Ben Stockwell, stockwbm@muohio.edu

While the media spotlight shines on the Rob Portman and Lee Fisher campaigns for senate, a lesser-known candidate is working to build a movement that aims to truly unite people in the state and the nation. Dan La Botz, the socialist running for George Voinovich’s United States Senate seat, has been touring the state for months, meeting people and speaking about what socialism really means and what it can do for all of us.

Dan has worked in the blue-collar sector, taught at Miami University and the University of Cincinnati and has organized around labor issues for years. His campaign for senate is just an extension of his life’s work. What he offers is the socialist alternative to the unsteady positions of the Democrats and Republicans, his is a platform that aggressively addresses climate change; calls for an end to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan; and provides worker-centered solutions to the economic crisis.

I have met Dan several times. Last semester, he spoke on a Green Jobs Panel sponsored by the Fair Labor Action Coalition during Green Oxford’s Coal Week. Later, I asked him to come speak about the history of Students for A Democratic society, a group he was a part of, for a meeting held to gauge support for such an organization in Southwestern Ohio. During the summer, I saw him again at an immigration reform rally, where we came together in Cincinnati to call for an end to racism embedded in anti-illegal rhetoric and for comprehensive reform to fix America’s broken immigration system. Dan will return to Miami this coming week to speak about his campaign and the movement he is building.

I urge everyone to think hard about their political beliefs and realize there are other options to the two-party system which has the country in a chokehold. At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, Dan will be speaking about his campaign in the Farmer School of Business room 1006. After he speaks, he will answer questions and concerns and there will be a discussion about what we can do to build up support for this shared vision of actual positive change, both here in Oxford and across the country.

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