Posted by: Gentry | August 8, 2007

Want to meet Joe? Come to a house party!

Joe Szwaja plays the Saxaphone

In the warm evening of August 1, a few dozen people gathered on the deck of the Phinney Ridge home of Karen Shaw and Larry Hohm, eating appetizers (many of which Karen prepared), listening to a live jazz violin and piano duo, and waiting for Joe Szwaja to arrive. When Joe appeared on the deck (to a chant of “Joe! Joe!”) he surprised everyone by pulling out a sax, playing a quick riff, and then singing a short ditty (to the tune of “Summertime”) about why he was running.

Joe remarked, “It is pretty scary for me to stand up in front of people and sing and play. But sometimes we have to do scary things. We are faced with a huge challenge: global climate change. To be effective we have to get out of our comfort zone. It’s so easy for us to make that unneeded car trip, buy food from 8,000 miles away, jump on the plane for a weekend vacation…I realized that we need to take achievable, concrete steps, and make them interesting and fun so that people get behind them. I think we can start by committing to reduce our carbon emissions by 4% a year…This is what I mean about being a “world-class” city – a city that takes the lead.”

Afterward, Joe answered wide-ranging questions in a lively political discussion, and then sat in on sax with Diana Herbst (vocals) and Matti Mero (guitar) for more jazz standards (pictured above).

So if you’d like to meet Joe, call or email the campaign, and come to a house party… it’s more than a little fun to be around Joe Szwaja. 206.420.1830, or


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