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Bonnie Duncan (4Freedom) is ranked #33 of 111
I walked my first picket line at 17. At 71, I actively campaign to protect SS, public education, health access, marriage equality and peace.
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My political story
In the small Michigan town where I grew up, the town drunk and the high school political science teacher were the only two Democrats I knew. At Ann Arbor, the sixties were full of political activism, and I campaigned to help end the Vietnam engagement, including doing press and forward work for the Senator Eugene McCarthy presidential campaign. In Vermont, I have campaigned for Bernie, Peter Welch and Pat Leahy, our fabulous members of Congress. My current mission is to help incorporate prevention into the national health care dialogue.
Why I deserve a Netroots Nation Scholarship
Health care costs have impacted many of us. I own a health food store, and am studying how to help customers and my family maintain or re-gain health through diet and nutrition. Working with Vermont's Green Mountain Care, I want to help encourage prevention in Vermont as a model for the rest of the country. There is a strong educational component to my work, and I'm working on a series of essays and a book on self care. At Netroots Nation, I would like to network with those interested in improving health through diet and nutrition. The health of our nation is important to me, and I think through networking with other activists, I can help raise awareness of how we can better care for ourselves and our families. This will save pain, suffering and money.
What first inspired me to get involved
Injustice has always had an impact on me. I have pretty serious PTSD from a violent upbringing. This has sensitized me to the myriad injustices in our society based on race, ability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. Now I campaign for a fairer and more just society on many fronts. I have advocated for death row inmates, participate in a no-kill animal shelter initiative, promote local progressive candidates for school board and other public positions, and in general, work to help make my community, state and country a healthier and more hospitable place for all residents.
The blog post I am most proud of
Vermont Public Interest Research Group, VPIRG, helps host a yearly May Day parade. Bernie's speech is the highlight of the event. Last year's theme was "Put People First". I gather local support for the state-wide event, help organizers, carry banners, and celebrate the international workers' day.
More about my political involvement
I have had DFA training years ago with Arshad, and great training it was! I have used that training on campaigns from local candidates to state-wide offices. Our Vermont congressional contingent is one I'm very proud of, and I have campaigned for all three of our elected officials, and for our Democratic Governor.
How I've gotten others involved
I have campaigned with a national campaign through rain on horseback, in sleet with a team for Bernie, and on a sunny summer Fourth of July, marched in a parade for Vermont's lone representative, Peter Welch. Recruiting others to help knock on doors was one of my primary roles until my retail store took up more of my time. Now I focus on phone calls, letters to the editor and blogging.
Why I think participation in the netroots is important
With my mission to help improve the health of our nation, Netroots Nation holds great appeal to me. First, there is a huge pool of committed activists. Second, they are there to learn and network. My focus is in the area of health, but it is away from the national point of convergence on drugs and doctors. I think there is hope and help to be found in simple approaches to diet and nutrition that can help prevent illness and address conditions.
My Twitter manifesto on online activism
People need people, and want to connect with others. Being online is the ultimate networking tool, and provides connectivity for activists.
If I could design a bumper sticker it would say:
Make Your Salad Your Main Meal
My wild idea for a cool new action
I would like to raise awareness of world hunger. A national campaign can be started to have a Dollar Day to End World Hunger. On a voluntary basis, Americans who wish to participate would eat a very simple, reduced-calorie meal such as a bowl of rice and a small portion of beans. This meal could have the caloric count of a meal that millions around the world who are malnourished consume. A dollar could be donated to help buy food to feed the hungry.
I am a