3/27/08

Our family stood in solidarity with a group of Latinos on a downtown square in Hollister, California, yesterday. They were there to protest current, hot-button proposed new immigration policies that, among other things, would: make it a felony to be an illegal immigrant; entail stepped up deportation of illegal immigrants; significanlty increase fines to employers hiring illegal immigrants; add more secure fencing and stronger “virtual fences” (more border patrol in the air, on the ground…). The group in Hollister comprised one of numerous protests around the country over the weekend, including a phenomenal 500,000 person turn-out in Los Angeles… Hollister’s Cynthia Lee told me she believed Latinos do jobs Whites won’t do, especially in the fields. “You don’t see White farm workers in the fields, period,” she said. (Adding emphasis to Ms. Lee’s statement, more than 100 farm groups have joined together as the Agricultural Coalition for Immigration Reform and are rallying for change that acknowledges a reliance on immigration labor, according to a Sacramento Bee newspaper article.)… Hollister’s Gabriella Recollos told me her people work, raise families, go to church and pay taxes. “And all we want is peace and equal rights,” she said. Ms. Recillos held a sign that read: “I’m not illegal, if you check the history — I’m in my territory.” This is a reference to a time when a good part of California (Texas, Arizona…) was Mexican territory. [I said to my wife Liz that given what we did to the Native Americans “…we’re actually all illegals.”]… Fernando Perez, a Hollister website designer, was also protesting at the square. He said Americans sometimes look at immigration through a rather myopic lens. That is, “they seldom put themselves in our shoes.” Mr. Perez said he was referring to all those who risk everything to come to this country, barely being able to scrape by in taking care of their families (both here and in Mexico), and so on. This is not an issue of criminality, it’s an issue of human rights, he said. “We don’t want pity,” Mr. Perez continued. “We want justice.” He added that he believed if an illegal immigrant has been in America for a time and has been a law abiding citizen who is a contributing member to his community, there should be a provision where he is allowed to become a citizen. Our administration would believes this too, and would push for amnesty. (See our position paper on Hispanic immigration.) Note: Mr. Perez said Mexicans, for instance, often come to America because of poverty in Mexico. We saw this abject poverty first-hand on a research trip to Juarez, Mexico, several years ago. Some 200,000 people in Juarez were living in cobbled together shacks, no running water, no electricity. Parents were working in multi-national factories for $3 a shift and children were going hungry. Our administration would acknowledge this for what it is: a monumental human rights tragedy, and work stridently to try to help Hispanics in as many ways as possible here, while working just as stridently to help (more humanitarian aid, more Peace Corp help…) Hispanics be as sustainable as possible in their own countries. It’s our belief many people would rather not leave their home, family, community, culture. But when your children are hungry… To get tough on all this, to turn our backs on this tremendous human need: flies directly in the face of sound, spiritual judgement.

Joe and Family Picketers

About Joe Schriner

Common man, Common sense,
Uncommon solutions.

“In an era when presidential campaigns run on multi-million dollar war chests, lavish fundraising dinners and high gloss television ads, Joe Schriner is a different breed of candidate.”
– The Herald, Monterey, California.

Joe at a glance…

Age: 56.
Family: Husband of 17 years, and father.
Faith: Catholic.
Home state: Ohio.
Graduate of Bowling Green State University.
Journalist and author.
Also a former addictions counselor, with an emphasis on family systems.
Independent presidential candidate in four successive election cycles.
On the road campaigning extensively.
In between campaign tours, now does part-time house painting and light handyman work to make ends meet (aka: Joe the painter).
Volunteer work with: Brown County (OH) Board of Mental Health; Catholic Worker outreach to the poor in the inner city of Cleveland; We Are the Uninsured Healthcare Movement in Ohio. Inner city youth league baseball and soccer coach (won some, lost some).
Hobbies: Trying to beat his wife at “Scrabble,” weight lifting, swimming, photography, sandlot baseball, soccer, football and basketball with his children.

In Joe’s words…

I’m, for the most part, your average Midwesterner, I told the Duluth (MN) News. I jog in a pair of gray sweats. My favorite spots to eat are your basic diners. Whats more, I cut my own lawn. Oh, and Im running for president.

I told the Lancaster (OH) Eagle Gazette that the reason I am running for president is that I am a concerned parent. That is, I don’t want to leave a world of climate change, war, abortion, rural and inner city poverty, violent streets, nuclear proliferation, astronomical national debt, little social security, dwindling access to healthcare to our children. What sane parent would?

Now, I didn’t go to Harvard, Yale, or even Rutgers for that matter. I went to Bowling Green State University where I majored in journalism. I then worked for a couple intermediate-sized Ohio newspapers. I later became an addictions counselor. And in 1990, as a lead up to the presidential run, I took my journalism skills on the road to look for common sense solutions to the societal problems I outlined above.

And in some tremendously extensive, cross-country research (that has continued during my years of campaigning), I’ve found those solutions.
      
Getting policies enacted…

Amidst abject poverty on the Southside of Chicago, I learned how to end homelessness. In Atwood, Kansas (pop. 1,500), I learned how to balance the National Budget. In Grand Junction, Colorado, I learned how to get quality healthcare for all. In High Springs, Florida, I learned how to end global warming, for good. In Eunice, New Mexico, I learned how to unequivocally solve the immigration issue.

And it was with this information, and much more, that I am running for president. No big money. No special interest backing. Just with tried solutions to make the country a much better place for our kids.

While campaigning for president the past 12 years (and over 100,000 road miles), I’ve been telling people about these answers in hundreds of talks, more than 1,000 newspapers, a lot of radio, television and in a very up-close-and-personal way on the street corners of America.

I told Channel 10 News in Albany, Georgia, that I can get a policy enacted long before I ever get to D.C., if somebody picks up on an idea and tries it in their town. And who knows how far out it will ripple out from there.

So in a small way, I said during a talk at Toledo University, I am already president now! The students all smiled, politely.

Be the change…

I am also a firm believer that this won’t be a better world for our children until more of us follow the saying: Be the change you want to see in the world.

In this pursuit, my family and I try to live the messages we are conveying, at least the best we can.

On a radio station in Indianapolis, Indiana, I said our platform asks some people to consider moving into the inner cities of America to live side-by-side with the poor. So our family moved to the heart of Cleveland, Ohio, where we volunteered at an outreach to the poor.

I told the Tifton (GA) Gazette that our family has also set aside a Christ Room for the homeless at our place. And in D.C. we’d do the same thing in the West Wing. Just like I may well be looking for a youth baseball team to coach when I get there.

I recently coached an inner city Rec. Center League team in Cleveland. On draft day I picked the kids who looked liked they’d be picked last, first. And apparently I did pretty well with this, because we lost almost all the games. Many of the kids on the team, sadly, didn’t have a father at home. And many of these families don’t have healthcare insurance either, just like two million other Ohioans. To help try to reverse this, my children and I have done volunteer work for the We Are The Uninsured Movement in Ohio.

The reason our children are involved is because Liz and I want them learning as much about helping others — as they do learning about math, science and English, I told The Mississippi Press.

In fact, our education platform calls for a lot more local community involvement with students. I we also propose many more classes be focused on environmental awareness.

To do our family’s part for the environment, we created a “Kyoto Protocol Home Zone.” (I even put a “Kyoto Protocol Home Zone” sign up in the front yard, to Liz’s embarrassment.) We live in small places, use little air conditioning, cut the thermostat back in the winter, bicycle or walk almost everywhere within a five-mile radius and we recycle practically everything.

And in D.C., we’d do all this as well. I mean, those big black limos alone can be such gas guzzlers anyway, right?

Heal the family…

“My concern for the environment, for the disadvantaged, for the unborn flows out of my spirituality. I’m Catholic, and trying to live the essence of the Gospel message is what I try to be about,” I told columnist Mike Haynes of the Amarillo (TX) Globe News.

And part of living the Gospel message is being centered in faith, having time for family, being concerned about others. I’m not the poster guy for all that, but I try.

What’s more, its Liz and my role to make sure our children have a wholesome and emotionally healthy upbringing. And I have some additional expertise in the latter area.

Besides having been a journalist, I was also a counselor who worked with family system dynamics. And it is my contention that the current breakdown of the family in America (parents being physically or emotionally abusive, or absent, or addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, media entertainment, work) is creating a constellation of societal problems, I told ABC News in Monterey, California.

Because of these dysfunctional family dynamics (and they seem to be everywhere these days), kids grow up depressed, angry and emotionally empty. As a result, incidence of domestic violence, street violence, addiction, mental and emotional problems spike in kind for the next generation, and the next…

“So to heal the country, you have to heal the family. Theres just no way around it,” I told the Bangor (ME) News.

And we have a solid plan to do this, based on research weve done in Arthur, Illinois, Holbrook, Arizona, Carmel Valley, California, etc.

Snow shoveling…

Now when I’m not grappling with these pressing societal issues, my wife Liz is beating me at “Scrabble” (an issue in itself), or I’m playing racquetball with some buddies, or I’m trading baseball cards with our kids.

That is, I’m doing all this in between doing chores for Liz.

During a campaign talk in Wichita, Kansas, I was asked what the first thing I’d do as president was. I responded that “wed get to D.C. in January, so it would probably be snowing. If that, indeed, were the case — the first thing Liz would have me do is: shovel the walk. ”

That will probably be a new one for the Secret Service.

And so it goes…

Joe

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