2004 Citizen Awards | Citizen Awards | Indy Week
Pin It

2004 Citizen Awards 

Saluting those who took a stand

In a year when political organizing moved from the back streets to Main Street, it wasn't hard to find people who had discovered its importance. If one great triumph came from this year's election, it was the unprecedented level of community activism that arose out of the movement against the war in Iraq and then channeled into the presidential campaign. Thousands of people went to work organizing meetings and MeetUps, hosting parties and walking door to door, registering voters and raising the millions of dollars in small contributions that brought the people's voices back into this election in a way not seen in generations.

The results locally were tangible. John Kerry took the Triangle, winning large majorities in Durham and Orange counties and coming close in Wake County. The challenge now is for those people who got involved for the first or second time to stay involved, to continue their efforts for decent health care, for women's reproductive rights, for gay rights and against the war.

If they need examples of how to do it, they need look no further than our Citizen Award winners for 2004.

They are people who were all deeply involved in the election. For some, it was a continuation of the work they've been doing all their lives. Pete MacDowell and Peggy Misch have been on the front lines for decades, making progress protecting civil liberties and initiating campaign finance reform. The leaders and workers at El Pueblo have long advocated for the needs of Spanish-speaking immigrants and made the natural transition this year into protecting their electoral rights.

Other winners represent those who were compelled to action for the first time. Blaise Strenn went from mild-mannered brewmaster to leading Deaniac and continued as an organizer for John Kerry. The Civic Engagement Task Force began as a political science club at N.C. Central University and mushroomed into a political force.

This year, let those of us who were first-time activists be inspired by the hard-won successes of those who've done it much longer. Let us make sure that the real victory this year was not just the one-time mobilization of tens of thousands of new voters and activists, but the start of an entire movement.

2004 Citizen Award winners

Pete MacDowell
Peggy Misch
NCCU Civic Engagement Task Force
El Pueblo
Blaise Strenn

  • Saluting those who took a stand


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Citizen Awards

Twitter Activity


Congratulations Marcia! You are so deserving! It takes a lot of courage and commitment to stay with the work you …

by lsthomasson on Citizen Award: Judge Marcia Morey Wants to Make Juvenile Justice More Just (Citizen Awards)

I Am a woman in great need of a civil rights attorney. I came to the Independent a Few years …

by Melissa Felicelli on Marty Rosenbluth: Fighting for the rights of undocumented immigrants (Citizen Awards)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation