Wednesday, November 03, 2004

We Made a Difference!

Message from Sharon Sikes:
Hello again, my friends,

This is surely the letter I least want to write. I am devastated that we will not see John Kerry and John Edwards in the White House. I am deeply distressed by the message that Bush's re-election sends to the rest of the world. It is appalling that the moral referendums in several states brought out millions of new voters who made their voices heard over narrow moral issues: gay marriage, abortion, and stem cell research. It is stunning to see half of our country choose to ignore our President's unilateral bullying and deception and call it a just war on terror.

But, my friends, we've learned some important things here. WE MADE A DIFFERENCE! We delivered Wisconsin for John Kerry! When I was asked to raise funds to pay for some buses to take volunteers into Wisconsin, a goal of $10,000 seemed a realistic figure for the six weeks until the election. We thought that sending one bus each week into Wisconsin would be tremendous! Little did we know the depths of your generosity and committment! We sent that $10,000 to Wisconsin after only three weeks! By the middle of last week, when I sent the final bundle of checks off to Madison, we'd raised more than $25,000!

By the final weeks prior to the election, our biggest job was to respond to the hundreds of volunteers who signed up to travel! We had three people working on their computers all night for days on end, just to respond to emails and to schedule busload after busload of volunteers. Thea Turner, Daniel Biss and Mickey Alm deserve gold medals for linking their computers and keeping everything running! I know that a few of you got lost and we all regret that! This was a superhuman effort that was put together on the fly and I, personally, want to thank the many of you who didn't get scheduled during the final week, but who took Monday and Tuesday off, hopped into a car and showed up anyway!

The final four days saw IllinoisforKerry volunteers in Madison, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Janesville, Beloit and Racine! We were flooded with so many volunteers that we were able to dispatch many of you from one location to another. What we heard, over and over again, was "Sure!" and, "Whatever you need!" "Go walk three miles in the rain to distribute literature? - No Problem!" "Drive another 2 hours to get another couple of drivers to Madison? - Absolutely!"

This afternoon, John Edwards said, "We can be disappointed, but we cannot walk away!" We have to learn something important! What we did made a difference! What we continue to do can make a difference. We must stay (or get) involved on a local level and on a state level. In two years, we will have a chance to make a difference in the Senate. It will be a start. There's no quick fix for the damage that has been done, but we know that we can make a difference! There's great power in unity and in shared belief.

Mike and I know that our days of complacency are over. We know that we have to physically, emotionally and financially put ourselves into the fray and continue the fight to take back our country, to restore our eroded civil rights and to rebuild what has been broken. It is not nearly as comfortable as simply complaining about the state of things, but it is necessary.

I thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart. I am humbled and awed by the depths of your generosity and by your committment and sacrifices. Many of you have become dear friends and, for this, I am exceedingly grateful! I won't be disappearing - the good fight is still out there!

God bless us and, God help us!



Blogger Cynthia said...

Don't forget Wausau, WI -- I don't know how many eventually made it (since we were there to work and not socialize), but I know of at least 7 of us who were there from Friday thru Wednesday morning, 12 hours a day, canvassing and calling, canvassing and calling, and then getting up the next day and doing it again throughout Marathon county, squeezing out votes not just for Kerry but for Feingold, Dave Obey, and the newly elected state assemblywoman Donna Seidel. This was a tremendous win in a "swing city in the middle of a swing state" as NBC Nightly News referred to it. They had planned to do a big piece on Wausau. No idea whether it ever aired.
-- Cynthia

5:55 PM  
Blogger citygirl said...

I found a meet-up Tuesday, November 9 night at Goose Island on Clybourn at 7 pm.
If you are interested, I put the link on my blog . . .

I am looking forward to making even more of a difference over the next four year. :-)

11:01 PM  

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