Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

My Photo
Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Monday, December 16, 2019

Taking 'Leave of Absence' to work on Lisa Savage campaign for U.S. Senate

You might have already heard that I've asked the Global Network governing boards for permission to take a three-month 'unpaid leave of absence' from the organization. They agreed. I began on December 15 and return to work for the GN on March 16.  (During this period Will Griffin, our GN social media coordinator, will ensure the organization stays visible with help from other board members.)

I am doing this because we have a huge U.S. Senate race in Maine in November 2020.  Our current right-wing Republican Sen. Susan Collins is running for re-election.  The great thing is that Maine citizens, in a statewide referendum, voted to allow Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for Congressional races (House & Senate) which throws out the old 'spoiler' complaint about third-parties.

Thus my friend Lisa Savage, one of our leaders in the Maine peace & justice movement, has decided to throw her hat into the ring and is running for the Senate seat as the Maine Green Independent Party (MGIP) candidate.  In order to get on the ballot Lisa must gather petition signatures from 2,000 registered MGIP members.  This will be a tough process because we have a limited time to accomplish this goal - January 1 to March 15.  In other words, in the middle of winter in Maine.

Lisa has been a public school teacher in one of Maine's poorest counties for the last 25 years.  She's been a key figure in our Bath Iron Works conversion project due to her deep concern about the reality of the coming climate catastrophe.  She created the Maine Natural Guard to work on the climate issue some years ago and is a very dedicated, hard-working and articulate spokesperson.  She's been one of the leaders in the U.S. in exposing the connections between the Pentagon's massive carbon boot print and global warming.

Lisa was also very active in the Skowhegan High School controversy about retiring the racist Native American mascot at the school.  Her father attended that school and it is an issue close to her heart because she has many friends and neighbors who are indigenous people in our state.  After a long struggle the campaign was successful.

Barry Dana, former chief of the Penobscot Nation and Lisa Savage at a Skowhegan High School public meeting during the successful campaign to retire the racist school mascot.

So Lisa has paid her dues.  She has experience as a teacher's union leader and contract negotiator.  She is tough and gentle.  She suffers no fools. She would make an excellent senator for the people of our state.  You can see an interview I did with her some time ago on my public access TV show - click here.

My role in the campaign will be helping out in whatever way is most needed, such as scheduling, signature gathering, volunteer coordination, data entry, phone calling, and the like.

Green Party people across the nation are offering help and two-time Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has brought much support already to Lisa.  Veterans For Peace friend Tarak Kauff from New York is reaching out nationally to veterans asking them to donate.

Our very active peace network across Maine has largely thrown in their support as well.  Lisa recently was the only candidate running for the U.S. Senate to appear in Lewiston to speak out against the proposed environmentally destructive CMP Power Line Corridor through our state.

Three people (two part-time and one full time signature coordinator) have already been hired by the campaign.  Happily people in Maine and beyond are donating to help make these hires possible but we have to sustain the effort through this crucial signature gathering period.  I hope you will consider making a much needed campaign contribution as well.  Please check out Lisa's web site here.

If we can get Lisa on the ballot she will be in the debates on TV and radio broadcast across Maine.  She will be invited to speak in communities across the state. Many people who are frustrated with the current corporate dominated political system already are excited and offering to help.  More will come onboard the Lisa for Maine team as they learn about her campaign.

The leading Democrat in the Senate race (Sara Gideon), like the Republican Susan Collins, is being heavily funded (well over $6 million each, a year before the election) by corporate interests from outside the state.  Already TV commercials and mailings to voters by the Republican and Democrat candidates are driving Maine voters nuts.  None of them are talking about the serious issues we face like endless regime change wars, climate catastrophe, Medicare for All, getting rid of student debt, ending tax cuts for the rich and corporations, halting the growing surveillance state, and much more.

VFP member Dud Hendrick hosted a house party for Lisa on Sunday in Deer Isle.  More than 40 folks turned out - some of whom were Democrats who pledged to re-register for Green Party so they can sign to get Lisa on the ballot.  The following photos are from the party - click on them for a better view.

Brooksville artist Rob Shetterly (Americans Who Tell the Truth) was at the party and volunteered to host the next one at his home.

Lisa (center right) listens to some of the house party participants. She got great reviews on her talk to the assembled from those attending

Even if a great progressive wins the Democratic Party nomination for president (not likely to be allowed by the corporate controlled DNC) and then beats Trump, they still would not be able to change much unless we get some really strong people into the Senate – people like Lisa Savage.  In this Ranked Choice Voting race Lisa stands a real chance to win.  But first we have to get her on the ballot with 2,000 registered Maine Green Independent voters.  

Let’s do that and help move the country in a better direction before it is too late!  You can help as well.

I hope to work with you along this important campaign trail.



Blogger Eileen said...

Wish you good fortune in your worthy effort.

12/16/19, 10:07 PM  
Blogger Ariel Ky said...

Wishing you every success. I am going to think about what I can do to help get her on the ballot.

12/26/19, 4:57 PM  
Blogger Bruce K. Gagnon said...

Thanks Eileen and Ariel - best wishes your way in the new year as well.

12/26/19, 4:59 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home