Just Another Day at Sol Collective


By Andrew Bell


Today at Sol Collective. There was a freestyle workshop for “youth of limited resources” at Sol Collective in one room as you entered the “facility”. As you came through “the office,” where I spend a great deal of my time, you found local breakdancing legends Flex Flave holding practice in the back gallery. Later in the night, youth from the freestyle workshop were given a chance to participate in a hip hop show with a few of Sacramento’s most accomplished emcees. The event was a complete success. Connections were made. One young life changed forever as emcee Odapt took the stage for his very first time.

Now let’s leave the non-profit marketing vocab for a minute and ditch the air quotes…It was really dope. The place was packed with two or three different generations of hip hop truly coming together to simultaneously teach and learn. There wasn’t an enormous amount of people. It didn’t get any headlines. It was just another Tuesday night at Sol Collective.

The thin line between student and teacher blurred throughout the night as the youth’s passion rubbed off on those of us who have been involved in hip hop for a long time. As we watched Chris, an 18 year old who raps under the name of Odapt, take the stage for the first time and get hooked on the adrenaline rush that comes with rocking a crowd, you could see the veterans looking on and reminiscing.

The moment that you feel you have nothing left to learn is the moment that you have the most to learn.

Later that night, Shaun Turner, who along with Miguel Perez, painted the new mural at Sol Collective dropped by with a couple friends, an MPC, a violin, and a glockenspiel and we had a freestyle session until the a.m.

People often comment on the creative energy that flows through Sol Collective. A lot of times I take this for granted while sitting at my desk staring at a computer screen. But thanks to Shaun’s persistence I took part in one of the most memorable cyphers of my life tonight.

It isn’t until I’m going to bed when most people are waking up, after staying out all night making beautiful music at my “job” that I realize the depth of the intangible gift that Sol Collective gives to our community. On any given day you can find local activists meeting up to discuss the next step in community building. Someone is in our garden tending to a healthier lifestyle. A youth somewhere is using one of the laptops to record their new song. Someone is scheduling a debate on an upcoming initiative. A professor is holding a class for free. Immigrants are meeting with attorneys free of charge at a public forum. A couple youth are spitting rhymes or playing guitar out back. And I…am probably thinking of a reason to get up from in front of this computer and walk around.

Bargain Shopping

by Aaron Grossman

AB 32 – Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, signed by the “Governator,” instantly made California the world leader in efforts to reduce green house gas emissions.  Proposition 23, if enacted by voters, will freeze the provisions of AB 32, until California’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters. California’s unemployment rate, currently hovering around 12%, has been at 5.5% or below for four consecutive quarters just three times since 1980.

Do you prefer to buy your deodorant in the three-pack for $6 or do you buy the single for $3, just to save a few bucks to spend later in the day?  That is the question that faces voters on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot measure of Prop 23, although the odor is different.

Should the state continue down the AB 32 highway “going green,” or freeze AB 32 until the unemployment rates reach levels realized just a few times in the last 30 years?  Well, I guess that depends on whether or not you vote the same way you shop. 

If you are like me then you probably didn’t know much about AB 32 the Global Warming Solutions act that puts California at the fore front of “going green,” and if you’re not sure what the issues are, stop by Sol Collective on Oct. 26 at 7pm, and make sure all the right questions are being asked on both sides.

What are all of the right questions?  Key proponents and opponents of the Nov. 2 statewide initiative that would freeze California’s global warming law will be debated in Sacramento at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 26, at a forum sponsored by Sol Collective at its art gallery/community center.  The debate will feature California Sierra Club director Bill Magavern vs. “Yes on 23” chief spokesperson Anita Mangels.

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