Russ Feingold is no longer our Senator. Russ Feingold lost the election. Ron Effing Johnson is my Senator now. Scott Walker?! Who voted for that guy?Remember that? Remember thinking "Why the double hockey sticks did I not do more? What just happened here?"
Well, you're going to feel that way times a million if you don't help GOTV on this election. Hundreds of thousands of us stood in solidarity in the snow to bring our grievances and outrage to the public eye. Tens of thousands of us collected signatures in the freezing cold and biting wind to set right this wrong. ALL OF US need to do our part now to ensure that every voter in Wisconsin sees past the hype, the lies, and the infinitely-funded campaign ads to what is really at stake in this election. It's time to help. It's time to pay your share.
One of the things that stands out in my mind most from the signature collection phase is this kid who used to drive past our regular site on the town square in Sun Prairie every day after high school let out, in his parents' fancy car. He'd roll down the window and shout "PAY YOUR SHARE! PAY YOUR SHARE! PAY YOUR SHARE!" Every day. He'd shout this, from the warm comfort of a car he didn't pay for, to men and women who were standing on the side of the street volunteering their time between shifts, before or after work, or in their retirement. People who were providing a public service to our community by allowing a forum for expression of our legal and constitutional right to seek redress for the grievances we hold against a corrupt administration which betrays the interests of the people for a corporatist agenda bought and paid for by out-of-state agents.
|My friend Maegen reminding us our "last chance" is now.|
- Taxpayers, from all walks of life. Some union, some not. Some so well-off that they were able to contribute generously to our entirely grassroots-funded office. Some so staggered by cuts to their income under Walker's administration that they faced bankruptcy and foreclosure.
- A retired teacher who'd put in nearly 40 years in our schools and knows this community as well as anyone in town and is fighting daily to preserve the civility and integrity that is at the heart of the Wisconsin Idea. And other educators, both working and retired, who committed their whole lives to his own education.
- A scientist who refuses to let an agenda of hypocritical dogma govern the content of her children's education as they're just entering our public schools.
- A small-business owner who home schools her children and is fighting to protect equal rights for women that have been under attack by Walker since day one.
- A retired union laborer who worked that location nearly every day, in every type of weather until a brain tumor stopped him from volunteering. The day before his surgery, he told us at the hospital that he hoped to return before the last day of signature collection so he could help more.
- A young private sector worker who feels so strongly about the threats to clean and open government that he has volunteered nearly daily before going to his third-shift job, often sleeping just a few hours between work shifts and volunteer shifts.
- A retired non-union employee who chose to spend the cold winter fighting for democracy in Wisconsin while her ailing husband spent it in Florida on doctor's orders so that she could do the volunteering her adult children couldn't do while working full-time.
- Parents of kids in our public schools who are fighting both to protect the funding and programming that keeps our schools great and to defend our excellent teachers against the unconscionable attacks on their character and work. Parents who want their kids to get a decent education and have a chance at a career in a job that gives them dignity, satisfaction, and fair pay.
- Employees of local small businesses who know that their employers won't be able to compete with the big-box corporate favorites that Walker and his allies are trying to sell out our communities to.
- And more. The list of people who have paid - and continue to pay - their share (in both time and taxes) goes on and on. These are the people who live here. Our friends and neighbors. They are the people who make our community a decent place to live. People who believe that living a decent life is worth fighting for. People who have taught me, personally, how true it is that it really does take a village to make things happen, and that community-building is as easy as opening your mind and sharing your voice with your neighbors. People who have taught me what it really means to pay your share.
Here in my town, we have been paying our share all year. And we will continue to do so in every moment we can until June 5. All across the state, other grassroots teams have been doing the same thing. Volunteering. Educating. Contributing. Doing what needs to be done.
But with 12 days to go, it's not enough to count on all these people, who are already doing as much as they possibly can, to do it all. We need everyone.
Everyone who signed the petition to recall Walker.
Everyone who thinks workers' rights are human rights.
Everyone who thinks education is more important than profits.
Everyone who thinks our tradition of stewardship means we should preserve our air, our water, our public hunting grounds, for future generations.
Everyone who thinks government should be open, and that citizen input should matter.
Everyone who believes in the true value of civility and the power of the Wisconsin Idea.
We need everyone.
Please do your share. We are counting on you.
Vote early or vote June 5.
Volunteer. Sign up today to do your part in getting out the vote.
We need to knock on every door. We need to make sure every voter knows how much is at stake in this election: It's not about politics. It's not about money. It's about preserving the integrity of our traditions, clean and open government by the people, and the civility that makes it possible to live together no matter how much we may disagree on points of policy. It's about democracy. It's about stopping the "divide and conquer" politics that have made it possible - acceptable, even - for a teenage boy to shout hate and disrespect out the window of his car at people who are just exercising their civil rights. It's about moving forward and restoring the civility we once cherished.
Be the change the matters.
There will not be another time to act.
The time is now.
Pay your share.
Because freedom isn't free, you know. It took the tea party ways of Scott Walker & Co to make us realize exactly how true that is.
Please. Pay your share.