This is what I blogged today:
Ten years ago today the progressive, populist sector of American political though lost an extraordinary champion — a serving senator whom everyone called Paul, an outspoken liberal who worked with people who didn't share his views but whose most compelling contribution to the progressive cause was to put forth "infant" ideas such as universal health care that grew up into legislation as the years passed.
And, miracle of miracles, Paul's influence lives on in Wellstone Action. Paul and Sheila's sons' memorial to their father and mother isn't another statue, a park or a building. To quote its web site, Wellstone Action is a "nonprofit organization dedicated to progressive social change. Major areas of activity are political education, organizing, and domestic violence prevention." It trains progressives who want to go where Paul went: into city, state and national politics as everything from community organizers to national legislators. Representative Tim Walz, Minnesota first district Representative and Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie are graduates of Camp Wellstone.
I'm not going to run for office, or even to organize anything more challenging that my desk drawers, but I can put others who share my politics on the path into public service with a contribution to Wellstone Action. Today is the anniversary of tragic deaths, an awful plane crash, a great public and private loss.
But today can also be the continuation of a political life. I made my contribution to Wellstone Action on a fund raising form that asked for $18, $36 or what you choose. "18" is the traditional Jewish symbol of life, "36" is double life and so forth. Paul and Sheila live on in Wellstone Action. If you want to support their immortality you can at www.wellstone.org/