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

David Brooks Arnold dabrooksarnold at bellsouth.net
Wed Sep 17 13:13:19 EDT 2008


Dear Friends

 

When I was young, well into the backside of the past century and was
desperate to move to a place where there were more Quakers than just me, a
Quaker elder passing through observed that Quakers could be compared to
manure: in a pile we are of no use whatsoever;  scattered about we do
wonders.

 

I thank this Friend, and others who understand this message, for thy
scattering.

 

Friend David at 

 Spring Mountain House, high up on a mountain in western North Carolina

-----Original Message-----
From: sayma-discuss-bounces at kitenet.net
[mailto:sayma-discuss-bounces at kitenet.net] On Behalf Of Free Polazzo
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 11:58 AM
To: sayma-discuss at kitenet.net
Subject: [Sayma-Discuss] What one Friend is doing about the 2008 election

 

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.

 

Blessings,

 

Free

 

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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