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Recall: An End in Sight - Part Two

Tonight's celebratory volunteer potluck put a smile on my face but made me wish I had done more.

Wednesday was my last day as a Recall Walker volunteer. Though I am proud to have been a part of this endeavor, I do have guilt about not doing enough. A few hours a week at the office and gathering signatures is so pale in comparison to what some have done – it’s almost invisible.

There are people like who has worked tirelessly, 7 days a week since the recall began. And , who has eaten, slept and lived this movement since day one. And then there’s Mark Balwinski who has probably put more miles on his car than most of us do in a year. When I ask them where they found their motivations, the answers didn’t surprise me.

“The papers reporting thousands of jobs leaving every month; education getting slashed while property taxes go up; the constant lies. Lawmakers breaking their own laws and then making up new ones for those that they can't find a way to get around. I promised the Ironworker Union that I belong to - wherever there was an attack on Working Families, I'd be there,” says Ironworker Randy Bryce.

And Mark Balwinski shares, “I worked so hard on this for a multitude of reasons. Largely because derailing the train robs future generations of opportunities. (Walker's) arrogant ineptitude cost Wisconsin taxpayers over $100 million, and removed opportunities for business growth and development that would have provided thousands of good-paying, family-supporting jobs at a time when we could really use them.”

Compared to these truly dedicated, hard working people, I am a slacker at best. I am not sure how many signatures I have collected. Not tons. But people like Kelly, Mark and Randy are probably responsible for thousands.

Kelly organized the first mobile unit for signature gathering. You could often see her and her loyal team on public sidewalks all over Racine. She also started a Facebook page devoted to organizing Racine recall volunteers. And she could even be spotted driving around in her PJs scouting out bridges for the Overpass Light Brigade. Hundreds of volunteers braved cruddy weather and passionate opposition because they knew that every signature mattered.

“I couldn't tell you how many hours I've put in. I barely can tell you what day it is,” Randy laughs, “I'm at it by 4:30 every morning - going through e-mails and getting info on what's going on. After work, there's always something to do whether it's a labor meeting, getting signatures or treasurer duties.”

But it is all worth it to Randy because as he stated, “Every autograph is like finding a pearl.”

And though the end is closer than it was 90 days ago, there is still some road to tow.

“We've got a long way to go, but I will enjoy the moment on Tuesday when we turn in the petitions and celebrate that part of the journey in Madison at Monona Terrace. But the real celebrating will come when the effort is complete and we have won the election,” says Mark.

Randy is looking forward to celebrating by shutting down his phone and email for a full 24 hours, and he admits, “I’m sure some quiet tears will be involved.”

Yes, I do wish I had given more of my time and energy. I do wish I would have pressed harder to collect signatures. But fact is, I did something. And that is more than I have done in the past. Involvement is a good thing and this was a lesson I needed. So I suppose I can thank Scott Walker and his pals for that.

But most of all I am grateful for these fabulous volunteers who really rocked it, pounded the pavement and made this happen. They have jobs, kids and many other responsibilities. But they sacrificed sleep, relaxation, entertainment and even meals all to help our state regain democracy and decency. My hat is off, my friends…now get some rest!!

Heather Rayne Geyer January 16, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Hoffa - I have had it open on my desktop for 2 days now LOL. I promise to read and comment tomorrow!! Tho I am annoyed because I have been hoping for a movie column for years!!! ;)
Heather Rayne Geyer January 16, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Oh - and I really like Kelly. She is no nonsense and says what she feels. I can really relate to her. I also like The Siren blog. I think it is hilarious and I love that it isn't politically correct (gotta tell ya, I am a potty mouth myself so I can relate that way too). However..I should let you know that she is not the only one to write for that site (if she even still does). It is a collaborative effort. Its not a news site, it is a blog...so I don't see anything wrong with it. There are plenty of Tea Party sites out there which are just the same. Ok...gotta leave the puter now...almost Golden Globe time :) (yes, I can be a shallow celebrity gawker at times...sometimes my brain needs a break)
Heather Rayne Geyer January 16, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Thanks guys for your support and kind words...you know it means a lot. And for the rest of ya...thanks for reading and commenting even if you disagree...nothing wrong with discussion. Have a swell night y'all.
The Wall January 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM
If that was all Temporary Governor Scott Walker did, the recall would have fizzled and few could be rallied outside the unions to protest. Instead the abuse of public trust defiled democracy in many areas. Still the trigger men harp on the division issues on Unions when the unity issue is Wisconsin. Under Temporary Wisconsin Governor Walker the Republicans suddenly marched in lockstep through a series of sweeping legislation indicating a clear unspoken plan unaffected by the diverse needs of their constituency. This devious lurch from public and opposition party input demonstrated unsuitability as a legislator by every Republican. There was so much BAD legislation passed effecting Unions, Tort Reform, Education, Public Utilities, Tax Burdens, Transportation, Finance, Insurance, Voting, and Renters by this group was premeditated, but not discussed with the voters. This is why we recall. Progress was made against the legislative ambush by the Republicans and the ALEC backroom dealers. This was not a stalemate, nor the final state of affairs. There will be more recalls, and recalls and then general elections. A well practiced volunteer Democratic base against the overpaid Republican profiteers. Volunteers will eventually win a war of attrition. Large volunteer base - costs very little. The expensive defense by the Republicans will close them down.
In touch May 27, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Now we know why the Racine police department never did fair and complete police investigation back in December2011 of identifying the driver of the black Lexus SUV owned by Mr.Tom Bode of the Bode Financial Group LTD when 'that' driver harassed , abused and recklessly operated the black suv as righteous workers for the recall movement were working at All Sports bar and grill parking lot with permission of the owner ! Then chief of police Kurt wahlan was still on the job- Wahlan recently endorced (05-26-12) Von Waaaanguard for senator !!

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