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a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Kudos and thanks, two weeks later

Posted by Thomas Nephew on November 23rd, 2006

The Glorious Election of 2006 is fast receding in the rear view mirror. Despite threatening to engage in “100 hours of gloating,” I didn’t really; I was mainly beat to bat***t — which is mainly a sorry indication how woefully out of shape I am. In my defense, I did knock on quite a few doors this election season, and in fact on quite a few just in the last few days of it. But I doubt very seriously I did a quarter as much as three women I’d like to raise an online toast to:

eRobin (“Fact-esque”) — Robin has been an indefatigable grass roots activist for reforming electronic voting (via the Coalition for Voting Integrity), the Democratic Party (via Chuck Penacchio’s primary campaign for Pennsylvania’s Senate seat), and Medicare, and for getting out of Iraq, and for getting after Wal-Mart, and more besides.

Once the general election seasond rolled around, she sort of dropped from sight, though. That’s because she was working as a canvass coordinator for PA Action, working on turning out the crucial single women’s vote, judged to be a rich, untapped vein of progressive, Democratic votes. A local Fox news broadcast gives a sense of what the campaign was about and what it was like.

Stephanie Dray (“Jousting for Justice”) — Stephanie posted repeatedly about rallies in Maryland, but also provided information about volunteering, made phone calls and knocked on doors herself, worked on Election Day for the Maryland Democratic Party, and basically always inspired me to try to do a little more myself.

Nell Lancaster (“A Lovely Promise”) — It’s hard to for me to imagine many tougher rows to hoe than being a Democrat, let alone a peace activist, in Rockbridge County, Virginia — home of Stonewall Jackson, V.M.I., and the last refuge of Robert E. Lee. But Nell has won hearts, minds and respect doing so. If anyone threw the last block for Jim Webb running back the immaculate interception against George Allen, it was people like Nell and her pals in “upstate,” nonurban or less urban Virginia. Lost in the tidal wave of votes from deep blue strongholds like Arlington and Fairfax counties was the fact that counties like Rockbridge didn’t give Allen the edge they gave Bush two years earlier — Rockbridge County, for its part, went for George Allen by about 8.5% less than for Bush two years earlier. While Webb, Bush, and Allen all certainly played their part in that, it takes volunteers and supporters walking, talking, and fundraising to seal the deal, help make it ‘respectable’ to vote differently, and peel away those crucial votes, a dozen here, twenty there, across the state.

These women — and men and women like them around the country — are my heroes of the election: they never gave up, never surrendered,* and they helped give this country a fighting chance at turning itself around.

To eRobin, Stephanie, Nell, and anyone who did half of what they did: way to go! and thank you! thank you! thank you! from the bottom of my heart.

2 Responses to “Kudos and thanks, two weeks later”

  1. Stephanie Dray Says:

    What a wonderfully sweet tribute. And you should know that I always worked tried harder, knowing that you were watching. Much adoration from this quarter on Thanksgiving.

  2. janinsanfran Says:

    That’s really nice about Nell who I met almost 20 years ago on a long shot, very progressive political campaign. People who keep on keeping on are treasures.

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