ESD, Sustain Me!

Episode #1: Welcome to the podcast w/ special guest Mak Porotesano

April 20, 2020 Host: Joe Culhane ~ Guest: Mak Porotesano Season 1 Episode 1
ESD, Sustain Me!
Episode #1: Welcome to the podcast w/ special guest Mak Porotesano
ESD, Sustain Me!
Episode #1: Welcome to the podcast w/ special guest Mak Porotesano
Apr 20, 2020 Season 1 Episode 1
Host: Joe Culhane ~ Guest: Mak Porotesano

Here we go. A fresh new podcast, started in the midst of this global pandemic. The episode is an introduction to what this podcast will be about and features an interview with Mak Porotesano, a 2nd generation American Samoan, who is the Sylvania Campus Multicultural Center Coordinator of Portland Community College. Porotesano is also an elder council member of Pacific Climate Warriors and 350 Pacific, he also has a hand in several other organizations as well and was slated to be the keynote speaker of the GPSEN 2020 Sustainability Symposium, until COVID-19 happened and the in person event was cancelled (along with life as we knew it...). We talk about that and more in the episode. Come tune in, won't you? 

Show Notes Transcript

Here we go. A fresh new podcast, started in the midst of this global pandemic. The episode is an introduction to what this podcast will be about and features an interview with Mak Porotesano, a 2nd generation American Samoan, who is the Sylvania Campus Multicultural Center Coordinator of Portland Community College. Porotesano is also an elder council member of Pacific Climate Warriors and 350 Pacific, he also has a hand in several other organizations as well and was slated to be the keynote speaker of the GPSEN 2020 Sustainability Symposium, until COVID-19 happened and the in person event was cancelled (along with life as we knew it...). We talk about that and more in the episode. Come tune in, won't you? 

Joe Culhane:   0:02
Well, hey there. Thank you for tuning in, folks. These are unprecedented times we find ourselves in. And we at GPSEN are glad to provide an outlet for ESD for 2030 and help promote education for sustainable development. To learn more, check out That is: G-P-S-E-N dot org.  And if you'd be so kind, subscribe to this here show and maybe tell a friend or two, too. It's another useful thing to add to our days while we ride out this wild isolation situation, we find ourselves in. All right. Well, thank you again for tuning in. Let's get to today's show. Shall we? From the. Magnificent Pacific Northwest. This is E S D. Sustain Me! I'm Joe Culhane, and this here marks the very first episode of this brand spanking new podcast.  

Joe Culhane:   1:08
Well, All things considered, including the fact that this podcast is kicking off during a global pandemic. I am really glad to be here now in this moment, connecting with you. Thank you for joining. As noted, This is E S. D. Sustain Me! a podcast based here in Portland, Oregon, through GPSEN, which is the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network, and it will be focusing locally, regionally and worldwide on E S D for 2030 that is education for sustainable development, working on ways in this decade to right this ship that's gotten quite a wee bit off course. Before we get any further along in the program, though, I would like to acknowledge that this podcast is being recorded on the traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of the Chinook, Tualatin Kalapooya, Molalla and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia River. Multnomah is a band of Chinooks that lived in this area, we thank the descendants of these tribes for being the original stewards and protectors of these lands since time immemorial. We also acknowledge that Portland, Oregon, has the ninth largest urban Native American population in the U. S. With over 380 federally recognized tribes represented in the urban Portland metropolitan area. We also acknowledge the systemic policies of genocide, relocation and assimilation has still impact many indigenous Native American families. Today we are honored by the collective work of many native nations, leaders and families who are demonstrating resilience, resistance, revitalisation, healing and creativity. We are honored to be guests upon these lands. Thank you. And thanks also to our colleagues at the Portland State University Indigenous Nations Studies Program for crafting this acknowledgement. So here we are, 4.5 months into 2020. And, boy, oh, boy, do we find ourselves in a doozy of a pickle of a situation here. Now, depending on where you're listening to this from, you've likely been dealing with social distancing and an isolation situation now for several weeks or nearly two months, or their about. And while there is no clear timeline that I can see, it appears that we will be hunkering down for another month or so at minimum here in Portland and maybe even longer. Over two million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been registered across the globe with over 150,000 deaths. And I mean 22 million folks filed for unemployment in just the past four weeks. Here in the U. S. Everything save for essential work and services have closed up shop. It is still to be determined what things will look like on the other side of this pandemic. This is unprecedented territory we find ourselves in with this crisis. And meanwhile the climate crisis continues to unfold right alongside this pandemic. Incidentally, the results from everyone sheltering in place, social distancing and under various forms of quarantine has resulted in a tremendous reduction in pollution so far, which is at least something good that has come from this. It will be temporary, though, if we do not change our ways. Transition our stories and mythologies towards ecologically mindful, environmentally sustainable and racially and socially just and truly equitable narratives. And that is partly wher e s d for 2030 comes in A framework developed by mines from across the world In collaboration with UNESCO, UNESCO is the e United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization. And this is also in tandem with SDG's, those being the sustainable development goals, of which there are 17.  

Joe Culhane:   6:00
I'll get into all this more in future episodes. And indeed, I look forward to learning more as we go along speaking with folks from all sectors of this incredible world who are doing things that are educational in nature that will help us individually and collectively, to learn how to better navigate our way into a future that could be key to the very survival of our species, along with so many others on this planet. And it does go beyond just higher education, which again I'll touch on in future episodes. For now, though, I am delighted that our first guest is able to, you know, take a time out of his relatively busy schedule right now and speak with me. Ah, he's a local leader and we actually have connected in the past at Portland Community College when I was there. Mak Porotesano is a second generation American Samoan, and he is the Sylvania campus multicultural center coordinator. Also, he is an elder council member of Pacific Climate Warriors and 350 Pacific. On top of that, he also has hand in several other organizations I learned about as well. Mac was going to be the keynote speaker for the GPSEN 2020 Sustainability Symposium, which had been slated for this very day, April 17th. As a matter of fact, that was, of course, pre pandemic before the shutters of society were effectively closed. You remember back then? Ah, the memories. Well, we have moved the symposium into the virtual realm but will no longer have the capacity for what was likely going to be a fantastic keynote address by Mac. Again, though, I was thankful to be able to sit with him and chat. And ah, have a bit of a check in too to see what he's up to these days under vastly different circumstances then he was just a month ago or so. I mean, we all were under such different circumstances. Mmm. All right, enough of this. I'm gonna go ahead and jump into the conversation, and we'll get right to it. Here.  

Joe Culhane:   8:30
Just checking in before we get too far into it. We're in a pandemic, man. Um, I feel like it's literally has shifted everything for me as far as, even the call to action that the GPSEN Symposium was What a call to action even is right now, you know what I mean? It's like, what can you do besides being survival mode and make sure you're giving yourself self care and things like that? And I guess I wanted to kind of start there Like how you holding up a month into this?

Mak Porotesano:   9:05
Um, yeah. So I'm a social butterfly. I like to get out. I mean, as soon as I'm done at work, which is very sociable, it's all right running the centre. I must doing work with the org's. And so you know, whether that's helping online late at night to connect with the rest of the 350 Pacific team, organizing with our PDX 350 Pacific Warrior team, where your team also with the Samoan Pacific Community Development and I just jumped on as ah MRG Foundation Grant writer. So I've always kept busy. Um, and this is really halted a lot of that. And so my busy is like here in my room, and I literally took the bed out of my room. And this is not my office. So I try to make my office as livable as possible. I work from that end of the room where it comes to this end of the room that I never could do to get moving in my house. I've been having to do that, but like home alone, so there's a lot of uncertainty there, like my daughters back in the Marshall Islands with her mom, And they don't have any COVID cases, and they want to keep it that way, so their borders are closed, all flights are grounded. And there's just like, she was supposed to be your next month and I don't know, if I'll see her this year or not and the priorities are safety. And at the same time it's like, What does it mean when a kid can't see the parent and the parent can see their kids? So this becomes a little bit rough. Umm and you know, in terms of yeah since, you know, we had a lot of things planned. And I'm just hoping that, you know,COVID-19 had kind of, like, you know, open the curtain and the floodgates of everything that's already existed before. And this kind of action in the swift response to COVID-19 to me is a blueprint for what needs to happen in our climate work. So we're learning a lot of what it means to really, you know, commit all your resource is to combat something as they COVID-19. And I think, you know, I saw this funny me that, like whoever OVID-19's PR person was, climate changed needs that same PR person. You know, it's just it's just educating and advocating for, or  just working people into a place where they could now see that, look, this climate change is just as deadly and is just around the corner, too. We can't sleep on this.

Joe Culhane:   11:41
Yeah, I hear that. And now, more than ever, I suppose we have an opportunity. The part I guess I'm really caught up on, especially from the position I'm in where I have a house and a lot of privilege. I mean, I got food on the table. Ah, a lot of security. And you're working with a lot of marginalized, oppressed people. How do you feel in and sounds like an engaged in many different communities. What is it looking like as far as what that means. It sounds like there's a plenty of engagement, but beyond survival, I'm just so curious as to like what that's looking like right now.

Mak Porotesano:   12:18
Yes, we thought about like we're in a month. We're months in, um, you know, like a week or two ago. I think those who are used to working in, um, crisis and folks who do a lot of organizing. I, I generally felt from the folks that are in my circles that like we need to be in for the long haul and for a lot of a community we don't have resource is information or best practices and giving that information that we're now starting to see a month in that resource are running dry. And, you know, I feel thankful for being at MRG and being in some of these org's I'm a part of because, you know, there's been a lot of support to give money to organizations that are supporting communities this way. Um, you know, there's an organization Utopia, United Territories of Pacific Islanders. It's a queer, trans, Pacific Islander group. And, you know, they put in money to get, uh, provide relief, for folks and they were handing out, like $100, $200 gift certificates, too. Were queer/trans/Pacific Islander communities and families, uh, to get through, like, some of the everyday, you know, bump and grind that folks have to do in, uh, people really hustled. My students right now are like, you know, week one of the term, Which is this where we three right now, Week one were like, Look, there's the emergency grants, their grants, the free money ask for it now. PCC is giving out $300,000 in this overcoming barriers grant to the foundation. Y'all need to jump on this, and it's not till this week. Week three and who knows how much money is left? Yeah, you know, I didn't think it was gonna cost me this much. And so the urgency of not eating, a lot of our our folks who who need it most and students who aren't working, who had jobs, um, situations where we have to live on the Internet now if they want to receive, I mean I just think about Portland Public schools and what they have to go through. They're talking about giving uut thousands of laptops, and it's still not enough, drive through handouts of curriculum and parents who, you know, who aren't qualified to teach in that classroom right now being stuck with curriculumn without any help. So it's it's just, it's all over, and that's just here in the Portland areas that I know of.  If you're going back to these islands like they have a fear COVID-19 climate change is happening and then tropical storm sweeps through, and it's like, it's just never never ending and folks are really resilient. I mean, as soon as those things happened and communications are back online. All right, we're reaching out to our people, it's time to mobilize. We need help on the ground, here are our team's go get some money, we'll bring it back and we'll reconvene to climate work...

Joe Culhane:   15:44
That's good. I mean, it's so unreal. I mean, it's just nuts. It was tropical Cyclone Harold, right? That just came and rocked through, which is, I find that such an  odd name to call a Cyclone Harold? But anyways that, to compound a pandemic with, yeah, these natural disasters that are, like, happening all over the fires, the tornadoes. It's kind of like a dream. A nightmare. But there's hope, right? I mean, I don't know if hopes the right word, I just feel like now people are stepping up and getting really resilient and clever. Is there any really cool or inspiring innovative movements that have happened in this last month that you were like, Oh, damn, like this is that school like you guys were doing some clever stuff now to, like, get around not being a meet in person are anything like that?

Mak Porotesano:   16:36
Yeah. I mean, the Pacific's one of the hardest regions to connect in the first place. And so this idea of being able to connect is not a reality for everyone out there. I mean, you have islands that are like a collection of atolls hundreds of miles away from each other. And if you're not on the main island of main atolls, you just don't have Internet connection. That's the way it works. Connecting with our general Pacific team, I think folks have become used to resiliency, and that could be a very taxing in some sorts. But, I mean, the mantra of of 350 Pacific and the Pacific Climate Warriors is that we're not drowning, we are fighting. And I think a lot of people look at the Pacific and the narrative Why that narrative is so important that we're not drowning, we are fightings is that for a long time other people were telling that story of us that, you know, how are you doing this, oh poor pacific... And we're like, No, we're in this fight and we've been in this fight, so we have a lot to offer. We've been offering a lot. I mean, you think about the key players with the Paris Climate Accords. I mean, those were, you know, strong Pacific Islander leaders who led that charge and then the COP 23, having Fiji as the presidency for that conference of parties on climate climate change, that was huge for us, and we mobilized around that too and to push and keep and maintain some of the demands that we need is the most vulnerable and invisible communities out there. So in terms of like, yeah, Hurricane, Tropical Storm Harold just running through, that's a new normal in the Pacific. That's something that's dealing with, you know, we're having to deal with on top of,  and that's part of the climate change battle. And again, we just go back for a resilient folks in, You know, the storm is recited, and here we are. We're right back to the grind of things, practicing social distancing, from whole countries distancing themselves from everyone else, and we're back to it. So to answer the question and get to the next part, of what we're doing, You know, 350 is sort of like in a pause right now. The global team, and so we're trying to figure out ways that, you know how do we..., We were burnt out. You know, I was I was a bit burnt out. I'm kind of glad that that there is this pause. I think everyone in the organization, whether you're a full time staff member of all its here one of the, you know, the regional teams this has been Go, go, go, go, go. And now we get some time to focus on yourself. So we've been doing something called Telanoa Fridays, which is Thursday here, because they're a day ahead. Uh, and it's just been around like, here are some cool ways that when we re-launch, or we kick back in action, that we're gonna follow these plans, and here's some resources for a lot of our islander communities that are out there, that they can pool from, and then here's just some space to exist. And there's many ways that we do that in the Pacific. I think this this Telenoa Friday is based around prayer. Um, you know, the church specifically, the Christian churches have a huge influence in the Pacific, and people lean on prayer and I think when we go out and we engage our communities like we have to meet the where there at, and standing over here and, you know, whatever your religious beliefs are, and we're just like you can't do that. You know, there's this issue of Christians and their lack of involvement in the movement or whatever, like beef you might have with the church, we need those folks too. They occupy a huge space in our in our politics and our community. So we gotta go there and there's gonna be other places we're gonna have to hit up too. I really appreciate that part that we're willing to dive into all these different community stakeholders in order to mobilize the rest of our community. .

Joe Culhane:   20:47
Cool. I hear that it's ah putting into practice inclusivity, right? I mean, the real thing. You gotta open it up to everybody because we're all in this together. That's that's just undeniable. Uh, that's that's cool. You know, I appreciate hearing that, and I also wish to help broadcast the work. What you're sharing we're talking about are good things to recommend for people in Portland and anywhere because Even if you're on an island or wherever, especially since the lock down is worldwide. We may as well be anywhere in the world, literally so we could practice the best practices of whoever's doing it, not best necessarily, but I guess I don't know... You know, I just I keep coming back to how the sustainability movement has been largely at least in the U. S. driven by white folks, privileged folks, and capitalism's green buying, buy your way through it, things of that nature when, as you've mentioned the resilience of people who have been fighting this whole time, not drowning, but fighting and coming up with clever ways, is now something everybody needs to take a page out of that playbook, right? Humble down and listen more than try and figure out, academically speaking or otherwise, how to figure this stuff out and actually just listen for a minute. So I thank you again for just sharing this and and I'll look for, some of the links. And maybe some resources you can share that we can, you know, send out through GPSEN and stuff because it's important, you know? I don't know, I'm just... It's so hard just being at home all this time and wanting to be engaged, wanting to act, but I have a four year old, I also have a kid with my ex wife, she has been staying at her mom's house this whole time navigating the Portland Public School difficulties of that system. And and it's just like, wow, just even imagine having, like, you said, unqualified people, she actually had a degree in education, but unqualified parents trying to navigate how to teach people right now, when I think some of it, we do need to just chill out a little bit too...

Mak Porotesano:   22:59
If I could back track on the unqualified part....

Joe Culhane:   23:01
Oh, yeah, unqualified...

Mak Porotesano:   23:02
I mean, I said it to me. Yeah, you know what I mean? It's just to clarify for people who might be listening that like, yeah, the old standards that we have for people that have in the classroom, training, in a degree, it's not that we can't be successful or adapt. It's just another taxing thing because we didn't plan that career. And, um, yeah, I didn't mean that you were inferring that either, it's just...

Joe Culhane:   23:28
Yeah, I hear you and I thank you for that clarification for for all listeners, cause yeah, I totally get it. But like, yeah, we're cooking, or cleaning, we're doing all this, and then, oh, yeah, we also have to try and stay on top of the kids following through with  school. And... I can tell you right now we're not having success very much, and I know that it's a story a lot of people are going through. And just even the like "you got to stay on track with school", you know, that's a lot of stress that is, on top of this very real survival mode, on top of our normal survival mode of life. Ah, just to take it easy on ourself I guess is the big takeaway. I'm getting to. I have all these goals and ambitions, and even doing this podcast, I'm stoked to be able to do it, but, finding the motivation to, like do anything right now is tough. Yeah.

Mak Porotesano:   24:20
I mean, I'm still in the hoodie that I woke up in this morning, you know, it's the motivation part is, is definitely something. Yeah. I mean, I have to be on my computer to me with my students and so that that kind of forces me to get on. But you know, there's a lot of self care that I'm aiming to do. We've been in, you know, it's been GO! usually spring break is a time for us to get some, you know, R and R, and that wasn't the case that we were going working weekends. And, you know, I had extra, like, flex hours, like time that worked over time that I needed to make up. And it was just like, you don't have that time to make it up. And working with my staff is just like, look, I understand that everyone's had that. If we can get through these first couple weeks and see a break, everyone's taking a break. I don't care what meetings happening next week, Friday, we just,  we need to breathe and find our time because we're still working weekends and it's week three, and, you know, we're not being, we won't be compensated, as salary folks. I hope my classified staffers claims all the hours they worked because they deserve it. Then again, you know, HR practices kind of bind us sometimes and, you know, we're all trying to do our part of as a team and we need to be properly compensated. So I'm just hoping that they give us all summer off or something like that. 

Joe Culhane:   25:59
That sounds like a reasonable ask right there, man. I mean, shoot. Everyone needs a breather. And who knows what's gonna look like in the summer? You know, it's like when the lax of these distancing isolation situations will actually even occur is still so unclear that... Oh, it's it's ah, it's unsettling, and it just feels like this super ripe opportunity toe really like look at all the systems that we have in place and try and, like, undo a lot of, um, or scrap them and restart as much as that's possible at any time. But from that from that perspective, is there anything like that you're most excited to work towards are motivated to see as the opportunity that, like systemically, one of one of the groups were part of our you know, something that your students are really jazzed about an hour or anything like that?

Mak Porotesano:   26:54
Yeah, I think I mean, just being an education for specifically I mean all the iniquities air being highlighted. Like I'm teaching a social justice class with the doctor Cliffard Meeks. co-teaching a section for Sylvania students, and you know, there's something called a direct action plan where students are having to tackle some work in, you know, just just something we're sharing is that like, Yeah, COVID-19 is very presidents in our face. But Kobe 19 isn't a systemic issue, right? But it's revealing, You know, all these inequities, and it's testing, how equitable were our service from the get go? So it's allowing us to reflect back. Oh, I guess even in the multicultural center we didn't have the most equitable practices, right? And the lucky thing for us is that we knew that we had a large online community and that our service weren't reaching them at all because we didn't have programs catered to this community, and, you know, that's the good thing, we have this podcast equipment, because we were like, we gotta find a way to reach your students. And luckily that blueprint, we had created just the year before, so that this year, when everything shut down, everyone was like "I don't know what we're going to do for our program?"  and we were like whew, because we had though about a community that we weren't thinking about before. he one thing about for it just happened to have the needs of these like technological needs. You know, we're able to, you know, start next week to have all these programs. They're gonna come out. We were sharing the blueprint with our student advocates, and they're the ones who are producing these programs. So that's pretty cool. But then, here come the other part, we're losing a bunch ofstudents because they don't have laptops. And Internet is not affordable. And, you know, despite all these emergency grants that are coming out, you know, on top of students losing their jobs, it's like we have to rethink around which services should be a public right. I think we're really having to rethink education. Educational resources, and that can include Internet and access to a computer. And, you know, I just bunch of radical thoughts in my head, and just like, if a student comes to PCC, they should get a laptop. And Internet shouldn't costs, especially in like, you know I live in St Johns, I'm right across the street from the villa. Like, these things, this is a community that can't afford. A lot of the services to function on line, work from home, and we're asking them to do that. So I just think COVID-19 is really showing that to our education system. And now look at PPS again. That's like another, I have a lot of friends in in that realm, both as administrators, in programs and instructors. They're struggling right on. You know, the education system, especially with the person who's, you know, in a department education right now, and their campaign  to ruin public education is just like, um, now you see more never, why they can't defund, over and over more money to our public school system.

Joe Culhane:   30:24
Right? Huh? Yeah, I guess that man we knew these things existed before, but like he said, you know, this this Ah, pandemics really just put in the mirror right up to the face of our social structures than inequities that you just described a real and have been real. Ah, you know, going to PCC and going to classes with students I knew who were living in their cars and and, you know, I helped run the food bank and just watching how that how important that was to people just to have that lifeline. And these are the basic needs that aren't being met. And I guess, as they said, it's like it's not radical, but it's, it's amazing that it is radical that, like now we have this opportunity, maybe to really be like, we need these basic services,  just as a way of life, need access to the Internet, access to health care and food. And, uh, I don't know if our systems under this weird democracy we have right now are capable of doing it. But I do see that...

Mak Porotesano:   31:31
Oh, they're capable. They have shown it already.

Joe Culhane:   31:33
Well, that's true. Yeah,

Mak Porotesano:   31:34
They've shown it already that they can create a bill that can go the everyday people and supply these services and, you know, the, I hope it wakes people up. It demystified this idea that if you give money to everyday people, hard working blue collar folks, that it  won't crash the economic system. You know, this is this is the time and the example. It's just crazy that, um people who've talked about so much a party that talked about so much about socialism, and Democratic socialism with that being a thing or like throwing money at people. Damn right, I took my money!.

Joe Culhane:   32:23
Oh, sure. Yeah, I know, right? Yeah. I gotta take every scrap we can get to help keep it going, or us going. Um, man. Well, I thank you so much for taking this time. You know, you already helped do interview, uh, written before, but I kind of wanted to just ask again as far as Portlander's specifically, but you know, everybody. Any suggestions about what actions specifically to take, our places to go to that you think are the most important or are helpful right now for just an everyday person wondering what to do with some of there time while they're in isolation, where to go or what to do?

Mak Porotesano:   33:03
Yeah. I mean, beyond that everyday individual actions that we take, you know, whether you know, writing our bikes collectively, or I should say, let's say, riding our bikes, public transportation, you know, growing our food in our gardens. Um you know, I think individually those things, don't have a lot of power until there are groups of people and organizations, right? Like organizing. I wrote in an interview that, like, you know, I didn't know that interview was up, and I didn't know that I still got that award. Somebody has hit me up on the side and was like, "Hey man, congratulations." I don't remember what I said. I did that interview, like a month and some change ago and you know, when the symposium was canceled, it just totally, you know, left my mind, so I went back was like, Oh, yeah, I mean, so to this point, that I just need Folks have to use whatever these movements are, it should be connected to an organization, or a movement or some kind of campaign. Um, that is not enough to just do it on your own, but to mobilize people to jump on board. And so there are some bigger, we know there's that fossil fuels is a huge thing right now, and it's probably the hugest thing in terms of what's happening on Earth and I think divestment movements are really important right now and in the depths of divestment movement. Right? So it's not just the investment of fossil fuels is like the you know, there's pockets that live within them that also need to be, you know, pulled out. Um, so the investments and divestments and, uh, I'm forgetting some of the terminology that exists there, uh, those are the commitments we need from our large institutions. I've been working with some folks from Divest Ed this past year. One of our students at PCC is gonna be an interim, not interim, intern with that organization and couldn't be able to have power like our Pacific Climate Warrior team locally here. What we need to do to mobilize our team or Pacific Islander Student Alliance Team to go to school. And that's, and be, you know, in a community who's in the front line leading one of these movements, I know that other groups are doing this divestment, Divest Ed has, you know, moved into some of these college campuses. And we hope in best practices that when you mean this is advice from folks out there that when you see a frontline community jumping in and really picture, uh, your terminology of what frontline means maybe get that that definition from indigenous, uh, people of color groups and and take it from there. But, you know, it's gotta be something bigger than the ban of plastic straws, the drinking that, you know, you have paper straws and plastic cups like it's like... that whole thing needs to go in general though, It is just That's what that that was the thing I was getting to. It just not gonna be that you can't just stop taking your car to work on your own, get in your neighborhood, do the same thing as well investing in a in the hybrid or ah, more, maybe an electric car. I've got hybrid car give because we  were like, I think people are going to look at us as sustainability folks when me and Jackie, when we first moved to Portland. And be like, you driving that car? You know I still took the bus to work most days. And, uh, if there was a plugging for in our house to get electric car, and could afford it, you know I would do that. Maybe that's what they need to do. When you win this award, they give you the down payment on one of those electric vehicle. Get  a Tesla, see how that works. I digress though. That's my hint for folks. I think there's a lot of cool organizations that they're doing that, you know, I know there was this move for a carbon cap, I remember hearing that thinking like, that's not enough. And I'm glad that folks thought that wasn't enough. Organizations like life 350 PDX, like OPAL, like some of our larger teams out in the Pacific, they just know it's gotta be all in or nothing. That's what I would encourage folks to do. Just look for those organizations. Help spread that word. Doing it responsibly so that folks could get the credit that they deserve and just be a part of a team. No movements about one person. And I think, yeah, folks can really learn. And the folks can learn to do that in a healthy way, think about the community over the individual or put the movement first before ourselves. Those are a lot of best practices for how that happens.

Joe Culhane:   38:24
Right on. I appreciate those words. I won't keep you too much longer. I'm curious. Just on a personal level. Like what? What are you doing to, like, Relax? You know, what's? what's the good link or, uh, you know, way to chill out?..

Mak Porotesano:   38:42
I mean, the sun's out, and I'm so very lucky, as soon as this is over, you know, I'm gonna lay out there listen to some music or call some friends and check in. You know, if you can, my  advice to folks is like, you gotta fix your house to be a livable working space. You know, I noticed I said I'm lonely and by myself. But there's some advantages to that. I don't have to share my working space with the other folks. I know some people, they have a house full of people, and finding a quiet place to do that is coming tough. And I think the warm weather allows us the work outside a little bit and, uh, create some of that space that folks need from each other. I started playing video games again. And you know, there's something about losing to a little kid online that really just hurts my soul. And I don't know where these little kids learned to talk all that trash, but they're really good at it. I was like, Okay, I'm about to cry... I'm like, "see me on the real court, after we have this social distance or something like that." Cooking. Cooking has been the other one. I've had a lot of time and you lot of meal and food prep.  And so, you know, I would usually rush home so I could cook for me and my daughter after work. And now that I have sometime to put some time into my cooking and I haven't ate this well in a long time. So that's another place I'm learning to put my time and effort into.

Joe Culhane:   40:17
That's fun. I have been doing the same, trying to figure out fermenting, you know, doing some sauerkraut and like, Yeah, that one's been rewarding because, you know, you have to wait two weeks, minimum. and all the sudden, we got two weeks on her hands. So you know, you get a prize a couple weeks later in your own house which is pretty cool.

Mak Porotesano:   40:35
I got one more. I did invest in a cocktail kit. I had one already, but it didn't come with a muddler so I bought another one, and I'm just gonna be practicing. Um, yeah, my bartending skills will see if people might need a bartender when we're done social distancing...

Joe Culhane:   40:56
Mixologists are always valuable. Always, Ah man, well thank you, Mak. I really appreciate it. And I want you to get out in that sunshine while it's out there and ah, just keep doing what you're doing. Man it is greatly, greatly appreciated. And I'm sorry I didn't get to witness you in person giving the keynote at the symposium. That is tomorrow, now online. You know, it's like a virtual symposium, which will be what it will be. But, you know, seeing you up on stage, commanding the room would have been a fun sight to behold, so I'm a little bummed about that. But there's always the future. Let us look brightly towards it. And in that chance toe happen. Maybe when we have the coffers to give you that down payment on that Tesla that you wanted to uh, thank you so much, Mak. Have ah, have a good man.

Mak Porotesano:   41:47
Stay safe, you and your family. Wishing the best for you and look forward to the podcast.

Joe Culhane:   41:53
Thank you, man, love to you...

Mak Porotesano:   41:53
Alright brother.      

Joe Culhane:   41:59
Let them all. Well, I am delighted you've tuned in, folks. Thank you so much. And mighty big thanks to Mac Porotesano for being the first guest on the podcast, and please do check out the MRG Foundation 350 Pacific on as well, also the Pacific Climate Warriors and Utopia, that is the United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance, as well as Divest Ed. Many resource that Mak shared are very helpful, and I will share some links to those that you can check out. I do have to say, it's been a while since I was at the helm of one of these shows, and it feels good to be back. And let us do the best we can right now to take care of ourselves during this global pandemic. Along with the environmental climate crisis, we also face. The podcast intro and Outro Music were by  my darling wife, Rachel Robinson, And this episode was recorded, edited and produced by me Joe Culhane. It is supported by GPSEN and inspired by the work of UNESCO through ESD for 2030 and the SDG's as well. Today we'll be having our GPSEN's 2020 virtual sustainability symposium, and I imagine I'll be reflecting on that in the coming episode. I thank you again for tuning in. It is so greatly appreciated. And I certainly realized it could be challenging to be optimistic at this time, to keep on keeping on. But you know what really helps? Deep breathing, practicing an attitude of gratitude for all that you have and then, of course, loving them off every last one you meet..