Monday, January 9, 2012
Civic Minded Maggie
Yesterday we joined our friends Lori and Lily at the inauguration of Ed Lee as Mayor of San Francisco Mayor. Lily is 16 and a member of the Youth commission. Lily's mom Lori told us they were going and we rode Lily's coat tails right into City Hall for a fun and different outing on a Sunday.
As we approached City Hall. I was sitting at a red light wondering where in the world I was going to park because it was gong to be crowded.(found a blue zone easily though) I looked up and saw this and I am always taken by the beauty of City Hall.
We found our friends in the North Light Court, a room just off the rotunda, and tried to find a place that two wheelchairs would not completely block traffic. (Liliy is also in a wheelchair). We couldn't have two of them in the aisle or no one would be able to get through. I started to move to the other side of the room when I was approached by a woman who said, "I am with the Mayor's Office of Disability and we have some accessible seating in the rotunda if you would like to sit there." Sure! That's where everything was happening. Lily and Lori elected to stay where they were and watch it on the screen. That may have been the smarter move.
It was fun. A photographer for China News Services was completely fascinated by Maggie's dynavox and kept taking pictures and asking questions. For all I know, Maggie is front page news somewhere. When the dignitaries started to arrive they had to walk right in front of us to get to their seats. We saw senators, congresswomen, mayors form various cities, tones of state officials and Sana Francisco officials as well. I kept telling Maggie to wave and she did, but no one really even acknowledged her. Those politicians are something. They can move through a crowd smiling and shaking hands and never really make eye contact with anyone. They move quickly too. I managed to get a shot of Pelosi and Feinstein but the others were by us in a flash. Maggie was unimpressed by the lot of them.
The speeches went on a little long and Maggie suddenly freaked out. I had to get up and move during the actual swearing in and the mayor's speech. The people around us were incredibly accommodating and let me stand off to one side with her. (It helps that Maggie cries silently.) She calmed down and we stayed until the end of the ceremony but did not get in line to see the new mayor or anything.
Maggie was done with all the pomp and circumstance. She needed to get back to the center of the universe..