Alumni news and photos
July - December 2004

Dec 23, 2004:  Assembly honors Bill of Rights

Holding the banner, "Do you know where your civil liberties are today?" are Katie MacDowell (Pete's daughter), Margaret Misch, and Pete.
CHAPEL HILL, NC -- "Peaceably assembling in front of the Franklin Street post office just before noon on Monday were two mayors, Town Council members both incumbent and newly elected, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, some representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union, a half-dozen outlandishly decked-out 60ish women, a grad student dressed as the Statue of Liberty, and three tambourine-shaking followers of Hare Krishna. All gathered to honor the First Amendment -- freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly -- and the next nine amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which together make up the Bill of Rights. . . After the reading, Stephani Kilpatrick, a graduate student at UNC, and Matt Salo, who's about to graduate from N.C. State, performed a skit in which John Ashcroft chases and ties up the Statue of Liberty. Then the Raging Grannies launched into song. Modeled on a group of Canadian peace activists formed in 1986, the local 'gaggle' of Grannies formed about five or six years ago," Kathleen Kearns, Chapel Hill News, Dec 16, 2004.

Pete MacDowell was our Legislative Director and Columbus Area Director in the 1980s.
Dec 20, 2004:  Todd Main

Todd MainWASHINGTON, DC -- ". . .In 1990, he moved to Austin, Texas, to work for Texas Citizen Action and was organized ratepayers to stop cost overruns at nuclear plants, for universal health insurance, environmental protection and general efforts against the 'black hats'. . . .He helped organize the Save Our Springs Initiative that in Austin voters passed in1992 and was the nations' strongest water quality protection ordinance. . .This effort led to further organizing and electoral campaigns. By 1997, the hard work was paying off. Austin was moving against national trends and had elected pro-environment candidates to every office in the city -- a complete takeover of Austin city government. Peace and prosperity ruled the land and there was much rejoicing. . . "

Todd Main was our Cleveland field canvass director.
Dec 13, 2004:  John Lynch

John Lynch
John Lynch, Scott Esposito, Nathan Gurr, Magdalyn Donnelly (as Desdemona), Joe Milan, M. Scott Newson (as Othello), Meg Chamberlain, Joshua D. Brown.
Scene from Othello
CLEVELAND -- Throughout October, John Lynch was appearing as Brabantio in Shakepeare's Othello, presented by the Bad Epitaph Theater Company at Orthodox ("Cleveland Public Theatre's newest performance space") on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland. John has 25 years of Cleveland area acting experience. Among his credits are The Last Stand of the Polish Sharpshooters, Much Ado About Nothing as Leonato, Renfield as Dracula, Jesus and Horace, Three Men and a Horse, Something's Afoot as Colonel Gilweather, As You Like It as LeBeau, Taming of the Shrew as Baptista, and Macbeth as Old Siward. Last February, John played the ranch boss in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men at Lakewood's Beck Center for the Arts, repeating his role from Ensemble Theatre's 1996 production of the play.

John Lynch was a field canvasser in the Cleveland office in the late 1980's.

Dec 4, 2004:  Speech caps AIDS week in Cleveland

Wendy JohnsonCLEVELAND -- "When Dr. Wendy Johnson arrived in Mozambique several months ago to begin work on HIV/AIDS, she found a country with fewer than 500 physicians, and a yearly public health budget less than half that of her former employer, MetroHealth Medical Center. Johnson, the former medical director of the Cleveland Health Department, told a City Club audience that socioeconomic problems plaguing one of the world's poorest countries are only part of the story. 'Africa to me is more like a miracle,' she said. 'I see miracles every single day in Mozambique.' Despite numerous road blocks impeding the delivery of health care, from poor roads and a severe shortage of skilled workers to a teetering economy, 6,000 Mozambiquens with AIDS have started life-prolonging anti-retroviral therapy. Poor women are helping even poorer women earn a living by helping them purchase a sewing machine for $300, said Johnson," Regina McEnery, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Wendy Johnson was a canvasser in our Toledo and Columbus offices.

Nov 29, 2004:  City of Akron: This City Reads!

Award recipients

Bob Reffner, Mary Ann Jackson, Jim Crutchfield, Carolyn Burrier, Rev. Ron Fowler, Sue Lacy, and Rick McIntosh.

AKRON -- "When 59,399 Akronites all sat down to read for a half-hour on January 14, 2004, the city of Akron broke a world record for the most people reading at one time. Students read at school, businesses set aside time for employees to read, every Head Start location focused on reading -– nearly 300 official reading sites were established as part of the launch for This City Reads!, a program designed to spark interest in literacy. . . Since the January citywide reading event, Project: LEARN of Summit County has seen a tremendous increase in adults using its services, and the number of tutors trained since January 2004 has increased by half; school proficiency scores have gone up, and area teachers report an increase in parental interest and involvement," Special Awards of Achievement, Northern Ohio Live Magazine, October 2004, 746 KB pdf.

AKRON -- Get a read on who is, who isn't, David Giffels, Akron Beacon Journal, Jul 1, 2004.

Consultant Sue Lacy coordinated the 'This City Reads!' campaign. In 1987, Sue Lacy and Betsy Grund wrote the first high school environmental curriculum in the nation 'Bags, Beakers and Barrels: An action curriculum toward resolving hazardous materials issues' for the Ohio Public Interest Campaign, the previous name of Ohio Citizen Action.
Nov 17, 2004:  Jim Grossfeld

Jim GrossfeldBETHESDA, MD -- "In the late '70s I gradually disengaged from college to become a VISTA volunteer and community organizer in Lansing and, later, Toledo and Cincinnati. In 1983, I moved to Columbus to work as communications director for the Ohio affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Muncipal Employees (AFSCME). I spent a lot of time on the road working on contract talks, strikes and organizing campaigns. I moved on to AFSCME's Los Angeles office, but eventually returned to Ohio and, in 1989, left the union to help Mike White in his upstart Cleveland mayoral campaign. After working as hizzoner's speechwriter I finally left Ohio for good and moved to Washington to join the staff of the United Mine Workers of America. I was editor of the union's magazine, speechwriter and spokesman for Mine Workers' President Rich Trumka. During the fun-filled Clinton era I was appointed speechwriting director for the Secretary of Agriculture and, later, for the Secretary of Health and Human Services. I later served on the staff of House Democratic Whip David Bonior. I now have my own public affairs consulting firm in Bethesda, Md."

WASHINGTON, DC -- Losing Lansing: Unemployment soared to 17 percent; union membership plummeted; cities emptied out: The other side of the revolution, Jim Grossfeld, American Prospect, June 11, 2004.

Jim Grossfeld was our Toledo Program Director.
Nov 8, 2004:  Chris Shumway

Chris ShumwaySYRACUSE, NY -- "Chris works primarily as a teacher, writer, and community media activist in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to The New Standard, his articles and media essays have appeared in the Online Journalism Review, Z Magazine, CommonDreams.org, and the (Columbus) Free Press. He is also co-author of the book Digital Dilemmas: Ethical Issues for Online Media Professionals (Iowa State Press, 2003), and an instructor in the Department of Communication at Capital University in Columbus. Prior to working as a teacher and writer, Chris was a broadcast journalist and meteorologist. For 15 years, he worked at network-affiliated TV stations in Alabama, Georgia, Texas, and Ohio, winning over a half-dozen awards in both journalism and weather forecasting categories. He has a B.A. from Jacksonville State University, a Certificate in Meteorology from Mississippi State University, and a Master’s degree in Media Studies from the New School University," profile, New Standard.

SYRACUSE, NY -- Pentagon rewards generals, corporations tied to Abu Ghraib scandal, Chris Shumway, The New Standard, October 17, 2004.

Chris Shumway was a field canvasser in our Columbus office, and a volunteer on the Alliance for Better Campaigns project, summer and fall, 2002.
Nov 1, 2004:  Glen Echo: Major restoration project under way

COLUMBUS -- "The endeavor will help slow and control the water in the [Glen Echo Ravine] stream, and allow water to overrun its boundaries during a storm, Westall said. Expanding the flood plain helps filter out impurities in the stream, which has the potential to create a natural habitat for wildlife there. Right now, there are no fish in the stream, [Brad Westall, greenways planner for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department] said. . . .'We think it's awesome,' added Kathy Remias, watershed coordinator of Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed, another local conservation group that has roughly 150 active members and 500 associates. 'The tributaries are the most impaired section of the watershed,' Remias said. 'They're more impaired than the river itself. They're smaller and the amount of stormwater that goes intro the tributaries during the storms does more harm because it's a smaller, fragile ecosystem,'" Gary Seman, Jr. Columbus ThisWeek, issue dated October 7, 2004.

Kathy Remias was a senior field canvasser, office manager, and associate program director in our Columbus office.
Oct 22, 2004:  Bobbi Jo Medlen

COLUMBUS -- "I've spent the last 5 years at Ohio State University getting my BA in Political Science and spending most of my spare time playing on the OSU women's D-I nationally ranked rugby team. (I'm the one with the ball.) Currently, I work for Social Science Automation, a consultant company that does computerized analysis of foreign and domestic leaders. The company works on bettering remote assessment techniques of world policy makers," Bobbi Medlen.

Bobbi Jo Medlen was an Associate Canvass Director in our Cleveland office.
Oct 11, 2004:  Brantt Hamilton -- Harp & Vocals

Brantt HamiltonCLEVELAND -- "Brantt is a true bluesman. He is an energetic performer whose down home harmonica style has flavored the sound of a myriad of area Blues bands. The list includes Princess Lydia and Her Blue Knights, Bill Dog and the Extrodinars, Twelve Gauge, The Back Street Blues Band, and of course, The KingBees. The KingBees Blues Band was formed in August of 1993. They began as a throw together band for some friends who wanted some live Blues music at their summer barbeque. The group enjoyed themselves and elected to keep the formation together. Throughout the next several months they found themselves well received as they began working low profile appearances in neighborhood clubs. Since that time the group has expanded from a simple four-piece jam band to the full sound six-piece format they are today. The groups repertoire ranges from Blues to Jazz to popular music. They perform selections from classic Blues artists such as Junior Wells, The Blues Brothers and B.B King. Other more mainstream selections include R&B classics from performers like Ray Charles and Wilson Pickett. Popular music selections include material from artists like Van Morrison, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Rolling Stones and The Allman Brothers. The group continues today playing many of the Cleveland areas most popular venues. They spend the summer months appearing as favorites at many area's seasonal events and street festivals," King Bees Blues Band.

Brantt Hamilton was on our finance staff.

Oct 4, 2004:  Interview with Craig Stuntz

Craig StuntzSCOTTS VALLEY, CA -- "I used to have many hobbies. Since my daughter was born last year, I don't do much outside of work anymore other than play with her. But my wife and I are in the process of restoring a 115 year-old house, and I've been building furniture for it when I can get a couple hours every now and again. My musical tastes are all over the map -- pretty much anything that isn't played on commercial radio is OK with me -- but since this is a Russian site I'll put in a plug for my favorite Russian band. The best book I've read in recent weeks has been Daniel Ellsberg's Secrets, but my favorite authors are probably Jeanette Winterson, for her gymnastic use of language, and Neal Stephenson, because he spins a good yarn. . . Q: What is your education? How did you decide to work in the high tech field? My education, like my taste in music, is all over the place. I have a degree in film and video. Later I studied nuclear physics and electrical engineering. Academically, I always did well, but I eventually decided that university was too far removed from real life to be challenging. I then worked for a series of non-profits (most intentionally so), before settling down at Vertex Systems Corporation, which serves nonprofits but is for-profit enough to have decent management," Marina Novikova, InterBase World, interview dated Jan 20, 2003.

Craig Stuntz was a Columbus field manager for Ohio Citizen Action.

Sep 26, 2004:  Aamir Deen

Aamir and Holly Deen

Newlyweds Aamir and Holly Deen.

Aamir Deen was our Akron field canvass director.

Sep 19, 2004:  Darlene Wolnik

Darlene WolnikNEW ORLEANS, LA -- "Darlene Wolnik serves as Associate Director of the Economics Institute, a non-profit that works for ecologically sustainable development in the New Orleans region. EI runs the Crescent City Farmers Market four days a week, as well as a fair trade market called Festivus, The Holiday Market For the Rest of Us". EI works with other open air markets around the country, helping others to create long lasting public spaces that promote local economies and ecological stability. Darlene is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Markets and the systems that assist them to keep the Market running smoothly. A vocal leader in the alternative transportation and cooperative movements, Darlene can be seen peddling around town on her green bicycle," Economics Institute.

Darlene Wolnik was our Columbus field canvass director.

Sep 12, 2004:  Roxane Staples

Roxane StaplesDENVER, CO -- "I was born and raised in the Detroit area and attended Eastern Michigan University, studying music. After university, I spent 10 years working in the non-profit world. This took me all over the county, and showed me how much I love working with people. I came to Denver in the early 90’s and tried my hand at making a living as a musician. I play the flute, and do a little singing. I played in a Brazilian Band for a while and had a jazz duo with a pianist for a couple of years. I fell into Real Estate almost by accident, and have found it to be a wonderful fit. I have a good mind for details and am very organized. I have a sincere concern for people, and love being involved in folks buying and selling homes. It is a great way to make a living, while helping people in making important decisions. I love the outdoors and spend a lot of time walking my dogs. I am very excited to be working with Lexie. We have an energy level that will serve our clients, as well as giving us a wonderful workplace," The Staples Group Realtors. Roxane is also a special guest artist for the unplugged "light" shows of Tempa and the Tantrums.

Roxane Staples was our Toledo field canvass director.

Sep 6, 2004:  After '01 riot, Cincinnatian reaches out to city with plan for youth center
Hip-hopper's revolution

Gavin Leonard and Life
Gavin Leonard and Life
CINCINNATI -- "Timothy Thomas, an unarmed 19-year-old black man, was shot and killed by Cincinnati police in April 2001. In the wake of his death, the city erupted in protest. Some feared a riot like that in Los Angeles after the beating of Rodney King. Gavin Leonard had worked in Cincinnati for a non-profit affordable-housing organization months earlier. He was visiting Washington state, trying to establish residency for college, when the shooting happened. He sat frozen in front of a friend's television, watching images of streets in his former neighborhood overflow with protesters slinging rocks and setting fires out of a growing frustration with the police. 'I remember seeing my block,' Leonard, 23, said. 'I almost turned around right then.' He felt compelled to help the city heal. 'You get sick of people talking about stuff who don't do a thing about it,' he said. 'You can't just talk about something. You've got to pick it up and work with it,'" Sarah Hoye, Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, article dated Aug 29, 2004. Hip Hop Youth Arts Center.

Sep 16, 2004: Update

CINCINNATI -- Watching the Detectives; CopWatch marks a year of fighting brutality, Gregory Flannery, Cincinnati CityBeat, Aug 8, 2002.

CINCINNATI -- Hip Hop Hope; Youth center aims to empower a generation, Stephanie Dunlap, Cincinnati CityBeat, Dec 3, 2003; Thanks for the hope, Gavin Leonard, letter to the editor, Dec 17, 2003.

Gavin Leonard was a field canvasser in our Columbus and Cincinnati offices.

Aug 30, 2004:  After 19 years of outwitting FirstEnergy
Shari Weir leaves Ohio Citizen Action's staff

Shari WeirCLEVELAND -- "All of us at Ohio Citizen Action are extremely grateful to Shari for everything she has accomplished and all she has taught us during her nineteen years on staff. Chief among her accomplishments was the creative approach to utility deregulation in Ohio, which led to the creation of 'community choice,' where cities can bargain for lower rates on behalf of their residents. Shari's encyclopedic knowledge of utilities in Ohio and her amazing tenacity in working for fair utility rates have helped Ohio families save millions of dollars on their electric bills. Shari is reknowned among our staff for her incisive and quick wit and her 'fire and brimstone' canvass briefings. We have all been inspired by her deep compassion for others and her faith in the power of community organizing. Shari is both a courageous and adventurous person, and we wish her nothing but the best in her new adventures," Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action.

Shari Weir was our Cleveland Program Director (twice), statewide Consumer Issues Director, and Executive Director of the Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund.

Aug 26, 2004:  Ex-Democratic chairman discusses the sometimes ugly world of politics

The power of Paula

Paula RossTOLEDO -- Paula Ross said, "Environmental issues were what really got me involved in politics. I was always vaguely interested, but after there was a serious accident at the Davis-Besse plant, I decided to get active. I was worried about the environmental impact of having a nuclear plant so close, and at the time, I was studying business. I was also interested in the economic impact of nuclear energy. After I got involved in some citizens groups, I found that all the political power was in the hands of the corporations, and that in order to be more influential, I had to take a different route. After I did some work on independent campaigns and worked as the Toledo organizer for Ohio Citizen Action, I got involved with the Democrats. In 1997, I was elected chairman of the party. I threw myself into the position 150 percent. I found that the harder I worked, the more responsibility I was given. I attempted to bring more women and young people into the election process, and I think the success of that brought a backlash. Someone once said to me, 'There's nothing wrong with the 'good ol' boys' system as long as you're one of the good ol' boys.' There're a lot of people in our community who are used to being in power and don't like sharing that power. In Lucas County, we’ve elected many untraditional individuals, such as women, young people and minorities. Yet, the majority of those members of the committee that chose new leadership (Coalition of Concerned Democrats) are traditional white males," Jason Webber, Toledo City Paper.

Paula Ross was our Toledo Program Director.

Aug 24, 2004:  Steve Cerny: HUD attorney, Kucinich campaign coordinator

RESTON, VA -- In January, Steve Cerny provided the following background to Kucinich campaign supporters: "I've been active in progressive politics since high school (early 70s) and college (mid 70s) and worked on many campaigns since then including the presidential campaigns of George McGovern in 1972, Fred Harris in 1976, and Jerry Brown in 1980 and served in Dennis Kucinich's administration when he was mayor of Cleveland in the late 70s (I first met him when I was in high school). In the 1980s I was active mostly in local Cleveland politics, Ohio politics to some extent, and in Central America anti-intervention efforts. Professionally, after working as an organizer for a Citizen Action predecessor organization in the Akron-Canton area, I returned to Cleveland to work in the Kucinich administration as a city planner, where I remained until I graduated from law school and came to DC in 1990 to work as an attorney at HUD. I moved to Reston in 1993 and became involved in VA politics in 1994, when most of the Hatch Act restrictions against Federal employees' involvement in political campaigns were lifted. I coordinated several campaigns for state delegate Ken Plum (D-Reston) in the 90s and also worked in the campaigns of a number of Democratic Party candidates, although I became very frustrated with the Democrats both locally and nationally and quit the local party committee. I consider myself both a Green and a Democrat, and support Green campaigns against non-progressive obstructionists or corporate sell-out Democrats, but would rather see this kind of problem resolved within the party. A Green should never challenge a reasonable Democrat when there is a danger of delivering an election to a reactionary Republican. I got involved with the Kucinich campaign in late October and became VA co-coordinator in late Nov. or early Dec."

Steve Cerny was our Akron-Canton Program Director in the 1970's.

Aug 20, 2004: Goodbye Cleveland

Dr. Wendy Johnson, Medical Director, Cleveland Department of Public Health, briefs the Cleveland field canvass.
Dr. Wendy Johnson
CLEVELAND -- "Four months ago, I decided to leave a great job and great co-workers at the Cleveland Department of Public Health to work with Health Alliance International, scaling up HIV treatment and prevention programs in Mozambique, Africa. . . . Although it's difficult to leave friends and family, I felt compelled take on the challenge in Mozambique and put myself at the center of an effort to address one of the world’s most pressing public health and humanitarian catastrophes: the AIDS epidemic in Sub-Sarahan Africa. When Jim Kim, one of the founders (with Paul Farmer) of Partners in Health and now the Director of the HIV/AIDS Depatment of the World Health Organization, spoke at the Cleveland City Club on World AIDS Day two years ago, he explained his involvement in the fight against AIDS in terms of how we would explain ourselves to the next generation. He compared the epidemic to the worst plagues in human history and said he wanted to have a good answer for his son when he asked, "Where were you in the fight against AIDS?" As a physician committed to health and human rights, the words resonated with me," Mozamblog.

Wendy Johnson was a canvasser in our Toledo and Columbus offices.

Aug 16, 2004: Jackson builds closet for client on Capitol Hill

Kendall JacksonKendall Jackson insists the following is from an article in the Washington Times, and we don't have time to check it.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Former Ohio Citizen Action state canvass director Kendall Jackson has just completed construction of a closet at 127 Kentucky St. SE and the clients are 'pleased with the results' quotes an unnamed source. 'I built it with converging pocket doors to save space,' says Jackson, 'people like that.' The closet, measuring 3 feet wide and 6 feet long will be used to store things, says Jackson's client. 'They want a bookshelf built at some point on the short side of the closet so keep your cell phones on so I can let you know when construction begins!' Jackson began the project on a Tuesday and finished it on Friday. Jackson's other work includes putting in a little piece of baseboard for this one lady, and hauling some stuff to the dump for this guy in Dupont Circle. 'My mom says I'm handy, so I guess I am,'" Washington Times.

Kendall Jackson was our statewide field canvass director. He is married to former Akron canvass director Jennifer Lukas Jackson, now an environmental attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Aug 9, 2004: Dr. Marianthe Manak

Marianthe ManakWINSTON-SALEM, NC -- Dr. Marianthe Manak is a second-year resident at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center's Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Dr. James Withers and Marianthe Manak tend to Joe Murray, a homeless diabetes patient in Pittsburgh last year.
Marianthe Manak
While a student, Manak worked with James Withers, M.D., an internal medicine physician at The Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, on a project to give free health care to homeless people in Pittsburgh:

WASHINGTON, DC -- Pittsburgh's Operation Safety Net is making a difference to the underserved. "Operation Safety Net teams go out on street patrols four nights a week, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Dr. Withers still accompanies the team on Mondays. Besides basic primary care, the teams screen for TB and test for HIV and hepatitis. In the cold months, much of their work consists of the obvious necessary support -- passing out blankets to keep homeless people warm, coordinating efforts at shelters, and evaluating the medical needs of those who remain on the streets. This year's cold winter has not spared Pittsburgh; one homeless person actually lost a foot from frostbite, the first such event there in nine years, Dr. Withers says," Association of American Medical Colleges Reporter, March 2003.

Marianthe Manak was a field canvasser in our Cleveland and Cincinnati offices between 1996 and 1999. Angela Oster used her image as the basis for our new masthead, which appears at the top of every page on this website.

Aug 1, 2004: Individuals, businesses, and organizations that are leading the way to a better Cleveland
Hosts Cindy Barber and Mark Leddy

Mark LeddyCLEVELAND -- "With the opening three years ago of the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern on Waterloo Road, Cleveland's North Collinwood neighborhood has become an entertainment destination of choice for many music lovers from miles around. The Beachland, about half a mile from Euclid Beach State Park on Lake Erie, is owned by wife and husband Cindy Barber and Mark Leddy. The night club is in a former Croation hall still decorated with a mural of the old country showing Croatian countryside and musicians in traditional costumes. The blues musicians and tattooed rockers on stage fit right in. The Beachland's two stages welcome a wide variety of up and coming national and local acts," Growing Innovations Gallery.

See also:

CLEVELAND -- Owners hope hip club can revive old neighborhood; Cleveland Croatian hall reborn. "The club has quickly become a fixture of Cleveland's alternative rock scene, featuring national acts, such as Los Lobos and Southern Culture on the Skids, along with local bands, such as the hillbilly rock combo Lords of the Highway. The owners' ultimate goal is that it will be the catalyst for a neighborhood rebirth . . .," Paul Singer, Associated Press, Jan 9, 2003.

Mark Leddy was Canvass Director in our Akron, Toledo and Cleveland offices.

July, 2004: Knight in shining armor

A dedicated band led by Marc Anderson wants to take insurers and third-party administrators to court nationwide

Marc AndersonMCLEAN, VA -- "Marc Anderson may be well-suited for Independent Glass Association leadership because of his day-to-day experience as an auto-shop owner plus a 22-year career in nonprofit organizing and fund-raising. Turns out, he entered the auto-glass business through happenstance: In 1994, Anderson was ready to make a career change. He wanted more time with his family and was eager to trade airport terminals and hotel rooms for a close-to-home enterprise. 'I was exploring buying a small used-car dealership that leased late models, did engine repair and had a body shop and an auto-glass operation,' Anderson recalls. 'After three months of exploring that option, the day I left [the dealer], the auto-glass installer was fired. He came to me and said that if I would supply him with a van and equipment, he could bring in enough accounts in six weeks to be fully booked. I expected that to be a side line.' . . . He founded the Minnesota Independent Auto Glass Association and became heavily involved in legislative action during 1999-2002, a time known as the Minnesota Windshield Wars, when insurers, legislators and state officials were sparring over auto-glass shop owners' use of incentives to lure consumers and other marketing issues, including steering. He began fighting steering then—and hasn’t quit," Kathy Henderson, Auto Glass Magazine.

Marc Anderson, the father of modern door-to-door canvassing, taught us how to do it.

Jul 29, 2004: Supporters spend week in Boston

From left: Jane Cowan, Judith Shattuck, Cammy Challender, Jackie Elek, Julia Prange, Chris Kuwamoto, Cheryl Binzen.
Chris Kuwamoto
BOSTON, MA -- "You didn't have to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention to be part of history in the making this election year. . . National Volunteer Coordinator, Chris Kuwamoto of Cleveland, Ohio, sends an enormous thank you to everyone who volunteered in some way throughout the week, even for simply wearing a Grassroots Democrats t-shirt. The success of the week could not have been achieved without all of the great help—from delivering the daily newspaper Inside/ Out to setting up and tearing down events, to distributing materials, to making signs, to getting coffee and food for staff. As Kuwamoto expressed, 'This is the best, warmest, most loving group of volunteers I have ever worked with,'" Kucinich for President.

Chris Kuwamoto was a phone canvasser, Phone Canvass Director, and Development Director.

Jul 28, 2004: Superfund sites need more work, U.S. EPA says

Ed HopkinsWASHINGTON, DC -- "'Without an effective funding mechanism for Superfund cleanups, dangerous chemicals will continue to seep into our air, water and soil,' said Ed Hopkins, the Sierra Club's environmental-quality program director, who wrote a report on the data," Associated Press.

Ed Hopkins was our Environmental Policy Director from 1987 to 1993.

Joe RugolaJul 27, 2004: Labor, business, trade job of buttering up Democratic delegates

BOSTON, MA -- "On Monday, Ohio's public school employees union hosted a $12,000 breakfast for hundreds of the state's delegates and guests to the Democratic National Convention. On Tuesday, it was utility American Electric Power's turn, followed on Wednesday by Limited Brands, whose chairman, billionaire Les Wexner, gives frequently to Republicans. . . Labor recognizes the role that businesses play in the economy and want them as partners in such events, said Joseph Rugola, executive director of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, which sponsored Monday's breakfast," Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Associated Press.

Joe Rugola was our Dayton Program Director.

Dan StewartJul 27, 2004: Opportunity knocks to woo the swinging voters

COLUMBUS -- "'There is a lot of true concern by people who realise that they may only be a couple of pay cheques away from potential disaster,' said Dan Stewart, a Democratic member of the state House of Representatives," Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian.

Dan Stewart was on the Columbus program staff in the early 1980's.

Jul 19, 2004: Oil Pipeline Foe Deported

Amazon Watch Executive Director Atossa Soltani discusses the Occidental project with an Ecuadoran worker.
Atossa Soltani
MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- "Police agents arrested seven Ecuadoran protesters and U.S. environmental activist Julia 'Butterfly' Hill as they demonstrated outside the Quito offices of U.S. oil company Occidental Petroleum on July 16. This was the latest in a series of recent protests against construction of the Heavy Crude Pipeline (OCP), a 300-mile pipeline that is to ship heavy crude from Ecuador’s oil-rich Amazon jungle across the Andes mountains to the Pacific coast. . . 'The decision to deny due process to Julia Butterfly is clearly influenced by a desire on the part of the Ecuadoran government and OCP to avoid the spotlight being shined on the OCP pipeline,' said Amazon Watch executive director Atossa Soltani. 'Those pushing this destructive project know that it will not bear being exposed to international scrutiny,'" Resource Center of the Americas.

Atossa Soltani was a field canvasser and office manager in our Akron office, 1983 - 1984.

Jul 8, 2004: Tomorrow's Promise: Environmental Health

Stu GreenbergCLEVELAND -- "That relates to the need for a two-prong strategy for lead. You need a very intensive approach that focuses on high risk neighborhoods, high-risk houses, and high-risk pregnant women, so that you can get to them before the child develops a body burden, focusing intense efforts there. You also need a strategy at a very high level that educates people about the potential for lead exposure in ordinary activities of painting your house or doing remodeling. So you need -- for prevention overall -- to infuse sort of every housing decision with awareness of lead safety. In other words, when a bank writes a mortgage, they should be thinking about: What is the lead status of this house? When you are going to do renovations: Where is the lead? What do we need to do to protect ourselves?" Stu Greenberg, Executive Director, Environmental Health Watch, on WCPN-FM Radio.

Stu Greenberg was our Financial Director.