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.

The accessible seating was very very close to all the action which would take place at the bottom of the grand staircase; however, it was around the corner from the front of the staircase and we were looking at the wall of the staircase unable to see anything. There was a screen, so I thought we would watch it there, but the screen was simply closed captions of the speeches etc for the hearing impaired. We are about 15 feet away from the Mayor as he is taking the oath in the top picture. We could hear it and we could read it, but we could not see anything. There was plenty to look at though. Just seeing all the people lined on all the levels was great.

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..

1 comment:

  1. This is exciting. It's nice to be treated as a VIP even though you know that of course you are one!


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