It's been almost a year since the state of
Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor by Lena Taylor
In February 2011 newly elected Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker announced plans to push a union-stripping bill through the state legislature as part of his budget plan. The bill would have erased years of
The "Wisconsin 14" as they became known around the country -- and the world -- slowed down the legislative process long enough for people to better understand the significance of the bill and the huge impact it would have on many Wisconsinites. It also brought thousands of protesters to the streets, culminating in weekend rallies that topped 100,000 on several occasions.
Ultimately the legislation was passed, but the galvanizing energy generated by these
One of the most ardent of the state senators was and is Senator Lena Taylor , who represents
"What gave me hope during that time, when (Senate minority leader) Mark Miller said we only have one option and that is to deny them a quorum, was to see the people of Wisconsin come to the Capitol"first by the tens, then the hundreds, then the thousands," Taylor said in a recent interview. "We stayed in
"We watched in
2 of the Wisconsin 14: Taylor and John Erpenbach by Lena Taylor
"I want to say this with as much humility as I can. I believe our leaving gave people an opportunity to see that we too must fight back like that -- in
"It should be a given that you will help others"one shouldn't ask if you should reach your hand out your hand to help. It's what I was raised with and what I see everyday. My mom runs a ministry in which she helps those who are homeless. My father is an usher and actively involved in his church, and I'm happy to report that the next generation (my son) is coming up in the same mold. We seem to have lost that over time to a sense of selfishness. It's been too much just me, me, me...my, my, my. I see that in the 1 percent and the 99 percent issues that we're hearing about today. My favorite quote -- from Gandhi is: You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
"If you would have told me that I would be a part of such an historical event, I wouldn't have believed you,"
"I would say my strength comes from my relationship with God. My prayer life and my faith in the people of
"As a woman of faith, there have been times I've been overwhelmed. I say to myself, I can't believe they (the governor or the state legislature) did this or they did something else. But what has motivated or encouraged me not to give up is realizing what the consequences of their choices would be if I chose to do nothing. I didn't want to be on the side of history that remained silent."
Her hope for the future of her state and the nation goes far beyond the Recall Scott Walker efforts. Although she cannot hide her enthusiasm at the thought of replacing the governor, she sees a bigger need to help heal the state and the country.
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