[Sayma-Discuss] What one Friend is doing about the 2008 election

Free Polazzo freepolazzo at comcast.net
Wed Sep 17 11:57:53 EDT 2008

Dear Liz,

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.
>Liz Perch
>Administrative Assistant
>Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association
>330 Goebel Avenue
>Savannah, GA 31404

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