This is a map of the 435 US House Congressional Districts, you may need to zoom in a bit to see them. Over the course of the next seven months we are going to be spending a lot of time with this map but almost no time at all talking about the races going on in these districts. Beginning next week we are going to return the mission of Project to Find America to its literal roots, from covering the issues behind political races to why they matter in the first place. Why this change in focus?
First, politics writ large has seldom seemed less important. The enemy we face today doesn’t care whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Federalist, Whig or anything else. At the same time, policy making has never seemed more critical. It is not hyperbole to say that the decisions made in Congress over the next few months and years may make a difference between life and death for many people. Politics, of the partisan and divisive flavor we’ve become used to over the last several elections in this country, must end in 2020. We must elect representatives in every House and Senate race and the White House who are willing and able to work together to help us collectively recover from the global crisis of COVID-19.
I’m guessing you agree with this, it’s hard to rationally argue otherwise. But even as you agree you may well be getting ready, if you haven’t already, to click this page closed. There is simply too much coming at us right now – it is all just too real. Even the head of the World Health Organization has suggested about five minutes of news a day should be enough for most of us to stay abreast of what we need to know about the spread of the Coronavirus – and if you are going to limit yourself to five minutes of pandemic news a day, this surely isn’t the place to get it. For that I’d suggest the excellent New York Times twice-daily free briefings.
Instead, we hope to use this space and the 435 Voices podcast to provide something fun, something to remind us of better days and give us things to look forward to when we collectively emerge from our confinement and try to rebuild our daily lives. I also hope it will highlight the amazing building blocks of natural beauty, history, creativity and can-do spirit found in literally every part of this country. The U.S. House congressional districts offer a perfect canvas for this and also underscore the point that, this fall, it will be up to all of us to elect representatives that can help us prepare for the future.
Beginning next Wednesday, April 15, we will virtually visit at least two congressional districts every day through November 3rd or at least as long as I can. These two “stops” each day will follow two different tour routes, each of them built to cover as much of the country as possible at different times over the course of the year.
Whenever we can the 435 Voices podcast will include an interview with someone who can speak to what we might find there, often the heads of local and state tourism offices. We will highlight places where we can get virtual tours of sights like these, even while we wait to see them in person. They might even be a fun way to help your kids keep learning about the country as many of us navigate schooling at home.
Finally, I am very hopeful that we can highlight local efforts to help sustain people in the service and hospitality industries, which are such an important part of many local economies across the country.
PFA Lewis Trail – Week One
This is an approximation of what the first of the two tours will look like in the first week, it’s a winding route but, of course, as ever it’s about the journey not the destination.
- Wed. 4/15 NH-1
- Thu. 4/16 MA-6
- Fri. 4/17 MA-3
- Sat. 4/18 MA-2
- Sun. 4/19 RI-1
- Mon. 4/20 CT-2
- Tue. 4/21 CT-3
PFA Clark Trail – Week One
The second tour begins deep in the heart of Texas and will make a beginning loop of seven of the state’s 36 districts.
- Wed. 4/15 TX-11
- Thu. 4/16 TX-25
- Fri. 4/17 TX-21
- Sat. 4/18 TX-20
- Sun. 4/19 TX-28
- Mon. 4/20 TX-23
- Tue. 4/21 TX-16
More details will be coming within the next few days, I hope you will follow along and as always please offer comments, make suggestions and spread the word about this site. For now, here’s wishing you and yours health and hope in the days ahead.