Yesterday, the Lowe for Congress campaign took part in 350.org’s Global Work Party, a collaborative effort by groups all over the world to take practical action to care for our environment. On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, we joined 7,346 other events in 188 countries by going to help clean up part of the Great Western Trail. See pictures below.
On Tuesday we hosted a 350.org event, entitled Panel for the Planet. It was a great success, with attendees from across the political spectrum all supporting environmental responsibility. Dr. Fred Van Dyke, professor of biology at Wheaton College, was the keynote speaker, and discussed how politics could address the environmental issues facing us.
Ben, speaking afterwards, said:
I’m thankful that everyone could be here and that Dr. Van Dyke could lead us in a frank discussion of what we need to do to create a more just and sustainable future. We desperately need good jobs in Illinois, and the clean energy economy is our best option for putting people back to work while tackling the urgent climate crisis. That is why, unlike my competitor, incumbent Peter Roskam, I strongly support robust clean energy legislation. It is just the right thing to do for our community. Clean energy is not solely a Democratic or Republican priority; it is a moral priority, an American priority, and one that I am proud to champion for our district.
Yesterday Ben spoke at three Political Science/American Government classes at College of DuPage, each time answering questions on his positions, on his thoughts on politics, and on why he decided to run (and to run the way he is running, free from special interests). Something he said really hit home: “Only when we have people who will win the right way will we have people who will govern the right way.”
(Did you notice our campaign pumpkin? Yeah, it wasn’t carved. We might still do that–three weeks to get around to it!)
We recently talked to a local businessman, a Wheaton grad and a pillar of the community—he’s been overseeing his company for over 50 years! He said he’s done with supporting political candidates who simply feed into the broken status quo. But, meeting with him yesterday, he said to Ben, “You’re different. You’re the only one I’m supporting.”
The fact is, Ben’s decision not to take money from interests—to run with integrity and conviction—is refreshing for many people.
If you’d like, you’re welcome to give here. This is a grassroots campaign, energized, supported and run by volunteers. This is your campaign.
From the campaign trail this week …
Over the last few days, we’ve spent time canvassing around the Wheaton, Elk Grove Village, Glen Ellyn, and Lombard neighborhoods. We’ve handed out flyers, lawn signs, talked to folks, and it’s been real encouraging. We’ve gotten a great reception from people–Republicans, Democrats, independents–especially when we mention that Ben (1) isn’t taking money from PACs or special interests; and (2) is a newcomer to politics. People are looking for fresh insights, and for someone that challenges the status quo where money dictates politics rather than politicians being responsive to the people who elected them.
One afternoon, when I was canvassing with Ben, we spotted a lawn sign that was already up, and decided to pay a surprise visit. The couple, who’d moved out to Elk Grove Village from Chicago, were delighted to meet Ben, and reiterated their gratitude that he was running.
Yesterday afternoon, we had a “Meet the Candidate” session at Elk Grove Village Public Library. It was a smaller crowd, but what was very encouraging was the articulation of support for Ben. “It’s good to have someone who represents your views, who stands for what you stand for,” said one lady.
People talked about their concerns: poverty, often overlooked in the suburbs of the 6th; immigration reform, including young immigrants brought to the country as children and the approximately 12 million undocumented people living in the shadows; and an energy policy that continues to devastate our environment. Here too, people were excited to have a candidate who refused to be bought by big corporations, and stood up for the people of the district.
Later in the afternoon, we headed over to a fall fair at a church in the area, browsed the stalls, chatted to vendors, ate some hot dogs, and bought a campaign pumpkin to support the Navajo Indians. Once we get it carved, we’ll get a picture up!
For more info, visit Lowe for Congress.
This evening I got to Wheaton, Illinois. I’ll be here for a month or so to volunteer for Ben Lowe’s congressional campaign. He’s running in the Sixth District, which includes DuPage County and Cook County, as the Democratic Party’s representative against Peter Roskam, the Republican incumbent. I’m not sure yet exactly what I’ll be doing, but I’m excited to be getting involved and to be supporting someone who’s become a friend over the last year.
A person’s integrity is hugely important to me—especially for someone who’s running for elected office. I’m a firm believer that what we get done is at least equaled in importance by how we get it done.
Ben and I met late last year, and have gotten to know each other in the last 12 months. He’s someone who’s shown a winning—and tragically rare—combination of intelligence, passion, commitment, and—perhaps most importantly—humility. He seeks to live out his Christian faith in the truest sense of loving God and loving neighbor: in reaching out to and defending those who are oppressed and marginalized; in taking care of the world we all share; in standing up to those who seek only to maintain unjust systems and structures; in affirming that every person is made equal and valuable, made in the image of God. Moreover, he refuses to let himself be bought by special interests—he hasn’t taken a cent from PACs. It’s put him at a distinct financial disadvantage, but it’s simultaneously showed him to be a man of integrity.
Ben Lowe is the kind of person I want my elected official to be like, and this is why I’m supporting him.
Visit Lowe for Congress.