Eugene Cho

my official announcement to enter into politics

I am back from a few days in Washington DC thanks to the generosity of the ONE CAMPAIGN.  Also, spent some great time with the staff of Sojourners.  But the main reason why I went to Washington DC was to meet with my political consultants and constituents and to declare my intent to enter into politics.  Here’s my official video announcement appropriately in front of the White House.  I hope I can count on your support in 2012!

If you’re reading this via a RSS reader, you’ll need to click here to watch the video:

But alas, my wife, Minhee, again keeps it real and reminds me I am ineligible to run for the President of the United States since I wasn’t born in the U.S.  Where’s the Governator Schwarzenegger when you need him?

In between some great learning sessions on “mobilization to end poverty” and great conversations with the staff of ONE, Sojourners, Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, Soong Chan Rah, Debbie Blue, and many other great conversations, Minhee and I had a small window to do some sightseeing.  Here are some pics:

The National Treasury.  I went to ask for my bailout but the statue didn’t respond.

the national treasury

The White House.  No sightings of the President, First Lady, the kids, or even the first dog.

p1020040

I texted but President Obama didn’t respond to my text message.  I’m beginning to think that we’re not friends.  The gate never opened up.

p1020041

Minhee and I loved sitting here and soaking in the beautiful weather and the sight of the Washington Monument and took a few cool photos.

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

And the highlight of the short excursion was the visit to the Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial

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12 Responses

  1. The Chiz says:

    Man… I was getting ready to make several thousand “Vote For PE CHO” t shirts. It worked for Pedro, right?

  2. Cynthia says:

    Make the shirts, I want one!

  3. Tyler says:

    great pics. sorry about the bad news during your announcement.

  4. iy says:

    the korean war memorial is really moving. sorry obama didn’t text you back. he missed out, huh. opportunity only knocks once, or whatever the saying is.

  5. eugenecho says:

    @iy: it was. we spent some time there and saving those pics for another post.

    as for where we ate: ben’s chili bowl was the only one of note. we ate a cheap chinese restaurant 2 blocks from our hotel. didn’t really have too much time to explore the city.

  6. Jason Douros says:

    Ah the monuments. Reminds me of nearly every field trip in Elementary and Middle school.

    Growing up in the area, you lose some of the appreciation for the whole scene when you see them at least once or twice every year.

    Thanks for the fresh look at them.

    Cryptological Museum at the NSA is pretty cool too.

  7. eugenecho says:

    @jason douros: it was beautiful but i don’t miss the east coast humidity. it was there in full force on mon/tuesday. think it was close to 85-90. yuck.

  8. Maren says:

    During my visit a year ago, the Lincoln memorial was also my favorite part. I got really emotional, which was something I was not expecting. Then when I went back on my last day, I cried again! All the tourists thought I was weird.

    I really enjoyed your pictures though. Makes me want to go back!

  9. djchuang says:

    Used to have Washington DC in my back yard, for years. Still an awe-inspiring place. You’ve got a great photographer there with you.

    And, I am DJ Chuang.

  10. eugenecho says:

    dj: it was so muggy though and it was only april! i certainly don’t miss the humid days of NJ.

    the pics were taken by moi and moi wife. not bad for a point and shoot.

  11. […] are not alone: an interview with jim wallis Recently, I had the privilege of spending some time in Washington DC – where I also announced my entrance (and short lived) into politics. There, I met some old […]

  12. […] I had the privilege of spending some time in Washington DC – where I also announced my entrance (and short lived career) into politics. There, I met some old […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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