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MEA-Retired Members Make a Difference

Dec 19, 2020

More of our members making a difference in Election 2020  Kay Walker-Telma, President MEA-Retired

Thank you to those who wrote to share your experiences helping elect pro-public education candidates. Our members are active, dedicated and crucial advocates for the cause. I am sure there are other unsung heroes who did not contact us; we thank YOU, too!

Bridget Cooper did phone banking through Turnout 2020 to contact swing state voters, and wrote 30 or so letters through the Sierra Club to get out the vote for pro-environment Democratic leadership in Pennsylvania. She also emailed numerous friends and relatives on a regular basis with info on how they can get involved in their own states. Post-election, she has written to voters in Georgia through the local Fems for Dems, has been attending regular zoom meetings of the local Blue Brigade, and attended a political event in downtown Lansing last summer, featuring Governor Whitmer and Doug Emhoff, Kamala Harris's husband.

Nancy Coscarelli worked tirelessly in NW Michigan for Biden as an unpaid volunteer. She got hundreds of Biden/Harris signs distributed, signed up lots of people for lists going forward, and probably spent 30-40 hours a week from mid-August on using her home as a collecting and distribution center.

Linda Dow and her husband (although not an MEA member, he teaches at a university and knows the importance of education) worked about a dozen times in various capacities — “contactless” lit drops, absentee ballot application drops, “manned” a candidate booth at the local farmers’ market, and wrote postcards. She happily participated in the parade of cars in Lansing in celebration of Biden’s win. She and her husband are now helping the efforts in Georgia by writing postcards thanks to the efforts of Mason Public Schools colleague Margaret Cottrill.

Bridget Fox says she was happy to be involved in this year’s election cycle, saying that this one in particular was very important to her, and to the future of this country as well as education. She was active with a number of involved with NEA initiatives, encouraging people to attend the When We All Vote online event and getting people to attend a Protect the Vote Rally in Lansing.

Debbie Rosenman has been VERY involved in the elections this past cycle since March. She will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Michigan Retirement Report. Among the countless activities, she signed up dozens of precinct delegates, delivered yard signs, wrote hundreds of postcards, sent thousands of texts, did over 700 door drops and estimates that she spent 65 hours a week on election- related efforts and would gladly do it all over again.

After attending the Women’s March in Washington DC in 2017, Steve Sadlier started an email group to inform and to encourage active/retired MEA members and others to become politically involved. Over 100 contacts are now on that list. In addition to being a generous financial contributor to various campaigns, he is both a precinct delegate and a Trustee on the Troy Democratic Club Executive Committee. Not only did Steve organize neighbors to safely drop off voter info door hangers and list of endorsed candidates in his precinct, her made weekly phone calls, wrote postcards, placed yard signs, sent texts, was a poll greeter on Election Day/Night and attended rallies. He was even in a TV commercial for State Representative Padma Kuppa.

South Oakland County Chapter President Larry Smartt participated in three MEA S&Rs for Barb Anness (House District 45), and victorious Congressional incumbents Andy Levin and Elissa Slotkin. He also helped with postcard writing, two phone banking sessions and donating to the campaigns of Anness and Slotkin. Smartt participated in an MDP phone bank for and was part of an MEA-Retired teleconference with Senator Peters. On Election Day he was a poll greeter for Anness at one of the precincts in Rochester Hills. Larry opened his wallet, contributing to the campaigns of Anness and Slotkin and has now done so for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the Georgia Senate runoff elections.

Bill Williams made phone calls to Farmington Hills voters, friends and relatives for national, state and local candidates and donated generously to them as well. Bill said, “As it is now we still have divided governments along party lines BUT hopefully in the future [there will be] more civil, political agreements (laws) for all of us.”

According to MEA Director of Public Affairs Director Doug Pratt, members can still make a difference. Click on these links for more information.

     Ossoff donations - 

     Warnock donations -

     Betsy Shirts -

     AND – LAST BUT NOT LEAST: for your PAC contributions