Friday I attended an Executive Board meeting with the Fremont County Democrats. Now as you might already know we just got whumped in this past midterm election even though we fielded the best ever slate of candidates. Our candidates are well known in the county and in the entire region. Two of them, Gloria Stultz and Jeri Fry have been literally heroes in the community numerous times. Jeri Fry was instrumental in keeping Fremont County and Canon City from becoming a nuclear waste dump. Both women were key figures in getting Cotter uranium mill shut down because it was killing people, wildlife, environments and aquifers. Gloria who was seeking a State Senate office that included 9 counties ran the most dedicated, complete and enthusiastic campaign I have ever seen short of a major national figure.
Anyway everyone was thumped and as you can imagine the meeting was bitter sweet. We knew we had given it everything, yet still had not prevailed (I exempt myself from the everything part as I spent the entire campaign involved in my own battle with prostrate cancer and was only a marginal contributor). There were hugs and tears, but no recriminations. As the meeting progressed, even though we realized we can not win elections in a county of 70% teabaggers a feeling of positive empowerment filled us. What else could we do?
Now this situation is a lot like the time when we were fighting the teabaggers up at Deer Mountain for control of the fire district and our canyon communities. When everything was against us and all was about lost we took a different tact, changed course, split from the existing district and formed our own. It was not easy and it took money and time but we were victorious.
This time we realized we must get our message out better. Fremont County has one ultra rightwing newspaper and one ultra rightwing radio station. We have no real way to share Progressive values, and no real way to explain Progressive legislation, nor a way to counter teabagger lies. Finally at this meeting, the leadership jumped on an idea I have been floating around them for about a year. We are going to attempt to start a community radio station. We will be looking to Salida’s KHEN for early guidance.
I’ll let you know how this plays out.