Indivisible postcards to U.S. Senators

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OF LEAD GRAFFITI have always been politically aware, and given the current political climate along with the fact that we have a press, it is especially satisfying to bring the 2 together. 

One of Lead Graffiti’s favorite let’s-put-some-ink-on-paper projects is a 6" x 4" postcard every 3 weeks or so that we send to all members of the U.S. Senate. We also include some other people who are important to us or who follow our work with a touch of obsession.

We usually produce the cards on the spur of the moment using handset metal type when a good topic, a good line, or a good idea pops up. We do not know what happens when the postcard gets delivered, but we imagine smiles and frowns with a bit of eye-rolling. 

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To special recipients we contribute an extra 4¢ to the sentiment with an original 1958 “Freedom of the Press” stamp.

We print and we vote.

AND A LITTLE SOMETHING for history buffs who got this far.

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Join, or Die is a political cartoon, drawn by Benjamin Franklin and first published in his Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754. The original publication by the Gazette is the earliest known pictorial representation of colonial union produced by a British colonist in America. It is a woodcut showing a snake cut into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initials of one of the American colonies or regions. New England was represented as one segment, rather than the four colonies it was at that time. Delaware was not listed separately as it was part of Pennsylvania. Georgia, however, was omitted completely. Thus, it has eight segments of snake rather than the traditional 13 colonies.

CARDS

The main element of the card is always done with handset metal type. The logos on the later cards are printed using photopolymer plates as I needed to make them just a little smaller and couldn't make the necessary adjustments using the limitations of metal type. I've never particularly been a purist about this, but I like the idea of doing the cards by hand.

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↟ Given that it seems as though some polititians aren't acting in the best interest of the position to which they've been elected, I thought a good, basic card to send all of the Senators was the oath they made when they took office.

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↟ I watched the movie Woman in Gold a week or so before getting the idea for this card. It got me to wondering how Germany felt as Hitler started to rise in power. It seems that some normally accepted American traditions are being trampled on and it has me clearly concerned.

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↟ I watch the news for probably a minimum of 2 hours a night. I don't feel like it seems that most Senators have much to do. At least they don't seem to be accomplishing much. I also don't count "going to a meeting" as accomplishing something. It is what you do with what comes from the meeting that is an accomplishment. Mainly with this card I wanted to say that first one to the Democrats.

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↟ Ray's daughter, Terre, is currently driving to Austin, Texas from Brooklyn via Key West. Along the way she went to the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. The museum and accompanying memorial is a project sponsored by the Equal Justice Initiative to focus attention on the history of racial inequality and economic injustice in the United States. Terre took us on a walking tour via her phone and the experience was overwhelming.