My Friend Sandee

Perhaps some people are naturally political, and they gravitate toward campaigning and canvassing and engaging voters on issues. I’m not one of those people. I’m not in this campaign because I enjoy campaigning, but because I’m fighting for my life. I’m fighting for a future in Wisconsin with my partner of 19 years.

That makes it sometimes hard to leave the house or pick up the phone or do the work of the campaign that needs to be done. And that’s why it’s so important to have someone like Sandee Beaman.

Three years ago, when my partner and I opened our guest lodge in Mineral Point, Sandee and her husband Frank were our first guests. A few months later they moved here. Sandee is a retired worker with the social security administration, and Frank is a retired announcer for WGN radio. Since they arrived, there’s not much that goes on in town or in the county that doesn’t have their involvement in one way or another.

Sandee picks me up and keeps me going. She is tireless, relentless, and lately she’s been angry. When we were in Ridgeway this past week, she turned to me and said, “I’ve got something new I’m going to say to people. I’m going to tell them that I’m angry about this attempt to discriminate against gay people, about writing discrimination into the constitution. I’m going to tell them it’s mean-spirited and it’s just plain wrong.”

That’s Sandy. She doesn’t mince words. Sometimes she and I argue about what we should be doing here in Iowa County, and that’s a good thing too. I love arguing with Sandee. She makes me question my own ideas, and makes me justify my approach to bringing the campaign to rural Wisconsin.

Recently, Sandee wrote an email to her friends asking for their help canvassing. She wrote: “I still get nervous as I arrive in the town where we will canvass, but once I start, my outrage at this amendment and the hurt it will cause real people takes over and pushes me on; and you would be amazed how it would push you forward, too. Sure. It seems hard at first--anything worth doing is. But, it is the right thing to do. How can we justify staying home and knowing we will vote "No" but beyond that, we aren't willing to help?”

I love her to death. I don’t think I could do this without her.


At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Coleman, but you help inspire me and a cadre of volunteers in SW Wisconsin to keep pushing to defeat this prejudicial amendment. Coleman's love for his partner, for Wisconsin, for nature, beauty, and oh, yes, his dog! has spurred him on to fight for he and his partner's lives and future. He is incredibly committed, dedicated, organized, and calm. He never fails to inspire volunteers and people he talks with. He has really given this issue everything he can and then some.

I do wish we could bring more people out to canvas as it is the BEST way we have to talk to people individually and convince them to vote "No" on this vile amendment. And, Coleman is right--I am angry, and I've crossed over the line from being a committed volunteer to being a fighter--which brings with it more passion, more courage, and the ability, I hope, to be even more convincing when I speak to people and give them the multitude of reasons people are voting "NO" and why they should, too!! It does not mean I will show my anger on the outside, but it is now a fire in my belly to give me more strength and energy.
Come join us in SW Wisconsin and catch the committment! Sandee

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