Why We're Not Registering
Steve and Alice
August 14, 2004
Why we're not registering
Several people have very kindly asked us what sorts
of gifts we'd like to receive as part of this event. The idea of
giving us presents is incredibly thoughtful, however, truly, there's
really nothing that we need, and not much space to put additional
items (ask us about the ratio of books to square feet in our
apartment sometime!). In our case, we've each lived on our own for a
while, and when we moved in together, we had a nearly complete set of
household goods. Any deficiencies that existed (a funnel set, random
things like a rice cooker) were pretty much remedied within the first
few months of moving to our current apartment last summer.
Additionally, we try to be fairly non-consumptive
in general. So, while it's really nice for people to want to give us
things, since that's a traditional way of expressing all sorts of
congratulations and good wishes, it's not really a situation that
comes immediately to our minds when thinking about our
If, after all that, you're still interested in
doing something monetary to mark this occasion, there are a number of
different causes and groups that would be more than willing to take
donations and do good things with them. We understand that people
attending don't necessarily share all (or even any!) of our political
views and opinions, but if you would like to know of some of the
organizations that we support, here is a (non-comprehensive) list,
roughly broken down into where the groups fall on the political
- ACS - The American Cancer
Society - This group fights against all types of cancer through
education, research, advocacy and more.
- Harding Charter
Preparatory High School - This is a college-prep charter school in
Oklahoma City where a good friend of ours (the magical fantastical
Stephen Prilliman) teaches. But it's a brand new school with
budget problems, and they could use some funding to make their science
labs a bit better equipped (doing biology labs without microscopes is
rather difficult!). Their website is not currently set up to take
donations, so if you're interested in supporting them, please send them a
check or money order, with a note indicating that the money is to be used
for scientific equipment - they just got a "challenge grant" for
$10,000, and any money donated for scientific equipment is matched by
the Kerr foundation.
Please make checks out to "Harding Charter Preparatory High School," and
mail them to:
Harding Charter Preparatory High School
3333 N. Shartel
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
- JDRF - The Juvenile Diabetes
Research Foundation - This is a group dedicated to funding
research on Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes, and to advocating for further
research for a cure.
- Nature Conservancy - These folks
work to preserve natural areas that are threatened by pollution,
development and other forces to ensure that natural habitats aren't
lost. They don't fight against all development, but work to make sure
that the development that does happen occurs within a sustainable
framework. They purchase some land outright, and work with partner
- Union of Concerned
Scientists - They use scientific methods and analysis to achieve
practical environmental solutions.
- ACLU - The American Civil
Liberties Union - They work to defend civil liberties for folks
in the US, primarily through litigation.
- EFF - Electronic Frontier Foundation
- They do good stuff on civil liberties as they exist in relation to the
internet and on-line things in general.
- EPIC - Electonic Privacy
Information Center - Their focus, as you can tell by the name, is
on electronic privcy issues and protecting 1st Amendment rights on the web
and in other public spheres.
- Fix Our Ferals - These
folks run an all-volunteer organization that will spay or neuter
feral cats for free. There are so many feral cats in the Bay Area
that they've got their work cut out for them, but their work makes a
significant impact in reducing the number of unwanted cats that will
be born. Please Note, however, that they do euthanize some
cats that are brought in to their clinics if those cats are carrying
Feline Leukemia. This disease is incurable, and spreads through
casual contact between cats, so they have decided to take this step
to stop the flow. However, not all people can be comfortable with
that, which is why we mention it.
- FSF - Free Software Foundation -
They're the people behind GNU/Linux, and are just generally awesome.
Their basic premise is that users should be free to run, study, modify,
and redistribute software without having to ask or pay for permission to
do so. Access to source code is a precondition for most of these things.
- GLSEN - The Gay, Lesbian and
Straight Education Network - This is a wonderful
organization that works to eliminate anti-lgbt (lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgendered) bias in schools, and to make educational
environments safe for all students. They support gay-straight
alliances in schools and work for legislative reform as well.
- Lambda Legal - This
group works to ensure that the state recognizes the rights of all
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, as well as the
rights of people with HIV and AIDS. They have been particularly
active in the legal fight to have same-sex marriage recognized, and
do many other types of positive impact litigation.
Parenthood - This group works to ensure that family planning
services are available to a wide array of individuals, particularly
those who would otherwise have problems accessing it. In many
locations, like Oakland, the clinics also function as a general
health-care clinic, providing healthcare services beyond the scope of
- RCRC - The Religious Coalition for
Reproductive Choice - This is an amazing organization that is
dedicated to the idea that being pro-choice can be completely
compatible with being actively religious. They bring a valuable
perspective to the political and policy discussions around these
issues, work for legislative action to keep abortion safe and legal,
and help bridge the gap that can exist between national pro-choice
groups and religious organizations.
Free Clinic -
A "street medicine" clinic that started in 1969 to provide decent health
care to people who can't afford it. Their motto is "Health Care for
People, Not Profit" and they do really great work. They are one of
the main sources for anonymous HIV testing in the area as well.
- The Emma Goldman
Papers - Emma Goldman was a prominent advocate for radicalism,
anarchism and women's rights. This group at UC Berkeley has
collected, organized, and edited tens of thousands of documents by
and about Goldman from around the world, so that they are preserved
and available for scholarly use.
- East Bay Food Not Bombs - A
(mostly) anarchist group that provides free vegetarian food to people
in immediate need of it. Their basic unifying principles are
non-violence, consensus decision making, and vegetarianism. They would
probably prefer donations of (vegetarian) food or people to help cook and
serve food over cash, but you can always ask.
- Free Radio Berkeley -
This group started as a radio station broadcasting outside of FCC
regulation on 104.1 FM, and now works to provide transmitter kits,
technical support and training for folks who want to create their own
micropower broadcast stations. They are also involved in national and
international outreach and organizing efforts.
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