Newsflash:
Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Warren Jonathan Klate: A candidate's connection
Monday, 26 March 2012 17:09

Jonathan Klate: A candidate's connection

Written by  Jonathan Klate | Gazette.com

Retired Amherst gentleman John Kick is not known as a political activist. In the Springfield union hall where he ventured last October to hear Democratic senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren, he might have seemed a world-weary citizen with vague curiosity about the professor turned politician.

But John's sorrowful demeanor and disconsolate eyes betrayed a woefully wounded heart. His son, Gabe, took his own life just a month earlier, at the age of 28. John keeps moving, somehow, in the dreadful private agony understood only by parents who persist in such an aftermath.

John's humility and love for his son have him contemplating everything he said and did as a father, pursuing understanding and accepting heartbroken responsibility for his assumed complicity in the inscrutable mystery of what happened to his boy.

He is also aware of how Gabe struggled with despair as he sought traction in this fractured economy into which his cohort has come of age, where a tiny number of staggeringly rich oligarchs are permitted to extract profit undreamed of by monarchs of old while good jobs are harder to find than they have been for generations and in which human services, including mental health care, are costly and scarce.

Warren's stellar academic career confirms her brilliance. Her intrepid grappling with powerful financiers and bureaucrats has proven her courageous fighting spirit.

Yet brains and guts with no heart might make a battling wonk. John wanted to know if something deeper motivates her public service. He waited until the photo-op line ended, then spoke softly to her about Gabe's death after groping for meaning, for work, for help. "We are failing our children," he said.

She waved folks away to create an envelope of privacy for the two of them to continue an intimate conversation. She listened, deeply. Her sympathetic attention felt like that of a close friend. She agreed that there is a continuum that extends from families to communities and that government is a crucial part of this matrix of care.

A month later Warren returned to the Valley for a Northampton fundraiser. John was in the audience again. As she spoke to the crowd he heard her intone, "We are failing our children." These words, now hers, had been his.

Recently I had the opportunity to ask Elizabeth about her encounter with John. She spoke to me of the poignancy of that October moment, his bravery in bringing himself to meet her and trusting her with the rawness of his grief, his concern for all of the other young people still needing help. She deeply respected his drawing upon the reservoir of his bereavement as a source of inspiration to make a difference for other young people, to bring as much good out of something awful as one can understand how to do.

"When someone touches my heart," she said to me, "and I have a chance to reach back and touch theirs, I feel such a sense of gratitude to have this opportunity to accept my share of responsibility for what we need to do."

"About 30 years ago we turned in a different direction as a country and we started worrying more about those who had already made it and less about how to create the right opportunities for the next kid to make it and the kid after that # I'm in this race because I now have grandchildren. The whole reason that I'm running is that I grew up in an America committed to opportunity for kids and I want my grandchildren to grow up in an America that's committed to opportunity."

"The way I see it is that government has the ability to help us do the things together we can't do alone. It is my responsibility to support my children. It is my responsibility to discipline my children. It is my responsibility to guide my children. But it is all of our responsibility to provide schools for our children."

"We are making investments every single day ... paying taxes ... investing in big oil companies with billions of dollars ... investing in hedge fund managers ... investing in multi-national companies that hide money overseas. I want to invest it in our kids and our future. I want a world in which all kids get a real chance here in the United States to have a good education, and not to be saddled with crushing debt that keeps them from ever even getting started in the economic game. I want to make those investments. You know, it's not very sexy stuff, in building roads, bridges and sewers, water and Internet so that we've got the right conditions for businesses to grow so there really are jobs and opportunities."

She took my hand and said, "Please, if you see Mr. Kick, tell him I think of him every day."

Brains, guts ... and heart. If you know another public figure with more of all three, well, I'd like to meet them.

Link to original article from Gazette.com

Read 6157 times

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Latest News from the Warren Campaign

  • Will new senators push Democrats to the left?
    Will new senators push Democrats to the left?

    When Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and the rest of the 2013 class of liberal senators start work this month, they'll have to do more than figure out the byzantine ways of getting things done in Washington.

    They'll also have to decide how seriously to engage a progressive movement that sees their assent a historic opportunity to shift the Democratic Party to the left.

    Written on Saturday, 05 January 2013 19:11 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren Wins Senate Banking Committee Seat: Sources
    Elizabeth Warren Wins Senate Banking Committee Seat: Sources

    WASHINGTON -- Nearly two years after Wall Street waged a successful campaign to keep consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren from running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the incoming senator will be tapped to serve on the Banking Committee, according to four sources familiar with the situation. 

    Written on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 19:22 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren Redefines "Balanced Approach"
    Elizabeth Warren Redefines "Balanced Approach"

    Politico recently declared, "The Senate is about to become a liberal lion’s den." 

    In 2012, groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, MoveOn.org, CREDO Action, and Democracy for America worked hard to build progressive power in Congress. This week's iconic photo of Senators-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) walking together down the corridors of power is symbolic of the rising progressive tide. 

    Written on Sunday, 18 November 2012 14:20 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren Wins the "Which Side Are You On?" Debate
    Elizabeth Warren Wins the "Which Side Are You On?" Debate

    An overbearing and at times ridiculously aggressive Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown came across as a desperate man Thursday night, as he attempted to gain the upper hand in the first debateof this year's most closely-watched U.S. Senate race and, by extension, in a reelection contest that seems to be slipping away from him.

    Written on Sunday, 23 September 2012 16:27 Read more...
  • Mayor Menino to endorse Elizabeth Warren in Senate race at Roslindale Square rally on Friday
    Mayor Menino to endorse Elizabeth Warren in Senate race at Roslindale Square rally on Friday

    Mayor Thomas M. Menino is expected to endorse Democrat Elizabeth Warren on Friday in her bid to unseat Republican US Senator Scott Brown, according to two people with knowledge of the plan.

    Written on Thursday, 20 September 2012 19:47 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren's DNC Speech: "Corporations Are Not People"
    Elizabeth Warren's DNC Speech: "Corporations Are Not People"

    Bill Clinton may have stolen the show at the DNC last night with his 45-minute, half-ad-libbed barn-burner of a speech, but there were a few other noteworthy speakers as well. After dragging for an hour or two, the night's program picked up when Massachusetts Senate candidate, CFPB creator, and economic realtalker extraordinaire Elizabeth Warren took the stage.

    Written on Thursday, 06 September 2012 18:54 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren: Yes She Can?
    Elizabeth Warren: Yes She Can?

    It was a grim, sleety day in Chicopee, a gritty postindustrial town in western Massachusetts, where paint flakes off worn-out bridges and boarded-up factories. At a community relations luncheon, kind security guards were opening back doors and holding out umbrellas for the few willing to brave the freezing slush.

    Written on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 04:54 Read more...
  • Jonathan Klate: A candidate's connection
    Jonathan Klate: A candidate's connection

    Retired Amherst gentleman John Kick is not known as a political activist. In the Springfield union hall where he ventured last October to hear Democratic senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren, he might have seemed a world-weary citizen with vague curiosity about the professor turned politician.

    But John's sorrowful demeanor and disconsolate eyes betrayed a woefully wounded heart. His son, Gabe, took his own life just a month earlier, at the age of 28. John keeps moving, somehow, in the dreadful private agony understood only by parents who persist in such an aftermath.

    Written on Monday, 26 March 2012 17:09 Read more...
  • The Ascendance of Elizabeth Warren
    The Ascendance of Elizabeth Warren

    If you’re reading this, you probably already know how you feel about Elizabeth Warren. Warren is currently running for Senate in Massachusetts, in the hopes of knocking out Republican incumbent Scott Brown. Very few first-time candidates are so well-known, or so passionately beloved.

    Written on Monday, 26 March 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • NOW PAC Endorses Elizabeth Warren
    NOW PAC Endorses Elizabeth Warren

    NOW/PAC is thrilled to announce its endorsement of Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the U. S. Senate from the state of Massachusetts. Warren is the most prominent of the three Democrats vying to run against incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R) in the general election. Recent polls show Warren neck and neck with Brown.

    Written on Monday, 05 March 2012 19:48 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren Says Washington Must Act Now To Help Stem The Tide Of Foreclosure
    Elizabeth Warren Says Washington Must Act Now To Help Stem The Tide Of Foreclosure

    Backs MA Congressmen, Attorney General Coakley Calling on Federal Housing Finance Agency to Take Action To Prevent Unnecessary Foreclosures

    BOSTON – It is past time for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to step up and help prevent unnecessary foreclosures in Massachusetts, said Consumer Advocate Elizabeth Warren, reinforcing calls from members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and Attorney General Martha Coakley.

    Written on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 07:54 Read more...
  • U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern this week endorsed Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the United States Senate.

    U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern this week endorsed Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the United States Senate.

    Written on Friday, 27 January 2012 20:35 Read more...
  • The Woman Who Knew Too Much
    The Woman Who Knew Too Much

    Millions of Americans hoped President Obama would nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the consumer financial watchdog agency she had created. Instead, she was pushed aside. As Warren kicks off her run for Scott Brown’s Senate seat in Massachusetts, Suzanna Andrews charts the Harvard professor’s emergence as a champion of the beleaguered middle class, and her fight against a powerful alliance of bankers, lobbyists, and politicians.

    Written on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 00:00 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren's Appeal
    Elizabeth Warren's Appeal

    For a few years now, politicians straining against all of the antigovernment demagogy have been searching for a way to energize public interest and remind voters of the essential government services and protections they rely on and all too often take for granted.

    Written on Sunday, 16 October 2011 00:00 Read more...
  • Berkshire Democrats Want Elizabeth to Run, Run, Run
    Berkshire Democrats Want Elizabeth to Run, Run, Run

    PITTSFIELD, Mass. —  More than a few local Democrats would be ecstatic if Elizabeth Warren decides to run against Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate. Warren is kicking around the idea of running and stopped in Pittsfield on Friday to meet with party members to gauge their support as part of a listening tour across the state.

    Written on Friday, 19 August 2011 00:00 Read more...

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Like Elizabeth Warren

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of