Ohios 7th Congressional
District is a big district, covering parts of seven counties. So its
surprising that in the upcoming race for U.S. Congress, two out of the
three candidates Democrat Kara Anastasio and Green Party candidate
Frank Doden live in the same tiny town, Yellow Springs.
Ohio is a big state, with an abundance of big cities. So its even
more surprising that, of the states three candidates for governor,
one Natural Law candidate John Eastman hails from the same
What is it about Yellow Springs? Something in the water, the air?
Whatever it is, it is heartening. The past few years some have worried
that this town is losing its values, becoming less funky and quirky, more
homogenized. Some have worried that Yellow Springs is losing its unique
character and traditions.
But the tradition of political activism seems to be thriving.
Not only has Yellow Springs produced, in this election year, three candidates
for state and national office, but the town produced three candidates
of ideas. All of their campaigns are longshots. No ones in it for
money or fame. Rather, Anastasio, Doden and Eastman seem to be stealing
time from already busy lives to promote ideals they hold dear, ideals
like participatory democracy and community.
Other recent examples of local activism abound, such as those who organized
last Sundays protest against the Iraq war and those who took part,
those who take time from their lives to attend Village Council meetings,
and, of course, Yellow Springs own U.S. Senator, Mike DeWine, who
visited his hometown last weekend.
So perhaps a tendency toward activism is in the air, or the water, or
trickling down the Yellow Spring in the Glen. More likely, that activism
grows from the examples villagers set for each other, examples of people
living engaged and empowered lives, people who believe they can make a
difference. And so they do.