April 25, 2015

AAA-Fund Fellow at Nate Shinagawa’s Campaign: Week 3: Four Years

Editor’s Note: The below is our Maya Ono’s post about her 3rd week as an AAA-Fund sponsored fellow at Nate Shinagawa’s campaign. Do read her reports from week 1 and week 2. The AAA-Fund has endorsed Nate as a candidate for the US House of Representatives from NY’s 23rd district.”

Nate Shinagawa

Four years ago, I was an undergraduate at Soka University of America. Three friends and I were leading a new club on campus called Youth in Politics because we believed that our youth were not being properly informed about national policies affecting our everyday lives. We met in my dorm room weekly after dark and discussed the progress of change we had committed ourselves to. How many people did we register? What events are happening? What news did you come across that will be interesting to our classmates? How can we get students involved in this?

“It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day,” declared Obama as he stood on a stage and made the case for hope on that historic night on November 4, 2008.

Today, I am working on Nate Shinagawa’s campaign. Six people who have become my friends and I are leading a movement in upstate New York because we believe that a 29-year old freshman Congressman can make a difference in the lives of everyday Americans. Will we allow our groundwater to be contaminated by methane because of hydro-fracking? Will we continue to be ruled by big oil money or will we forge a new frontier in alternative energy? Will we defend a woman’s sovereignty over her own body?

On November 6, 2012 it will have been four years since we stood together, college students huddled on campus, the flame of hope lit in our hearts, as we watched our President. He warned us that the changes we fought to initiate would take more than four years, that our plan needed at least eight years to take form.

And yet, even I have found myself at times, hopeless in the face of a debilitated economy. Forgetful of the commitment I had made four years ago; of what I had once understood; that the change people shouted for in droves all those years ago from the depths of their soul, would not take four years to make.

As Thomas Paine declared to his revolutionary comrades in The Crisis, “I turn with the warm ardor of a friend to those who have nobly stood, and are yet determined to stand the matter out: I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state: up and help us; lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake.”

Where were you four years ago? With the past as a lantern to guide our hearts to the future, let’s create a November 6th that we will be proud of.

If you’d like to contribute to Nate’s campaign please go to www.nateshinagawa.com/contribute or you can send your check to PO Box 7232 Ithaca, NY 14850.

&mndash; Maya Ono

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