[Sayma-Discuss] What one Friend is doing about the 2008 election
freepolazzo at comcast.net
Wed Sep 17 11:57:53 EDT 2008
Surely, the DVD you mentioned in your last email was horrible and
speaks volumes about the state of fear that a large part of the
country is living with. It seems that we Quakers are too few to
make a difference, but I've found a way that helps me to deal with
the current climate of despair and also helps to bring the peaceable
kindom closer to reality.
After many years of prayer I've decided to get active in local
politics. After attending 4 monthly membership meetings, I was asked
to be the chair of the candidate recruitment and education
committee. After only 9 months, I'm being considered for the
position of 1st vice chair of my county's Democratic party. That
would put me in the county "Executive Committee" and get me invited
to meetings where policy is made and budgets are decided. You can
make a difference if you show up and look for that of G-D in every person.
The need for someone who can unite folks with disparate views is
great in any organization but especially in one that succeeds in
having a very diverse group show up regularly. People like the way
I work to build unity and uplift all who participate in the
process. These are skills that Friends learn in our meetings and
committee work so I was happy to see that non Friends like them, too.
I brought the concern for ending war and now it is the party's
concern. The party now helps to publicize our monthly peace
vigil. At the Fourth of July parade in our county, as part of the
Democartic Party "float", I was able to drive my 2004 Toyota Prius
covered with signs from FCNL stating that "War is Not the Answer" I
was in a parade that also included many US military service floats
and I still got lots of thumbs up and cheers. And I got to visit
with the military representative before the parade and we found we
agreed on the how war creates more problems than it solves. Later,
I realized I was the only one driving a FOREIGN CAR in a USA
Independence Day parade. Yet, I am an advocate for Clean Air and
driving a clean air car make sense if we want to remain "Independent".
As an "official" member of the party, I got to be part of an audience
with our Congressperson, David Scott. I got to speak to him about
helping to end USA's involvement in the War in Iraq and how a "War on
Terror" cannot succeed. Also got to meet and connect with his
advisors on policy and will be having lunch with them to further the
discussion about various concerns. This is an election year and
they are open to listening. Espeically if I come as someone who
helps his party elect people to office.
For those who are more conservative in their views, the Republican
Party could use some Quakers, too. Go help them to elect
candidates who understand that they represent ALL their constituents
and not just those who voted for them or sent them money. That's
what I do every meeting. Remind our candidates that they need to
reach out to all, not just their "base".
It's not easy. It takes time and energy. There are lots of boring
speeches (some that you helped to craft) long dinners (usually
serving chicken) and such. Yet this is how one meets other "like
minded people" who are community organizers. This is a great way to
provide a service to your community. The candidates who meet at my
home, once a month who are running for the offices of Sheriff, School
Board, County Commissionner, Clerk of Courts, Tax Commissioner and
State Representative will surely be open to my ideas AFTER they are
elected, since I was there for them BEFORE they were elected. If
they are not elected, I will help with the healing that needs to take
place and to encourage them to stay active so that we can be the
change that is required to make this country live up to the image
that draws so many to our shores.
There is still LOTS of time to help your LOCAL candidates. Don't
get stuck on just the BIG OFFICES. The small ones have lots of
influence in how we live together (or not). And you never know if
the mayor you helped elect gets asked to be Vice President, some day.
PS: Make sure you ask all your relatives and friends to vote on
election day. Find out if they need help registering and then do so.
At 08:14 AM 9/17/2008, Liz wrote:
>I did see the DVD [scaring folks about Al Quaida]in the Charlotte
>Observer on Sunday, and brought it home (with permission of my
>hostess) because I wanted to do just this sort of digging. I don't
>yet know what I can do, but I find it very disturbing.
>Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association
>330 Goebel Avenue
>Savannah, GA 31404
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