I met Ken when he was running for office in Oconee County S.C. (Long Creek in Oconee County, SC is my other home) Ken was one of the first Dean for America candidates and that would have been enough, but I attended an event for him and found him to be a fine example of a Progressive in his poitics, and a good person in his life. Political action can put you in contact with a range of characters and the measure of a candidate is the people he brings together. Good people gather together in Progressive politics. Ken sent me his letter to Oconee county with some sad news of a fine lady who shares the vision of a caring society...
When I was elected chairman, my predecessor, Charles Hamby, sat down with me to pass along his advice for running the Oconee Democratic Party.
When the subject moved to "volunteers", Charles said: "Well, there are two ladies up in Salem that are always willing to work hard for the Democratic Party. Their names are Nancy Hayward and Yvonne Harron. They are terrific and you'll want to get to know them..."
And get to know them, I have. Nancy and Yvonne wrote brilliant letters to the newspapers, articulating the most progressive political positions. They volunteered in our office. They ran our booth at local festivals and parades. They hit the streets when the DNC sent us door hangers. They donated money to local candidates. They both contributed to the heart and soul of our party and worked tirelessly regardless of the task.
Yvonne, an early morning riser, loved to sort through her email and surf the net to find articles that supported Democratic policies... and she loved digging up research on how the Bush Administration is soiling our country's good name. More times than I can count, Yvonne's 5:30AM emails to me ended up being forwarded to everyone on our email list... or they prompted me to get fired up and write a column. When we launched the new website in Sept 2005, Yvonne ensured that fresh articles were posted on the site EVERY DAY. Her passion for a progressive America became my passion - and we loved to chat back and forth and discuss the issues of the day.
But lately my email "Inbox" has been lonely... the early morning emails have stopped. My friend Yvonne is terminally ill with cancer and her days with us are numbered. Today, she is at home under the care of Hospice... and her dear friend Nancy.
The time will soon come to honor a true progressive hero... a citizen-activist whose motivation for helping Democrats sprang not from a desire for money, power, praise or recognition - but from a deep desire to help make this country great again. If Yvonne's spirit could be infused into our political leadership, America could be whole again.
For now, Yvonne's spirit is still here and we need to support Nancy in the difficult task of holding her friend's hand through the twilight of life. Please send Nancy and Yvonne your love, prayers, and most importantly, your thanks for their years of service. Let's make sure Nancy's "Inbox" is not as lonely as mine....
Ken Campbell, Chairman
Oconee Democratic Party