A New Blog, A New Journey, A New Chapter …

my crew-cut look

Welcome to my new personal blog — as opposed to the professional website I write for, Beyond Chron. I am launching this blog tonight because I’m leaving tomorrow night for a very exciting, two-week vacation to the Florida Keys, the Gulf Coast, New Orleans, Cajun Country, the Mississippi Delta and finally Memphis. This trip is long overdue …

Despite never having owned a car (and being a staunch environmentalist), I’ve always had an insatiable lust for the open road — having the freedom and flexibility of an automobile, while traveling at a leisurely pace down two-lane cross-country roads in places I’ve never been. And of course, avoiding the Interstate.

When I graduated from college in 2000, I did a 28-state road trip that lasted seven weeks. It was actually supposed to be even more ambitious, but money … and circumstances … got into the way. I got a phone call from Randy Shaw, Executive Director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.

I had met Randy a few months earlier after reading The Activist’s Handbook, and he mentioned a possible job for me after college. He called to offer me a position in the Code Enforcement Outreach Program — helping to organize low-income tenants in the Tenderloin and on 6th Street. After thinking it over, I called back two days later, and accepted. I drove to Miami, returned the car and hopped on a plane back home.

It has always been my intention to eventually complete that Great American Road Trip — even if it means several repeated trips over the years. While in law school, I drove along the Pacific Coast to Los Angeles — and the following summer did a fabulous, three-week road trip from San Francisco to Seattle. But my heart still yearns for a trip back to Key West, Florida — and this time, I’ll be spending more than just one night there. Then, I’ll continue where I had left off in July 2000.

My decision in 2000 to work at T.H.C. had a profound impact on my life. I was already active in affordable housing politics (I had decided to run for the Berkeley Rent Board that November), but this job allowed me to immerse myself working with San Francisco’s most vulnerable tenant population — something that has shaped my outlook on life. It also taught me to eventually go to law school at Golden Gate University. The culture and character of San Francisco also convinced me to give up a career in Berkeley politics to make my move across the Bay, which I did in December 2004 after my four-year term on the Rent Board expired.

Now in February 2009, I’m at a crossroads in my life where it’s important to take a deep breath and continue on the magical journey that I had ended in Key West. Everyone with the means and opportunity should take a time when they’re about to make a big decision to explore and indulge.

While this is a personal blog, the rumors that have been floating are true — after I return in two weeks, I intend to run for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for District 6 (in 2010.)


10 Responses to “A New Blog, A New Journey, A New Chapter …”

  1. Eric Smith Says:

    Have a safe journey Paul and I look forward to your adventures!

  2. adrielhampton Says:

    Paul, enjoy your trip! Like the new blog, and glad you’re doing it. Also looking forward to a spirited race in D6 (wow, it’s going to be a long campaign).

  3. matteen Says:

    hi paul. thanks for sending me the link! I am happy to hear that you are going to run for the board. they can use a good man like you.

    best wishes.
    safe travels.

  4. Daniella Thompson Says:

    Berkeley’s loss is San Francisco’s gain.

  5. nafiss griffis Says:

    This two week journey invokes Kerouac’s On The Road. There is a point of intersection between the Novel and the trajectory from San Francisco to Key West, that I fail to realize.
    The trip will be enlightening and reinvigorating. Don’t forget to mix in some of the natural beauty of the great open spaces.

  6. Elaine Zamora Says:

    Have a safe and wonderful road trip.
    Great Blog. See you when you return.
    Sounds like you’ll be busy when you
    get back.

  7. katherine looper Says:

    What fun it is to read your blog. Thanks for thinking of inviting us to join you in your travels. Have a safe and memorable trip. See you when you get back. Kathy

  8. Elaine Santore Says:

    Have a safe trip, Paul!


  9. Insoffben Says:

    mm. strange ))

  10. Embarking on a New Road Trip … Route 66!! « Paul Hogarth’s Personal Blog Says:

    […] back to my personal blog, which I started two years ago when I did a two-week road trip vacation from Miami to Memphis. There’s something truly […]

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