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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Friday, December 19, 2003

Old Friends and New Pages

Fellow Milwaukee Dean Supporters--

When ten other people and I gathered at Alterra Coffee the first Wednesday of March to talk about this Howard Dean fellow we'd become enamored of, I had no idea how that we would come this far. I had hopes sure, but I never imagined that, at the moment when the Iowa caucuses are just a month away, you and I and everyone I've met along the way would be a part of a real revolution in American politics. The tea is in the harbor, folks, and I'd like to think we're all responsible for at least a few leaves.

In the intervening months, I took on a number of responsibilities with this group, going so far as to call myself--at the urging of others--the coordinator of our, at the time, rag-tag band of Dean supporters. But it has been a while since I posted to this group at all, and even longer since I've done any real coordinating.

Since August, with the arrival of Mike Tate and Meagan Mahaffey in Milwaukee, not to mention the new school year starting for me (I am a teacher), the Dean campaign has had an official presence in town. In addition, many other great people have taken on tremendous responsibility in coordinating and hosting activities around town.

And, hey, now that Al Gore's on board, you really don't need me at all! :)

But another reason I have been away from the campaign these past few months is that I am attempting to put together a new grass-roots coalition here in Milwaukee. As you know, the Dean campaign has probably done more to revive the grassroots in this country than even a strong dose of Miracle Gro could. I have taken those lessons in grassroots organizing, and, in concert with some other Milwaukee Public Schools teachers, have put together a group that will try to provide a positive voice for public school teachers in Milwaukee. We are in the midst of contract-negotiating time, and, as you know if you've been reading the Journal Sentinel or (shudder) listening to Charlie Sykes, teachers and our union are being demonized, painted as the enemy. Teachers Speak Out, the name of our group, is going to try, grassroots-style, to change that.

So, I have not abandoned Dean. I will be Meeting Up, phone-banking when I can, and GOTVing as much as possible in both February and November. But I may seem a little pre-occupied with my other projects. And I do want to be thank all of you for your help and your, more importantly, your inspiration. If I tried to name you all, I would miss someone, I'm sure. I will see you on the campaign trail--

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