Amy Goodman-for the past 12 years a co-host of the public radio and TV series Democracy Now!-appeared in Santa Barbara at Casa de la Raza with her brother David-who is also an investigative journalist-on Friday night to present a book the two wrote together. Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times looks at grassroots activism, and is the duo’s call for everyday people to get involved in the political process. “This is a critical year,” said David Goodman. “Everything you do matters. When you get involved in local politics and you get involved your local community, that’s where it all begins.”
While her brother told stories to an audience of over 300 people about a group of librarians who took on the Department of Homeland Security, Amy Goodman was in the lobby interviewing a Marine Corps combat veteran who served two tours in Iraq and returned recently to work as an embedded photojournalist. Amy spoke to the Santa Barbara audience about a woman from Guyana who said that everyone in the world should be able to vote in the U.S. presidential election. “She doesn’t get to vote,” she said, “but you do.”
The Goodmans called for a greater role to be played by independent media sources. “We need media that covers power, not covers for power,” said David. “The FCC used to be some arcane agency nobody heard from. Now, they’re trying to deregulate the media. It’s not good for society when the media becomes part of the state.” Receiving laughter for her comments about the recent News-Press labor fiasco, Amy noted that more independent media sources like NPR and Democracy Now! are needed. She noted that publishing her column would be a simple way to incorporate an independent source into news media outlets. This drew a few wry chuckles from the audience as well.
The event, sponsored by KCSB 91.9 FM, Chaucer’s books, and Casa de la Rasa, was part of UCSB’s All Gaucho Reunion Weekend. An exhibit featuring the work of local painter Ray Cirerol and a screening of the movie Sari’s Mother-a documentary about an Iraqi mother attempting to get medical attention for her son-was included in the event as well. The Goodmans held a Q&A and signed copies of their book after the presentation.
“Amy is one of our favorites,” said KCSB News Director Cathy Murillo, noting that KCSB was one of the first West Coast radio stations to air Democracy Now! “She has a lot of fans around here. We play her show every day at 4:00 p.m., and if it doesn’t go on right at four, we start getting calls from people wondering what’s going on.” The presentation from Casa de la Raza will be broadcast on KCSB and placed on their website as part of their lecture series.