Roberto Bedoya, Secretary of Belonging, Tucson AZ

The state of the union is troubled—what’s new?

And—the state of our “Democracy” is challenged by an allure that it is there, on the horizon…liberty and justice for all. However, it remains elusive and feeds a toxic cynicism that harms us. So as Mr. James Brown would say “get on the good foot” … how? Where’s the optimism? The plan?

A double espresso macchiato is a good start,  followed by actions that enliven Democracy by what we make, through voting, through critical witnessing, through protest, through art.

The politics of Dis-belonging, Displacement and Deportation—three “D’s” that don’t add up to anything good. Trump and other rhetorics of hate, gentrification and Obama’s deportation policies fail the union. How do we push back on these givens?


It is in Beauty as the articulations of the plural, how we imagine our lives together with respect and belief in our humanity. It’s the ideal of  “We the people” not the “we” of markets, of me and my friends, but the secular we that includes people that you don’t know. It is trust achieved through listening to each other, looking with our grace for the grace in others and learning how the commons, the union, the “we” in realized in relationships. That’s the homework assignment for us, for the state of the union.