I know Donna Bebo as an activist. The first time I met her, she had organized a rally for Moveon.org. This is a picture of my friends and I standing with Donna and her adorable kids in front of Tom Cole’s office in Lawton, Oklahoma. Later, Donna joined me and several of our friends to support our local Postal Workers when they were demonstrating to Save America’s Postal Service. And when the Occupy Movement came to OKC, Donna and her daughters drove up to OKC with loads of food and supplies for the activists there.
Donna also serves her community as a volunteer. She and her family regularly volunteer at Family Promise, a program that helps homeless families here in Lawton.
This is what I knew about Donna before she told me she had decided to run for U.S. Congress, and I knew immediately what was motivating her to take on this enormous task. Donna Bebo is driven by a deep sense of responsibility toward her fellow Oklahomans and Americans. That’s why she showed up and still shows up at rallies for women’s rights, worker’s rights, GLBT rights and more. That is why she volunteers to help people in her community eat healthy food. She is driven to serve. She is prepared to take responsibility for all of the hard work that needs to be done to get us out of the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, and she will do so with a keen awareness of all the people who she is working for and with.
Her candidacy has been non-stop work for her and her amazing husband, Jason, who works as a guard as well as Donna’s busiest campaign volunteer. She has troops of volunteers in counties throughout her district helping her, but none work as hard as her, canvassing door to door, appearing at events and still using her time to lend support to rallies and protests across the state of Oklahoma. I am impressed and humbled by her, and I am inspired by her. She sets an example for all of us, and that is what true leadership means. We follow leaders because they are going in the right direction. Donna Bebo is a leader.
Donna knows that leadership is a responsibility, not just an honor. I’m not sure many of our politicians understand that. I think some of them think that they are in a pageant of some sort or a sporting event. And our media encourage this attitude by reporting on “races” like they’re keeping score–points are tallied according to money raised, and deducted according to “gaffes” or flubs. But Donna’s not a politician. She is a public servant, and it is my responsibility to do all the work I can to help put her in the position where she can do the greatest good. She belongs in the U.S. Congress.