Site Updates

Schedule for Next Two Weeks

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I am pleased to say I think I have officially recovered from pneumonia. Yes, that should be a headline. Now lets hope I don’t get those Spring allergies!

This is the craziest schedule I have ever made but I packed some much-deserved vacation time into it. If people–besides co-workers and friends–are trying to contact and/or meet up with me in the next two weeks, I have to give my sincere apologies: I am unavailable.

March 17: Fly from SFO to IAD

March 20-23: USSA Leg Con.
and AIPAC as press.

March 20: 7-year Anniversary of Iraq War Protest
Evening: Immigration Equality Happy Hour

March 21: Immigrant Rights March
Immigration Equality contingent

March 22: USSA Press Conference

March 24: Panel on Immigration Reform with Congressional Asian Pacific Caucus. Time: TBD

March 25: Washington DC to New York

March 26: Seton Hall Law School Admitted Students Reception, Newark New Jersey

March 27: Morning: Merit Scholar Recipients Champagne Brunch
Afternoon and Night: ACELA Express to Atlantic City to catch Impact 2010.

March 28: Atlantic City to Washington DC
Also, afternoon web-conferencing for E4FC Post-Graduation opportunities.

Need a place to stay near Dulles or I can just crash at the airport the night before for my 7am flight.

March 29: IAD to SFO right back to 16th St. Mission

While I am in DC, I would still work full-time from March 22-26 and look for an apartment for a possible shift. I will also live-blog (maybe Tumblr) most of the events and be active on Twitter as usual.

I come back to the Bay Area for lab tests and physical exams to confirm full health and also settle into my job.

Fantastic Two Weeks of Victories

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I may appear like I am always ready for a fight but I am actually quite happy and content with life.

The last two weeks have been hectic, but also quite great.

I fought back home foreclosure, formed a public relations shaming campaign called OneWestFail, and received attention from the corporate office at OneWest. They just mailed a new package this week, and now my mom’s case is with an escalation specialist in the headquarters. They will not foreclose and have agreed to work with us for a HAMP Modification. Just yesterday I spoke with an LA Business Journal reporter who is looking into OneWest and stumbled onto the site. Apparently, I have quite a few people sharing their stories and putting their names down for class action. I will get back to them soon with corporate office contacts and list of lawyers who are handling lawsuits in various states.

The devastation in Haiti ironically presented a great opportunity for immigration reformers here to finally get temporary protected status. Deportations to Haiti were halted, temporary protected status granted and over the weekend I also pushed for humanitarian parole, which was granted this Monday. The intellectual side of me is finally kicking in and now I can step back and criticize mainstream media coverage of Haiti and the ongoing occupation of it by the North-Atlantic hegemony.

Anees Sous. I seriously don’t know why Mohammad feels compelled to help almost everyone who comes across our site, but I can’t say no either, so I agreed to help at least setup his site using the same template from the OWBFail campaign and push it out online at Change.org. We got a temporary victory, with Anees getting 30 more days, but only with Mo working directly with Congressperson John Conyers’ office. If we had more time, the online aspect could have been developed into a campaign to get the Arab-American community involved in immigration reform, but there are not enough hours in the day. Anyway, now Mo is working on putting up a site so that people can train themselves to organize for their own cases and all the sign-on requests can go to one place.

Today, I worked with Eric at NewComm to set up an action against the National Council of Science and the Environment to dis-invite gumball Roy Beck from their New Green Economy conference. Their ED was adamant about providing the white nationalist Roy Beck a ‘forum.’ I think the least I want from this is to send enough letters and make enough noise so that NCES seriously rethinks and issues a statement denying affiliations with the anti-immigration agenda. I also hope Beck chokes on one of his gumballs.

And the last two weeks, I have been ill so I am supposedly taking a long weekend off to catch up on playtime. I am still looking for a full-time job (resume here) but pretty happy with my current gig at Change.org as well. Maybe this elevated mood also has to do with making time for the gym daily and the full-tuition scholarship offers from good law schools in the United States. If I have to stay here in Fall 2010, I might as well go to law school for free.

Resume Update

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I updated my resume (available here) given I need a full-time job to save home from foreclosure and raise money for college.

I’ll do anything that I am qualified for especially in the following fields: LGBT, women rights, environment and anti-racism politics. And I can do new media jobs and weave movements in my sleep.

Peace.

New Look and New Server for the New Year

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I just moved my blog to a new dedicated server (from BlueHost to 1and1) and changed the look. I may have lost some data in the transition, especially the comments mysql file might not have updated properly and the IntenseDebate sync did not catch everything.

Comment Policy

Some moron (not worth naming) is baseless accusing me of deleting comments so I thought I would clarify in case other weird stalkers start complaining that I am somehow censoring them. As the promigrant sphere knows, I don’t waste my time sparing with racists, nativists and dumbasses in my private space or via email or even allow those comments to be published. I have the freedom and right under the law, to censor people who harass and accuse me on my private blog. There’s enough hatred in the world and we don’t need more of that in my space.

The accusation that I deleted comments that were already published on my blog is just moronic given I just went through some intense data transfer this past week. Maybe people should fact-check before making accusations but certain privileged members of our society don’t feel the need to do so. If you have that attitude, your comments are not welcome here. Rubbish belongs in the rubbish bin.

New Years Resolutions

  • Get Healthy and Fit Again
  • Worry only about things I can control
  • Use this blog more often
  • Change “public interest” to “Prerna interest”
  • Try to get less mad about dumbasses – the world is full of them.

Happy New Year.

What’s Your Rashee?

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I am not referring to the Priyanka Chopra starrer where she makes a new Guinness World Record for the number of characters she plays in the movie.

But the movie certainly brings up some unanswered questions for me.

What's Your Rashee

Earlier this year, I met with a Hindu astrologer priest at the insistence of my mother. I usually don’t participate in such things, but I thought I would just for my amusement. He had good things to say about me and my career but came with 3 main warnings:

1. Don’t network and associate with other people too much. You are starting to do this right now and it’s actually not good for you.

2. No one can really harm you, only you have the ability to harm yourself.

3. Someone close to you will betray you.

I didn’t listen to any warnings then. Now that hindsight is 20/20, I can see how these statements ring true for the past 6 months. I am not sure how I got to this point and I don’t know where to go from here but to just retreat from my associations and disappear into other worlds. It’s an ongoing project.

So if you get axed from my online networks, don’t take it personally. I am simply doing house-keeping.

Transition Phase

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Post New York-Chicago, I am in a transition phase and so this is a disclosure of priorities.

Some very amazing people work @ the best immigration organization in the United States – dreamactivist.org – so we are all working on transitioning as well into a body that works better, and includes the energy and talents of more people rather than overburdening 1-2 people. That can never be good. I will be taking several steps back to focus on other things but still be involved in whatever capacity the organization needs me. I did a fantastic job on it–I could have done far better in the past 5 months–but I will save that for my next project. I don’t doubt that something good will come out of this. The bottom-line is that I want to see the emergence of more fearless young(er) leaders running around for immigration reform and there are good people working on making sure that dream comes to fruition.

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Lessons from New York

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I have never been to New York before but it isn’t places that hold importance–it’s people. And sometimes we meet and spend time with people who remind us why we are still residing in this #%#%% country.

I remember when I was a kid, I had made a speech about how friendship was the most important and telling relationship since it was one of the only ones that we aren’t forced to make or keep. This blog has many friendly stalkers and the ones in New York are both special and important enough to keep.

I inherited the red-eye on Thursday, spent the day in company of friends working to stop the deportation of Taha, had a smashing night with little sleep, got dragged to a meeting I had no stake in, spent a much longer part of the day ‘hobbling’ around New York/New Jersey over Taha’s case and partying the night away. I usually detest traveling but I spent quality time with people I love so the trip was productive.

And I did work. I owed Dave 10 blog posts over the course of the week and delivered duly. From the Senate passing the long-awaited hate crime bill to Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan and Kris Kobach to ICE breaking laws to apologies for racial discrimination and to the undying DREAM Act. And I learned some valuable lessons.

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Fundraising Pledges and T-shirts

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Alright friends, we need help.

1. There is my 511 mile bike ride pledge. 511 miles between August 13 and August 22! For those who have donated or are thinking about donating, it is tax-deductible – TAX ID 94-10007751

2. We have DREAM Act T-shirts for sale for $15 here

DREAM ACT T-shirt

If you are sending a check, make it out to ‘Prerna Lal’ and mail it to:

P.O Box 7552,
Ann Arbor, MI 48107

This week I am blogging at Change.org Immigration before heading out to New York, Chicago and Wisconsin.

August 13-22: The 511 mile Bike Ride | Tour de Dreams

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This is the first time I am fundraising for myself. I have fundraised for countless organizations as a teenager, we fundraise for DreamACTivist.org and other undocumented youth whenever we can, but this is the FIRST TIME I have put up a widget for myself.

This past year I got into all law schools of my choice. But I couldn’t afford to go.

I couldn’t take out student loans since my house is going through foreclosure and our credit is bad.

I couldn’t get any federal or state financial aid since I am undocumented.

I decided to delay law school for another year, to delay our dreams. This dream has been delayed since I was 16 and decided to be a public interest attorney.

Now, as I find myself suddenly fatherless, this dream seems more elusive than ever.

It’s not empty fundraising. I will be doing a 9-day, 511 mile bike ride in the summer heat from UCLA to UC Berkeley. It’s a distance that I have never covered and given that my body has adverse reaction to prolonged exposure to sunlight, it is certainly going to be a challenge.

Hosted by RISE-UCB, Tam and I will try and cover this event daily on DreamActivist.org, including daily video uploads and write-ups. I will twitter! We will do a kickass job of bringing the event to you, I promise.

I will survive and hopefully we raise something so I can afford to go back to college next August.

Shoutout: Text Link Ads

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This is just a courtesy hat tip for bloggers, especially youth bloggers like me who don’t necessarily have stable incomes.

I detest advertisements. I avoid it on television using DVR and I avoid it on the Internet using various Firefox plugins like Adblock Plus.

But over the past 6-9 months as a blogger, I have come to really appreciate programs like Linkworth and Text Link Ads that are pretty unobtrusive and don’t slow down a site unlike Google ads.

I am earning enough through both programs to cover my monthly gym fees and grocery costs, which in turn, allow me to be healthy, stable, and blog-worthy. It’s encouraging me to keep this personal blog up and running, make it bigger and better and update it with a frequency that I used to before I became a full-time organizer/programmer.

Try it out if you have a self-hosted blog and do alright on traffic.