McGovern3Yesterday, former presidential candidate and Senator, George McGovern died at the age of 90. McGovern will be remembered for his compassionate values and his fight for a better quality of life for everyone.


In the midst of our current contentious election we've lost this great leader who gave his life to social justice and human rights and who said on many occasions: “I will go to my grave believing that the country would have been better off if I had been elected instead of Richard Nixon.”  It was not an immodest statement – merely factual for anyone who then lived through the continuation of the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and assaults on civil rights.   


I volunteered for the McGovern presidential campaign that year in 1972. By the time I returned home from precinct walking and poll watching on election night, it was all over. McGovern had only won in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. It was considered the worst presidential election loss in history.  But, despite the loss, an entire generation of activists was inspired to keep working for justice. This was my first time to be highly involved in a political campaign, starting my future fighting for healthy communities. 


Today we have a new generation of activists working to elect leaders, who share McGovern’s passion for justice for all people. Our current generation of young people, families, moms, dads, are all continuing to fight for some of the same things that were fought for in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Summarizing his views on many issues in his 2011 book, the last of twelve written, he said, “Be compassionate. Put government to work to help the less fortunate. End hunger. Spend more for education. Protect the environment.”


Let’s show our compassion for our neighbors and communities and work hard until November 6 on today’s campaign, 40 years after McGovern’s devastating loss. We cannot look back on this election as a lost opportunity – let’s recommit ourselves in these last days to elect candidates who will carry on his legacy.


Si se puede!