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Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Correction: We're not all Aging Flower Children



The New York Times ran an article today about "Howard Dean, the underdog turned top dog who has surged toward the front of the Democratic presidential primary field." The article captures the energy of the campaign and the momentum that Dean is building. But once again it misrepresents the diversity and endurance of his supporters.

Why, my feet are still a little numb from spending two hours in high heels at the Women's Equality Day celebration last night, surrounded by other suit-wearing members of the League of Women Voters. I'm no "Birkenstock liberal." I'm too young to be one of the "aging flower children" and too old and squeamish to be part of the "tongue-studded next-generation." No, I'm a businesswoman who appreciates the victories of the labor and feminist movements that have made my career possible.

I want to preserve those rights and the other American values represented by Dean's "smorgasbord" of policies. (Please note that Dean has gone from being labeled a one-note candidate who is against pre-emptive attacks to one who is criticized for having a broad range of programs to address the complexity of life.) Like Dr. Dean, I'm for sound fiscal policies, equal rights, environmental protection, labor rights, universal health care, real homeland security, and a sane foreign policy.

And as for the concern that our commitment and energy will flag before the spring primaries or the general election ... pshaw! That's only fifteen months away. Last night, the League of Women Voters celebrated a victory that took seventy-two years to achieve. My local paper printed an article just a few pages away from the Dean story that quotes President Bush as saying that "our course is set; our purpose is firm" with an estimate that our troops will be in Iraq for more than five years. Fifteen months until the general election will go by in a flash. And then we will take on years of work of rebuilding our nation and our standing in the international community.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Get Active: Women's Equality Day



Today marks the 83rd anniversary of American women's right to vote. It's a day for work and for celebration. Let's work to make Governor Dean become President Dean. And let's celebrate the victory that the suffragettes won for the country in decades of struggle, stretching from the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention to the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment.

How will Deaniacs work and celebrate?

* We started early by doing a little bit of both in Asheville NC this weekend. We went to a community sing by Womansong. Their moving and lively performance had all members of the audience making at least a joyful noise, if not a tuneful accompaniment. We're using their "Big Legged Woman" as a theme song today. During the silent auction, the Deaniacs shirt we donated got a lot of attention. Money raised from the auction supports Womansong and their New Start Fund, which provides financial assistance for women who are in transition and making a new beginning.

* Today we'll work on organizing the our county's precincts. Our goal: getting out the vote of people who believe in equal rights, as Governor Dean does.

* Tonight, we're going to a celebration hosted by the League of Women Voters. We'll be in Raleigh, but there are celebrations throughout the country.

We've got the vote! We've got the power! Let's use it to get Dr. Dean in the White House!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Get Active: County Election Committee


Went to the Raleigh meeting of the NC for Dean Election Committee on Monday. The ever-able Blaise Strenn led an organized meeting that had a fine balance of accomplishment and discussion. Since most people at the meeting didn't know each other, we went around the table introducing ourselves. Thought you'd enjoy reading some comments from people who came out through a rainstorm on a weeknight to volunteer for Dean:

* "I'm not really a Democrat, but ... I had two brothers laid off and I was just laid off myself. My other brother is in Iraq. My parents retirement is in trouble."
* "When somebody like my mother feels frightened about the person she voted for [Bush], then you know we're making progress."
* "I've gone from angry and apathetic to enraged and ready to do whatever I can [to get Bush out of office.] I started out willing to work for Dean until he proved me wrong ... and he hasn't yet."
* "I have a problem with the 'anybody but Bush' crowd. I'm for Dean because he's a great candidate. It's exciting to finally have a candidate we can be FOR."

BTW, I'm now the Wake County Election Committee Chair for the Dean campaign. I'm looking forward to working with Blaise and all the smart, energetic people I met this week.

What can you do? Get involved with your own local Dean election committee and with your existing Democratic Party organization. Get some practice in the coming fall elections. Help elect the base of Democrats that Dr. Dean will need to support his programs when he becomes President. Whether you just make sure to vote every chance you get or whether you lead the Dean election campaign in your state, please do whatever you can to help take back America.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Get Active: Organize Locally to Win Nationally


Learn about organizing your precinct from expert Alice Marie Marshall. She's the Volunteer Coordinator of the 2003 Joint Campaign for the Fairfax County Democratic Committee in Fairfax, Virginia. Deaniacs appreciates Alice allowing us to include her article in the Deaniacs Get Active pages.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Get Active: U.S. Rep. David Price at Town Meeting on the Federal Budget



While many other Dean supporters were at Meetups last night, I raised the flag at a town meeting. Over 100 people turned out to discuss the federal budget at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh NC. Although Price cast the budget as a "non-voting issue" that doesn't interest a lot of people, this crowd was clearly interested in the numbers and their implications.

I wore my Deaniacs shirt and was pleased to see another one there. Two other people told me they were strong Dean supporters.

After a brief introduction, Price opened the meeting to questions. The main topics? Jobs, unemployment, and retirement. Pillowtex has just closed in western North Carolina, setting a record for the largest layoff in the state's history. Even in the more economically diverse Research Triangle, those lost jobs create a chill. What should the country do as textile jobs go to China and high-tech jobs go to India and Russia?

Price has a show-stopper answer for the question of "can we afford Social Security?" He said that "the country could make Social Security whole for 75 years with just half of the recent Bush tax cut."

Much of the press about Dean criticizes him for being angry and his supporters for being too young. What I saw at the town meeting last night was a predominately silver-haired crowd who shared an appropriate anger at the unprecedented level deficit spending. One of them asked me afterwards, "Does Dean have a chance to get elected?" Every day, I can say with more certainty, "Yes. Absolutely yes."

Monday, August 04, 2003

Sloth: George Naps while Millions Search for Jobs



From Zephyr Teachout, webmaster for the Dean for America campaign:

"George W. Bush starts his month long vacation tomorrow. While George W. Bush vacations, more than 3 million unemployed people are having a sleepless summer trying to find work. Now the Administration has put overtime pay at risk for more than 8 million Americans.

Please sign the petition at the following link -- we'll deliver it to Elaine Chao (Secretary of Labor)."

http://www.deanforamerica.com/site/PageServer?pagename=save_overtime

I did as Zephyr asked and now ask you to do the same. Decent pay allows people to focus on a decent life rather than mere survival. Let's not lose the victories of the unions that have helped us all.


Sunday, August 03, 2003

FBI Investigates Man for Reading Article at Coffee Shop



Marc Schultz was reading Weapons of Mass Stupidity at a Caribou Coffee Shop in Atlanta, an article by Hal Crowther of the Independent Weekly. A few days later, the FBI came by his house to "get to the bottom of this."

Crowther's response doesn't mince words: "The Department of Justice reported 1,182 arrests under the Patriot Act; from those prisoners, its inspector general received 1,072 accusations that the FBI agents and other department employees had violated their civil liberties, and in some cases physically abused them."

"That's not a left-wing rumor. That's a gulag, a secret police state that's encroaching, case by case, on the smug affluent America where most of us live."

Deaniacs wonders why the biggest criticism of Howard Dean is that he is angry. We're more than angry -- we're furious that George W. Bush is smashing core American ideals of freedom, liberty, and the rule of law. But just because we're angry doesn't mean we can't act rationally or have a plan for improvement. Dr. Dean will channel his appropriate anger into the strong action needed to turn our country around, back to its core American values.

Source: Counter Intelligence, by Hal Crowther, Independent Weekly, 7/30/03.


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