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Paul Wellstone's Legacy | The Nation

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Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

Paul Wellstone's Legacy

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the terribly tragic and untimely death of Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife, Sheila, and their daughter, Marcia. Wellstone was a relentless champion of social justice and while his death, as Katrina vanden Heuvel’s tribute makes clear, was an enormous loss, his rich legacy remains vibrant and vital.

Wellstone’s political career began by organizing college students and low-income women to fight for anti-poverty measures, and mobilizing farmers to resist the efforts of utility companies to install power lines on their land. In his first campaign, he challenged a sitting Republican senator, Rudy Boschwitz, who outspent him seven to one. Nonetheless, Wellstone stormed across the state in a green bus, engaging young people and showing that, sometimes, people power and true organizing really can trump money.

So, it’s entirely fitting that the organization that bears his name and most forthrightly carries forward his legacy, Wellstone Action, isn’t a think tank, a PAC or an academic program but rather an activist training ground, a place not just to articulate progressive values but to do the hard organizing work that really makes a difference.

The best way to honor Wellstone’s legacy is to support Wellstone Action. Find out about its programs today.

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