Harvey Brown and Rosemary Bisiar, Spokane, are leaders of SMAC (Spokane Move to Amend). Their group got about 1240 signatures on Bloomsday Weekend and about 480 on Earth Day at Riverfront Park. Married 26 years, they live 6 miles from the Idaho border, “politically the same,” says Harvey. They’ve been fighting money in politics since around 2002, and they were among the first 10 SMAC members.
Rosemary says, “I think this issue is so important because we are not going to be able to adequately address the great & most troublesome issues of our day until we can rein in the corporate control of our nation’s policy making and, thus, representation.”
Harvey says, “There are other problems that are also very important to us like climate change, wilderness creation & preservation–particularly in Alaska, and endangered species, but uncontrolled money in politics and economic inequality are at the root of all them.”
Linda Bock, Bellevue
Linda Bock’s goal was 1,000 signatures, but she collected 1100 before the end of February. The Bellevue woman stood in front of the Redmond and Kirkland libraries and Whole Foods.
“It’s really important,” Linda says. “The most important thing people can do.” She says many people are turned off from petitions because they’re tired of Tim Eyman’s paid signature collectors. “I assure people I’m not with Tim Eyman – I’m just a volunteer, and this is important to me.” She got 100 signatures in 2 hours in front of PCC in University Village.
“It’s been really interesting,” Linda muses. The most interesting person so far was a gentleman who had just come from services at a mosque, dressed in a unique way she’d never seen. ” ‘You talk too much!,’ he said sternly. ‘You should just say this would require public disclosure.’ I tried it, and it worked,” she said. (and he signed her petition – he was very enlightened politically.)
Linda feels especially gratified that she’s been able to register around 15 new voters. She prints the forms off the Secretary of State’s website, and always carries stamped envelopes so she can mail them immediately to the King County Board of Elections.
She advises volunteers not to argue. “Just pleasantly accept that there will sometimes be people who disagree with you, and that’s OK in this country.” After a short break, her next challenges will be door-to-door in her own neighborhood, “and maybe Bellevue Square.”
Frank Kroger, Capital Hill, Seattle
Frank got endorsements for our initiative from the ILWU Local 19 and from the Seattle Transit Union. He’s turned in 21 petition sheets so far – 20 signatures each. One day in downtown Leavenworth, he collected 100 signatures. He actually thinks our movement should go further and demand regulation of lobbying. “But this should hold back the tide,” he says somewhat grudgingly.
A longshoreman these days, Frank holds a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters of Public Administration from University of Southern California, where he was a member of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) in the late 60s and early 70’s. Born in The Netherlands, he solo’d the entire Pacific Crest Trail in 2002.