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Nelson Rafael Roman

People First in Holyoke

During a presidential election year, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the big race and forget about the municipal and state races that are happening, too.
 
One of the most essential ways we can create a politics that improves people’s lives is by changing who’s in charge at the local level.
 
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A Tale of Two Judges

Hamilton County, Ohio, Judges Jerry Metz and Pat Foley began their careers on a parallel track. Both trace their interest in politics to their childhoods. They even attended the same seminary (though they didn’t know each other at the time!) and then moved on to legal work for the bulk of their careers. And both thank Wellstone for propelling their judicial campaigns.

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Why not now?

“I come from a big family, so organizing big events is in my blood.” Explains Pinky Vargas, “I’ve always been a community organizer.”

And while her interest in local Bellingham (a Seattle suburb) politics grew over the years – she’d even watch the local access channel’s broadcast of city council meetings – the idea of running for office stayed in the back of her mind to do many years down the line.

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Open to Whatever Comes Next

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Wellstone at #Fight4AFuture

When over 120 young organizers in the movement to stop gun violence met in Chicago over a recent weekend, it was a time to come together, to envision a path forward, and gain new skills to win progress down that path.

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Joining the Battle with UTLA

“We’re in the middle of a battle here,” began Alex Caputo-Pearl, the President of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) to a group of a few dozen staff of America’s second-largest teachers union local.  “It’s going to get more intense. That’s why it’s so important that Wellstone’s here: we’ll win with concrete strategies for mapping out schools to support members as they step up and become leaders.” 
 
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A year later

Like many recent college graduates with a Liberal Arts degree, Murphy Guinane ended up in retail, “Not by choice!” they explained. But the job market was tough. 

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From 3M to Campaign Management

In 2011, Gene Nichols was newly-retired from his 32 year career in the healthcare division at 3M. His path to an active political life in retirement had begun just a few years earlier. In 2008, while volunteering on the Obama campaign, he met a fellow volunteer that recruited him to get involved with TakeAction MN, a partner organization of ours and a national model for state-based progressive advocacy. From there, Gene met a Wellstone Action trainer who encouraged him to go to a Camp Wellstone.

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Road Map to Victory

Newly-elected Maryland Delegate Cory McCray will readily admit he wasn’t always a perfect voter. “I didn’t start voting until George W Bush was in office. If you looked me up in the VAN file, I’d be in trouble!” But as a small business owner in charge of several rental properties, the more his business grew, the more he began to see how politics was a part of everything.

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Bring Them into the Room

Fed up. Angry. Done. By 1990, Erik Peterson had given up on politics. The former peace movement organizer had stopped voting in protest: No one was seriously talking about race or poverty, both parties were pawns of corporate interests, all our leaders supported more militarization.

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