News calls for an ‘American Awakening’

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Sequim Gazette

The second annual Move- On Community Forum was a rollicking success, with more than 500 local political activists — and the just plain curious — crowding into the Sequim High Auditorium for a series of stem-winders on topics near and dear to progressives.


The Tuesday, Sept. 27, forum, called “American Awakening,” had as its first purpose discussing ways to “save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and rebuild social and economic justice in America.”


Organizers called the event a “call to action” — a step toward creating a grass-roots effort to “preserve and protect the public’s safety net threatened by government cutbacks and privatization.”


The lead speakers for the evening were economist and author David Korten, physician Kathleen Ottaway and Robby Stern of the Puget Sound Association of Retired Americans. The speakers were followed by an open forum.


“Since the 2010 elections, calls for austerity and paying off the national debt, defunding regulatory agencies, protecting corporate welfare, breaking up and disempowering the unions and privatizing or cutting back Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, should alarm all of us,” said Richard Gray, the program co-chairman.


Why they went

Lisa Bridge, who attended the meeting with her daughter Olive, said she was there because she is “deeply concerned about the state of the nation. I’m searching for the inspiration and solutions and ways perhaps I can help.”


Bridge said she had seen Korten speak once before, in Washington, D.C., and wanted to hear his message again.


Lynn Lohr, a Baptist minister, said she was there to “see what I can do to make the American Dream more real with big business taking over the economy.”


She said after listening to the speeches she would “no longer be buying at a big box anymore,” and instead would try to purchase locally.


Robert Bourns said, “I’m here because I want to know what the progressives are talking about.” Bourns said he doesn’t identify himself by political affiliation. “I’m an American,” he said.



Reach Mark Couhig at

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