EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 21, 2013

Letter: Gonzalez campaign spurs civic passions in children

To the editor:

I was amused by social media messages criticizing the Gonzalez campaign for supporting children who wanted to hold signs downtown.

During my first run for public office for Pentucket Regional School Committee, I had 33 teenagers at my house. We gave them a “civics lesson”, complete with a handout of information about the school district and then pizza. We even put out a press release and called it the Great Pizza Convention. At this “convention” we distributed poster board and wooden stakes with instructions to “make your own sign.” Within a week signs were popping up spontaneously all over Groveland with variations of “Go Joe and “Joe for School Committee.” They were all creative, all different, colorful and exciting to see at many corners. I still cherish the few that survived the elements.

Naturally, some folks called this exploitation. Ridiculous.

Manny Gonzalez is running a campaign that will run very deeply in the community as part of it is also an outcry for justice and equity in a city with broken politics and strife.

Kids may not understand all the aspects of it but we all know kids are good observers. They will perceive that related to the excitement is also a relative importance and will wish to be a part of it. Promote this behavior.

They will be proud to remember the experience the rest of their lives and for many it will introduce them to the vital, social responsibility of civic engagement.

Joe D’Amore


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