November 8, 2016

Donald Trump was elected by our electoral college system. Many people will mark that as a day in history when everything changed.

A picture of Donald Trump and Mike Pence clapping on stage in front of an image of an American flag
A picture of Donald Trump and Mike Pence clapping on stage in front of an image of an American flag
Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

My wife and I got the alerts on our phones that he was likely to win as we were walking to the celebration party for the brand-new Senator Kamala Harris. We were so excited about voting for her, her campaign, and her political future and we somehow lost all of that as it begun to sink in that Trump won. Despite telling anyone who would listen that I was sure he would win, it still…

Photo by Joel Shaffer

This is the moment we hoped wasn’t coming. This is the moment we knew was coming. This is the moment that never really left.

I started writing something, because that’s what I do. But this time healing through words didn’t work. In fact, it hasn’t in a while. This time I just couldn’t do it. Nothing was coming.

I’m just so tired. Every single time I sat down the same thing kept coming out: Stop Killing Us.

Are you paying attention?

I’ve been on texts and calls with black friends all day and it’s been the same. We’re scared. For our families. For ourselves. For our people. We’re exhausted. For our families. For ourselves. For our people.

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Is the year lost? Does it matter? Does anything even matter? I’m sure you’ve been involved in conversations with people asking these same questions lately. There are so many people describing 2020 as a year lost. Plans canceled, time shifting, events postponed. There are still many others seeing this is an opportunity to push through ideas and projects without having to ask permission or listen to objections.

My hope is that for everyone, this is a time to think about the systems in place that rely on racism, oppression, and white supremacy to keep us apart. …

2019 California Association of Museums Annual Conference Keynote

Last week I wrote a piece called: Not Interested in Your New or Old Normal: This Shouldn’t Be Normal. In that piece I wrote:

“The reality is, I don’t want to get back to normal because just being better than it is now shouldn’t be enough.”

Doing our part as a family to adjust

This is really hard. Not just trying-to-think-of-the-last-time-a-whole episode-of-Saturday-Night-Live-was-good hard. Not just trying-to-remember-the-last-time-a-Drake-song-was-fire-except-as-a-viral-Tik-Tok-dance-craze hard. Not just trying-to-have-just-one-more-bite-and-then-realizing-you-ate-all-the-damn-ice-cream hard.

It’s a whole different kind of hard.

Often when I’m dealing with anxiety, stress, and depression, I try to write. I try to put the things in my head down on paper. My wife and I were doing that by writing one another a short note every night. We decided that we’d remember this time — our fears, the things we were grateful for, and the stresses that the unknown brought to us — through our shared COVID log. We started to share…

Imma let you get back to your victory lap, Joe…but hear me out for a second. I’m going to vote for whoever gets this Dem nom because as a genderqueer black woman raising a black boy and in deep community with BIPOC folx — my life & the lives of those I love most depend on it.

Our lives depend on Trump no longer being in the White House. No matter who you vote for, vote like yours does, too.

But let’s be honest…

I did my civic duty in this primary. It was amazing to look around the country, my county, and my City and see so many talented women of color candidates, women candidates, and POCs who I could support. But…

Chilling at the Lake Arrowhead during the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Transportation Conference

Habari Gani?


Today after a long day of travel it was great to center myself with my family and talking about what Nia, or purpose, means to us.

I am proud and humbled to be honored today by California State Parks Foundation with the Grassroots Champion award at Park Advocacy Day. They asked me to write a blog about why park equity matters to me.

When I was a kid, my local park was my second home. I perfected my jump shot and gooooooooooal celebration there. I tried to look cool waiting for the girl I liked to walk home from school through the park. I tested my gardening skills in our park. I even studied physics and engineering as I built and destroyed a ton of creations…

April 13, 2019 at the LA Times Festival of Books taking place at USC

This past weekend I was lucky enough to participate in the LA Times Festival of Books. I was part of this amazing program put together by a dear friend, Brittany Ballard. With Hanna Bowens, she has put together this exercise in bravery and openness called Unsent. Like a modern day and even more revealing, Post Secret (I’m dating myself), Unsent is a live show where brave souls get on the mic and share that email, letter, or text message they’ve kept to themselves.

Share your unsent thoughts at

It was thrilling…

Tamika Butler

Tamika L. Butler, Esq. is a land use, equity, environmental and social and racial justice advocate. She is the Principal at Tamika L. Butler Consulting.

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