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DURHAM, NH: On a cold winters night, December 9th, at the University of New Hampshire, 15 old and new members of the NH CSE Action Team came together for a break out performance to call for Social Security reform.
With thousands of Democratic activists, nine Democratic presidential candidates and hordes of media on hand, at the last of six officially sanctioned debates by the Democratic National Committee, the NH Action Team swept into action. Outside the Johnson Theater, nine volunteers dressed as Ostriches – asking the candidates to get their heads out of the sand on Social Security – and, making their entrance, the cameras began to click and TV film began to role.
Cameramen and photographers jostled for position as the Ostriches posed for candidates including Kerry, Dean and Clark. Backing up the Ostriches, other Action Team members wore t-shirts, held signs and banners and handed out literature. Action Team member Jim Boynton was interviewed on the spot by television crews wanting to know why Social Security reform is needed now.
The Concord Monitor newspaper ran a half page,
full color photo of the Ostriches in the following
day’s edition and the second largest newspaper in
Boston, the Boston Herald, ran a black and white
photo on page six with a caption calling for
Social Security reform.
Competing with thousands of democratic activists,
special interest groups and campaign staff, the NH
CSE Action Team was forced to think big if it was
going to make the message of Social Security
Knowing the media would gather at the UNH
“Spin Room” and the candidates would be walking
down Main Street following the debate, the Action
Team decided to erect by crane and illuminate by
spotlight a 50’ x 10’ vertical Social Security reform
banner – right on Main Street!
Dwarfing the 4’ x 8’ candidate signs and the
illegally parked Joe Lieberman campaign RV, the
50 foot Social Security banner, crane and spotlight
refused to be ignored. Candidates, political handlers
and members of the media were forced to
acknowledge our message and admit that the
Action Team had worked hardest to capture their attention.
At one point during the evening, the Ostriches were invited into the Media Filing Center at Huddleston Hall where ABC news radio conducted a live radio interview with leaders of the Action Team.
Students reporters with The New Hampshire newspaper were so impressed with the message and performance of the Action Team, including the Ostriches, signs and banner that they requested multiple photos and took page after page of shorthand notes.
The evening proved to be another great success for the NH CSE Action Team, earning broad media attention and helping to generate three new team members: Jim Boynton of Epping, Shelia Ross of Lancaster and Tim Logsdon of Somersworth.
We thank them and all our Action Team members and invite you to join us for a number of events during the primary month of January.