Cuba travel buzz on the Hill despite the “tea party depression”

I admit I am really poor at using twitter on my blackberry, so the update(s) are delayed and I had to finish up my thoughts on the arrival of the 112th Congress right here on my blog.

A good friend, who is young  and brilliant Cubana presently working for Congressman Bobby Rush, invited me to her boss’ open office party.  I ended up spending hours hanging out in Rush’s office with a steady stream of Congressional members (mostly from the Congressional Black Caucus), their staff and lobbyists networking and enjoying the endless food supply. It was the place to be with the “smell of BBQ and soul food” calling to congressional staffers from down the halls. It was a great opportunity to just informally chitchat with folks of all political walks. And of course to chat about U.S.- Cuba policy. Everyone I spoke with, from members of Congress, their staffers, lobbyists to even the food cater shared with me that they “loved” visiting Cuba or that they want to go!

I finally broke myself away to attend the “welcome” party for Karen Bass, a new Congresswoman for CA-33 (LA area). She is an incredibly inspiring woman- very humble and warm. I hugged her quite a few times. Up until recent she was a member of MEDICC‘s board. I  tapped video of Congresswoman Bass as she shared some words as a new member of the House of Representatives, along with the departing words of retiring Rep. Watson after serving in Congress for over 30 years. I will be sharing that soon, right here on my blog.
After spending a number of hours on the Hill today, Rep. Bass’ event (which was on Connecticut Ave.) was quite refreshing. She just arrived to Washington full energy and optimism.  Counter to a number of veteran congressional staffers (Dems) that confused to me their “tea party depression” and openly stated, “I gotta get out of here”.  Tonight I whispered in Congresswoman Bass’ ear, “we need you here”.  I equally told those congressional staffers, who actually do more work than they ever get credit for, “we need you here, we can not afford a DC brain drain, we need smart, progressive minds to stay and fight it (them) out”.
It’s been a long, socio-political day in Washington and my feet are killing me from those halls of Congress. Good night.