Monday, August 11, 2003

Dear Lynn -- I'd love to have you speak at a special event on Sept. 11

I'd love for you to come and speak at a special event I'm organizing on Sept. 11. It's a COMMUNITY Unity gathering, with a concert, and with some very important public speakers. It will be put onto TV with PCTV, our community cable access station (not live).

I've invited yourself plus James C. Roddey, the Chief Executive of Allegheny County. Mt. Lebo is in the county -- as Pittsburgh is the city within the county. And, Dan Onorado, presently the County Controller, is invited. Both Roddey and Onorado's folks have expressed an interest in attending and speaking.

I'd love for you to speak for up to 15 minutes. We can talk about the content in a phone conversation if you desire -- but really, that conversation is just as a helper and I'll really want you to be free to say whatever you desire.

The headline entertainment for the night is a musical genius who you will love as well, Dave Nachmanoff, http://www.DaveNach.com. He has attended a few UU events (we meet at SUUSI) and even leads some UU services.

The event is now slated for 8 pm to midnight. I don't know exactly when you'd speak -- but -- I'd love for you to be flexible as both Roddey and Onorado are in a regional race for the county executive office and are very, very, very busy. I want to work around their schedules.

Neither of the elected leaders will use the night as a "campaign event." They are smarter than that. So, it is interesting to see them work with the theme 'community unity.'

If you desire, I'd love for you to ask each of the other speakers one of the five questions that they'll be fielding after their presentation. So, you'll be an integrated part of the overall evening.

By all means, a chace for reflection, story, and spiritual mentions are welcomed.

This overall concept is the first in a series of events that I want to do in our region. Later, we'll stive to get a portion of the sponsorship to be sanctioned by our church -- Sunnyhill -- as well as the other UU churces in the area. I want to have this event so we can talk about doing others with a real-live example. It is my hope that the overall vision of "outreach" and "connections to the greater community in meaningful interaction" can be realized by our faith's leaders.

Recently, I went to a Sunnyhill Faith In Action committee meeting -- I'm a member there --- and asked them to approve a statement of support that "encourages" you to attend this 9-11 event. After some discussion -- everyone there (6?) was in agreement to do so.

I'm sending this note to Karen Z -- a board person for her awareness.

- - -

On another matter, SHIM (South Hills Interfaith Ministry) is hosting an event on 9-11 as well. I think that the invite for you is to go on stage all night but speak only 2 lines and offer a Budhist's perspective. I think others can fill that role that ROLE at SHIM that night. We'll be giving a UU
perspectives (not Budist) with longer exposure (15-min talk, not 2 lines) and critically important guests (County Exec.) and wider reach (TV) happening on the South Side. I also feel strongly that this event can set the stage for many great things yet to come with cooperation among the UUs in the area, a shared coffee house kick-off, a way to reach PIIN folks after their meeting and more.

Sunnyhill folks are NOT on the steering committee for the SHIM event. But, I tried. I wasn't allowed to meet with the SHIM steering committee for their 9-11 event as I asked the exec. director that question directly. I mentioned a willingness to work with him and SHIM in mid-summer phone call as soon as I heard of the SHIM event via the grapevine. SHIM's exec. director didn't even know that the UUCSH was a member of SHIM -- yet alone who was the contact. For this time, I really reached out to SHIM and was denied. It is funny that they would now offer in invite -- as I find that hollow.

Oh well. Sunnyhill should have a spokesperson there, on stage, saying two lines. Dean Hazelton might be perfect for that role.

I am going to send an note to The Drummer about the 9-11 event. I'll make it clear that this is a COMMUNITY UNITY event hosted by Mark Rauterkus. It isn't an event sponsored by UUCSH, nor PIIN, nor the Faith In Action Committee. I'd like it to be such, but perhaps next time. Yet, all of these populations, and many more, can come to this gathering.

Furthermore, it is going to be "newsworthy" to have you attend a central gathering where we can stage a "media event." I would expect, should I get your okay, that I could have the TV stations cover the event for the 5, 6 and 11 pm news on Sept. 11. I have working relationships with many of the news directors and reporters. If I ask them to attend -- because a new minister has moved to town -- I think we can get coverage BEYOND the religious editor(s). However, any other week, the news value is gone. So, as part of the evening, should you desire, I'd be willing to stage a NEWS EVENT.

Case in point: Today's Tribune Review had me as a "newsmaker." That could be done for you too.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_149054.html

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