10-25-2016  1:29 am      •     
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Every election is a chance to make a difference.
In the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s when my relatives and friends were told that they could not vote in the South, they stepped forward and challenged the past. They placed their lives and their homes in danger. Jobs and lives were lost. Families struggled.
But they stepped forward and changed lives far beyond the little towns of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina where they lived. They looked at the past and decided to create a different future. They did that in big and small ways. Some taught. Some marched. Some brought refreshments. Some collected money for groceries and blankets. Others wrote letters to the editors of newspapers that were brave enough to print stories about the hopes and dreams of the people around them.
And, of course, they voted.
I am supporting Barack Obama to lead our country into a different future. You would be hard-pressed to find a more compelling example of change in politics than that we see in front of us for May 20 this year and for the November Election.
It is not enough to just vote.
It is time for a new politics.
Want to know exactly what Obama has proposed? Webpages and printed documents detail his policy ideas from health care to housing, to education, to foreign policy and bringing our military home from Iraq. Go to www.barackobama.com and click on "Issues."
Everyday a new voter is registered, change happens. In fact in Oregon the Obama campaign already has listed more than 30,000 volunteers. People are making phone calls, answering calls, signing up voters, bringing in pizza, holding house parties, and talking to their neighbors.
The change in politics that drives the Obama campaign continues to build in Oregon and across the country. If you want to be part of the campaign, join a team of local leaders, your neighbors and friends at the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs building  (N. Vancouver and Skidmore) on April 26. We will start around 5 p.m. with music by Ken Berry and Friends, speakers begin at 6:15 p.m. and a conference call with a special national guest,  introduced by Congressman Earl Blumenauer, starts at 7 p.m.
Or drop by the campaign's new N/NE Portland office at  (address) to help out, or visit the information table in the Talking Drum Bookstore at Reflections Coffee Shop.
Every campaign has special phrases to capture the intent of the candidate and the overall campaign itself. "Hope," "Change We Can Believe In," both used in posters in the Obama campaign, speak to a basic human drive to make things better for ourselves, our community, our country, our children and our grandchildren. "Yes We Can!" takes it another step, through the campaign and into the presidency. Positive: YES. Our Country: WE. Take an action and rely on working together: CAN.
A chance to make a difference… a time to make a difference. YES WE CAN!

Lew Frederick is a strategic communications consultant with NW Ideas.

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