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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Saturday, June 02, 2007

#59 Campaign: Report Back Part I Stephanie's staff Rapid City

The skies have finally cleared and the grassy plains appear to be buckling into gentle swells and valleys. The few ‘towns’ I pass through before rejoining the interstate have maybe a gas station, maybe a post office but the ones that do have motels all advertise “free wireless internet”!

Rapid City appears to be huge, after the past few days of the central states, but it is probably still just under 100,000. The Air Force base on the outskirts of town has not slipped by unnoticed, and neither does the truck. I’m pleasantly surprised I am only getting positive responses!

I find Stephanie’s office, down the street from the Starbucks, on a major 4 lane highway, 2 lanes in each direction, with both shoulders for parking and center left turning lanes.

The sun is shining brilliantly and the sapphire skies are thrown wide open as only in the west. White fluffy clouds appear like the upturned bellies of rabbits and cats begging for a little tickle.

I start to get banners and signs out of the truck when a young white womon, keys in hand, walks up to the office door and starts to let herself in. I’m pleased she’s there on a late Saturday afternoon and I rush up to introduce myself. I tell her we are having a protest here in about 45 minutes – I’m early this time – and she nods, expecting us.

She tells me she cannot wait – I express my disappointment and ask her if we can talk for a few minutes. She tells me she knows of CodePINK and appreciates and supports the work we do.

I ask her to please explain why Stephanie was not willing to join 170 other democrats in voting for a timed withdrawal from Iraq.

She tells me not to misunderstand (which of course I reassured her we certainly do NOT misunderstand) that Stephanie WANTS a withdrawal from Iraq: but she has a moderate constituency…

Now I’ve looked at Stephanie’s recent campaign and saw that she won with an overwhelming almost 70% of the vote! Why would she think she is in danger of not getting re-elected?

I tell her staff that it is not the moderates who have elected Stephanie – it is the wimmin of South Dakota that elected Stephanie. She nods solemnly in agreement and takes a few notes.

I ask her to join us on the street corner but she has children to pick up. I ask her to ask Stephanie to meet with Rapid City activists and to hold a town hall meeting on Iraq as SOON as possible.

I leave her with the notion that maybe it is better to be more concerned about doing the right and moral thing than getting re-elected. And I guaranteed her that doing the right and moral thing is a better guarantee for re-election than buying the continued occupation of Iraq.


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