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Darcy Burner
My colleague and friend, Joan McCarter, says Darcy Burner rocks. If I hadn't known that already, Joan's declaration would have cinched it for me. But I did already know it. Darcy is one of those politicians who I can support without ever having to add any qualifiers, without ever having to interject something like "good on everything but...", without having to paper over any gaps in her backing for progressive causes.

On issue after issue, she's been there for us, whether it's the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the war on workers, the war on voters, the war on women. She stands for economic democracy. She's not just on our side. She is one of us.

Darcy doesn't just hold positions on issues that matter. She's a fighter. Even when it goes against the grain, even when she's in the minority of her own party, she stands up for what's right, unhesitatingly. Sure, she's an idealist. But that doesn't make her impractical. On the contrary, it informs her political practicality.

So, getting her into Congress would be, as they say near my old digs in Los Angeles, the awesome. But getting her there ran into disappointment in 2006 and 2008 when she lost to Republican Dave Reichert in contests for the House seat in Washington's 8th District. As Joan has written,  2008 was an especially difficult year because Darcy's house was destroyed by fire in the middle of the campaign.

She took a break in 2010. But this year, she's running in a new district, Washington's 1st. She has to win the Aug. 7 primary before the big contest in November, and there is a crowded field. As we know all too well, campaigning costs money, lots of it. Obviously, no Koch brothers or other billionaires are pouring truckloads of dollars down the chute into Darcy's campaign coffers. So, if we want her to have a chance in this contest, we need to provide her some cash.

Doing so now is a two-fer. Not only do contributors get to help her campaign, but they get a chance at owning a signed quilt that Sara R made especially for this purpose. Here are the details, as Sara explained in the introductory diary of this series.

Goal Thermometer
The entire month of July will be a quilt fundraiser for Darcy Burner, candidate for Congress, WA-01. There will be a drawing for the quilt signed in Providence at NN12 the first week in August. Everyone can get one chance per day, each and every day in July by EITHER donating $10 or more to Darcy Burner's campaign through a special Act Blue page which I will post on July 1, OR by writing a 50-word-or-less essay on this topic: How can we bend the arc of history more towards justice for all?. Send essays to winglionquilts AT gmail DOT com with "Darcy Burner" in the subject line. To recap, earn an equal chance once a day every day in July by either donating or sending a short essay (one or the other), every day in July. That means everyone can have as many as thirty-one equal chances in this drawing. The first week in August, I will find a neighborhood child to do the drawing and someone will become the new owner of the quilt.
I have coveted one of those quilts for a long time. So, I'm planning to enter the drawing with $10 every day from now until July 31, $180 for Darcy. I just now made my Friday contribution. If you can afford it, I encourage you to do the same. Or do it for 10 days, or five, or once.

Still not persuaded that Darcy should get your money? Then I urge you to read just a little more:

The great blogger and activist digby recently explained the courageous, unique power of Darcy Burner's brand of practical progressive politics by highlighting what was one of the best presentations at Netroots Nation in Providence this year. Happily, with about 750 other people, I was in the audience there to see it. Darcy could have delivered her standard stump speech. Instead, she talked about power, why we need it and how to use it.

But she didn't just talk. As a practical progressive, she gave us a practical example, a lesson in solidarity.

She began by asking us to hold our applause for 30 seconds and said:

”If you are a woman in this room, and statistically what I am about to say is true of about one-third of the women in this room, if you’re a woman in this room who has had an abortion and is willing to come out about it, please stand up.”

A couple of women stood immediately, and then a few more, and then some more. Not nearly a third of the women there, but scores of them. Here's digby:

That's not an easy thing to do in this culture, even among friends. The right has made it a dishonorable, solitary act, borne in silence, subject to fear and social stigma.

So Darcy took the next step: she asked all of those who supported those women to stand up. Everyone in the room came to their feet. There was no sustained applause and no celebration, just a simple public acknowledgement of solidarity and sincere support for the women in all of our lives who have made this choice. I've never seen anything like that.

To me this is the essence of leadership—a candidate for office taking a stand on one of the most contentious issues of our time, reminding the people of what they have in common, empowering those who need to be empowered and asking for solidarity from their friends and neighbors. That's what Darcy does. That's why we need her fighting for us in Congress.

In Providence, in that electric moment, with women and men standing together, Darcy said:

”This is how we change the stories in people’s past. We need to make it okay for women to come out about the choices they make.”

In truth, on issues large and small, matters that test our courage, that put us at risk of ridicule or worse, whether about reproductive rights or war or economic democracy,  standing together is what gives us power as progressives. Every generation must learn that anew. And generations that have already learned it must remember again.

Darcy Burner will provide the kind of leadership that stirs us to make those stands. We need her in Congress. She needs us to help get her there. I urge you to join me in contributing whatever you can to her campaign.

Contribute to Darcy Burner here.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 08:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Friends of Darcy Burner, Community Quilt Project, and Pro Choice.

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