3/30/06

The kids and I went to a talk last night by Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) with Cesar Chavez. To about 350 people at the University of California at Monterey Bay World Theatre, Ms. Huerta said with the pressing immigration debate today, the issues are very much the same as when she helped start the UFW in the late ’60s. That is, some of the nation continues to be fraught with with prejudice toward Latinos. “We have a new Civil Rights Movement,” said Ms. Huerta, pointing to the recent, and dramatic, mobilization of Latino protests across the country. She also said that she believes this issue has actually become a convenient distraction from the Iraq War. What’s more, Ms. Huerta said when you look at history, the Hispanic people are “indigenous” to this part of America. “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us,” she said… Speaking on farm worker issues, Ms. Huerta said farm workers have always been considered second class citizens. And a refrain that’s often heard in Hispanic families is: “You better go to college, or you’ll end up being a farm worker.” She said the irony is that farm workers do some of the “most precious work in the world.” That is, they help provide us with one of the most essential things of life: food. As an addendum, she said if there were a “Survivor” show where you were to be taken to a deserted island and could bring only one person with you: “Would you take a lawyer or a farm worker?” Note: During the Q&A period after the talk, I noted what I saw as a rather glaring irony. I said I couldn’t help but notice that many of the college students in the audience were Latinos who have been urged to go on to get a “better” education so they can go on to become lawyers and other white collar professionals, with all the pay, benefits and status that comes with this. I wondered out loud that if we want an egalitarian society where the farm workers are on a same par (in every respect) as these white collar professionals: “Shouldn’t we be looking toward changing the whole pre-dominant paradigm in our country?” [It is our belief we should return to an agrarian base in America, with a tremendous resurgence of the small family farm. In tandem, we should move back toward decentralism, with local food production for local consumption. And we should also return to non-polluting, small technology (horse and plow, sickle, hand seeders, hoes…) — many of the same methods the Old Order Amish utilize today. This should all revolve around organic growing again. There should be regular school classes taught by local farmers on farming techniques. And through Community Sponsored Agriculture projects, and the like, all children should have the chance to regularly work on farms, putting them more in touch with the land, natural growing cycles, and so on. In this paradigm, farmers and farm workers would be much more valued in the society. (And there would be more of a need for farm workers because of the shift back in technology.) Also, the work on farms would be much more in line with the way we believe God intended it to be (before huge computerized combines and corporate greed-driven farming): a sacred vocation.]

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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