Change is Quick but Progress is Slow

My husband Pete did not receive the nomination yesterday to run as the Democratic candidate for US Senate. Pete and I are sincerely grateful to everyone who supported his cause, and I am sorry to have disappointed those who believed in the change that Pete was trying to make. We were hopeful that the delegates would understand how essential it is to lead by example. If you want to solve the problem, you can’t be part of the problem. Pete had widespread support in Utah as well as support from around the country to get dirty money out of elections. We believed that in giving people a just cause around which to rally, we could beat the special interest candidate in November.

I won’t lie. Yesterday was a big blow. Not so much for the ego part of it; I am perfectly happy to send Pete back to work at XMission on Monday. Pete did not set out to become a politician, but ran because he could not find another candidate who supported his core values. Yesterday’s loss was not a personal loss, rather it seems like a setback for those who are committed to getting corporate money out of politics. There are good, honest people in the Democratic Party, courageous individuals who are willing to put their necks out, to be called “nutcakes.” We have to keep working, regardless of the powers that be and those that say you can’t win unless you stoop to what the other guy is doing. To me, the ends do not justify the means — ever.

The question is, what now? I don’t know if Pete will run again, but I do know that we need to continue to fight to support others who are making a difference. Today my confidence is low, and I feel that I am just spinning my wheels. I want to stop feeling that the only choice we have is “the lesser of two evils.”

I think I’ll try to raise my spirits by listing some inspirational individuals and groups who are still fighting the good fight. I invite you to fill in the comments with your inspirations:

  • I am inspired by a group called Move to Amend Salt Lake, who collected 11,251 signatures for a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to clearly state that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Its success means that this citizen led initiative will be on the ballot in SLC this November. This is a credit to the everyday people who went door -to-door, store-to-store and park-to-park, to get the word out. Ashely Sanders, one of the co-coordinators inspires me in her response to the naysayers of the work, “I know the system is broken. I have no illusions about how hard it will be to fix, how many people it will require or how long it will take. I am here for only one reason: Because I believe in a beautiful, giant, unstoppable grassroots movement of everyday people. Because I used to accept that corporations control every meaningful part of my life, then [I] sat in my basement sad and paralyzed…  It is tempting to believe that our system is so broken that a people’s movement is impossible, that we have been conquered. But we cannot accept that because our history is calling to us to make it real.” 
  • I am inspired by Paul Krueger, who  recently showed what a single person can do. Mr. Krueger started a petition that, in addition to gathering nearly 35,000 signatures, it opened the discussion and called widespread attention to a problem. We don’t think that Governor Herbert would have vetoed HB363 without Mr. Kreuger’s petition and all those who joined the cause. Without their work, Utah schools would have faced sex ed not being taught in school. Mr. Krueger is a retired firefighter who now drives school buses.  He said, “I’ve never done anything like this, and it’s kind of amazing how fast this took off.”
  • CleanSlateNow.org is a non partisan group that supports candidates who forgo special interest money, creating an environment where people, not money, determine the outcome of elections.
  • Pete still inspires me. While he will continue to champion campaign finance reform and transparency in government, he has never given up his support of the local community and his integrity in business: He will keep supporting non-profits with free Internet service regardless of whether or not he agrees with their mission, he will continue to provide political candidates with free Internet services regardless of their party. Pete will continue to serve on non-profit boards and help them solve their technology problems. Through his own non-profit organization, Electroregeneration Society, Pete will continue to take old computers and teach people how to recondition them,  give those computers to people and non-profits who need them, and thus help keep e-waste out of the landfill. He will keep on contributing to his community through donating to community events, festivals, museums and other organizations that benefit us all. Pete will continue to pay 100% of his employees and their families’ health and dental benefits. He will continue to employ people in Utah instead of outsourcing to another country. Pete will continue to fight for a free Internet and individual privacy

Here is a link to Pete’s speech from yesterday’s convention. Unfortunately he was cut off before he had a chance to finish delivering it.

I remain committed to getting the corrupting power of money out of our elections and hope to continue working with those who want to take back their voice in government and get corporations out of our democratic process.

2 thoughts on “Change is Quick but Progress is Slow

  1. Pete and Robin -

    You both inspire me. All is not lost. I and many others will keep fighting for the cause and issues you’ve raised. Thanks for all you’ve done.

    Best – Soren.

  2. I was so very angry last night, for a multitude of reasons, and Pete’s loss exemplified those reasons. I felt despair at being able to make a difference. But, today I’m a little less angry, and so it will go until I’m ready to fight the good fight, once more. My first plan is already stewing in my head. Pete has always been an inspiration, and will always be one. I’m proud that I stood with his campaign (even though I missed being on stage because I got told the wrong time by someone else), and I hope that someday I will be able to stand with you once more. Until then, I will watch carefully for those times when Pete comes out and has something brilliant to say, some law to fight, or some cause to support. And always, in my political choices, knowing that candidates like Pete do exist, I will continue to support the right candidate, not the one the establishment may choose or say is better at winning. Doing the right thing has a lot of value. Thanks for showing me that.

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