sean Dwyer, Liev Williams (18:13)], Ward 2 [Matt Keating, Kate Davidson (21:00)], Ward 7 [Claire Syrett, Douglas Barr, Cliff Gray (22:11)], Ward 8 [Randy Groves, Ryan Moore (23:51)], Democrats for Congress [Peter DeFazio, Doyle Canning (27:27)], County Commissioner for S. Eugene [Laurie Trieger, Joel Iboa, Sandra Bishop, Matt Moore (41:24)], for N. Eugene [Pat Farr, Andrew Ross (42:24)], District Attorney [Patty Perlow, James Cleavenger (43:58)], Eugene Mayor [Lucy Vinis, me, Stacey Westover, Zondie Zinke, Robert Patterson, Matthew Yook, Ben Ricker (44:10)], Republicans for Congress [Alek Skarlatos, Nelson Ijih, Art Robinson for OR Senate (51:23)], and we end discussing Tyger's excellent podcast, Talks with Tyger (58:42). This was recorded at the beautiful peak of Cham-o-tee, and the video is available in 4K quality at https://youtu.be/viXXJP6FZJM. Be sure to check out Tyger's podcast, Talks with Tyger: https://talkswithtyger.podbean.com/
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