Month 6: On the Hill and On the Streets


Douglas Rosenthal and Randy Hawes standing across the street from the Massachusetts State House's main enterance. Douglas is wearing a light brown scarf, brown jacket, and thick-frame black glasses to the right of Randy, who is wearing a dark brown jacket and thick-framed black glasses as well. The Massachusetts State House has a gold-leaf dome on top of a brown building with white molding and white pillars.(Pictured L-R: Douglas Rosenthal, Randall Hawes)

Cultural Event: Tour of the Massachusetts State House

Well friends, I’ve reached the half-way point of this challenge!

February brought me to Boston, so I wandered over to Beacon Hill with my friend, former teacher, and fellow trombonist Randy Hawes of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

As readers of this blog might guess, I take a big interest in U.S. politics and history. I also love art and architecture. So once I moved to the Mid-Atlantic, I found myself enjoying my share of state legislature tours. And after my first few, I thought why not try for all 51*?

It’s fun to marvel at the murals, mosaics, rotundas, sculptures, and artifacts that give you a flavor of the state. (Although truth be told, sometimes you have to look for what isn’t represented to really know how a state wishes to be regarded.) I also love feeling connected to history-in-the-making, as most tours include stops in the legislative chambers. Most of us have our eyes on the federal government, but it’s important to remember that policy at the state level affects us just as much, if not more.

The Massachusetts State House was my 14th state legislature visit. 37 to go!

*As the effort for DC Statehood continues, I consider the Wilson Building, mentioned in this article, a state legislature.

Nine hands all of different skin colors are on top of one another. The people have stood in a circle for this photo, but all we see is wrists, hands, and forearms.

Labor Event: DC Jobs with Justice, Solidarity Squad Training Session

DC Jobs with Justice is a local coalition of labor organizations, student groups, faith-based organizations, and other community-oriented institutions that bring people together in support of workplace issues. Since January 20th, immigration authorities have conducted a significant amount of raids, and we also don’t know what the immediate future holds for labor policy.

In order to get community members mobilized, DC JWJ has begun the Solidarity Squad. I attended a training session for this initiative, and they presented excellent ways to promote awareness for workers’ rights and specific ways we can demand accountability from our elected officials.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to join them for any group actions yet, but I’m looking forward to participating soon. If you live in the DC Metropolitan Area, I encourage you to check out the DC JWJ Solidarity Squad. In fact, I’d love to attend an event with you!

About Doug Rosenthal

No one told Douglas Rosenthal to give up playing music. Not even his patient siblings, who endured many early-morning practice sessions; even they encouraged their brother to follow his passion. As the years passed, that passion evolved from simply playing music to advocating for music, musicians, and music-lovers. Douglas is based in Washington, DC. He is the Assistant Principal Trombonist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra/Washington National Opera Orchestra. He currently makes his home on Capitol Hill in DC with a pug named Jake, who serves as a constant reminder to relax, eat well, and sleep plentifully.

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