About Paul Hogarth





I’m a 30-year-old activist-writer-blogger-lawyer-organizer-politician-pianist-singer who likes to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.  Recently on Facebook, I created a “25 Random Facts About Me” because everyone else is doing it:

#1: I have three citizenships — British, French and American. My Dad’s British and my Mom’s French, I was born in England, had a French passport as a kid and became a naturalized US citizen when I was 18. I have voted in both French and American elections.

#2: My Dad now lives in Barcelona, and my Mom basically lives in Paris (it’s complicated.)

#3: Despite being obsessed with the Wizard of Oz, the Sound of Music and being a choir boy, I didn’t acknowledge to myself that I was gay until my 4th year at UC Berkeley.

#4: I learned to play the piano when I was 8, the French Horn when I was 10 and the guitar when I was 17. I’ve known how to sing for as long as I can remember.

#5: When I was in 1st Grade, I learned at school that George Washington was the first President — so I wanted to know who was the 2nd, 3rd, etc. Within a few weeks, I had memorized all the Presidents in chronological order. It was 1984, and I wanted Walter Mondale to win — so I could memorize another name. I’ve hated Reagan ever since.

#6: From 4th to 8th Grade, I went to the French School of Chicago — under protest.

#7: I grew up in Hyde Park, on Chicago’s South Side. Barack Obama lived three doors down from me, and I went to high school with William Ayers’ son.

#8: In 1996, I was so angry at Bill Clinton for signing Welfare Repeal — that I started a “Paul Wellstone for President in 2000” website. I then spent the following two years cultivating an online grassroots campaign operation for Wellstone’s candidacy. Paul ended up not running, but he did write me a letter of recommendation to thank me for all the work I did.

#9: I’ve never owned a car … and even sneer at city dwellers who do because they’re burning fossil fuels. And yet, I have a romantic fascination with driving on two-lane cross-country road trips with the freedom and power of an automobile. I did a 28-state road trip after graduating from college, and am about to embark on another two-week road trip.

#10: I finally came out of the closet … because I volunteered on Tom Ammiano’s campaign for San Francisco Mayor in 1999. If you don’t know Ammiano, he’s the most flamboyant and flaming gay politician you will ever meet.

#11: When I was 22, I made my first run for public office … to the Berkeley Rent Board.

#12: While on the Berkeley Rent Board, I had a fight with my landlord — who threatened to kill me with his great-grandfather’s Civil War sword. He then jumped in front of a train.

#13: While on the Rent Board, I got evicted … the most humiliating experience of my life.

#14: In 2003, I became the first elected official in Berkeley to endorse Howard Dean.

#15: I went to law school — because I learned the hard way that elected officials have no power, unless they’re able to talk back to staff attorneys.

#16: I didn’t run for re-election to the Berkeley Rent Board … because I wanted to move to San Francisco, and start a new life over there.

#17: When George Bush was re-elected in 2004, I half-seriously thought about dropping out of law school — because I figured by the time I graduate, there wouldn’t be a Constitution left to defend. My oldest sister convinced me to hang in there.

#18: I’ve only had three boyfriends … and no relationship lasted longer than 2-3 months.

#19: The hardest I ever worked was when I studied for the California Bar Exam. I passed on the first try, but ironically have never practiced law.

#20: I’ve somehow managed to get paid to write for a political blog, and have stayed at the job for the past two years.

#21: My 15 minutes of fame (or maybe it was just 5?) came at a blogger convention, where I got to ask Hillary Clinton a four-part question about her husband’s legacy.

#22: On my 30th Birthday, I became a homeowner by closing escrow on a brand new condo in downtown San Francisco. I have a gorgeous view of the City Hall dome from my window.

#23: My five-year-old nephew put into perspective how small my apartment is when he asked: “Uncle Paul, why is your bed in the kitchen?”

#24: I have a 1928 Baldwin baby-grand piano, which I bought/inherited from my crazy old landlord (see #12.) It’s in my condo, which means I don’t have space for a couch.

#25: I love San Francisco and the neighborhood I live in, and plan to live here for some time.


2 Responses to “About Paul Hogarth”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Hello Paul I was wondering if you had any info to send me for the exact roads that you traveled on your Route 66 trip. I am planing a musical tour for my friend which is “66 Days on Route 66” and we want to stay as close to the real route as possible, as you did. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know by emailing me @ amandahansen28@yahoo.com.
    Thanks again,

    • paulhogarth Says:

      Hello Amanda, I’m sending you an attachment of a Word document – where I painstakingly researched turn-by-turn direction.

      I can’t swear by its accuracy, but it should be a good start – cross-reference it with other books and websites.

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